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#31 of 46 Old 03-06-2008, 11:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MCatLvrMom2A&X View Post
For me it would be a all or nothing situation. I could never decide who lives and who dies. and if I were to loose them all then that would be what was ment to be.

I strongly feel you wont be given more than you can handle so there would be no reason to reduce.


I was this sure of myself too...I would never terminate a pregnancy, until I was faced with the decision.

My first decision as a mother was horrible and I regret it daily. I reduced from triplets to twins in February 2004. I walked into each appointment wanting to carry all three but I also feel I was pushed in this direction by the four doctors we saw hoping to be told we could carry all three but always leaving with the feeling we should reduce. It is a complicated and emotional decision forced to be made without the luxury of time and in fear of loosing all three babies. The decision is not made by women not wanting a pregnancy but by those who tried so hard to become pregnant. I had eight IVF cycles, six transfers, two miscarriages, one ectopic pregnancy and two hospitalizations due to hyper-stimulation…at this point I was not feeling lucky and was afraid to loose all three babies. I found information after the fact disproving the doctors’ frightening statistics. I struggle daily with my decision and in my case feel it was the wrong decision. The grief/torment from the reduction overshadowed the joy of my pregnancy but I am trying to not allow it to completely overshadow being a mother to my two living children.

I was so naïve and uneducated when I was told I was carrying triplets that I didn't even panic. I was excited and happy until my RE kept apologizing. I looked at him like he was crazy and he looked at me the same way. My RE was adamant about never transferring more than two embryos. But it was my last cycle and four looked 'ok' but not great. I had been pregnant three times prior but always with one. He said it was highly unlikely considering my history that more than one would 'take'. Here I was, in the stirrups ready for the transfer and he asked how I felt about reduction. I told him I never want to make that decision. In the next breath we all decided, I do take responsibility, that we would transfer all four. Ironically it was because I didn't want to kill two of them since they could not be re-frozen. In hindsight this decision made no sense after my response about reduction. We were caught up in the moment and the RE probably wasn't even listening to me. We waited until twelve weeks thinking one might die naturally. We did CVS testing thinking if one had serious health issues it would make our decision easier - they all tested fine. I felt I was carrying two girls and a boy and I was right. My RE doesn't do reductions in his office and never spoke with me again after sending me to another doctor also at Northwestern. I keep wondering if he thought I could carry all three but, he never said a word. Maybe if he would have actually talked to me, I w/h heard another side. When I mentioned it he said he couldn't help me with the decision.

Even though it has been several years, my emotions and grief feel so raw. I can go on and on…what I should have done differently; why didn’t I see one more doctor, why didn’t I stand up for myself and my baby? I became sick during the reduction and they had to stop and re-start. This was another opportunity to change my mind – but I didn’t.

I’m sorry to ramble…

I’ve never been ‘brave’ enough to share this info on MDC for fear of cruel comments and judgments. Thank you to those of you pp's who posted kindly and bravely.
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#32 of 46 Old 03-06-2008, 11:15 PM
 
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I could never decide who lives and who dies.
The mother is not generally consulted on this. The fetus that is not doing as well, not as well placed, not as well developed, or... barring any other determining factors... the one who is the easiest to hit clearly with the needle is the one the perinatologist will choose. It's not an eeeny-meeeny kind of thing the mother has to go through.
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I strongly feel you wont be given more than you can handle so there would be no reason to reduce.
Women.. mothers.. are given more than they can handle all the time. Depression, anxiety/panic, suicide, drug abuse, comfort eating, and pulling away from the kids by detaching in small and large ways.... any of this sound familiar?
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#33 of 46 Old 03-07-2008, 01:03 AM
 
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I’ve never been ‘brave’ enough to share this info on MDC for fear of cruel comments and judgments. Thank you to those of you pp's who posted kindly and bravely.
You are incredibly brave. You deserve to love yourself and your family, and I hope that with time you can find your own kind of peace with the incredibly difficult choice you had to make. I can't imagine your grief and really thank you for sharing the story to help other mamas.

