Sunday, December 29, 2013


Now that I'm pregnant with twins, I've been thinking about fertility a lot lately. It's a funny thing. There are those few people who know exactly how many kids they're going to have and exactly when they're going to have them and everything goes according to plan. But I know so many more people whose baby plans are thrown off.

I know people who had two or three kids really close together and then were never able to have any more after that. I know people who space their kids out 5 years apart. I know people that have a set of older kids and then a set of younger kids. People who had honeymoon babies and people who waited 10 years to have kids. I know families with only one child. We have family friends that have 10 kids. We have friends with no kids. We have friends with adopted kids. We know friends that have in vitro babies. We know friends with surprise babies. With kaboose babies. Mixed families. Couples that have been trying for months/years to get pregnant or even adopt. Some finally get their wish. Some don't. Fertility is so different for everyone.

My family fell into two of the above groups. We had an older set of kids and a younger set of kids. And some adopted kids. My parents have five kids, and I'm the oldest. I was the only planned baby. My younger sister Tashi was born 16 months after me. She was definitely a surprise (a good one) and my parents felt like they were going to have a million kids by the time they were 30 years old. But then, they weren't able to get pregnant again for 14 years after Tashi. So my sister and I were the older set. My parents never found out why they couldn't get pregnant. They tried everything. They tried adopting from several different countries and long story short, we adopted two healthy Japanese newborns (Mia and Noah) that weren't biological siblings, 3 years apart. 3 years after that, my parents had another surprise biological baby - Susanna Grace. Mia, Noah and Susanna are the younger set. And although Mia and Noah were adopted, they feel just as much as my siblings as Tashi or Susanna.

I didn't know all the struggles my parents went through while they were trying to get pregnant or adopt, but it bred in me this anxiety that I was going to have the same problem. It sounds silly now, but a few months after I got married I was having extreme anxiety that I would never get pregnant. Bear gave me a blessing that I would be able to get pregnant. And I did. (Bear's family is extremely fertile. I didn't take this into account). And now I'm pregnant again. Apparently my anxiety was just plain silly. I do feel like we will deserve a break from getting pregnant for a while after the twins are born. But who knows - what if we can't get pregnant again after the twins, even if we want to? The thing is, you never know.

I just shared a lot of personal information but I wanted to make a point. We want to be nosy about other people's fertility. The thing is, it is very personal. We don't know people's financial situations or the pressure they're getting from in-laws or the fears they have of passing on a genetic disease etc etc. Having only one baby doesn't make you a bad parent. Having 10 kids doesn't make you a bad parent. We don't know people's intentions and fears. Some things are planned, some things are chance - like twins or down syndrome or miscarriages (not that I want to compare having twins with the terrible loss of a miscarriage). So my point is, fertility is a little fickle sometimes. Which is hard, because having babies is such a life-changing event (usually for the better). And we really can't judge others. We don't know if that couple that didn't have a baby until they were married for 10 years did that on purpose and their plan went perfectly, or if that same couple have been trying from day one. We also don't know if the couple with 10 kids knew they wanted that many from the beginning, or if they all came as a surprise. But does it matter? As long as you're providing for your kids and trying to be the best parent that you can,  it really doesn't matter. People are going to be nosy. But life is life. Live yours, and be the best parent that you can. Sometimes you can't control fertility. But that doesn't make you a bad person or a bad parent. You can do it!

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