Anyone undergoing fertility treatment will identify with Jess and her husband’s difficult journey to parenthood, with multiple cycles of IVF and IUI testing Jess’s emotional and physical resolve to the limit. Happily, they eventually conceived twins, a boy and a girl, who arrived after a less than straightforward pregnancy, which Jess shares with us here.
Jess lives in North Wales with her husband, and twins Harry & Charlotte who are nearly two. She used to work as a HR Manager but now stays at home to look after the twins. They live in the countryside and have a pet cat.
Jess blogs at mummyofboygirltwins.wordpress.com
“You are so massive!” I was normally greeted with during my pregnancy with twins (or words to that effect). Normally ‘huge’ and ‘enormous’ were common words used to describe me. It didn’t really make me feel that good about myself to be honest, but after everything I had been through, I was just glad to be pregnant.
I spent most of my twenties quite drunk but also feeling very broody. Despite enjoying success in a Human Resources career I couldn’t wait to get married and have a big family. I thought about it a lot.
30 arrived and so did a wedding ring, mortgage and a cat. As soon as we were back from Honeymoon I couldn’t wait to start trying. It was an exciting and enjoyable time, thinking that Hubby and I were going to have a brand new little person in our lives soon.
Each month passed by. One by one our friends married and announced their pregnancy. Each time a niggle of jealously. “We need to try harder” I thought. This wasn’t going to plan (and when you’re a control freak and get everything you want this wasn’t a pleasant feeling). It was very testing; being totally reliant on Mother Nature was not easy.
The miscarriage was the lowest point. By the time the blue line had appeared I had planned the nursery, picked out the pram and chosen a name. Even though I was only 6 weeks along when it happened I felt like my world had ended. I felt lonely, isolated and angry. Hubby and I struggled; there was a lot of tension, mostly from me. I think I became quite depressed at that time.
And I was losing friends fast. Baby-showers and Christenings were now too painful to attend. The jealousy was becoming unbearable.
A few years passed and we were soon under full-blown medical care. We had all the usual standard tests – everything appeared to be working properly. We were classed as ‘unexplained infertility’.
Trying to have a baby for us now couldn’t have been any less romantic or starry-eyed. It was now a process, an undertaking, a clinical procedure.
For anyone that has experienced the procedures IUI (Intrauterine insemination) or IVF (In vitro fertilisation) the only way you can describe it is that it is invasive, intrusive and emotionally and physically draining. It’s all-consuming.
And it feels like even the odds are against you the whole time. According to babycentre.co.uk for IUI, you have a 16% success rate if you are under 35, and a success rating of 32% for IVF. These get even lower as you get older. But despite these odds you live in the highest hope that you will be one of those positive figures.
Hubby and I were finally declared a successful statistic after enduring x3 rounds of IUI and x3 cycles of IVF. The third round of IVF produced 2 embryos and both implanted.
At the 7-week scan at the IVF clinic the Nurse turned the screen towards us and declared “and there are your twins”. The two grey blobs were most definitely there.
And then I got big. Quickly. My bump grew fast. I was in maternity wear by 10 weeks and struggling to walk by 20. I gave up work at 28. I could hardly function anymore and needed to nap a lot during the day. My body was working hard though! I spent the last few months watching a lot of daytime TV, surfing the internet and indulging in a great deal of on-line shopping. Our bank account took a huge dent!
Due to the fact that it was a multiple pregnancy, and therefore classed as ‘high risk’, I was placed under Consultant care and attended monthly scans, appointments and checkups. Hospitalised twice for bleeding, I also suffered with ligament pain, backache and low iron levels (to name but a few issues!).
And then at 36 weeks and 3 days my waters broke. I was already in hospital by now due to placenta previa and as a result had been booked in for a planned caesarean section at 38 weeks. “Are you sure you haven’t just wet yourself?” the nurse asked me when I pulled on the assistance cord in a panic, water all down my legs. ‘Er, no”.
Both just perfect.
They were, and are, remarkable and are true miracles in our lives.
OK well yes they drive me mad. And I NEVER sit down all day. And now that they are toddlers they fight a lot and I am constantly keeping the peace. And they make so much mess. And at the end of the day I’m physically worn-out and have been driven to wine.
But despite all this, when you have been through so much pain and anguish you’ll take all that, and most definitely some more thrown in too!
Follow Jess on Twitter @soot1978