"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life" Proverbs 13:12

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

IVF twins, and the unexpected question

Earl and I have made the decision not to be public about our IVF.

I've said this before on this blog, but I'll say it again: it's not because we are ashamed.  We are very happy with our decisions, we made them in good faith, and we don't feel the need to justify to anyone.  Dear friends and family know, and are supportive of our endeavours.

Our main hesitation is that a) most non IF people don't understand IVF and might judge or say unhelpful things b)We wanted any kids we have to feel free to talk or not talk about their conception c) This business already takes a private thing and drags it into the medical field and we just don't think its ever any one's business how a baby is made!

But when BH and D came along, I assumed that the question of IVF would come into the picture.  Most people I knew who had twins or triplets through IVF, get asked by random strangers about IVF.  Wouldn't I?  I even had an answer, and had given it to people who knew about IVF who we thought might be asked.  "Lady and Earl have had some infertility treatment, but they would prefer to keep the details private".  And my Dad at least has been asked the question by a few people that he knows.

But with the exception of my (slightly nosey) Aunt, not a single person has asked me about IVF.

They are ask a different question.

"Do twins run in your family?"

And I really struggle with that.

Because as much as I don't want to tell people about IVF, I don't want to deceive them.  But the irony is that they do!  My Great Grandmother was a twin, and so were my Mother-in-law's cousins.  So the answer is yes, but I feel like I'm lying to people when I say that.  And that is just not me.  I am normally such an open book.

It's just strange.  Things that were so private are now being aired and I just don't know how to handle it.  I hate deceiving people.  Earl, and even my Dad, say "It's no bodies business, why do you care?".

I think part of it is, these twins are just such a miracle.  They are more than just a weird gene, and even more than just a double embryo transfer.  Only people who have ridden the journey with us, who have seen us cope with so many BFN, who know how weird and amazing it is that even one of our babies is still alive, much less two.  And I feel sad that the rest of the world doesn't know that, though there is no real way to explain it.  Even if we did, I don't think people would get it.

I am still happy with our decision to keep things quiet, but I realise that secret are complicated and I just have to deal with it.

But you know who will hear the story?  Our babies.  I can't wait to tell them.  They will be sad when they hear about Thumper, and the other babies that didn't make it.  But they will be amazed at the story.  And hopefully, along with everything else in their life, it will give them a small window into how much their Mummy and Daddy wanted them and love them.


  1. That is a tough call. I am very happy you will share it with your children though.

  2. I too have trouble with how to answer other's questions. We are very open about Leland’s embryo adoption. We have shared it with most people in our lives and those in Leland’s life (daycare teachers, etc.). We are not private about it much because we want it to be very normal for Leland – just a part of who he is. But I still get stumped with questions like: Does blonde hair run in the family? Did you have blonde hair when you were little? (we both have brown hair and he is blonde – funny thing is that both donors also have brown hair) Another question that gets me: Where does he get those beautiful blue eyes from? Does his daddy have blue eyes too? (well daddy does have blue eyes, but that’s not where Leland gets them from). I feel strange like I am lying if I just say yes, daddy has blue eyes too. But, then it’s a little too much to explain our embryo adoption story to the nice lady in the check-out lane.

    I think you have made a good decision about not being too public about IVF. Sometimes when I hear a strange ask someone if they used fertility treatments or IVF to conceive I have an urge to ask them what sexual position they were in when they conceived their child (sorry if that’s a little too vulgar) Bottom line, it’s a private matter!

  3. I think a good answer (that I have settled upon if I'm ever lucky enough to get the question) is something like "they do now!" [big smile on your face]. Then say something like "we are of course nervous about two babies but so so so excited." I think that'll shut the question asker up! Or at least divert that person to a different topic - two babies!