Infertility, IVF, Twins and Homebirth Birth Stories

Male Factor Infertility, IVF, Twins and Homebirth

After receiving devastating news about their chances of conceiving due to a severe case of male factor infertility, Ashley and her husband Andrew were thrown into the unknown world of infertility. Ashley of @ashleyizsak found out she was pregnant on her 28th birthday from their first round of IVF with ICSI. Two weeks later, on new years eve, they found out she was expecting mono di twins.

From the start, Ashley struggled with her desire to do things as naturally as possible while being told delivery would take place in an OR with a team of about twenty people. At 20 weeks, they discovered her cervix was shortening and at 24 weeks, they gave her steroid injections to help mature the babies’ lungs. Surprising everyone, she went on to carry the twins past her due date and successfully delivered her twins vaginally at the hospital in an OR.

twins male factor infertility

For five years, they were a happy family of four; yet, every December a bill arrived reminding them of their frozen embryo that remained at the fertility clinic. Ashley struggled with first wanting another baby, then feeling done, and then finally wanting to try for that third baby. In a crazy coincidence, the third embryo would be transferred into Ashley exactly six years later, to the day. At 20 weeks, she and her husband made the decision to switch to midwifery care and pursue a homebirth. Hours shy of the twins sixth birthday, Ashley gave birth at home, in a birth pool, to a beautiful baby boy.

Ashley Izsak Bio

Ashley has been blogging and writing for close to a decade. She is the author of a series of essays including heartfelt glimpses into motherhood and normalizing infertility. Nestled in a small village outside of Ottawa, Ashley, her husband, their twin daughters and baby son, strive for simplicity, joy, and lots of glamping. You can connect with her on Instagram at @ashleyizsak and on her blog Calmly Chaotic.

ivf twins birth story

Resources

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth
Birthing From Within
Navigating the Land of IF
How to Make Love to a Plastic Cup: A Guy’s Guide to the World of Infertility (Wonderful book to support men during infertility and amazingly helpful as it guides them to deal with the hormone rollercoaster that is IVF and their female partners.)
Mothering Multiples: Breastfeeding & Caring for Twins or More!
One and the Same: My Life as an Identical Twin and What I’ve Learned About Everyone’s Struggle to Be Singular
Forum for Infertility Support in Canada
Products I love: Snuggle Me Organic, Earth Mama Organics Perineal Spray & Balm, Kindred Bravely Postpartum Underwear

Theralogix

This podcast episode was supported by Theralogix, makers of the TheraNatal line of nutritional supplements. TheraNatal supplements are specifically formulated to meet a woman’s unique nutrient needs before, during, and after pregnancy. TheraNatal preconception vitamins contain all the nutrients you need to prepare your body for pregnancy, including folate and vitamin D. For women 35 and over, TherNatal OvaVite also contains CoQ10. All TheraNatal vitamins are dye-free, gluten-free, and cost less than the typical insurance co-pay. Use this link at theranatal.com to get 15% off and be sure to enter the giveaway below!

Surrogacy: Vaginal Twin Birth Story

A Surrogate’s Pregnancy and Birth Story

Having had a very unsupported home to hospital transfer birth in Louisiana (a not very midwifery friendly state) Whitney knew one end of the spectrum of hospital birth, something she would happily never opt to experience again. 4 years later, having a swift, cozy, super-supported home birth in Austin, TX with a 10lb, 4oz boy—she experienced the rosey, ideal, other side of the spectrum.

After two very different births of her own children, Whitney was eager to support another family’s desire for children and experience the excitement and awe of birth again. Through consistent ‘flukes’ her gestational carrier journey resulted in the birth of life-long friends and identical twin boys, born naturally (one footling breech). Whitney knew her gestational carrier journey would automatically fall somewhere in the middle—something, as the birthing goddess title she allowed herself to own, she knew she could face either way.

With the twins, she asked her providers for what she wanted and to know all the possible options throughout the entire pregnancy. As with every birth there are some unpredictable turns (literally in this case) and knowing all the options, allowed for the best experience and smoothest recovery she and the twin’s parents could have hoped for.

