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March 20, 2012
Logo design by Christine Hepner

In less than 24 hours, we had gone from profound sadness thinking that I had miscarried to elation that I was still pregnant and utter shock (me) after hearing that I was carrying twins. We took the subway home that morning from the CWRC, and D went to the diner to get me a turkey burger. I thought I now understood the ravenous hunger I had been having. Of course I’d be hungry, I was having twins!

I was terrified, if truth be told. I was worried enough about carrying one baby to term at my age, and I knew how much carrying two increased the potential for all sorts of problems, not only for me but for the health of the babies. And then there was our living situation. We live on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in what we think is enough space for two people and two cats, but in what most of the rest of the world would consider small to the point of inducing claustrophobia. And to top that off, it is on the 4th floor of a walk-up building. No elevators. I was now faced with the prospect of walking up those 4 flights several times a day, pregnant with twins. We could move, but I was not going to leave Manhattan. I did not want to commute any more than the 7 or 8 subway stops I was commuting now. I was not going to cross a bridge or tunnel to get to work. Also, the thought of moving now, pregnant, all the packing and stress of finding another apartment in Manhattan, and then, there was a little thing called the housing market collapse. It really had not affected NYC the same way it affected the rest of the country, but you still don’t ever want to sell in a down market.

As we left the CWRC that morning, our doctor gave us a list of MFM (maternal fetal medicine) specialists, otherwise known as high-risk OBs. I remember talking to a friend a few years earlier who was having her first baby at age 36. She told me then that any woman over the age of 35 was considered high risk, so I wasn’t particularly worried about being labeled high risk at age 50.

I sat at work the next Monday morning with my list of doctors, and one name jumped out at me immediately: Kirsten Cleary. We had Clearys in our family tree, and that’s how I made my decision. All the doctors on the list were affiliated with Columbia-Presbyterian in upper Manhattan, one of the best hospitals in the country. Good enough for Bill Clinton, good enough for us, I thought.

I spoke with Mary F., a nurse practitioner who was to turn out to be one of the most calming and helpful people I’ve ever met. I told her I was referred by CWRC, and she said, “You know that we are high-risk OBs here?”

Me: “Yes.”

Mary: “And what is your high risk?”

Me: “I’m 50 and pregnant for the first time with twins.”

Mary: “OK, but what is your high risk?”

Her matter-of-fact calmness did more to comfort me during my pregnancy than anything else I can think of. The fact that being 50 and pregnant with twins didn’t even qualify me for high-risk OB at Columbia was amazing to me.

I told her that I also had had some bleeding and episodes of high blood pressure, and so she made an appointment for me with Dr. Cleary. I thought again just how lucky we were to have such amazing medical care practically in our own backyard!

Next time: And then there was one…..

Thanks for following and reading! I’d love to hear your story of IVF. Please leave your comments below.

© 2012

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From → Pregnancy

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