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Sunday, February 1, 2009

Two Blessed

By Ashley H, VP of Mommyhood x2, CharlotteSmartyPants

I wasn't always a "baby gal." I didn't grow up oogling over children. I questioned my mommy-drive at times in life. What I do know is when I pictured how many children I'd like, I had a plan. It was always two. I don't know exactly when I made the decision, but early in life I decided that two would be my ideal family. Then I met my beau hunk, found out he was the youngest of seven and panicked that he might want a large family. Luckily, he thought a couple children were a nice number for a family and Marcus became Grade A marriage material.

We were engaged and having dinner out one night when I matter-of-factly announced that I really felt we were meant to have twins. My mom had boy/girl twins, but lost the little girl at birth, so I knew we stood a bit higher chance given it ran in my family on the mother's side (which is the lineage you need to have an increased chance for multiples; twins on your husband's side would have no baring on your chances to conceive twins or higher multiples). This fact plus fertility drugs and advanced maternal age (34) helped things along quite nicely.

When I got to the point where I was finally thinking about children, I really really wanted them. In thinking about starting a family, I took for granted what miraculous blessings children are. At the time, I had no idea what a process a successful pregnancy is. I just thought you decided to have a baby, peed on a stick to confirm it, ate your face off, registered for cool stuff I knew nothing about and then months later got ready for your world to be rocked. Little did I know! Ashley had much to learn. And for all you moms out there who struggled with infertility, didn't you feel surrounded by fertile Myrtle friends (uh, hello, Jen P?!) during your journey...uh huh, yeah fun, right?! And, as if every mother pushing a baby in a stroller would just "happen" across your path the day Aunt Flo came to visit for yet another month?! Ugh, cruel cruel world. What doesn't kill us makes us stronger right?! This is character building stuff, the true grit "moms" are made prep me!

Okay, so after months of charting temps, peeing on a OPKs, 3 months on 50 mgs Clomid, a miscarriage, and another 3 months on 100 mgs Clomid, we finally conceived successfully. I was 9 weeks pregnant, 466 miles away on vacation and started having complications. Convinced I was miscarrying again, Marcus & I went in for the first ultrasound two days after my bleeding started. We had little hope that this was going to be good news. So you can imagine what hearing "we've got a strong heartbeat" and then "ooohh, actually, we have TWO strong heartbeats" did for our spirit that day. I bounced off that table and life has never been the same since. I guess of all the dumb, stupid things I've done in life, I must have done some things right. I mean, come on, twins?! My ultimate dream come true, are you friggin' kidding?! Pinch me! Someone said "God gave you back a baby" when hearing we were expecting twins after our miscarriage - a profound sentiment I will never, ever forget.

Though getting pregnant was a bit rocky, I had a GREAT pregnancy. Never felt better and was the most beautiful I've ever felt in my life. But let me tell you, I was L-A-R-G-E. My stomach stretched to unimaginable lengths, pointy and straight out front. I thought towards the end that my stomach definitely resembled the nose of a fighter jet. Marcus and I both LOVE surprises so it was only fitting that we wanted to wait to find out what we were having. It made delivery day all the more magical. Meeting my daughter (Fallon, 6lbs 6oz) and son (Cannon, 6lbs 12 oz) for the first time was surreal. I knew this was going to be it for us so I took it all in but mourned a bit knowing that I would not feel a baby inside me again. I loved my pregnancy and was sad to leave it behind.

That feeling lasted about 2 seconds, who had time to wallow in self pity when I had two babies to breastfeed and care for?! The first year with the twins was tough, but manageable for me. Of all things to admit...what wasn't manageable was the protruding stomach that having full term twins left me with. I am not exaggerating, I looked 5-6 months pregnant, and was OFTEN asked "when are you due?!" if I ventured out without the twins in tow. Ugh. I never ever thought I'd consider plastic surgery, but after several different opinions from doctors and a year of contemplating, I decided to go through with a tummy tuck. Lemme just say, don't ever consider this unless you have a severe abdominal separation like I did. It sucks and was no day at the park, but SO worth I just need to lose weight & tighten up to get back in shape!

So the next step is a vasectomy, wahooo another surgery! We wanted to wait at least a year to make SURE we were done. There's no longing for another baby from this chick. We are blissfully content with the two toddlers we now have. I am eternally thankful for healthy children; a son and daughter are bonus beyond my wildest dreams. I very much realize how blessed I am. I respectfully honor the arduous journey so many of you moms have endured to either conceive or ultimately to adopt, etc. No matter how you got here, we are glad you did!

We'd love to hear from other Smarty Moms of multiples. Please share your stories!


Anonymous said...

The title of this article is so true. I was blessed with twins after years and years of fertility treatments, in vitro, you name it. It is a difficult time in a woman's life when you feel like you are the only one around who cannot seem to get pregnant. It is easy to get yourself caught in that deep dark place where you feel so alone. If you are there now, please know that there are others of us in your same position or who were in your position at one point.
Thanks for the truthful and uplifting article. I am really enjoying your website.

Rainy said...

I love your children's names! So funny that they are Cannon and Fallon, mine are Canon and Talon (both boys). :)

Ashley H said...

Thank you both for your wonderful comments! Rainy, girl, I am trippin over the fact that you have not only a Canon (a name you don't hear much) but that your other twin son, Talon, is so close to Fallon!! LOL! Anyway, just had to leave a quick comment & tell you both we are thrilled you are all a part of TSP!

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