As I am nearing my 27th week of pregnancy, I am getting bigger and better! I am only throwing up every few days! Although I am still nauseous each day, I do feel like a new person versus where I was at week 8 or week 14. I'll take it! I am almost back to my normal self where I truly enjoy my second trimester. Oh my gosh, am I still in my second trimester? Or am I in my third? Wow, I better go look that up! Time flies when you are pregnant with twins. Here is a little bump photo of those two precious boys.
I posted a picture on our Facebook page today that struck my heart really hard. One of the reasons I have been so publicly open about this blog, this movie, the fertility drugs, our failed first attempt and so on, is because so many women have had to suffer silently with their infertility issues. Over the last year and half, after starting the blog, I have learned these issues come from the mother's eggs, the mother's uterus, the mother's health condition, the father's sperm, money (not enough money to do IVF), age, and more. So many factors play a role in these women's lives when they are trying so desperately to conceive a child. It's never simple, it's never an easy fix, it's never just one thing. And it's a lot of heart ache. I have learned by listening to you. So many readers have sent in their stories, every day I read a new story that brings me to tears, pulls on my heart strings and opens my mind even more.
As I have mentioned before, I was anti IVF. I never gave much thought to surrogacy or what it involved, but if I was anti IVF I must have been anti surrogacy. I thought if you could not have children naturally that you needed to adopt. Perhaps this came from being adopted myself, and my own yearning to adopt. I just assumed everyone else should be on the same page. After Natalie lost her uterus, and after listening to her thoughts, it was like a switch went off inside of me. I started to think about all my friends who had a hard time conceiving, and my family members. I started to think about how they must be feeling as I pranced around the world bragging about being fertile Mertile. Always thinking I was making fun of myself for being able to get pregnant the first time each time, when in reality, I was probably hurting those women around me. I was not ever thinking about their feelings, their miscarriages, their still borns, their hope to see a positive pregnancy test. This is hard for me to write. This is hard for me to admit how selfish I was in my own thoughts. Who would think that way? I am admitting it very publicly that I did. I am not proud, yet ashamed. How could I have not thought deeper about this issue? I had never walked that path or known that kind of pain, but where was my compassion? I never even asked. I was afraid. When my friends were trying and never getting pregnant, I was afraid to ask. I was afraid to ask how they were feeling after their miscarriage. I thought it was unspoken for a reason. I didn't want to pry or bring up more pain. I always thought if they wanted to talk about it, they could. Why didn't I make the compassionate move? I still don't know entirely, but I am changed forever now and hope that my friends and family who are struggling know they are NOT alone. I hope I have the strength to reach out to those who need it and I am so happy to have shaken my prior, judgmental self. I'm sure she existed for a reason, but she is not currently missed.
I saw this photo the other day and posted it to our Facebook today asking followers to tell us what they think and feel when they see this photo:
The comments have been amazing. I love when people come forward and speak openly, and candidly, especially on a subject so many women feel they have to be quiet about. Here is what one reader wrote:
We started talking and I told her how I used to feel and she wrote back, "Yeah I totally know what you mean! I am a twin myself, and growing up my sister & I always joked about how we were "natural twins" and ivf twins were "fake twins" lol ~ it's funny being on the other side of the table and having to do IVF and now im having those "fake twins" HAHA its crazy how infertility changes your entire perspective!"
She's right. It is crazy how infertility changes your perspective.
How has infertility changed your perspective?
We are so blessed that this pregnancy with the twins worked after the second try. I feel very blessed. I feel like our experience is just the tip of the iceberg of fertility pain. Your stories continue to change me, open my heart and mind and I hope my compassion is felt. Your stories have made me a more loving mom. I always considered myself someone who counted my blessings, but I for sure hug my babies more, kiss them more, tell them they are loved more. Which I already did so much before, I am sure they are getting smothered right now. I don't even care. I'm a smother mother right now and proud of it!
I'm not sure entirely what else to say here. I just wanted to write out some of my thoughts about the pain others have been feeling and encourage us all to keep an open mind. We never know someone else's struggles, even if they tell us, it's not the same. I hope together we can all keep open minds and hearts and be a little bit more compassionate to others' feelings.
Here is something I wrote down at the beginning of this journey and try to read each day:
Everyone is having a different life experience than you. Because of that, what they can see and think can vary drastically from you. This is where an open mind and compassion can build a bridge to better understanding each other. Hopefully from that, we can learn from each other and possibly have more acceptance in all areas of this life.
Off to swim lessons with the little humans.