Mama to twin girls Adele and Nadia, born 5/2008
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#34 of 46 Old 03-07-2008, 01:34 AM
 
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Women.. mothers.. are given more than they can handle all the time. Depression, anxiety/panic, suicide, drug abuse, comfort eating, and pulling away from the kids by detaching in small and large ways.... any of this sound familiar?
: I don't subscribe to the "we're never given more than we can handle" theory either. I know that if you're approaching it from a Christian perspective that it is written in the Bible, and while I feel that I have a strong faith, I still don't believe that as a blanket statement applied to every human being. People definately ARE given more than they can handle by themselves - - on a daily basis. And 4 or 5 or 6 babies?? Wow....
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#35 of 46 Old 03-07-2008, 01:38 AM
 
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Just last year there was a couple in Minnesota who lost 5/6 of their babies and a couple in San Jose that lost 3/6.

No one talks about the countless triplet and quad pregnancies that go south. It's only the miraculous successes you hear about.
That's the truth of it. And not just with high order multiples, but also with extremely early babies. You never hear of the "miracle babies" on TV that go home with trachs and vents; but the media coverage about that supposed 21 weeker was all over because she was expected to have a relatively normal recovery. I know that's OT, but as you pointed out, when all we ever hear about are the "success" stories of high order multiples it makes you think that those pregnancies carry little risk.
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#36 of 46 Old 03-07-2008, 09:00 AM
 
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dbsam thank for sharing your story.

We did infertility treatments to conceive our twins. At our last cycle, I likely ovulated 4 eggs. Initially they talked to me about reduction, and the pragmatic part of me thought I would be able to handle it.

And, then I read an excellent article about reduction in the Washington Post. I realized I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

In the end I never had to make that decision, but I have the utmost sympathies for those who do.

Here's the article:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...051501730.html
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#37 of 46 Old 03-07-2008, 09:31 AM
 
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Thank you so much for posting that. I have read a lot on reduction lately, but I hadn't come across that one. I think it really hit home for me because one of the couples was a family with two moms, like us.

I have been reading this thread with interest and I appreciate you all sharing your stories. I'm 11w3d with triplets, and we have decided not to reduce, but it is really such a completely agonizing decision I would never wish on anyone.
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#38 of 46 Old 03-11-2008, 12:12 AM
 
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dbsam, I just want to say how very, very sorry I am that you still feel so much pain from your decision to reduce. I can only imagine the agony. When my beta came back so high, we knew we were expecting multiples and even the nurses thought there was a possibility of triplets or more. Fortunately, we saw two heartbeats and never had seriously contemplate such a tragic choice. I'm sure you made the best decision you could based on the information you had.

That Washington Post article was so tragic.

Vensutx, I'm glad you've made a decision you seem happy with and I wish you the very best with your pregnancy and babies.
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#39 of 46 Old 03-11-2008, 02:26 PM
 
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The Washington Post article is a beautiful example of the scare tactics doctors use to convince women to reduce. Again - with quads the risks are higher and more real - but triplets... I just look back and I don't understand.

From the article -

"In 2005, I spent two days with Evans, where the first reduction patient was the distressed woman who had become pregnant with triplets. Triplets pregnancies are far riskier than most people realize: Carrying three babies to term would more than double the woman's risk of developing the most severe diseases of pregnancy, such as preeclampsia. The average triplet is born two months premature, significantly raising the risk of disabilities such as cerebral palsy and of lifelong damage to the infant's lungs, eyes, brain and other organs. By reducing the pregnancy to twins, the woman and her husband would decrease the risk of severe prematurity. And the risk of losing her entire pregnancy would fall from 15 percent to 4 percent."

