This time a year ago they were conceived. It was madness, truly; our babies, our little boys, were about to celebrate their first birthday and their babyhood was over almost before we had time to really enjoy it and so we flung ourselves, face-first, into trying for another pregnancy. And then we deliberately tried for twins. We signed a disclaimer. I stared at a photograph of my day-five hatching blastocysts as they were transplanted back into my womb and I willed them to both survive.
Who even does that? Who even plans for four under two?
When I think about it now it’s obvious how traumatised I was from a delivery that hadn’t gone to plan, an infanthood where I had felt suffocated and stifled and unable to find my own path. I wanted another baby desperately, but I also wanted a do-over, a second chance. A chance to ‘get it right’. And I swept Kirsty along with me. She is a good egg and she has the biggest heart of anyone I know, she knew how much I needed this and she gave it to me. Even though it would be harder for her than for any of us. Even though I would return to work and she would be left to battle the chaos.
And thus, the girls were conceived. Our chance to do it right.
It’s funny really because none of this second experience has been perfect on paper. It isn’t instagram-beautiful. It’s messy. People tell us that they don’t know how we do four under two and here is how we do it: late, dishevelled, wracked with guilt frequently but so happy and so in love with this little family. I feel healed. I feel like I am mostly the mother I want to be, to all of my children. And it is only over the course of this last year that it’s started to feel this way.
I remember how I felt this time last year. Waiting for an egg retrieval feels a bit like being at the very peak of a rollercoaster, before the plunge and the loop-the-loop. You have that sick half dread, half excitement, you can’t go back.
Last week I recorded a little video talking about the logistics of how we conceived as a two-mum family. Channel Mum, who sponsor us as vloggers, asked us to make this video to inform and educate other people, and thus far we’ve had some really positive responses to this video.
And then just for fun, I recorded myself reading a blog post that I wrote whilst the process was undergoing last time. It seems so funny to think that this experience turned into our beautiful little girls.
If you’ve had IVF, I’d love to hear how it worked for you. Do any other two-mum families read my blog? Please comment and say hi!