My now ex-husband — who I will not name here — and I first got together when I was about 18. He was so attentive and always full of romantic gestures. We got engaged in New York. He had this whole day planned out: we went to the Empire State Building; we had a carriage ride in Central Park and he proposed with a Tiffany ring. It was a really elaborate proposal.
He worked in the mines, a couple of hours away from where we lived. He was seven days on, seven days off. We spoke every day, sometimes in texts throughout the day.
We decided to start trying to get pregnant. He had always wanted to have children. But after a few years of trying, nothing had happened. So we went to see fertility specialists and were told that we would have to go down the IVF path. It was extremely emotional and stressful.
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I had a couple of failed rounds of IVF, and because of the failed rounds, I wanted the specialists to put in two embryos. I ended up being pregnant with twins.
It was a rough pregnancy. I had a lot of morning sickness early on, and I was really anxious throughout.
I think because I’d gone through IVF, I was scared I was going to lose them.
Our twin girls were born a month early, so they had to go into the special care nursery. They were fed by nasogastric tubes for a few weeks and then I had a lot of trouble breastfeeding. It turned out they both had tongue ties.
He was a super-attentive dad. When they were in special care, he was the one asking the nurses, “How do I do their tubes?”
He helped with nappy changes and making bottles and cleaning everything and washing. Everyone said he was an amazing father.
I didn’t feel confident to look after them on my own, so when he would go to work in the mines, I would pack everything up and stay at my mum’s for a week.
When the twins were about four months old, my best friend sent me a screenshot. It was a picture of him, along with his name and age.