I always say that the scars of infertility don’t fade the minute you find out you’re pregnant. Even though my first reaction was to be ecstatic upon receiving a positive HCG beta test after a long road of infertility and IVF, my happiness quickly turned to skepticism and fear. In the infertility community, we are all too aware of the miscarriage statistics. 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage. Knowing that fact, instead of celebrating I found myself guarding my heart from getting too excited about my long-awaited pregnancy.

Up until this point, I had been through multiple failed IUIs and a failed frozen embryo transfer, so I had only ever known disappointment when it came to my fertility. Even after I heard not one, but two, heartbeats at my first ultrasound, I still feared that my pregnancy was too good to be true. Why was I finally pregnant, when so many others were still trying to conceive to no avail? Pair that feeling with being nauseous 24/7 and having to keep my pregnancy a secret, my first trimester was far from fun.

It wasn’t until I hit the 12-week mark of my pregnancy, when my genetic testing results came back clear and I found out the genders of my babies (a boy and a girl!) that I finally let myself cry tears of joy. We told our extended families that day and announced that we were expecting on Facebook, and I felt like I could finally breathe.

My second trimester was happily uneventful. Once I hit 24 weeks and knew that the babies were viable, I felt comfortable enough to start ordering furniture, buying baby clothes, and organizing the babies’ nursery. If ignorance is bliss, I was the happiest person on earth during those three months.

Then, at 26 weeks and 6 days I went into pre-term labor for the first time and landed myself in the hospital. All of the fears I initially felt upon finding out about my pregnancy came flooding back to me. Would my babies be born early? Would they be okay? Would they have a long NICU journey? Part of me asked, “Haven’t I been through enough?”, but if infertility taught me anything it was how to roll with the punches and be strong when it’s the only choice you have. I knew I had to be strong for my babies.

10 weeks on bed rest, 25 total nights spent in the hospital, and a ton of binge-watching Netflix later, I gave birth to my twins only 3 weeks early at 37 weeks exactly. They avoided NICU time altogether, and for that I couldn’t be more thankful, but I had a rough delivery and a lot of complications. I delivered my daughter vaginally, and then I had to have an emergency c-section because my son wouldn’t descend into the birth canal. Top that off with a postpartum hemorrhage 10 days after giving birth, and I was starting to feel like, “What’s going to happen to me next?”

My Journey

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But rather than think, “Why me?” I chose to accept that all of this was a part of my journey to becoming a mom to my twins. From infertility to a high-risk pregnancy to postpartum complications, I know now that I have way more resilience than I ever gave myself credit for. I no longer sweat the small stuff, because I now know it could always be worse. I’m a stronger mom to my kids because of all it took to make me one, and for that I am forever grateful.

*This story was originally published on Belly Bandit’s Bandita Blog.

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Kristyn Hodgdon is the Co-Founder and Chief Community Officer at Rescripted.