As any reader of mine knows, I'm ~very~ against transferring more embryos / IUI with more follicles than you are willing to carry. I am personally against using selective reduction to "reduce" babies that were deemed as "extra" when there was a chance all along at too many babies. On the opposite side, I'm not against selective reduction at all when it was more of an accidental situation like natural triplets/quads/etc. I also completely understand it's necessary to go through selective reduction when there are too many babies to safely carry (for mother or babies) but I will shake my head in disgust if the woman got herself there in the first place. I think these situations could be completely avoided if selfishness is simply put aside and if there are too many follicles to safely go forward with a cycle, take a break so you aren't forced to
Around the blogosphere lately, I have been seeing the opposite trend with IVF - women going for single embryo transfers or maxing out at two. Unfortunately, I've also seen IUIs and timed intercourse going forward with 5, 6, 7 mature follicles which simply astounds me. My RE would cancel if more than 3 (2 in some cases) follicles were present. But I am betting many REs are cancelling and the woman just plows ahead on her own. Ugh.
Anywho, back to my point. I see these women transferring just one or two and having to really convince themselves and their readers of their choices. How crazy! They are doing such a good thing for themselves and for the health of their maybe-babies! Has the world really gone so multiple crazy that women and their family/friends are actually disappointed if they don't get multiples? Hey, twins are great and if you are willing to carry and take care of twin newborns, all the power to you. But if you aren't excited over the aspect of twins, it's ~okay~ to try for a singleton.
Now, here is where I will admit my complete and total hypocrisy. I went into ET with the "no more than two" frame of mind. And I later walked out with ~four~ embryos. Yes, FOUR. That is more than I could have carried. That is more than I could have taken care of. Yet, I approved the transfer.
Remember when I said no one should have to rationalize their personal decision? My hypocrisy pretty much forces me to it.
I had 2 Grade As (8 & 7 celled) and 2 Grade Bs (6 and 5 celled).
My RE pretty much poo-pooed my idea of putting back two. My lining was ~not~ good, remember? It was only 7mm and they wanted to just cancel me, but I pushed ahead. Plus my age (36) decreased my chances. So now it was between 3 and 4 embryos.
With three embryos, he gave me a 35% chance at a pregnancy. With all four, a 40% chance for a pregnancy. Of that 40%, we had a 79% chance at a singleton, 15% of twins, under 5% for triplets and less than 1% chance for quads. So doing the math, with transferring all four, I had a 40% of a singleton, 6% chance of twins, 2% chance for triplets and .4% chance at quads.
I'm a science believer. I'm a numbers believer. I'm not into fate or some bigger plan. I believe in MATH. So I took in those stats and that's how I made my decision. I didn't see a big difference between the 3 and 4 embryos in the multiples option and didn't want to let that little 5 celled one to die alone in a petri dish, so we included him too. (Funny that we all think he's the one who's sitting very uncomfortably in my giant belly right now, eh?)
The statistics remained though. I had a 60% chance of a BFN. A 31.6% chance of a singleton. A 6% chance for twins. 2% chance for triplets. A 0.4% chance at quads. Could I carry twins? Certainly. Could I carry triplets or quads? I don't know, probably not. And I can pretty much tell you I couldn't care for that many financially.
What would I have done if I fell into that 2.4% chance? Good lord, I have no idea. I felt like I would have to cross that bridge if I got there. But I was the first to admit my hypocrisy to my very strong feelings about not using selective reduction as a tool for better odds at pregnancy. I can tell you I would never transfer 8 embryos or some high number like that, but still, four was such a risk and I don't know how I would have lived with myself if I created 4 lives. I can say I am happy I did it ~now~, only because I know I got one out of the deal. But I still will admit how wrong I could have been.