Wednesday, August 27, 2008

3 moments in smug fertility:

1. While walking the hall that lead to my OBs office I would pass a door labeled "Houston IVF". I peered through the lead glass door and made note of the lush couches on which a single woman usually sat. On my way to another ultrasound to see my growing twins I thought to myself "well, at least I'll never have to go there." After all, I might've had a rough pregnancy so far and I wasn't placing any bets that I was going to make it out a mom. But I'd gotten knocked up on our 5th month trying! With twins! Obviously we were fertile. Almost 2 years later I was the woman on that very same lush couch. And this was my second RE. Oh the irony.

2. Shortly after my second chemical pregnancy my husband and I had a hypothetical chat about what lengths we'd go to if we found we were *gasp* infertile. I'd began to suspect that maybe I'd need assistance to keep hold of our next pregnancy and was dipping my toes in the emotional waters of Clomid, progesterone suppositories, etc. Eventually the conversation winded to more invasive procedures - procedures we knew we'd never need. I casually asked him if he'd ever consider donor sperm, immediately reassuring him that obviously we'd never need to go there. (I'd been pregnant 3 times now!) And so self-assured was I in my husband's virility that I cannot for the life of me recall what his answer was. 2 years, countless SAs and a failed IVF w/ICSI later the topic is now far too barbed to broach again.

3. When we found out I was expecting twins I was shocked. I had already had 2 ultrasounds showing a single glowing sac, so to suddenly find 2 pumping hearts was overwhelming. "Oh my god. Oh my god. Oh god." I repeated myself endlessly as the ultrasound wand continued to probe. My husband took the news graciously, but I was terrified. Petrified. He felt he'd been rewarded for his struggles in life. I felt I'd been punished. I could see the dreams I'd had of pregnancy, birth and child rearing evaporate before the pulsating screen. The nurse, when mentioning my due date assured me I wouldn't be allowed to go nearly that far. "She'll take them by 36 weeks." And thus my lifelong goal of a natural childbirth was shot. I'd never heard of a mother of twins breastfeeding: another hope dashed. The list went on and on. In those first few hours I couldn't see the gift of twins, just the fears. And so, while getting on the elevator after leaving the appointment, I turned to my husband and said "I wouldn't be too devastated if one of them didn't make it."

Within an hour my fear turned to giddy disbelief. Within 24 I found myself excited about the prospect of mothering multiples. And no later than 48 hours after first seeing those beating hearts I was a mother of twins in my own heart. I loved them both so much, couldn't imagine losing either one of them and repeatedly thanked a god I wasn't certain I believed in for giving them to us. To me. Two souls to love and care for - what a gift.

I've never shared this story, not with anyone. I wonder sometimes if my husband recalls that moment in the elevator. If he thinks less of me for it. If he even remembers. But I will never forget (and likely never forgive) that initial proclamation. "I wouldn't be too devastated if one of them didn't make it." I was smug. I was stupid. I had no comprehension of what devastation could be.

15 comments:

Busted said...

Please don't beat yourself up over thinking that. It's normal to be freaked out about multiples when you first find out, especially conceived naturally and not having the "warning." I'll admit that when we first heard it was triplets, I thought the same, and was somewhat relieved when one sac was empty. Now I can't believe ever feeling relieved for something like that, and I wonder if I had been more upset if maybe karma wouldn't have taken our Doodles. I know that's absurd. But again, please don't punish yourself for what you said.

~Unfeathered~ said...

I think one of the hardest things is to forgive yourself, especially for things totally out of your control. It is completely natural to have the thoughts and feelings you did -- and they did not contribute to your situation. I hope deep down you know it is not your fault.

Kristin said...

I had one of those smugly fertile moments years ago. It was after I had my first son. I was talking to someone with one child and she confessed she and her hubby were dealing with secondary infertility. I remember thinking..."Thank God I'll never have to deal with that." Ha...11 yrs later, it only took 9 more pregnancies to have 2 more children. I understand (a little) what you are feeling.

SMK said...

I too have had moments when I remember things I said when I was pregnant with my twin girls... I was very sick pretty much the entire pregnancy (even had the sciatic nerve issue on top of it)and though I would give anything to have that back again now at the time it took its toll on me and I said to my hubby "you think its so easy you take them I can't take it anymore you careful what you wish for it just might come true" I was losing weight and was miserable and I regretted it as soon as I said it and for a long time I thought that was why they were taken. We are all human and we shouldn't beat ourselves up for it.. but I will tell you that guilt is a powerful thing.. We all have so much of it wrapped in our grief and loss I wonder if it ever goes away. Please don't think it had anything to do with it.

jlraynes said...

