It took us almost 2 years since we started on the journey to have children, 10 months of seeing our favorite RE (Reproductive Endocrinologist), 3 failed rounds of superovulation and our successful IVF treatment cycle, and now 29 weeks since all of our embryos were created and we brought home these two sweet babies in Mommy. One heck of an incredible journey so far (and still nowhere near as long as some of our friends)!
As terrified as we both were to begin IVF and knew that it was our last hope that we had of our dreams ever coming true, we prayed endlessly that God would keep His hands on us and all of our babies. The whole process ended up being the most beautiful journey and I look back on all of the good and the bad with such fondness, because it created our sweet miracles!
Before we ever began fertility treatments, we knew that twins were a possibility and that we would transfer both of our embryos to have the best chance of conception. (Although, with super-ovulation or any other non-IVF treatment it should be much lower as a doctor should be monitoring VERY closely to prevent too many as it can be dangerous, hence why OB/GYN’s should not be handling infertility, but I digress). We know that life begins at the moment of conception, so before we began IVF we prayed that God would allow us to keep both of our babies. We knew we wouldn’t be able to handle losing one of them.
*On a side note, i’ve always wanted twins. When I was a little girl I had twin dolls that I carried everywhere and told everyone that one day I was going to be a twin mommy. Of course, my family and some of my little friends thought I was crazy even back then and everyone has always told me they’re “too much work”. In typical Melissa fashion, i’ve always gone against the grain and proved everyone wrong. 🙂 I believe God was just preparing my heart for this role he had for me.*
After all of that, it saddens and literally hurts me to hear the negative comments that people make regarding parenting and pregnancies, and especially twins. Since we’ve gotten pregnant, we’ve heard “I HATED being pregnant”, “Better you than me”, and “OMG, you guys are crazy for wanting more than one”, and the worst: “You’re having TWINS?! Keep that away from me…I don’t want to catch it!” And they REALLY get shocked to find out that we’re not done having kids (Lord willing). “Oh, you’ll change your mind once they get here.” I’ve even had a couple of friends get pregnant with twins after making some of those comments, and I hope that God turns their hearts. If people only had a tiny clue as to what we went through to be here they would rejoice with us. These babies of ours are the biggest miracle that we prayed for endlessly! We spent thousands of dollars to have them and it took 20 negative cycles, 3 failed rounds of treatments, endless tests and one miraculous IVF/ICSI cycle to conceive them. Babies are such an amazing blessing and twins are so magical!
Maybe people just don’t see unless you’ve suffered through miscarriages and/or years of infertility. Struggles often make you respect things much more and see things more clearly. We don’t take a single moment for granted and all of the little milestones in pregnancy we celebrate even more! We never had the “freakout” moment that most do with twins, because they were an answer to our prayers! Yes, I even prayed for the nausea, stretch marks, and pain so why wouldn’t I rejoice that i’m able to experience it all?! It’s so difficult to know the struggles we endured and the many more that some of our friends have and to see people taking it all for granted after being handed miracles.
Don’t get me wrong, we have people who are truly happy for us and our growing family, but I really wish people would think before making comments. Those are our babies, our precious miracles that we prayed for endlessly that you’re talking bad about. Not a day goes by that we don’t continue to pray for their health and safety or thank God for giving them to us to raise. It’s a responsibility and a privilege that we never take lightly. Do we have rose colored glasses on and think that it’s going to be easy? Absolutely not. It’s going to be a lot of work and it’s surely going to teach us a lot more about ourselves and our marriage, but it’s a “job” that we are anxiously awaiting!
~PROUD TWIN MOMMY
One thing you may not know about me: I’m a control freak and a planner. Okay, that’s two things…and i’m sure most people know those about me. I know that God made me this way, but over the last few years it seems that He’s trying to train me out of it.
First, I waited for what felt like a LONG time to find and marry my soulmate. I watched all of my friends get married and have babies while I was still focused on my career, traveling the country, and daydreaming of this perfect guy that I thought would never come into my life. I prayed and begged and tried to hold out faith and not lower my standards (which was very difficult) for almost 30 years. My Dad kept reminding me that God had a plan and His timing was perfect. He was right! Every LITTLE thing I asked God for in a husband he delivered in my Ryan. Sometimes I just tear up and shake my head wondering how God loved me enough to create him just for me!
Second, that man that I love so much is a soldier and the Army life is EXTREMELY unpredictable! Even though I grew up an Army BRAT and dreamed of marrying someone strong enough to be a solder somehow I still felt unprepared for the long hours, endless separations and the limited ability to plan (there’s that word again) for the future. I’ve had to learn to go with the flow and embrace the journey. It’s crazy, but it’s a beautiful life.
Third, infertility struck. That word still makes me sick to my stomach with a thousand painful memories and emotions. There’s no “planning” or “control” when it comes to infertility. You have no idea if your story will have a happy ending, an alternate ending from what you planned, or just a horrible one. The emotions, the roller coaster, the fear, the anxiety, the worry, the judgments, the insecurity, the financial burdens…they just aren’t something you picture of falling in love and growing your family. In the end, I wouldn’t change a thing. It brought us our beautiful babies, taught us to depend on God and each other, and it’s our perfect story of how much we loved these miracles before they were ever created.
Finally, my birth plan. There’s no “planing” when it comes to birth! Funny story: when I was a kid I had a set of twin dolls. I was obsessed with twins and told everyone that I was going to have twins when I grew up. So many told me I was crazy, but I always wanted to be a mommy and I wanted my twins. When we started infertility treatments we knew that it would be a rare possibility, but when we went on to IVF we really started praying that God would allow us to keep both of our embabies (embryo babies). Boy, did He!!!! However, now one of my biggest fears is not having the perfect, “natural” birth that I have always wanted. I know, I know, the most important thing is 2 healthy babies and a healthy mommy. I get that…I promise I do. As someone who worked and prayed so hard to even have the chance to carry life, someone who started bleeding at 7 weeks and was scared to death that I would lose them (while my husband was stuck 4 hours away from me while I was working at Ft. Bragg), and someone who started contractions at 26+2 weeks….trust me: all I truly want is healthy and to go home with me. But, I still want the birth I always dreamed about. I want no drugs when i’ve barely taken a tylenol my entire pregnancy. I want to feel every pain and the intense joy of knowing my body could carry out something so miraculous. I want immediate skin-to-skin contact with my babies, and for my husband to cut the umbilical cords and continue the skin-to-skin. I don’t want to not even witness my children’s birth like it’s just a routine surgery. I don’t want to never see my babies within the first few moments of coming into a scary new world after being ripped from Mommy’s belly.
I know I have to deal with these emotions and fears. I have NO judgement for women who have C-sections and I know that it just might be the best thing from a health perspective for us…but that doesn’t mean it’s what I “want”. I’m so proud of my body for doing what it’s done up until now. I just know that I can do this! Yet, even they’re not positioned perfectly or they come too early or a few other “ifs”…it’s a c-section.
I do know that we are in God’s hands and He’s NEVER led us astray. I’m sure that there will be a lesson here…even if it’s just to turn it over to Him and trust His will, which i’m trying to do. However, turning off this control freak/planner in me is easier said than done. In the end, i’m so thankful that we have two beautiful, perfect, healthy babies that God is trusting to us and that’s all that matters!