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!