Every woman has a different pregnancy/delivery experience. This week we're sharing Kristyn Hodgdon's story of infertility and high risk pregnancy. We hope you'll send us your story for a chance to be featured on the Bandita Blog.
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?”
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.
Kristyn Hodgdon lives in Island Park, NY with her husband and 9-month old boy/girl twins Brooke & Charlie who were conceived via IVF. She is also a huge book nerd who works in publishing full-time, a fitness enthusiast, and an obsessed dog mom to her mini australian shepherd Nash. Since struggling with infertility to conceive her twins, Kristyn started an online community called The Fertility Tribe (www.thefertilitytribe.com) to give a voice to all things fertility, pregnancy, and motherhood after infertility. The Fertility Tribe’s mission statement is, “Redefining Fertility Together,” because honestly, who can do this alone?! Follow @thefertilitytribe on Instagram to join the conversation!