Recently, we were asked if we planned on having this many babies at once. My husband began to tell him “we did IVF…” and before he could get another word in, the man interrupted and said “oh, see? you did try for all these kids”.
Statements like that irritate me. The mere question about fertility treatments somehow get under my skin. I know most of the time people are so curious and shocked at seeing so many babies all at once that they don’t know what to say. I think its natural for people to assume we went through some sort of fertility treatment, and I get it. But asking “did you take fertility drugs” is a bit personal. I mean, why should it matter whether or not we had fertility treatments? Does the fact that we did IVF somehow discredit my children? Do you even know what that means? Probably not.
The process is very scientific from a medical perspective, but can be very trying on the woman (both mentally and physically). I recall times when I had to give myself about 8 shots in one day. You’re constantly being monitored by your doctors and its all about timing. It was 8 months from my initial consultation to the day I found out I was pregnant. Getting pregnant this way was not fun.
People don’t out-of-the-blue just come out and say “I think I want twins, I’m gonna do IVF”. Most people that go through fertility treatments just want to be parents. There’s no guarantee you’ll get pregnant and there’s definitely no guarantee you’ll have twins. The reason multiples are more common with IVF is because more than one embryo (typically two) is implanted at once with the hopes that one will “take”. Most of the time, only one of the embryos survive resulting in one baby (which is what happened when I got pregnant with Makaio). Sometimes, both embryos survive, and that’s when you see fraternal twins; each of them from their own embryo. More rare is when there’s identical twins. When multiples are identical, that means the embryo split naturally. In my case, the two embryos survived. One was a female and the other a male. The male split, then those two split again. The chances of that occurring is extremely rare and nothing we would’ve anticipated or could’ve even planned. So, no sir…we did not “try” for all these babies. It was a blessing and a miracle from God.
Please don’t discredit those who’ve gone through some sort of fertility treatment. We shouldn’t be defined by how we got pregnant. Its really no one’s business. For many people, its their last chance at having a family. The result(s) of these treatments is not the beginning nor the end of their journey…its the middle. There’s always a story behind the decision, and there’ll be more stories to be told in the future.