Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Twilight Zone

Hello all,
I'm Amber's friend Michelle. Amber hasn't told the entire story of this incredible pregnancy, mostly because it would mean she would have to mention what a wonderful person she is, so I'm here to do it for her. I doubt you'll be able to read this story and not get chills.

A little background and you'll see why her quad pregnancy is quite bizarre. Six years ago I met Amber when she walked into my home, a needed, blessed volunteer to help with my then 4 month old quadruplets who were just home from the hospital. They had been quite premature (27wks) and needed a lot of care. I have 3 boys and 1 girl, two of my boys are identical. My quads were conceived on my 5th IVF attempt and I wasn't given much hope. We did transfer 4 embryos but it looked like 2 had arrested so I wasn't thinking anymore than two babies were possible. Imagine my surprise when we see identical twins in one sac and then two more sacs with one baby each. I thought my head would explode. My doctor had never had an embryo split into identical twins in the 15 years he had been at the clinic. After a hard pregnancy and very long NICU stay, we were finally able to bring the kids home. That's when I met Amber.

When she first came to my home, I found myself intimidated by this gorgeous, tall, athletic, blonde woman. Then I started to get to know her and I knew that she was one incredible person, beautiful inside and out. We hit it off and she quickly became just one of the family. She helped me two nights a week and on Saturdays. The more I got to know her, the more I loved her. She now is welcome at my home anytime, in fact she has a key and her own room and bathroom. She is a sister, niece, friend, confidant. I adore her. The selfless service she provided to me and my children made such a difference in our lives and the gratitude I feel towards her is hard to put into words. She helped make it possible to enjoy my babies, not be so overwhelmed by these 4 little pee machines that I couldn't take time to see the wonders all around me. For that, I will be eternally grateful. Even after I no longer needed the organized help, Amber still came over regularly just to change diapers, feed kids and chat.

After a few years, she moved to Las Vegas, which made me sad, but she met her husband there so it was obviously a good move. Then the both of them packed up and moved to sunny California. Despite our geographical difference, (I'm in Utah) she still came to visit when she could and my kids always LOVE seeing her. So, after she gets married, I tell her "Honey, you're 26. Don't wait too long to start your family so what happened to me won't happen to you (I was 37 when I conceived). I guess I should have been careful about what I say as it seems that statement ended up being somewhat prophetic. After a year of concentrating on each other, they decided it was time to start their family and wouldn't you know it???? She got bit by the infertility bug. After trying a few things that don't really have great success rates, she told me that she had great insurance that provided a lot of coverage for IVF. To that I said "Time to just go straight to the big stuff...IVF has the best success rate with the lowest higher order multiple rate. Just promise me you will only transfer one or two embryos." We joked that she would transfer 2 and get triplets anyway. We knew it was possible since one of mine split but I think we all still thought it was unlikely.

So, with shot needles in hand and faith in their hearts, Mike and Amber went on to IVF. She cycled perfectly and transferred two embryos. This is where the twilight zone music should be playing in the background because out of those 2 embryos, she got the 4 babies she is now carrying. Identical triplet boys and one girl. No one had entertained THAT idea! Any of this sounding familiar? Also, in the 65 years combined doctor experience her clinic had never had quads result from a two embryo transfer. I guess Amber and I are trailblazers!
It just seems particularly weird that we would meet 6 years ago, become friends because of my quads and now have it be her turn to be expecting quads. Geez, do you think maybe she spent too much time with me and it rubbed off???? In any event, it is now my turn to provide some help to her. I wish I lived closer and could spend every day helping out, especially since my babies are starting first grade in the fall and I have no idea what to do with myself.
I hope Amber doesn't mind me singing her praises and taking up blog space but I do feel like this is a one in a million story. Good luck to all of you out there who are expecting or who have been blessed with multiples. We are all so very fortunate to have our kids.

Much love to all,


Anonymous said...

Thank you for your story. Every time I talk to you, every time I hug you I cry. We are so grateful for you, as we were clueless as to how to best take care of Amber. You are such a blessing to her and to our family too!
With much love,
Ambers Mom

Collegegirl said...

Thanks for sharing your story. It was beautiful and brought tears to my eyes. You must be a great friend to Amber!!!

Beth said...

That just brought tears to my eyes! What a beautiful story!

The Gerwer Babies said...

What an amazing story! What are the odds! you both sound like amazing women!

**G** said...

Hey there Michelle! (I used to post as G M here.. it's your playgroup pal here) Very cool read! I love the story and the photos of the two of you were awesome! (Yes, I said that in plural, you kwim!)

It sounds like the two of you are lucky to have each other! I know you're waiting patiently while her little ones 'cook' a bit more! Hugs to you both!

Barbara Hilton said...

What a great story! It doesn't surprise me a bit. Amber has always had something special about her. God bless her and her babies!