The House That IVF Built

The Next Family

By: Heather Somaini


I love thinking back to the Fall of 2006.  It was such a time of hope and fear and peace all wrapped into one.  We were pregnant with twins and it was fascinating – from the myriad of doctors we had, to tests, to listening to everyone give advice – absolutely fascinating.  It was an entirely different world we were walking into.

For so long we had been on the outside of “family” looking in –like peeping toms, and now we were in that nascent stage when the door to the house had been opened and we were allowed to stand in the foyer looking around at our new, foreign home, wondering what life inside would be like.  After each successful doctor’s appointment, we took a few more steps into that home, exploring the rooms we assumed would soon be ours.  The living room with its super cozy yet sophisticated furniture.  The dining room with its sleek, curved back chairs and gorgeous dark wood table.  The kitchen with its mix of ultra-modern counter stools, traditional cabinets and mid-century modern subway tile.  We were starting to get used to this new space and calling it home, imagining what our lives would soon be like within its walls.

It wasn’t scary yet and there wasn’t any real anxiety.  For me it was about planning – making a plan to get everything done in time.  Our due date was April 11th so we had almost 5 ½ months to get everything ready.  Cribs and a rocker needed to be ordered. The office needed to be rearranged for all things “baby” and I finally had an excuse to go through, clean out, and dispose of as much of my lovely wife’s collection of “stuff” as humanly possible.  I was salivating just waiting for my predetermined “start cleaning and organizing” date right after the holidays.  I couldn’t wait to have a plan to see empty space mysteriously show up all over our house.  I’m sure Tere would look at me and laugh at my giddiness to clean but it was mine and I was happy.

That same month we took a quick trip to Las Vegas to introduce my Mom and Aunt Sandy to Sin City.  We had a great time, although Tere had her usual morning, noon, and night sickness.  We saw great shows and ate at only the most fabulous of restaurants.

I know you’ve heard a lot about my parents so far and as you know, I adore and can’t get enough of them.  My Aunt Sandy is my Mom’s older sister by 8 years and although they are eerily similar, they are also incredibly different.  I used to say that I looked more like Sandy than my Mom and although I do have a lot of her characteristics – I’m tall like she and have a similar approach to life – I’m definitely my Mom’s kid.

Sandy though, in so many ways, helped shape who I was going to be.  She was that person who had no expectations of me and wouldn’t let me wallow in self-pity at all.  Sandy has given me advice on major life issues that I couldn’t even discuss with my Mom and kicked me in the butt when I needed to get moving.  I’ve travelled with her to many places including New Orleans, Pebble Beach, Miami and San Diego.  I have some awesome stories from those trips – I’ve met fascinating people, had amazing conversations and never laughed harder than when I am with Sandy.  She is smart, gorgeous and the epitome of cool.  She is also a little high maintenance and I love taking care of her when we’re together.  It’s fun to surprise her and make sure she always has a glass of wine – generally with ice cubes which is a little odd but I don’t judge!

And anyway, she makes probably my favorite food in the whole world.  It doesn’t really matter what she’s cooking but it’s usually Italian.  Her food is yummy and perfect and always makes me feel like home.  When she and my Mom get together to cook, there’s nothing better.

No matter where I go or how far I travel, Sandy will always be home to me.

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