I have been super overwhelmed lately. There are all these things I probably should be doing to prepare for the twins, but I am not. And then there are all the regular things I should be doing (my calling, cooking dinner, cleaning my house, washing my hair….) but I am not. For the first few months, the exhaustion, nausea and sickness of pregnancy made doing anything other than laying on the couch seem impossible. Even scrolling through my instagram feed made me feel dizzy, watching the pictures zoom upward. I was able to keep working but I felt awful all the time and completely drained of all motivation. I hardly recognized myself; I literally ate potato chips and ice cream for dinner once. I also went through a cheeto phase and a boxed mac and cheese phase. Eating salad or veggies made me throw up. Getting too hungry made me throw up. Eating the wrong thing at the wrong time made me throw up. I know a lot of people have it worse than I did, but it was still not fun. Add to that the anxiety I was feeling over the fact that I was having two babies – something I never ever expected would happen to me – and anything “optional” like blogging was obviously pushed to the back burner for the time being.
Now I’m feeling much better, but I’ve gotten so far behind on blogging that I want to just give up completely. But I do love having a photographic record of our lives, so I am going to attempt to back date and catch up. I have a couple printed blog books and would love to complete the collection at some point… though now that I am having twins I think maybe that will never happen… anyway at least I will try to keep the online record going.
So many things changed when I found out I was having twins. I had all these ideas about the type of pregnancy I was going to have, the type of birth I was going to have, the type of mother I was going to be. I wanted to exercise and keep running throughout my pregnancy. I wanted to have a natural birth with a midwife in a birthing center at the hospital. I wanted to exclusively breastfeed if possible. I wanted to focus on enjoying my baby, soak up that precious time with my first child and really appreciate the gift that it is, because I tried for so long to get pregnant. Finding out I was having twins took all those expectations and sort of threw them out the window. I need to emphasize that I am okay with that!! I just am taking a completely different approach now. It’s much more go-with-the-flow and I am not placing any expectations on myself or my babies. Of course I will plan as much as I can and I will try to do things the best way I can, but now there are so many things out of my control that I just have to roll with whatever happens. It’s survival mode now!
I know it sounds stupid that I was so surprised to be pregnant with twins after doing IVF and choosing to transfer two embryos. We considered the chance of having twins and really thought and prayed a lot about the decision to transfer two. But the thing about infertility is that after 3 1/2 years of unsuccessful treatments, you kind of get used to the mindset that you are not a person who gets pregnant. For me, that made it a lot easier to cope with things not working. I had faith that I would have a family in the Lord’s timing and found a lot of peace in that, and I had hope that treatments would work, but I didn’t have expectations that things would work in any specific time period, if that makes sense. This way when things didn’t work out, I wasn’t horribly sad or disappointed, it was just the way it was. For the time being, I was not a person who became pregnant.
So approaching the decision of how many embryos to transfer, I was very logical. I knew that if I invested that much money and months into IVF and FET, it just made sense to do everything possible to increase the odds of success. The “risk” of having twins was worth it to me to reduce the risk of failure. Even looking back, I still wouldn’t have done it differently. There’s just too much invested into that process to transfer one. But in my mind, the decision to transfer two embryos was NOT because I was hoping to have twins. We transferred two in order to increase our chances of having one baby!
Our doctor, who I love, strongly advised us to consider transferring one. I think she knew what I didn’t realize, which was that my chances of twins were probably even higher than the official “25%” number, given my age and health level. She emphasized the added risks of a multiple pregnancy and advised us to really think about that before deciding to transfer two. We did consider the risks, but we both agreed that we would rather have two than none. And we felt really good about the decision to transfer two, and knew that whatever happened, it would be what God wanted for us.
Fast forward a few weeks and we went in for our first ultrasound. We already knew we were pregnant, but this would be when we would find out just how pregnant. ;) Immediately I saw two black sacs slide past on the screen. The doc said nonchalantly, “So, it looks like there’s two…” and continued on with the scan like it was no big deal. I was calm but also shocked, somehow. He left the room and Klane and I were both dumbfounded. Haha. I looked at him and said through laughter, “Holy crap.” We kind of just stared at each other. I think we said “Oh my gosh” a few more times, and then Klane said he thought he needed to sit down. Hahaha. It was crazy. We went to lunch afterward and tried to wrap our minds around this new reality. It really just did not seem real. Haha. We were still trying to wrap our minds around the fact that we were finally pregnant, and now there were two? We kept saying things like “TWO babies. We are having TWO babies.”
I’ve had a few months to get used to the idea of having twins, and it does seem real now (most of the time!). Especially since we now know that we are having a boy and a girl (!!!). I am really happy, but I am also sort of terrified of having two babies at once. There are a lot of people who say things like “GOOD LUCK!” or “I could never do that!” And I think, I totally agree! Haha. There are also people who tell me that they are so jealous because they’ve always wanted to have twins. And I think, Seriously? I have not always wanted to have twins. It’s not that I’m really opposed to having twins, I just never even considered it as a possibility. And if someone had asked me if I wanted to have twins, I would have probably said I would prefer to have babies one at a time. :)
Maybe I am too logical about things. But to me, having twins sounds really really hard! I think of twins and I don’t only think “Oh, double the fun!” I also think of stretching to a shocking size during pregnancy, of premature birth and emergency c-sections and the NICU, of being up all night with TWO infants, of paying for twice the diapers (and changing twice the diapers!), of potty training two at once… the list goes on. When people tell me they’ve always wanted twins, I have to ask myself if they would really feel that way if they were confronted with the actual reality of having two babies at the same time. It’s kind of scary!
But!! everyone I talk to who actually has twins is SO happy about twins and SO excited for me and say it’s the best thing ever. I know it will be wonderful! It’s just different than I always imagined and very, very overwhelming. So I am trying to keep a realistic viewpoint and remember that while it will be wonderful, I also need to prepare, because it will be really hard too!
All that being said, I am very excited about the twins. I know Heavenly Father wouldn’t send me these babies if I couldn’t handle it. And even though it will be overwhelmingly hard, it will also be overwhelmingly amazing!
I’m reminded of this moment I had when I was holding brand new baby Liam in Utah this summer. He was so tiny and sleepy and sweet, and I imagined how much love I would feel for my new baby when I held him or her. At that time I was preparing for the embryo transfer and I had a good feeling that things were going to work out. I was so excited and happy looking at that baby and imagining my own in the future. I knew I would love it. As I felt those emotions of love and awe I had a thought, “Now try to imagine how you would feel if you had TWO babies at once.” My heart sort of exploded in that moment as for a second I had a glimpse of the love and happiness I would feel, and also how overwhelming that feeling was. I could hardly imagine having that much love in my heart, it was unfathomable, but I could tell it would be wonderful. It was almost too wonderful to imagine.
Maybe that experience was a little glimpse from heaven of what was in my future. A little hint, and assurance that what was coming was in fact going to be okay.