4/26/2017

Listen Up: Nevertheless, I Am A Mama

National Infertility Awareness Week is April 23-29. This guest post was submitted as part NIAW's theme: "Listen Up." For more stories and features on infertility and NIAW, click HERE.
My infertility journey is still so vivid in my mind and I wonder if it will ever fade.

The countless doctor’s appointments, the injections, the devastating news over and over, the fleeting sense of hope, the depleted bank account, the fertile pregnancy announcements, and of course the never ending tears.

These memories surface in a flash and I am transported back to a time that was full of pain, fear, resentment and most of all loneliness.

From the moment I found out I was pregnant with my lucky twin girls, I joked that now I suffered from post-traumatic infertility disorder because I could not and still can’t let the pictures of my past go.

I don’t mean to be dramatic, but my infertility journey was imprinted on my soul.

For so long, my diagnosis of diminished ovarian reserve embarrassed me.

I felt less than and unworthy of everything life had to offer.

Nowadays, I am trying to be more open and brave about my infertility… especially when people ask if twins run in my family or if I plan on having more children.

I used to just say no, smile and end the conversation, but now I tell people it took me 3 years, countless IUIs and 6 IVFs to get pregnant.

That because of my diminished ovarian reserve I hardly produced any eggs and even if I made it to retrieval they didn’t always fertilize.

That after 4 transfers and negative pregnancy results, it is hard to keep going.

Yet I did and now I am a Mama to Lucy and Gracie.

What still keeps me awake sometimes, is knowing that Lucy and Gracie are here because of luck.

Sure, I had money to pay for my treatments, resources to locate the best doctor knowledgeable about my condition, flexible job, lovely home and a very supportive husband.

However, none of those things guarantee a pregnancy with a baby at the end.

I chewed vitamin concoctions, drank wheatgrass, went to acupuncture, eliminated sugar and alcohol and still did not get pregnant.

Most days, I knew I was a good person and used positive imagery of me holding babies to will myself pregnant – which of course did not work.

I don’t know why the pregnancy test turned pink that last time.

And twins?  Double luck?

Did I get pregnant because I had quit acupuncture and reintroduced sugar and alcohol?

Even now, I visit the message boards and see so many women who want to be Mamas, and I think why me and not them?

Luck.

I was 31 years old when I visited my first reproductive endocrinologist and 34 when I was finally discharged to an obstetrician.

What scares me the most is thinking about how I would have handled not getting a chance to be a Mom because I had already lost so much of myself over the course of three years.

The never ending grief and not knowing how to make a life for myself without the identification as a Mom was something that I came so close to answering.

For some reason, it still feels hard and those feelings linger below the surface.


Nevertheless, I am a Mama.
My twin girls are beautiful, happy and healthy.

They love to listen to music, play with dolls, search for doggies, and race cars.

I celebrate the joy and laughter that they bring to me, my husband and our extended family on a daily basis.

Every day I am so grateful for my good luck.

Elizabeth Hill resides in Baltimore, Maryland. She is a mother of twins after being diagnosed with Diminished Ovarian Reserve.

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