“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest.” Ecclesiastes 3:1–2
Monday, June 24th, 2019 was when my life changed. But to be honest, I knew deep down that it had already changed course days before.
The prior Tuesday, I had seen the most beautiful healthy boy on an ultrasound at 12 weeks. Porter Vaughn Gooding. The sweet boy that was meant to be in our family. His story is one that will be retold to anyone that will listen. Because he was and is so loved. Because he was and is so wanted. Because he was and is so treasured.
Now let’s back pedal so everyone can understand the background of Porter. I won’t go too far back since that would all be another story for another post. But from the beginning of our history with Porter brings us back to July 2017.
In July 2017, Matt and I found out that we had severe male factor infertility. We initially, after trying to conceive, thought we would just do an IUI (intrauterine insemination) but we did not “qualify” due to our semen analysis results. Ultimately, we pressed on to IVF to grow our family. After completing our first IVF cycle, we chose to do PGS (preimplantation genetic screening) just to increase our chances of success. We ended up with four girl embryos and one boy embryo. In November 2017, we transferred one boy and one girl embryo. We were so happy and shocked that both little babies STUCK! We were pregnant with twins! We named them Hannah Rose and Porter Vaughn immediately after transfer.
Fast forward, we reached our anatomy scan at 19 weeks. We were so excited to know which baby in my tummy was which! We had guesses based on heart rates which was the boy and which was the girl. During our ultrasound, of course we told the tech our excitement and how we knew, blah blah blah.
So, she happily looked at baby A and said “yep, this one is definitely the girl!”
We were thrilled! Then she pans over to baby B.
*****Hold your breath for dramatic effect*****
The tech gulps and says “so, yeah… this one is also a GIRL.”
“Are you sure?”
*Lost and confused stares*
The next hour and a half of this incredibly detailed anatomy ultrasound we all sat in silence. We were confused at how this was even possible. We left the perinatal office and called our IVF clinic. We were assured that the ultrasound must be wrong and they would order a blood test that would show if there was any cfDNA from our boy. When I went into the clinic they did an ultrasound themselves to be sure it wasn’t tech error. Nope. It wasn’t. There were two healthy little girls in there! The blood test also confirmed NO male cfDNA at all. Just GIRLS!
Now fast forwarding AGAIN. We came to terms with our girls. We mourned the loss of our son that weren’t even sure if we ever had. We didn’t know if somehow the girl embryo split into identical twins or what. We had to wait until birth to test them to be sure.
??We welcomed Heidi Violet and Hannah Rose on July 8th, 2018! ??
Shortly after they were born we ordered a DNA test to see whether or not they were monozygotic (identical aka from one embryo) or dizygotic (fraternal aka from two embryos). Our DNA test confirmed our girls were DIZYGOTIC/FRATERNAL TWINS! (And TBH, they look nothing alike, hahaha.)
******Pause for dramatic effect to let reader come to their own conclusion here for liability reasons*******
Yep. What you are probably thinking about somehow someone maybe mixing someone’s embryos up may have possibly happened. I can neither confirm nor deny but you can follow along with that and read between the lines. ?
Of course, at this point we had no evidence of that since we still had three frozen embryos which were supposed to be girls. After several conversations between the parties involved, we decided to thaw, rebiopsy and retest our remaining embryos to see if a human error had occurred.
January 2019, we received the call that changed our lives! PORTER WAS FOUND! It would appear that he was, somewhere in the process, mislabeled as embryo #3 when he was actually embryo #2 all along! What a miracle! By the grace of God, we still had this sweet boy that we had engrained into our life for the last year or so. We found our sweet BOY! We found our Porter Vaughn through all this chaos.
And we celebrated his discovery and still do ?
TO BE CONTINUED…