I always get asked if twins run in my family. “Not that I know of” is usually my answer. There’s also, “You must have been shocked when you found out you were having twins!” But to tell the truth, I wasn’t really shocked at all. Karson and Lucy weren’t what some people call, “spontaneous.” In fact, they were very much planned with a lot of heartache, joy and love.
It’s no surprise to many that Karson and Lucy were conceived with the help of in vitro fertilization, otherwise know as IVF. Their method of conception is not information I openly present, mostly because it just doesn’t seem relevant. But if people ask, it’s not something I feel the need to hide.
Several years ago, a career driven young man didn’t think he wanted children so he had a vasectomy. Obviously, things and people change. I married that man and together, we decided we were ready for a family. Not long after we married, Nate underwent surgery to have his vasectomy reversed. The surgery was only semi-successful and the chances of conceiving were still very slim. And so, month after month passed by with no success of becoming pregnant.
Even though everything else in my life was wonderful, the months that turned into years while struggling to conceive was one of the hardest periods of my life. Each month came and went with one shot to make a miracle happen. The cycle of hope, expectation, disappointment and despair was awful. “Maybe next month,” I’d say. “You have plenty of time,” others would say. “Enjoy this time without kids,” those with kids would say. But it was hard. It was difficult to plan our lives not knowing what would happen. It was just stinking hard. Everyone around me seemed to be getting pregnant and no words of encouragement could make the heartache lessen. It’s difficult to really understand until you’ve felt that pain and it’s not something people really talk about.
I never wanted Nate to feel like he wasn’t enough, like we weren’t enough. But I knew what we were meant to do together and how much love we could give. I knew we would be great parents and I wanted to make it happen.
After many months of the emotional roller coaster we decided it was time to take the plunge with IVF. We knew it wasn’t necessarily the best time financially, but would there ever be a right time? We had to go for it.
Fast forward through several months, tests, so many appointments, painful shots, monitoring, swelling, bloating, thousands of dollars, and one more surgery for Nate, we got what we fought, hoped and prayed for. After dozens and dozens of disappointing failed pregnancy tests thrown in the trash, I finally saw the double lines I waited so long to see. And then a few days later our pregnancy was confirmed as we sat in anticipation watching the ultrasound screen to see not one, but two heartbeats. So much joy!
We knew there was a possibility we’d have twins because we implanted two embryos. The chances of conceiving were greatly increased with two embryos and we knew it might have been our only shot. We took a leap of faith. We put all the chips in for Karson and Lucy and we won big time.
I am so often overwhelmed with our blessings. Mother’s Day is such a special day for me because I know how lucky I am. I don’t want to discount mothers who didn’t struggle with fertility because I know they love their children just as much as I love mine. But I wanted this so bad and going through that fight taught me so much. Because I felt my heart run so empty, it now feels so incredibly full.
My sympathies go out to those in the struggle who are waiting, watching Mother’s Day(s) pass by with longing and wondering if they’ll ever get to partake. I know the pain because I was there.
When Karson and Lucy were born our journey was just beginning, but another one had come to an end. Nate and I closed the chapter on that struggle and left behind a great deal of uncertainty and longing. We took with us, patience, understanding and utmost gratitude; for each other, our children and our love.