Today’s featured blogger interviews comes from Jenn and Meghan from, Two Came True. Jenn and Meghan share with us their experiences behind infertility, motherhood and raising twin boys. Enjoy the interview and don’t forget to visit their personal blog as well.
What inspired you to start your blog?
We met through work and quickly became friends. Truly, we found the deepest friendship in the most unique way. Our friendship initially blossomed through common interests, but our connection grew stronger after we both struggled to start our families. We were fortunate enough to have been support systems for each other during our personal journeys through infertility. Over the past few years, many of our friends were reaching out to us for support through their own battles with infertility. It was after we had been a support system for 10 or so of our friends, that we thought about writing a book to chronicle the nitty gritty of our infertility experiences. After writing several chapters, we began sharing our work with the women we knew who were beginning their IVF cycles to offer solace and support. Our writing was received wonderfully and provided comfort to those women. This in turn inspired us to begin this blog, and so Two Came True was born…
We initially started this blog to focus on the infertility journeys that bound us together. We both have undergone IVF to start our families and coincidentally we are both raising twin boys! Two Came True has become a place to provide support and resources to help parents navigate the crazy life of raising twins. We are by no means experts nor strive to be, we are simply offering different perspectives on raising twins to serve as ideas for other parents out there looking for answers. Our hope is that this blog can serve as an outlet for parents who are raising twins regardless of how they came into this word! Two Came True is a space for families with twins to connect, find comfort in the fact that being a twin parent is hard and know that we are all here to support each other.
What advice do you want to share for women facing infertility?
Jenn: Believe that miracles really do happen. Infertility can quickly become a dark and lonely struggle, it’s easy to lose your optimism and hope. Go in believing that your hopes and dreams will come true and find a way to remind you of that when in you’re in your darkest hour. It may be a framed quote on your dresser, a piece of jewelry, or maybe a meaningful song you hear often on the radio. No matter how you choose to keep that hopeful spirit alive, it will be your saving grace throughout this journey.
Meghan: Let yourself feel however the heck you want to feel! The entire process is tough and draining in so many ways. You will feel sad one minute and then hopeful the next, let it be! There were so many times when I felt bad for feeling so angry, I learned to let that be ok! I oftentimes felt angry that a treatment didn’t work. After a nice pep talk from my husband, I would feel extreme hope and full of positivity. My feelings, happy or sad, were all valid. This process is a whirlwind. Let yourself go through whatever emotions naturally take over and know that it’s totally NORMAL.
What are the most common forms of infertility?
- Statistics pulled from www.resolve.org:
- 1 in 8 couples struggle with infertility
- In ⅓ of cases the problem rests with the male, in ⅓ of cases the problem rests with the female, and in the final ⅓ of cases the problem rests with both the male and the female, and in 10% of cases the problem is unexplained.
- Fertility problems strike 1 in 3 women over 35.
- Approximately 85-90% of infertility cases are treated with drug therapy or surgical procedures.
- Fewer than 3% of fertility cases need advanced reproductive technologies like in vitro fertilization (IVF)
- Recent statistics indicate that the live birth rate from a fresh non-donor embryo transfer is 47.7% for women under 35 years old and 39.2% if the woman is age 35-37.
Is there a particular story of a journey through infertility that you want to share?
Jenn: In retrospect, I find myself counting my blessings that our entire experience with infertility went the way that it did. That is not to say that there weren’t ups and downs and that we didn’t find it extremely taxing. After beginning to work the the reproductive endocrinologist, she quickly shared with us that we would have a 3% chance of ever conceiving on our own, but initially thought that it wouldn’t take much intervention for us to get pregnant. I left that meeting feeling fairly positive about moving forward with fertility treatments, but things quickly turned. Two weeks after our first appointment, while we were waiting for “Aunt Flo” yet again, I got my first positive pregnancy test and sadly suffered a miscarriage shortly thereafter. It was such a bittersweet moment because I finally knew that we could get pregnant; it was a glimpse of hope. After that, we began a cycle of IUI, which was immediately canceled when uterine polyps appeared at our first ultrasound. Two months later, I had surgery to remove the polyps, was diagnosed with a Diminished Ovarian Res erve, and told that IVF would be our only treatment option. I then spent 6 months taking DHEA and a variety of other vitamins and drugs in hope to improve egg quality. My husband was also downing a small pharmacy daily as well during that time just as icing on the cake! Our IVF cycle began in January 2012. We were blessed to have 12 eggs retrieved, 6 fertilize, 5 make it to day 3 and only 2 make it to day 5. On the morning of January 25 we had made the decision of a lifetime, to go forward with a fresh transfer or freeze our precious embryos for genetic testing. We were hesitant to risk the only two we had, so we went for the gusto that day and transferred them. A “short” nine days later, we found out we were pregnant!