Whitney LeBlanc Bio

Whitney LeBlanc is the mother to her little lady, Hazel, age 6 and her big boy, Cypress, age 2. Their birth stories are huge contributors to her decisions and experiences along her journey with the twins, and a balancing reminder of the gift it is to be involved in such an experience. She also owns a retail storefront and online specialty store called Enlightened Baby; the atmosphere of expecting women and small children was the perfect nurturing environment for her journey through another pregnancy. She and her husband  trust the process, and welcome what the future holds.

Connect with Whitney on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter or via her shop Enlightened Baby.

twin surrogacy birth

Resources

Surrogates Birth Naturally FB Group

Photography by Austin Birth Photos

Babylist

This episode was sponsored by Babylist. Babylist believes that you should be able to get exactly what you need for your unique and growing family. That’s why their baby registry lets you add any item from any store. Even add cool services and favors like prenatal yoga, doula support, home-cooked meals or dog walking. Start your registry today to be eligible for a free Hello Baby Box of goodies for baby worth up to $190 while boxes last.

Double Whammy Twin Birth Story

After a bout with infertility and IVF, Julie was thrilled and terrified to be pregnant with twins! But after an uneventful pregnancy, and making it to 38 weeks, Julie experienced the thing all twin moms dread: the “double whammy” birth.

Julie Burt Nichols

Julie is Twiniversity’s “Wizard Behind the Curtain,” serving as Editor-in-Chief of Twiniversity.com, Account Manager, and Instructor for Chicago Twiniversity classes. Julie is a full-time working mother to twin boys, born on Halloween. She loves serving as a resource and support for new parents, soon-to-be parents, and we-want-desperately-to-be parents. Julie is proud to be a certified child passenger safety technician, and the Twiniversity Resident Songstress/Jingle Writer.

twins birth story

Resources

Twin Classes
Parent-to-Parent Mentorship Program
What To Do When You’re Having Two

Babylist

This episode was sponsored by Babylist. Babylist believes that you should be able to get exactly what you need for your unique and growing family. That’s why their baby registry lets you add any item from any store. Even add cool services and favors like prenatal yoga, doula support, home-cooked meals or dog walking. Start your registry today to be eligible for a free Hello Baby Box of goodies for baby worth up to $190 while boxes last.

Gestational Carrier Birth Story

The Journey of A Gestational Carrier Birth with Sarah Tuttle & Kara Ford

Today’s birth story podcast episode features Sarah Tuttle and her gestational carrier, turned great friend, Kara Ford. I had the chance to interview both of them and hear the story of how they found one another, how they made the decision to have Kara carry Sarah’s babies and the birth of Sarah and her husband, Chris’ sweet twin girls.

Sarah Tuttle Bio

After multiple methods and attempts at getting pregnant the best diagnosis doctors could give Sarah was “unexplained infertility.” While her infertility journey has been incredibly frustrating, especially being unexplained, Sarah never gave up her dream of becoming a mom. And after almost 9 years of infertility, a miracle happened; her and her husband were blessed with two beautiful twin baby girls through the amazing gift of a gestational carrier. Because of Kara (Sarah’s gestational carrier), Sarah’s dream of becoming a mom finally came true, and she will forever be grateful for this incredible gift.

The girls are now almost 8 months old and are so much fun! They keep Sarah very busy, not to mention her part time job. Sarah has worked for Dressing Your Truth for almost 10 years where she is a wardrobe stylist, and passionate teacher, helping women rediscover and embrace their true beauty. You can read more about Sarah’s journey to and through motherhood on her blog or on Instagram.

surrogate birth story

Kara Ford’s Bio

Kara Ford decided to become a gestational carrier because she was so blessed to be able to have children of her own and the love she has for her own children is so immense. She wanted that for everyone! She knew that there were women who were not able to carry a child for whatever reason and had so much compassion for them and wanted to be able to help them in any way she could. Kara felt that carrying a baby for someone was a way that she could show her love for those who have struggled. She met Sarah and knew immediately that she was somebody that was so deserving of being a mother and knew that she was to be the vessel that helped get her little twin girls here. She knows that she and Sarah will forever have a sacred bond.