I read this article when I was trying to decide. I guess one thing that got me was "the distressed woman." Made me feel *I* should be distressed. She's distressed, I should be distressed. All these doubled risks and significantly raised risks of this and that... it makes the whole thing sound so terrifying when you are facing the decision! On the one hand you want all those children. On the other you want what is best for those children. And "facts" like these scared me to death - but I look back and I am like, oh my god. "Doubled" sounds so scary - but doubled from WHAT? "Significantly raises" sounds so risky - but significant compared to WHAT? Are we talking a 60% chance vs. a 30% chance... or are we talking a 10% chance vs. a 5% chance? These were things I didn't think to ask - I just trusted my doctors wouldn't be reccomending this horrible procedure if there wasn't a good reason.

(And to them there was a good reason - THEIR bottom line!!!)

I hate the fact that I was a psych major in college and we did so many studies where we totally played with statistics to make our results prove our theories... yet I didn't think of these things.

There is a point later in that article where a woman has 3 girls and wants to keep all three... and is told, no, you can't keep all 3... man, it drives me batty to think how weak and scared I was feeling back then. That is how I felt. I read that and I thought, she can't keep all 3. I can't keep all 3. No one else wants me to keep all 3.

I hate that article. I hate that anyone is ever faced with this choice.

DS T 11/16/03 DDs K & E 3/28/08
nak DS S 4/1/11
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#40 of 46 Old 03-11-2008, 03:05 PM
 
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Wow, we have such amazing women on this site! Thank you all for sharing your heartache and decisions with us. I think one of the big disservices of our modern day world, is all the secrets everyone keeps! We smile and nod and no one really sees the hard parts we all go through!

I miscarried a triplet at 14 weeks when we discovered twins. I wouldn't have reduced, but I am sooooo glad that I was never pushed to make that decision in the first place. In fact, the thought hadn't even entered my head until I started reading this thread! Wow, that is really tweaking my brain!

s to all of you MOMs who have had to make such hard decisions!

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#41 of 46 Old 03-11-2008, 03:29 PM
 
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I'd like join in with a giant to all women having to undergo these decisions. And to those who are here to support them, no matter what happens.

Twin boys 04/2005 : Support breastfeeding rights at FirstRight.Org : warrior
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#42 of 46 Old 03-11-2008, 03:51 PM
 
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I miscarried a triplet at 14 weeks when we discovered twins. I wouldn't have reduced, but I am sooooo glad that I was never pushed to make that decision in the first place. In fact, the thought hadn't even entered my head until I started reading this thread! Wow, that is really tweaking my brain!
What's sad is - if I recall correctly you had a spontaneous multiple conception? - you wouldn't have even been pressured to. They really don't push this on women who concieve naturally the way they do on those of us who use treatments. It's sad because we are already so vulnerable after all the time and heartache and loss and money spent trying... then to be told things like risk, risk, risk... marriages break up! disability! death! how can you care for your older child? ... it's just a hideous example of kicking someone when they're down. It's destroyed my trust in medicine... but I don't know, maybe it's not all bad. I've always been too agreeable, too willing to go with the flow, too complacent... this has given me a good dose of "cynical b***h" which is probably long overdue.

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#43 of 46 Old 03-11-2008, 04:09 PM
 
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I am sending my love and hugs to all those who end up having to make such a decision.

Infertility is so hard and for this to be an outcome of fertility treaments is heartbreaking.

I am thankful and blessed to have a healthy pregnancy and realize the outcome could have been very different.

All three pregnancy's were conceived with IVM/ICSI with two embroy's transferred.

Mama to two beautiful children. 

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#44 of 46 Old 03-11-2008, 07:09 PM
 
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They really don't push this on women who concieve naturally the way they do on those of us who use treatments. It's sad because we are already so vulnerable after all the time and heartache and loss and money spent trying... then to be told things like risk, risk, risk...
I agree. Unfortunately I didn't know or even think about this while making my decision. I've also lost trust in doctors but unfortunately need them for my children’s' current medical issues. I've even questioned, like you, how much of the pressure is to preserve their fertility clinic statistics.