Meghan: The fertility process was long and at times grueling. Anyone who has been down this road before knows that it is bumpy. It took 4 years of tests and treatments to have our babies, but well worth the wait! We went through a total of 3 months of Clomid, 4 of Letrozol (combined with IUI) and then finally one IVF cycle. We did all of the typical tests one would do to rule out any possible diagnosis including several HSG tests and a hysteroscopy. It was during one of my final tests, before our transfer in October 2014, that the doctors discovered uterine polyps. I had to have the polyps surgically removed before we could move forward with the transfer in December 2014. We feel very fortunate that our first round of IVF was successful and we became pregnant with our miracles.
What is the biggest misconceptions of women undertaking Ivf?
We have found that people usually assume that you have a higher risk of multiples with IVF. In reality, IVF is the one fertility treatment that allows you to have complete control over the number of embryos you transfer. The instances where an embryo splits into identical twins is extremely rare. If you do not think raising multiples are for you and your partner, you have the choice to put in one embryo.
Were you surprised to discover you were carrying twins?
This is a question we get every time people begin asking questions about our twins in public. It is truly a difficult one to answer, because honestly, who wants to share so much personal information with perfect strangers. For both of us, we advocated that if at all possible, we wanted to transfer two embryos in the hopes of having twins. When infertility treatments are the only way to have the family you always dreamed of, it can change your perspective on a lot of things and influences the decisions you make.
Jenn: I was diagnosed with a diminished ovarian reserve, which basically means I prematurely have a low number of eggs generally caused by aging ovaries. My doctor was concerned about my ability to produce a sufficient number of eggs for retrieval and in the end had only 2 healthy embryos to use. My husband and I decided that we wanted to go for the gusto, transfer them both and hope for double the baby dust! So, no, I was not surprised at all, simply relieved that our family was doubly blessed and complete.
Meghan: No. When my husband and I decided to on IVF, we were hoping for twins. When we started using fertility drugs we knew our chances of having multiples increased significantly. After a few years of treatments, we envisioned life with twins. When we had our consultation appointment to begin our IVF cycle, the doctor warned us that the odds of having twins was extremely high if we transferee two embryos. He said that we shouldn’t put in two embryos if we didn’t want twins because they were both very likely to take. The first blood test resulted in high HCG levels. At that point we were hopeful that we were expecting twins. It wasn’t until we went in for our first ultrasound that it was confirmed when we heard those two little heartbeats!
What was your pregnancy like?
Jenn: All in all, good. I struggled with morning sickness and nausea the entire pregnancy, but I was able to manage it for the most part. I worked up until a week before my boys were born and delivered at 38 weeks via a scheduled C-Section.
Meghan: I chose to be incredibly optimistic from the moment of our transfer until the moment I met our boys on August 18th. The bumpy road that led to our pregnancy was rough; I was determined to make pregnancy as smooth as possible. I tried to listen to my body and really focus on taking care of myself. I wanted to be as healthy as possible for the boys. Somehow even the days when I felt crappy weren’t so bad when I remained focused on the two little blessings that were growing in my belly.
What has been your greatest accomplishment these past 12 months?
Jenn: My boys recently turned three and their personalities and independence blossom daily. They are truly kind, compassionate little gentleman and we have worked hard to instill those values in them as they grow. I am proud of the little men they are becoming and honored to be their mama. The journey to have our family was difficult, but it brought these two amazing miracles into our lives, and for that I wouldn’t change a thing. We have also successfully potty trained them and transitioned into toddler beds all before they were 2 and a half!
Meghan: My greatest accomplishment in the past 12 months is carrying my twin boys full term! Holy cow pregnancy is no cake walk, let alone with two kiddos in there! The 3rd trimester was a tough final stretch, but I knew that each and every day I could keep those boys in my belly would benefit everyone! In addition to my pregnancy, I am very proud to say that I am a mama to two amazing little dudes. They truly are my little miracles. I thank God each day for my boys.
What is one piece of advice you have for parents of multiples?
Jenn: On the practical side I would say set a schedule and stick to it, even if that means waking a sleeping baby. It is the only way to survive. Always remember, it does get easier! Secondly, I approach everyday with the fact that I am blessed with two amazing miracles deeply engrained in my heart. I try to cherish the moments of each day because I know will never get them back.
Meghan: Drink a lot of wine and don’t take yourself too seriously. Ha! My advice would be to make time for each kiddo separately. Each baby is a unique person, they just came out of the belly at the same time. 🙂 Getting to know each of my boys on an individual basis is very important to me. I spend my entire day with both babies who have a lot of needs. Making time each day for each kiddo, whether it’s a little extra snuggle when one baby is napping, or a little butterfly kiss and tummy time before bed, it’s important to me and to the boys.
Visit Jenn and Meghan on their blog Two Came True and join the discussion on Facebook Here.
No women should be denied the ability to get pregnant and give birth to a child of their very own. Sadly, not every women has the easiest of time conceiving with very little effort.
Pregnancy Approach was written specifically for these women, showing them that there is in fact an easy and effective way to get pregnant naturally.