I was going to say don't beat yourself up over it, but if it was me I know I would anyway. So instead *hugs*

(ICLW)

Jessatsea said...

Oh sweet girl. I am sorry that for one single second you believed you did this.. although I know that if I were in your shoes, I would be doing the same thing.

But this... THIS... has nothing to do with something that you or your hubby did! You just have to pay for it. :( Hang in there and know that people out here love you.

Call me if you need me!

Amy C said...

Dude, we all say things that we wish we could take back...but it's just words. It's words that had no affect on any outcome.

What clinic do you go to? I know you asked me the same and I sent you an email...just wondering where you go.

Penny said...

You just can't know in the beginning. Blind optimism is delightful, and I'm sorry you were stripped of it.

Lindsay said...

I would say not to worry about that, but I know from experience that it is impossible sometimes. All I know is that you are going to be a great mom very soon!

theworms said...

Sending you a big, huge (((HUG))).

I'm sorry that you carry that with you, please don't punish yourself for a stupid remark, your words did not cause any of this. You had no idea, none of us did. I had plenty smug fertile moments and I have never been pregnant.

SmartOne said...

I'll echo the others - don't hold your words against yourself. You had a very natural knee-jerk reaction to an unexpected situation. I think you are incredibly brave and honest for revealing those thoughts, and I would venture to guess that there are many other people who had similar thoughts and reactions. You and your words are not to blame.

I'm glad you "outed" yourself on my blog. I have been wondering who it was that seemed to be reading my blog from start to finish and was honored and excited that someone was interested enough in all of my babbles to do so. I think you're one of the few people to have ever done so! I'm still a small fish in the blogging world and I TOTALLY stalk my StatCounter to see who dropped in. I also check Feedburner a few times a day to see how many people have added me to their reader. I know - I'm a lame-o. :)

That's a LOT of reading! Considering the fact that you're up through May, at the rate you've been reading you'll be all caught up either by tonight or tomorrow.

I'm doing blog updating this weekend and I'm adding you to my reader and to my blogroll. :)

SmartOne said...

I'll echo the others - don't hold your words against yourself. You had a very natural knee-jerk reaction to an unexpected situation. I think you are incredibly brave and honest for revealing those thoughts, and I would venture to guess that there are many other people who had similar thoughts and reactions. You and your words are not to blame.

I'm glad you "outed" yourself on my blog. I have been wondering who it was that seemed to be reading my blog from start to finish and was honored and excited that someone was interested enough in all of my babbles to do so. I think you're one of the few people to have ever done so! I'm still a small fish in the blogging world and I TOTALLY stalk my StatCounter to see who dropped in. I also check Feedburner a few times a day to see how many people have added me to their reader. I know - I'm a lame-o. :)

That's a LOT of reading! Considering the fact that you're up through May, at the rate you've been reading you'll be all caught up either by tonight or tomorrow.

I'm doing blog updating this weekend and I'm adding you to my reader and to my blogroll. :)

Amy C said...

Hey Amber...no I never got an email :-( My address is joecoffaroatcomcastdotnet
Hope all is well :-)

seriously? said...

I hope that getting that off your mind makes you feel a bit better. Don't make yourself crazy. Multiples seems scary even if you are prepared for the possibility.

I think we have all had some smug fertile moments, it doesn't make us anymore deserving of our struggles.

Thanks for stopping by :)

dark_one said...

My name is Holly Lem and i would like to show you my personal experience with Clomid.

I am 28 years old. I got preg first time on my own & miscarried. after a while of trying, my dr put me on clomid. after the first round i got pregnant & miscarried. i decided not to try or think about it at all probably for a 9 months... right around the time baby would be due & then started trying again. after a few months got back on clomid. after 5 months and no pregnancy i'm giving it a rest again. it's to much disappointment. i'm going to give it a try again soon, in the mean time we're keeping our fingers crossed for the old fashioned way to work.

I have experienced some of these side effects-
HOT FLASHES, moody, cry easily, weight gain, headaches etc!!

I hope this information will be useful to others,
Holly Lem

Clomid Prescription Medication