This episode is sponsored by Babylist. Babylist believes that you should be able to get exactly what you need for your unique and growing family. That’s why their baby registry lets you add any item from any store. Even add cool services and favors like prenatal yoga, doula support, home-cooked meals or dog walking. Start your registry today to be eligible for a free Hello Baby Box of goodies for baby worth up to $190 while boxes last. At the end of this episode I’ll be talking to Amanda, about her experience using Babylist.

A Twin Story, from a Healthy Pregnancy to a Powerful Birth

After a healthy pregnancy with twins, Amy and her husband were planning another home birth. Their first two children were born at home. Amy and her midwives were hoping to make it to 37 weeks. When labor began at 36 weeks, they all decided that giving birth in the hospital would be the smartest and safest choice. The midwives wanted to be confident that the babies were fully developed and 37 weeks was the goal.

Amy, her husband and two midwives (who came to the hospital to offer labor support) were met with resistance since Baby B was breech. The doctor wanted to take Amy immediately to the OR for a C-section. Baby A was head down, both babies heart rates were strong and there were no signs of distress, so Amy refused the cesarean. She said “I trust in my body, and I trust in my babies. We deserve a chance to labor.”

This statement would be one that she repeated each time a fear tactic was thrown at her. She was bullied by the doctors and administrative staff but never gave up hope on her body or her babies. She simply wanted the opportunity to labor and birth Baby A vaginally. After that, she was hopeful Baby B would find the position he needed.

Even in the face of fear, doubt and control from the doctors, Amy remained confident in her voice. She filled her birth story with trust and surrender.

The twins had their own unique journeys into the world. While it wasn’t the homebirth Amy had planned on, she has found acceptance for the story they wrote together. From their pregnancy, to birth, to mothering twins, the boys have taught her the power of patience, surrender and trust.

twins birth story

Amy Griffith Bio

Amy Griffith is a mom of 4, including twins. She transitioned from a career as a Broadway dancer and Radio City Rockette, to the world of yoga as an instructor specializing in prenatal and postnatal yoga. Amy’s pregnancy and birth with her son inspired her to film her own prenatal yoga dvd’s with her daughter, her second child. Her pregnancy and birth with the twins reinforced the importance of slowing down, trusting her body and surrendering to their path. Amy says she is mindfully-stumbling through motherhood as she juggles the demands of 4 children. A focus on the good in the present moment is how she handles the challenges that arise in motherhood. More information on Amy, her pre/postnatal dvd’s and social media links can be found at ExercisingBalance.com.

Resources

When you’re expecting twins, triplets or quads By Dr. Barbara Luke
Expectful
Earth Mama Organics

Expectful

This episode was sponsored by Expectful which is a digital platform that makes meditation easy for expectant and new moms. Each one of their guided meditations has been created to support you throughout your pregnancy and motherhood journey.

Their mission is to give babies the best start in life, and that begins with you. If you’re pregnant or a new mom, go to expectful.com and sign up for their 30 day free meditation trial. It may just change your life.

Natalie Diaz’ Twin Birth Story

Natalie Diaz Bio

Natalie is the Pied Piper of twin families around the globe. Founding Twiniversity — the world’s leading support network for multiple birth families — in 2009, she’s become the global influencer for this small niche community. Reaching over a million families a week through Twiniversity’s Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube channels, moms and dads of twins flock to Twiniversity to find resources, ask questions, explore new products, and find community and support from other twin parents. Natalie is a true connector, bringing parents from all walks of life together, breaking past cultural differences, to share in the highs and lows of parenting twins. Natalie’s book, “What To Do When You’re Having Two” is a global bestseller in Twins & Multiples Parenting.

Resources

Twin Classes
Parent-to-Parent Mentorship Program
What To Do When You’re Having Two

natalie twiniversity birth story

Solly Baby

This episode is sponsored by Solly Baby, the makers of Solly Baby wrap carriers, Solly swaddles and Solly Dolly wraps. At Solly Baby, closeness is what matters. The power of touch, the strength in being together, and that the most enduring relationships are not only in love but in experiencing life together. Solly Baby is generously offering $5 off your order with the code BIRTHHOUR at www.sollybaby.com.