Although this blog is meant to share insights from the fictional stories I am writing, I wanted to start it off by telling a little bit about my real life.
I am a native Californian, currently living in Provo Utah. I have been married for almost 10 years and have a 3 year old son at home.
My husband and I have struggled with male-factor infertility for almost as long as we have been married. Because of this, IVF (In-vitro fertilization) is our only way to conceive a child. It is an expensive and invasive process that requires a lot of sacrifice for both of us. But the ends is worth the means, and we were blessed with our son Daniel after our first IVF cycle. When we tried for a second child, it ended in early miscarriage.
On the third try, we got pregnant with our twins, Claire and Mason. Every ultrasound showed they were developing great, and there was nothing to worry about. Then I went into preterm labor unexpectedly at 22 weeks gestation. They were born at 23 weeks on July 15, 2015. I remember being in the hospital and seeing the much anticipated images of Pluto come in. I love planetary science and had been looking forward to catching a glimpse of Pluto’s surface since I first learned about New Horizons. That was before my water broke, before the hospital, and before I worried about the lives of my unborn children. Suddenly, Pluto didn’t seem to matter anymore.
I had non stop contractions the whole day that the Pluto images were released. I gave birth to Claire in the middle of the night. Two hours and a C-section later, Mason was born. Although the twins were healthy and strong, their lungs did not have enough time to develop. They both passed away before morning. I still think of them every time I see the images from New Horizons. As silly as it sounds, Pluto will forever bring to mind the bittersweet memories of my twins.
We needed to time to recover, physically and emotionally, before we were ready to try for another baby. Around Christmas, we started the meds to do a frozen embryo transfer. we spent all of January preparing for the transfer, just to find out that a cyst developed in my uterine lining. The Doctor believes it is related to the C-section, and I go in this thursday for minor surgery to correct it. So now I wait for surgery, and hopefully we will be able to start the next transfer with the following cycle.
I bring up our battle with infertility because for some reason I associate it with my writing. At the same time that I felt ready to try an embryo transfer, I also felt an inexplicable pull to write. Besides research papers and homework assignments, I have never really tried to write before. So, you can imagine my surprise at having such a strong impression to start a story. I knew I wanted to write about another world, and inspiration followed. I also loved having something to research, since it has been a couple years since I graduated.
So, I am now working on my first novel. It feels good to be able to create something new, even if it never gets published. And, I can’t help but think of my experience with Pluto as I write it.