Wednesday, April 15, 2015

So, you wanted twins?

A few weeks ago I had a conversation with someone that I had just met in a store.  Face it, when you have kids with you at a store- people sometimes think you are more approachable.  Anyone else feel this way or is it just me?  Well, with that said, I think that combined with having twins- makes people even more curious and it makes them want to talk to you.  I get it- they're twins- it's a little different.

Anyways, this conversation we had has been on my mind.  It was a woman probably in her 30s if I had to guess.   She approached me and asked how old the nuggs were.  She then told me she had a few kids of her own.  Then she started talking about how she wished she would've had twins (this is something I hear all the time- esp from strangers).  Then started the questions of "were they natural?" and "do twins run in your family?"  I never know what to answer to the first one.  Were they natural?  I know they're fishing for infertility information but it gets weird.  I won't lie, there have been times where I answer "yes" and don't bring up IVF because I don't want to talk about it any further because I'm trying to get myself out of whatever store we're in haha.

I thought for a moment about how I wanted to answer- did I want to bring up IVF?  I had some time and I said "well, they do run in my family, but we went through infertility treatments."  Normally, people just drop it there- but she went on.  Her next question caught me off guard a little.  She asked "Oh, so you wanted to get twins then?"  I'm not an easily offended person- it takes a lot for someone to really ruffle me.  But this, this ruffled my feathers a bit.  I knew that she didn't mean to offend me- but it did bother me. I had to keep my cool and really think about my response.  So all I said was "all we wanted was a healthy baby and we were blessed to get two healthy kids"

This pretty much ended our conversation and we parted ways.  Ever since then I just have been rolling over this conversation in my head and I wanted to write about it.  It has been a long time since we were going through infertility treatments so a lot of the little details of knowing what different acronyms mean or what numbers mean what when looking at blood tests are a bit fuzzy for me.  However, the experience will always be very fresh in my memory.

My infertility never defined me- it still doesn't.  It's a part of me- but it's not the only thing about me.  We went through so so so many different procedures to get pregnant.  There were times I wanted to just give up because it was just too taxing on me emotionally and physically.  Jon and I wanted a family.  We wanted kids.  If that meant we only had one kid- we would've still been over the moon.  So the question "Oh, so you wanted twins then?" really got to me. I know most of my friends who have been through this would probably agree with me that we just wanted a healthy baby.

Did we know that multiples were possible- yes.  Did we also realize how crazy hard it would be (during pregnancy and after) to have multiples?  Well, we had an idea of course- but no one ever knows what multiples are like until you have them.  That being said- I want to answer another question I get asked a lot.  "You implanted two embryos- were you planning for twins?"  We knew the possibility was high- but we implanted two embryos because the day we were scheduled for IVF only 2 out of the 9 eggs that fertilized had reached the stage where the doctors implanted them.  So we had a choice.  Implant 1 embryo and freeze the other or put both in.  The first choice could mean we could lose the first one and then we'd have to do a 2nd IVF and use the frozen embryo.  With only putting one embryo in lowered the chances of getting pregnant.  So this is why we did the 2.  Our odds of getting pregnant were much higher.

We were fortunate that we did get pregnant.  I love our doctor and his staff- they were with us every step and through all the good and the bad.  There were a lot of questions during the first trimesters if one of the babies were viable or if we had lost one.  They were positioned in such a way where they couldn't get good readings off of them.  Thankfully, they both stayed put.  We were lucky.

Will I ever fully grasp why we had to go through what we did (and what we might have to go through again if we do IVF again)?  I'm not sure.  What I do know is that- Alton and Ashlyn were meant to be here together on this earth- together.  Even if I could get pregnant on my own- I don't think my body would be able to have twins "naturally" (I hate that word... my kids formed naturally.. just with help from a doctor).  I honestly believe that Heavenly Father knew this and this is why we had to do IVF.  There was no other way for them to get here together.  They are the best little buddies.  They absolutely LOVE each other.  It's such a wonderful thing to watch.  How they miss each other when the other isn't there and how they laugh together- it is very special.

So, did we do this to have twins? No.  But I can't imagine our lives without them.  They've stretched me pretty thin (and I'm not talking about my waistline- although, that would be nice haha) and shown me all the things I need to work on but our hearts are so full.   We have been blessed beyond what we deserve.

Infertility is such a hard thing.  For me, there were times where I wanted to be private about it because I didn't want the world to know what was going on- but then I got to a point where I needed to talk about it.  I was hurting and I needed to talk about it.  I found that it helped others too.  Even if was just helping someone understand what to expect when going to a infertility specialist- it was worth it for me.  There are those who don't talk about it and that's okay!  I just want those going through it to know that you are never alone!


Michelle said...

What fabulous post! It gave me chills all over. What a precious family you have.

Jessica said...

Thanks for your honesty! Working in the field of adoption (and also struggling with some issues of infertility myself) sure has taught me a lot about others and more importantly, myself. I am sure I have been on the end of giving offense, but posts like this help us all understand your perspective just a little more. Beautiful post. Very well done! I admire your bravery.

Those kiddos sure are adorable! There is something special about the bond of some twins/triplets/multiples. I love seeing them together... What a gift you have given them: friendship!

Allie said...

Hear hear! So many people don't understand what infertility takes out of you. Thanks for helping others understand and being an advocate!

Anne said...

You are an amazing woman and a wonderful mom.