Submitted by Danny Grubb, Seattle, WA
It has been nearly a year since we have had out twins. This approaching milestone has caused me to reflect on what our family has been through and what it has become as a result. It has taken me a long time to write this story without my hands shaking.
The Bad - Cancer
When our family was very small, just my Fiancé and I, something bad happened to our hopes and dreams: Cancer. It was the kind of Cancer that was treatable, but would result in major difficulties in having children. This was a big blow and to be honest, that time is a bit of a blur. My wife was on two kinds of medications, the heavy kind and the unbelievably heavy kind. There were mood swings and puking and crying. Some nights she would pass out on the couch. On those nights I slept on the carpet next to her in case she had a bad night… there were a lot of bad nights.
While trying to fight back this cancer, we were struggling on the fertility front as well. We were told there was a small chance that we could get pregnant the old fashioned way while she was fighting cancer. It was an extremely long shot, but we felt like we had nothing to lose. As you can guess, that didn’t work out and at the end of that first attempt we felt like we lost something. Then the Cancer, which had just barely been present, took over my wife’s uterus.
It was two years of recovery (from the hysterectomy and the drug induced diabetes my wife suffered from) before we were ready to try fertility again. My wife’s ovaries were still intact and we had found a surrogate after a long, discouraging search. The fight started anew and we once again were hopeful.
The first attempt with our new system was unsuccessful, and it nearly destroyed us. It would be another year and two additional attempts for us to finally get pregnant.
The Good – Pregnancy and Support
After all of the suffering we had been through we were thrilled to be pregnant. We were also very careful with our expectations. We kept tabs on our surrogate and went to all of the ultrasounds which were longer than 5 minutes (it was a 3 hour drive to get there). We watched as our babies grew one black and white slide to another.
Family to us means everyone who supported us during our tough years. This includes friends, doctors, and blood family. They were there to carry a little bit of us through to the other side of the hell we were in, and they did. They reminded us of why we were doing what we were doing when it seemed like there wasn’t anything left worth fighting for. They all felt like this pregnancy was as much theirs as it was ours and we were happy to share it. These people threw us three baby showers (see below) and made us feel their love. It felt like a warm blanket on our cold, torn, and beaten souls.
The Best – Becoming A Family
Our twin girls will be turning one year old in less than a month. I cannot describe is how it feels to be a husband and a parent in a way that would make sense to anyone, so I will just say this:
When Zoe and Sidney were born, my wife and I were reborn with them. We can hope and dream without fear. We can laugh in a way that we were not able to do for a long time. But most importantly, we can love each other as a family; not to overcome suffering, but to celebrate being together.
This piece is dedicated to my Wife - Honey, you are my hero, my soul mate, my everything. Happy Valentine’s Day and Happy Birthday!