Emily Twarog (28), Allison (3), and Elliott (1).
Enfield, CT. Photographed in West Springfield, Mass.
"My story really begins while pregnant. I began my journey into motherhood in November 2012 when I found out I was pregnant with Allison. We were lucky enough to get pregnant our first month trying. A little before Thanksgiving our joy turned into uncertainty when my genetic screening came back showing that I was a carrier for Cystic Fibrosis. My husband was tested and also came back a carrier. This meant to that our child had a one in four chance of CF. Just after the new year I underwent a procedure called CVS. A needle was inserted through my abdomen to my placenta under guidance of ultrasound to retrieve cells allowing us to test the baby. A few weeks later we found out that we were having a girl and that she wasn't even a carrier. We were so relieved!
Things continued fairly typically from there. From about 20-32 weeks she was transverse then turned breech. Allison Marie was born via scheduled C-section at 39 + 1. We had always planned on having two to three children but were unsure of how to go about having more with our risk factors for Cystic Fybrosis. We had a few options, we could have used a sperm donor, an egg donor, or IVF with PGD (genetic selection of embryos). We chose IVF. We began the process in May 2015. I ended up having 8 embryos that were tested for cystic fibrosis and chromosomal abnormalities. Of those 8, 4 came back not affected with both CF and chromosomal normal. We were planning on choosing to have a boy but decided last minute to let the doctors pick the healthiest embryo and wait to find out the sex until the baby was born. Other than some low blood pressure and fainting issues this pregnancy was great.
I decided to try for a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean). My water broke the morning of my due date and Elliott Stella was born 36 hours later via successful VBAC. Over all my second birth was easier on me postpartum. I believe I had undiagnosed PPD with my first. With Elliott I did seek help when I realized I needed it. I wish that I had the first time around. I think I was ashamed and so was scared to admit that I needed help.
My daughters are the best and most important things I've ever done. I gladly accept all the changes having them and nursing them has done to my body. If anything, I feel better about my body.
I want to urge all mother to not be afraid of being evaluated for PPD"