Thursday, September 3, 2009

Do You have the Twin Gene? Um... no.

Have you ever asked a mother of multiples: "Do twins run in your family?"  Sure. I have too, before I actually had twins. When you really think about it, you're actually asking: "Did you use fertility treatments to get pregnant with twins?"

I don't get offended by that question - it takes a helluva lot more than that to offend me.  My mom, on the other hand, hates it when people ask her. She gets uncomfortable because she feels like it isn't anyone's business how we ended up with twins.  But I'm really pretty much an open book.  So in an effort to help others understand and maybe even help another woman feel like she's not alone in her plight to get pregnant, here's the kinda-short version of the story (I will spare you the gory details):

When I was in high school, I would have such horrible cramps and pain - it was completely debilitating. I would actually leave school and go to the office of my uncle, who was our family doctor for most of my life (blog to come about him later), to get a shot in my hip so the pain would subside enough so I could function normally.

By the time I was in my early 20s, my OB/GYN (Dr. Pam Silverstein at WomanHealth - she's AWESOME!) was convinced that I had endometriosis.  Other women in my family have had fertility issues, including endometriosis, so I wasn't too surprised that that was the prognosis.

By the time Chad and I were ready to start trying to have a baby, I had already had two surgeries to remove endometriosis and scar tissue. Thankfully, when we weren't having any immediate success, my doctor got very aggressive. She put me on Clomid, which is a fertility drug. After several months of increasing doses, we finally got pregnant.  It was really hard for me to believe because I never felt pregnant.  But we were so excited! After two blood tests confirmed it, we told everyone - family, friends, work.

Then after about two weeks, I woke up in the middle of the night in excruciating pain. I knew what was happening, but I tried to pretend like I was fine because I didn't want to face the fact that I was losing our baby.  When I walked into work the next morning, one of my co-workers and close friends, who had been through a similar experience, took one look at me and said, "Go to your doctor NOW."  Apparently, not only was I extremely pale, but the pain was written all over my face.

My doctor was out of town, but her partner Dr. Lewis Meline was wonderful.  By the end of the day, I was back home after surgery removing both our teeny tiny undeveloped baby and one of my fallopian tubes which had been severely damaged by the ectopic pregnancy.  It was the end of August 2006, and after all that, I felt like our chance to conceive had come and gone.  A month later we decided to give it one Clomid one more try with the dose they will prescribe.

I knew the moment I got pregnant, which was interesting to me since I really never felt anything the first time.  I kept it to myself till I had the home pregnancy test to show Chad.  We didn't tell anyone this time.  We had our first ultrasound at 5 weeks.  There was a strong possibility of another ectopic, so they wanted to rule that out right away.  Oddly, I wasn't worried.  I knew everything was fine.

The night before the ultrasound, I said to Chad: "What if it's twins?"  He laughed and told me I was crazy.  I had a strong feeling I wasn't that crazy.  Sure enough - I laughed out loud the next day when the ultrasound tech said, "Here's Baby A. And here's Baby B."  Chad almost fell over.

Apparently the Clomid had caused two eggs to be released either simultaneously or one shortly after the other.  It's entirely possible that the twins did not have the same conception date, but we'll never know for sure.  Twins with Clomid isn't all that uncommon, but the thought of having twins had never crossed our minds before.

Anyhoo... so to answer the question I set out to answer at the beginning of this rambling:

No, twins do not run in my family.  We had help in the form of prayers, God and Clomid.

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