Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My Affection for Odd Numbers

I have an issue- a severe issue. It's not one I typically admit to having because it sounds a little OCD. But since I am trying to morph this issue due to recent circumstances, I will let you all in on my secret: I have an obsession with odd numbers. Not all odd numbers; just some of them. My odd numbers.

I honestly have no clue how this obsessive love relationship started with my special numbers; perhaps it is because they have always been good to me and worked for me instead of against me. My favorite number from as far back as I can remember has been the number 13. Of course, in middle school, that was one more reason for me to stand out because 13 was considered a freaky and unlucky number. Not for me. Not for me at all.

My husband considers this odd number affection and fascination very annoying. In fact, he has little patience when I ask him to set the alarm clock for "8:03 AM" instead of just 8:00 AM. He also bears little patience when I microwave something and set the microwave to heat for a minute and thirty three seconds. And to throw things off even more, I do not use all odd numbers in this way. Fives are forbidden. And even though zero is not an even or an odd number, I never set any timers or clocks with a number that ends in zero.

Other times my odd numbers have come in handy:

* When lying on the couch and wanting to rest for a few minutes, I refuse to get off the couch when the clock is on an even number such as 11:02, or a five such as 11:35 or a zero such as 11:20. Doing so would go against my love affair with odd numbers, a jinx in and of itself, some sort of denying of affection to these odd numbers that I have loved so deeply.

*When purchasing shoes. I wear a size seven so thankfully this shoe size fits into my passion. But should I have to purchase a size seven and a half (a number that ends in a two)- well, let's just say I never have.....

*When cutting up fruits and vegetables. I can't cut two of anything or four of anything.... it must be one of MY odd numbers.

*If I'm chewing gum and counting the number of times my jaw moves up and down, I have to stop counting on an odd number.

*If I have to randomly choose a number for a contest or something, I always choose one of my odd ones.

*When counting items or counting aloud, I prefer to count by odd numbers.

*When shutting my computer down, I ensure the clock is on an odd number.

This may all seem a little creepy and odd (no pun intended), but it really works for me. It gives me control. Ha! Number control..... until recently......

Fast forward to February 12 when I had my 4th attempt at IVF with a second doctor after more than four years of trying to get pregnant. Thirteen eggs were retrieved during my second fresh-cycle retrieval, but only ten were mature eggs. Ten fertilized normally.

February 17th at 1:30, two embryos were transferred, one Grade B and one Grade C. I laid on the table for 60 minutes after the transfer and then spent two days on bed rest following the transfer.

We then waited ten days for the blood pregnancy test. On 2/26, February 26th, I had an HcG level of 575. I waited four more days for another blood test that revealed an HcG of over 3000.

And on March 17, St. Patrick's Day, we saw two heartbeats and two fetal sacs. While that day was amazing and undreamed of, we were also told that one of the fetal sacs looked much smaller than the other. The doctor was not sure if it was because my ovaries were still swollen from the stimulation drugs or because the sac was actually smaller, but we were informed of Vanishing Twin Syndrome at that appointment. We were sent away with our questions answered but a definite uncertainty of the future.

A week later, on March 24th, we again saw two heartbeats and two fetal sacs. Although one sac was still smaller, both were growing. We were told if we could make it two more weeks with two heartbeats, it was likely we would keep two babies.

So, on Wednesday, April 8th at 9:30 AM, it was confirmed that we still had two heartbeats, one beating at 174 beats per minute and one beating at 176 beats per minute- viable twins!

I must say that my affinity for odd numbers has slowly washed away with the even-numbered frenzy and good luck. I'm trying hard to break my odd number obsession since the even numbers have been so kind to me as of late.

Odd numbers. Even numbers. It really doesn't matter how I got here.... the fact is that I am here. What is most difficult for me through all of this is the fact that I am pregnant and others that have been on this journey with me still are not. I cannot believe what guilt lies inside me, thinking of my blogging friends who have not yet conceived but will read this entry and cry and scream and get angry, all of which I have done at pregnancy announcements. So to those of you who are still on the path to motherhood, I salute you and stand by your decision to possibly not follow along on my journey anymore. I understand; I truly do, and I am sorry for any pain this post causes. All IF survivors are my heroes because I know what a long and tedious journey this is no matter if you have been trying one year or ten. I know your pain, and I empathize with your feelings right now. But no matter what, I am still here as a cheerleader and supporter since that is what so many of you have done for me. From the deepest beats of my heart, thank you for your support and faith and may your turn come, in one way or another, sooner rather than later.

"Faith can light a candle in the darkest night." (Anonymous)