The wonderful Elizabeth Bechard, Emilia & Milo (8 months - fraternal twins)
Elizabeth says that her journey to motherhood felt really difficult the entire way. She miscarried when she was 27 which was devastating in many ways, and made her feel unworthy of motherhood for years. "I was barely recovered from an eating disorder at that time, and felt like my life was a huge mess". When she met her husband, who is 19 years older than her, a year later, she wasn't entirely sure she wanted to have kids at all, but they knew that if they were going to try they'd need to start soon after getting married.
They found out within about 6 months of trying that he had azoospermia, and spent the next 18 months trying to figure out (a) whether it was treatable, and (b) if not, what to do about that. They were told that his infertility could not be treated, and that the only options were donor sperm, embryo adoption, or traditional adoption. For a long time donor sperm was their last choice, but it ended up being the option they decided to go with after months of really struggling with the ethical implications of their options.
Elizabeth got pregnant with triplets on the 2nd round of IUI with donor sperm, and they were immediately offered the option of selective reduction. They had heard all 3 heartbeats by that point. "We were "lucky" in that the miscarriage of the 3rd baby happened before we had to make a decision about selective reduction, because I'm honestly not sure what we would have done" Elizabeth had hyperemesis for nearly 4 months of her pregnancy. Her water broke one day shy of 35 weeks. She had known all along that she wanted to deliver via cesarean. 12 hours after her water broke she still hadn't gone into labor, so by that point, a c-section was the obvious choice anyway. "I've had surgery many times and it wasn't scary to me at all: it was March 8th, International Women's Day, and the surgical team was entirely women. The c-section birth was by far the best and most empowering part of the whole process, and I'm really grateful for it". The babies spent 9 days in the NICU and did great, with no major complications - they're thriving and so healthy now.
"I've been following this project for years, before I even got pregnant! I wanted to share my story because I felt isolated through so much of my journey - like I was the only one I knew experiencing so much of what I experienced. If my story could make anyone else feel less alone, less isolated, it would be more than worth it to share".