A Tough Balance {Infertility Awareness}

Infertility Awareness Series

Growing up as identical twins, we perfected early on the art of comparing ourselves to one another. Whether it was comparing grades, athletic abilities, looks, or boyfriends, there was always a bit of unspoken competition in our relationship over the years. And so in 2009, with 2 and 3 years of marriage under our belts, respectively, it only seemed natural that we would each begin trying to expand our families at the exact same time, lest one of us “get ahead” of the other.

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Initially, we both assumed we would each get pregnant quickly. We had just witnessed our older sister almost effortlessly conceive 4 children in 5 years, so why wouldn’t we have the same fate? But after just a few months, it became clear to both of us that the journey to parenthood wouldn’t be as easy for us. In early 2010, we were both diagnosed with PCOS {polycystic ovary syndrome}, a condition that makes it difficult to conceive “naturally” due to the absence of regular ovulation. There is no history of this syndrome in our family and neither of us have many of the symptoms that are typically associated with PCOS, so we were definitely caught off guard with this revelation.

While many doctors will recommend that you try to conceive on your own for a full year before seeking medical intervention, a diagnosis of PCOS can often put you on the fast track to seeing a fertility specialist, which is where both of us found ourselves by the summer of 2010 – one of us in Austin and the other in Houston. At that point though, we were hoping and praying that we would both have news of a pregnancy to share soon, we also began to worry about how we would feel if the other one had news to share first. Neither of us wanted to “lose the race,” but neither of us wanted to cause extra sadness for the other one either.

But onward we went in our efforts. Our fertility specialists differed a little in their approaches to treating each of us, but they both wanted to start with Clomid and see how our bodies responded. Fortunately for Allison, after 5 rounds of Clomid and with the help of an injection of Ovidrel, she learned in August 2010 that she was pregnant with her first child. Elated though she was, she dreaded having to share the news with me, knowing the tears that would follow. This was the beginning of us having to perfect a new art…being happy for your literal other half while being very sad about your own circumstances. A tough balance, for sure.

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Everyone assured me that I would be pregnant by the time Allison gave birth to her son in 2011, but unfortunately, it didn’t happen. Then his first birthday passed in 2012, but there was still no baby even though I was deep in the trenches of fertility treatments. And then, in the summer of 2012, Allison unexpectedly found out she was pregnant again – this time with no medical intervention. Again, as elated as she was, the next emotion she felt was pure panic at having to share the news with me. It was an awkward conversation that neither one of us want to relive ever again.

Then finally, a month later, after 4 failed rounds of Clomid, 5 failed rounds of Femara with Metformin, 1 year of acupuncture, and 2 failed rounds of IUI {intrauterine insemination}…my first round of IVF {in vitro fertilization} was a success, and I found out that I was pregnant! Finally, 3 years after we had first set out to become mothers at the same time, we were pregnant together. Though we would love to say the story ended there and everyone lived happily ever after, that’s not quite how it happened. Just one week after I received news of my pregnancy, Allison learned that her baby no longer had a heartbeat. And a few days later, I found out that I was actually pregnant with twins, and in what seemed like a cruel turning of the tables, I was cautiously celebrating two new lives while joining Allison in mourning the loss of her baby.

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In the months that followed, we awkwardly fumbled through the reality of being yet again in vastly different situations. But by the grace of God, fast forward to Spring 2013, and when I was just weeks away from delivering my twins, Allison learned that she was expecting again. For 9 short weeks, we finally got to experience being pregnant together {and thankfully were still able to bond over the discomfort of the first and third trimesters}, and in the span of 7 months, we welcomed 3 new babies in the world.

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We are thankful to report that even though our journeys to become moms didn’t coincide exactly as we had hoped and were clearly not without heartache, they were well worth it, and not just because we came out on the other end with 4 wonderful {although noisy!} children. In the end, infertility became just one more thing we had in common, and as is the case with every other trial that’s come along in either or both of our lives, it only made us, our relationship, and our faith stronger.

If you saw the size of the blessing coming, you would understand the magnitude of the battle you’re fighting. – Author Unknown

In honor of National Infertility Awareness Week, we are dedicated to raising awareness and educating our community about the varying types of infertility and the many options available.  Our hope is that this series will open your eyes and inspire you in a really dynamic way, so please join us as real local moms open up and share their stories all throughout the week.  To read more, please click here.

We are also incredibly grateful to have The Axelrad Clinic title sponsoring this entire Infertility Awareness series.  If you’re interested in finding out more about their natural approach to infertility, get started here or contact them at one of their Houston area locations below…

The Axelrad Clinic

713.527.9555

Houston Office :: 
19 Briar Hollow Lane, Suite 240, Houston, TX 77027

Woodlands Office ::
4840 W. Panther Creek, Suite 208, The Woodlands, TX 77381

Katy Office ::
Coming soon!


Allison & Amanda - BioAbout Allison O. and Amanda J.

Allison and Amanda are identical twin sisters who grew up in Dallas and Austin before finally making their way to the Houston area as adults. They now live half a mile apart in Sugar Land with Allison spending her days as a stay-at-home mom and Amanda as a full-time working mom. Allison is mom to Davis {Apr 2011} and Avery {Nov 2013}, and Amanda is mom to twins, Colby and Clara {Apr 2013}. They both enjoy oversharing, often by means of sarcasm, and you can find them doing so on their blogs here and here.

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2 Responses to A Tough Balance {Infertility Awareness}

  1. Avatar
    Allison April 23, 2015 at 7:30 am #

    Thanks for sharing your stories! My sister and I were in the same Econ class as y’all at A&M YEARS AGO with crazy Jong Ho. Fun to see familiar faces on the blog! Congrats on all your sweet babies!

    • Avatar
      Amanda J. April 25, 2015 at 1:43 pm #

      How fun- what a small world! And yes, we remember that class and our study group very well!

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