When I questioned the doctors saying I read about wonderful triplet stories on the triplet connection site, I was actually told, by a doctor..."Yeah but all the moms who lost their babies or have three severely ill/disabled children are not online. Stay off that site; it's not realistic." I was told horror stories but I realize I was told no positive stories. At that time I never knew of any triplets personally but I seem to see or hear about them everywhere now.

When typing all of this it sounds as if I didn’t/couldn’t think for myself. It is hard to explain how I could want something but then cave in after being told, repeatedly, I am not thinking correctly/clearly/realistically/etc.

Marlee,
Mine were also IVF/ICSI but always using frozen embryos. Until that last transfer, we only transferred two each time. (We purposely chose our RE because he only transfers two.) The decision to transfer more on the last transfer is my biggest regret and the one thing I hope my story will prevent others from doing in the future.
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#45 of 46 Old 03-11-2008, 07:31 PM
 
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When I questioned the doctors saying I read about wonderful triplet stories on the triplet connection site, I was actually told, by a doctor..."Yeah but all the moms who lost their babies or have three severely ill/disabled children are not online. Stay off that site; it's not realistic." I was told horror stories but I realize I was told no positive stories.
For every positive I was given a negative. The last peri I consulted with - who would have followed me had I kept all 3 - I went in to her office hoping at last to hear "most triplets turn out OK." I told her of a friend of mine who worked in the NICU and told me most triplets do fine and are only in to feed and grow. The doctor said "Yes, but the NICU nurses don't see what happens the rest of the pregnancy." I asked the doctor if she knew of any triplet moms who successfully nursed - and she said "Only one and that's all she has time for - so it's a good thing she doesn't have any other children."

It's like if I tried to see anything good, find any hope to hold on to, they were like, "Oh, no, don't look at THAT, you didn't see THAT!"

It's a bizarre situation. It's so easy for anyone who is not in the thick of it to say "I would have fought for my babies." It's easy for ME to say that now - but I couldn't say it then. I was scared out of my mind and felt like everyone - the doctors, the nurses, my husband - they all felt this was best, I had to go along. The doctors made me really feel like, OK, IF you refuse, you're taking this huge risk, you're going against the grain - I seriously wondered how good the care I'd get would be if I made this "crazy" choice to keep all three. Maybe they'd be neglectful to punish me - maybe they'd hope I'd lose them - I don't know. It was nuts. I wanted someone to come out and say it was OK to keep all 3 - not "it's a hard choice," not "there's no right or wrong," but "It's OK to keep them all! Usually triplet pregnancies go well!"

Even when I had the actual reduction - I cried and screamed for 2 hours before I finally lay back on the table for what should have been a 10 minute procedure - the doctor said she wasn't sure she was comfortable doing it and maybe I should reschedule and think about it - she never said "It's OK to keep all 3." She said "It's not the end of the world if you keep all 3." And what does "It's not the end of the world" mean? it means "This kind of sucks but I guess there's worse things that could happen." I will never stop wondering about that - why couldn't she have said IT'S OK instead?

But every now and then I have to wonder... was my "intuition" that this pregnancy would fail correct? Was it really all fear and coercion - or was there some true mother's intuition going on there?

eta what's really, really wrong is in early december, during my first hardcore breakdown over this, I emailed the peri who did the reduction and told her - I can't blame you, I should/could have walked out, but if anyone is ever on your table and that upset again, you should NOT do the procedure - you should not say "maybe you should reschedule" - you should refuse. You would have been right to refuse. She called me and said she as so, so sorry - and I said to her tell me flat out, do most triplet pregnancies go well? and she said "Yes." I said, "That's what I needed to hear at the consult. I was scared out of my mind and nothing was making sense to me." She said she will remember me in the future - hopefully it will do someone some good.

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#46 of 46 Old 03-11-2008, 08:14 PM
 
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RunnerDuck. I received that same kind of pressure from my RE.
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