10 week newbie!

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Categories Balance, Celebrations, Difference, Pregnancy

Hi there everyone!

I’m a new author here at HDYDI and wanted to introduce myself. I am currently 10 weeks pregnant with twins, living in the Chicagoland area. These are our first babies (unless you count our two four-legged ones) after having an early miscarriage in the summer of 2012. So, while I may not be a source of wisdom for many of you who already are employing your superhero skills daily in parenting multiples, hopefully some of my experiences can be helpful for others who are expecting twins.

It has felt to me that our experience of becoming parents has become more and more marginalized the further we got into it. After trying on our own for some time, we were referred to a fertility specialist, which brings a realization that you don’t get to be one of the lucky ones who “wasn’t even trying” and got pregnant. As we got sucked deeper and deeper into the infertility treatment vortex, I felt more and more different from my friends who got pregnant on their honeymoon, or tried for a couple of months. Before you know it, our reproductive endocrinologist was recommending we consider IVF. Again, a realization hits that you don’t get to be one of “those people” who “just needs a little Clomid” or get lucky with an IUI. And while friends and family were amazingly supportive, they couldn’t truly empathize with needing surgery, a boatload of medication, followed by eight weeks of progesterone injections to get/stay pregnant. Much less, after having lost a pregnancy already. Marginalized again.

Two weeks or so after our egg retrieval, on the date of my first blood test, I got the news that my first HCG beta was pretty high and “there might be two in there.” So many emotions! So many things to be grateful for and excited about! So many things to research and be fearful of! But, for certain, another realization that, again, we wouldn’t fall into the normative experience of having a baby. Now, we wouldn’t be the couple who struggled with infertility and did IVF, then rejoined the ranks of the “normal” folk who have a “regular” pregnancy. Indeed, after seeing the first ultrasound of two little beans growing in my uterus, we realized that we’d forever have a unique experience.

There was much frustration in not being part of the norm while trying to get pregnant. In fact, I felt like it made me isolate from friends who were on to their second or third pregnancy and joked that it was “the immaculate conception,” because they hardly even have sex. And, while I’m typically a fairly open person, the experience made me become more selective about what I shared with whom. I was over playing the role of the educator about the IVF process, or standing up for myself and my stress level when people said, “at least this is elective and you don’t have cancer, or something.”

But, for some reason, as soon as we hit the IVF level, or, as another IVFer friend said, “pulled out the big guns,” things started to change. We started to feel grateful. Grateful that we live in a time that this technology is an option to people who cannot conceive on their own. Grateful that we had insurance that covered this option. Grateful that both sides of our family are close and will (hopefully) be there to help. Now that we’re in this boat, we’ve decided to stick to this perspective of the differences in our journey to be parents. While we may be the last of our friends to get pregnant, we’re also the only ones in our (close) group of friends to be pregnant with twins. While, yes, this makes us different, in the right light, “different” can mean “special,” too, right? 

Needless to say, stumbling upon the HDYDI website felt like I was finding a community that could lessen some of the discomfort of the experience of being higher risk, or higher need, or infertile, or whatever other terms you want to use, and increase the excitement of having two blessings come at once. Thank you for your posts thus far and I look forward to being able to contribute!

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10 thoughts on “10 week newbie!”

  1. Congratulations Katie! And welcome to hdydi!

    And, yes, absolutely, being pregnant with twins is different in the super awesome, special way :)

  2. Congratulations, Katie and family! This is such an exciting journey. I was one of those for whom pregnancy came easy and quickly, but having twins has given me some perspective on the life of those who’ve lived infertility in an odd way. When my girls were much littler, I would constantly get asked if they were “natural.” I couldn’t believe how often strangers thought it perfectly appropriate to ask about my husband and my level of fertility on seeing us with twins. I couldn’t imagine how I would react to that question if I’d been through a miscarriage. People can be thoughtless, and I’m glad you’re here to remind us what is beneath those questions and their answers.

  3. How exciting for you and everyone involved! Twins are for sure double the blessings and double the fun. 😉 I think the pregnancy comments just prepare you for the twin comments/questions. When my b/g twins were about 6 months a MAN in the grocery checkout asked if I had them vaginally! And the countless comments about how having kids 18 months apart is just like twins or harder. Ha, whatever. We are blessed, beyond measure and nobody really knows to what extent unless they’ve walked in the shoes.
    I hope you have an uneventful and long pregnancy!

  4. Congratulations on your pregnancy, Katie! I struggled with infertility, too. I found that I felt defensive sometimes when people discussed my twin pregnancy (and still occasionally when people talk about my toddlers) and asked me questions like, “Do twins run in your family?” and “Were twins a surprise?” These always seemed like polite code for the more blunt “Are they natural?”

    I came up with a breezy non-answer for most of these questions, to be used with strangers and in awkward situations (“I think twins are ALWAYS a surprise” is my favorite), but I do sometimes tell people that I took drugs that increased the probability of having twins. I figure that’s the maximum amount of information anybody needs about the situation, and if it helps to make the process of conceiving with medical assistance less strange and seemingly uncommon, all the better.

  5. Congratulations! My twins also came from IVF and I could relate to SO MUCH of what you wrote. People are incredibly nosy (although usually well-meaning) and will say all kinds of things to you. My girls are 2.5 now and I still sometimes miss having had the “normal” experience. But, there are definite positives too. We’re pretty sure we’re done having children now and it is awesome that our girls are the same age and have a friend/sister built-in. Plus, you only have to go through the terrible 2s once…

    Like you, I was very selective about who I opened up to about our IVF. There are members of my family that don’t even know. But I feel more open about it now. I think now that I have had a successful pregnancy and had my children and everything is fine, the pain of the infertility has worn off some and I feel like I can talk about it. Hang in there and put your feet up!

  6. Rachel, thank you for your link! And Stephanie, I too, hope to be more open (or maybe the better word in my case is patient) with telling people about our experience and answering questions. Thank you for your comment!

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