No, I’m not talking about drinking or rolling smokes. I’m talking about infertility.
Let’s start with my Mom. Her and dear old Dad got married fresh out of high school. He joined the Navy then she joined him in Jacksonville, FL. A year or so after they got married, and before they knew it they had my sister.
A little ways down the road, they wanted another (honestly my Mom wanted 10, but dad had some sense in his head). Three losses and 4 years after my sister, it wasn’t happening. My parents decided it was time to get some help, so they went to a specialist. From what they could figure, something wasn’t working quite right with my Mom so they tried this newish drug called Clomid. Let me tell you how freaked out my Mom was when she started her first round of Clomid and was then informed by her Mom that fraternal twins run in our family…she was convinced she was going to have a litter!
After round three of Clomid my Mom had another period but dutifully went back to try again. After round four she heard those magical words from the doctor, “You’re pregnant!” Come to find out, round three had worked and she was already two months pregnant with me…and my twin brother. :-) Of course she didn’t find out until much later that she was pregnant with twins and even then they were convinced it was identical twin boys. Since I was born second, I really threw the room for a loop. Surprise! It’s a girl! My sister and I are 5 years apart in age.
[side note: When my Dad found out my Mom was pregnant and it was sticking he said he was getting a vasectomy. His reasoning was that he was not letting her go through this any more (harsh, but that’s love). Her response? “I HOPE IT’S TWINS!”]
Now let’s backtrack a little and talk about my Mom’s Mom…Grandma. I didn’t find this out until my Grandma wasn’t lucid enough to talk about it, but it seems she had fertility problems, too. Her and Grandpa got married right before he went off to boot camp (military men seem to be what the women in the family go for, huh?). She got pregnant with my Aunt and her twin on his first leave…their honeymoon. She was devastated since she wasn’t ready to be a mother (18) and her husband had just been shipped off for WWII. Unfortunately my Aunt’s twin didn’t survive the pregnancy.
A little while later my grandparents decided they wanted to have another child. It didn’t happen as easily as the first time and my grandma had to have “painful treatments” to conceive my Mom. She always told my Mom how hard they worked for her. I have no clue what sort of tests or treatments they had for IF in the late 40’s early 50’s but Grandma did something. As far as losses go, I have no clue. Besides my Aunt’s twin, I don’t know if Grandma had any other losses. This woman only talked about sex to try and terrify my Mom (then my sister, then me) of it. Pregnancy was something you didn’t want, but would get if you kissed a boy (or rubbed against, or got naked in front of). My Aunt & my Mom are 6 years apart in age.
So I guess you could say infertility and twins are a family tradition for us!
I didn’t know anything about my family’s history if infertility until Tim and I started having issues getting pregnant. When time kept going by and I kept talking about it to my Mom it came out. “You and your brother were conceived on Clomid.” Want to talk about jaw dropping? I think I learned about my Mom’s losses when I had my ectopic pregnancy.
Today Mom and I were talking about National Infertility Awareness Week. We talked about our family’s history of IF. We talked about our shared history of losses.
Me: You, of all people, know what it feels like. You remember!
Her: I remember crying every month when my period would come. I remember wondering why my body was killing babies. I remember thinking, “Why ME?!?!?!”
Decades later, three children later, grandchildren later, a lifetime later she still feels the pain of Infertility and loss. Even as I listen to my Clomid twins waking up from their nap, I still feel the pain of Infertility and loss.
Filed under: IF, NIAW | Tagged: NIAW | 5 Comments »