Love and Modern Science

My twins are turning 3 today. Their preferred words are “no” and “mine”. Although I love them with every inch of my being there are days when they make me so crazy I could curl up in a ball on my closet floor and pull out my hair strand by strand. Some days I have to take a deep breath and remind myself why I thought having kids was a good idea.

I spent my 20’s trying not to get pregnant. Not that it was that difficult. I was busy with law school, traveling and training for the Olympics. Kids were the last thing on my mind really. But then I met my husband when I was 26. Suddenly I couldn’t think of anything more perfect than a baby that was a little bit of me and a little bit of him. We got married when I was 30 and started “trying” about six months after our wedding. A year later I called to make our first appointment at a fertility clinic.

We hid it like a dirty little secret. It was not until recently that I have become more open about how our twins came to be. Guess what? Twins don’t run in our family even though there are 3 sets. They are all the product of love and modern science.

Who knows why I had to be so secretive. At first I think it was denial. The first year we waited in limbo convinced that it was only a matter of time and patience. Then I think it became embarrassment. We had to admit that something wasn’t working, that something was “wrong”. Like it was shameful that my body didn’t work right, that our bodies didn’t work together. That I was broken. After awhile the embarrassment just gave way to dull, aching pain that was too raw to talk about.

Making a baby became clinical and sterile and expensive. It involved needles and drugs and schedules. It was white paper sheets, hospital gowns, lubricant and ultrasounds. And crying. A lot of crying.

I cried at the clinic. I cried every time the pregnancy test was negative. I cried every time someone announced they were pregnant. I would smile and congratulate them, then I would find the nearest room with a door and cry until my head hurt. I cried the day the clinic called and told me for what seemed like the millionth time that I wasn’t pregnant and then I got dressed and went to a baby shower. I wanted to hide in the bathroom and cry. I cried when I was holding my niece and my husband’s grandmother said to me “Doesn’t it feel nice to hold a baby? Don’t you want a baby?” As if I were holding out. I had to remind myself she didn’t know. I smiled and walked away afraid I was going to be sick. I cried after every time someone asked us “Do you want to have kids?” and I had to watch my husband awkwardly reply “Oh yeah, some day.” My husband held me silently so many times while I cried.

Even though time seemed to creep by I felt such a sense of urgency. I wanted a baby so desperately that I could feel it in my arms. Each time I believed I was one step closer to having that only to be disappointed again.

Then that day came. I was rolled into the O.R. On the flat screen in the corner I saw two perfect little cells. They looked like they were practically bursting at the seams. The doctor said “Those are your embryos. They are beautiful. They look just like we want them to look.” I smiled and then I fell asleep.

I am one of the lucky ones. I don’t for a second take that for granted. I had the resources. I had family support. Eventually my body cooperated with love and modern science.

So despite the excitement of the candles and cupcakes and gifts today I will remember how my twins came to be and I will celebrate that quietly.

3 thoughts on “Love and Modern Science

  1. Thank you, Stacey! I thought maybe my occasional kid angst was because I got pregnant the “first time”, TWICE. Seriously have always thought I would appreciate it all more if I had to work harder to make it happen. And while at some level that may be true, I am still glad to know there is company to pull hair out with in the closet…

    Your kids are amazing!

  2. darling girl- I hear your words and I whole-heartedly remember the angst as I waited desperately to be full-bodied and pregnant… I too was blessed with twins, I would imagine that is why Cory sent me your blog! I will forever remember what an absolute blessing they are – even as I have not slept over six hours consecutively in the last two years, am constantly saying “stop pulling your brother’s hair,” and call myself lucky if I have showered and shaved my legs each day! It is a whirlwind raising twins and I understand you have #3 too! I honor you and am equally as impressed! It is certainly a challenge and I fear that I am not giving each child enough love and attention and then I worry that I will miss them growing right before my eyes. AND…thankfully, it is a distant memory – the pain of longing for a baby and each month being “let-down”. I cannot forget that era, definitly the most painful I have had as of yet, but I am glad to say that I am so busy with my day to day (and grateful), that those days are soooo far in the past! Kudos to you Momma – this is certainly the most challenging job I have EVER had. Sweet and super tough! I have been told by my friends with tripplets that it really doesnt get any easier. Drats!

    • Thank you so much for your comments and your thoughts. I too am thankful that that time and that pain is a distant memory (not forgotten, but distant). You are absolutely right that it is a sweet and tough job. I wouldn’t have it any other way even if it doesn’t get any easier! Thank you again for reading and commenting.

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