My Life in a Nut Shell

3 surgeries for Endometriosis, countless medications, and lots of difficult years trying to conceive. We put the medical stuff on hold and decided to work on being parents instead. In July of 2000 we were blessed beyond all measure with a phone call announcing the birth of our daughter, Megan. Megan's birth mother had given birth the day before and was leaving the hospital. We had no warning that Megan was coming. At 4:29 in the afternoon we were a couple, at 4:30 we were parents. Deciding that we wanted a sibling for Megan, we looked into all our options. This time insurance covered IVF. One round and we were blessed with triplets, Abigail, Brigid, and Caroline. Did you know that there is a 70% chance of divorce in families of Higher Order Multiples? Almost two years after the triplets were born my ex-husband and I separated and eventually divorced. During that time both my Mother and Father passed away from cancer. In February of 2007 my sister came to live with us to help out. In December of 2008 she had to leave so now it is me on my own with the girls. In February 2010, Lisa passed away and finally found her own Peace.

Monday, July 9, 2012

I pick that one. No, wait that one. No! Wait this one.

I've been writing this blog post in my head for a couple of days now.  It seems that every Mom of multiples is weighing in on this one particular topic.  Let me start by sharing one of my favorite picks of my trio:
Abigail, Caroline, and Brigid at the First Communion practice.  3 very different girls.  3 very different personalities.  I can't imagine my life without them. 

Let add that I am pro-choice.  You can try and persuade me in any way you like including reminding me that I am a Christian.   Still not going to change my mind but that's not quite what this post is about.  

My infertility journey is a long one.  Just read my biography at the beginning of this blog.  Not one of my children came easily to this family.  I realize that most people will try and tell me that I should be anti-choice because Megan was adopted.  Megan's birthMother had a choice in deciding to carry Megan to term and to place her for adoption.  And to her I will forever be eternally grateful.
That's me holding Megan for the very first time.  That rather pained look is me starting to burst into tears.

Every parent of multiples, I'm talking 3 or more babies, is given the selective reduction speech.  The doctor tries to scare you into reducing 1-2 babies to supposedly take you out of the high risk category.  You are given many grim talks about all the dangers you and your babies will face if you choose to continue on with a multiples pregnancy.  Our lovely doctor, a reproductive endocrinologist,  gave us this speech each and every time we sat down in his office.  He even went so far as to try and schedule a trip to Memphis to have this done around the 13th week of pregnancy.  Apparently they don't have specialists here in little ol' Louisville who can do selective reduction. No matter how many times we tried to tell the doctor that we didn't want any part of selective reduction, he just kept on bringing it up.  We tried for years through many difficult surgeries and procedures to get pregnant.  There was no way in hell, no matter how severe the consequences, were we going to choose to get rid of any baby.  I didn't spend all that time, anguish, and money trying to get pregnant to all of a sudden become unpregnant.  

On our last visit with the RE, before we switched over to the maternal/fetal OB, we were again given "the talk".   My ex in one of his more brilliant moments began talking with the doctor about the doctor's children.  He had two daughters of whom he was quite proud.  One was in college.  One was at Manual.   He beamed when he spoke of their accomplishments.  When he was finished beaming, my ex asked him one very simple question.  "Tell me Dr. N.  Which one of your daughter's would you have chosen to reduce?"  Dr. N sputtered and was at a loss for words.  Selective reduction was never brought up again.

Which brings me to tonight's topic.  Yes I know.  I'm wordy.  There is a blogger out there who is writing about her journey through infertility.  Here's the link to her blog so you can read for yourself.

She did IVF, put in two embryos, and ended up with four babies, a singleton and ID triplets.  Very early on she lost on of the babies so she is pregnant with a singleton and ID twins.   She had decided to go for selective reduction and is going to reduce to a singleton.  Again her decision.  Remember I am pro-choice so I am not completely bothered by her choice.  I couldn't do it.   She has spent years trying to conceive and has been blogging about her journey.  She is active on many infertility websites as well.  What bothers me so very much about this blogger is her almost cavalier attitude about what she is about to do.   She talks of this choice with as much emotion as you would trying to pick out what to have for dinner.   She isn't worried about the risks for herself or her babies as much as she is making a life style choice.  She doesn't want triplets to interfere with her lot in life.  I don't get it. 

"Why would you spend all these years trying  to get pregnant, to then work so hard to get unpregnant?"  

She has been blogging on another site about her triplet pregnancy.  She takes belly pics and talks about maternity clothes and cravings.  "Um excuse me?  You are about to abort two of your babies.  You don't get to talk about your triplet pregnancy!!"   It bothers me that she is portraying herself as a hero to others who are making the selective reduction choice.  "Lady, you are not a hero.  You are a selfish person who coldly writes about your choice.   Please don't carry on about your positive mindset when you are far from being positive!"  She writes that SR was not exactly a hard choice for them.  

I'm pretty sure I would be more supportive if she wrote about the anguish and heartache involved in the decision.   If there were some genetic problem.  If she was so high risk that it put her or her babies' lives at risk .  There would be an outpouring of love and concern.  Of understanding.   Then she would be a hero to those faced with a very difficult decision.  But to say this wasn't a hard choice just makes her appear as cold hearted.   She doesn't understand why people are so aggravated with her.  It's not the choice itself as much as the attitude that has people so pissed off.  

I have had a lot of negative effects from having triplets.  I lost my marriage, my big, fancy house. My sanity.  It has been a hard battle.  I'm in a small apartment with bills I can barely pay and am starting over with a new career.  Yet I am so damn Blessed to have triplets!  I love my children.  All of them.   I love every single struggle and heartache.   They are a treasure.  A Blessing from God.  They make me laugh every single day.  My heart is going to burst with all the love I have for my girls.   

So which one (or two) should I have chosen to get rid of?


Rachel Newman said...

Your blog affirms my beliefs and my decision not to reduce. Baby A would have been the one selectively aborted because of her position in the womb. Interestingly enough, she looks the most like my family. This is not lost on me. Every single day, I am reminded that Anna is, indeed, a blessing and I can't imagine life without her or her sisters.

Kristina said...

Baby B would have been the one most likely reduced because of her position. I can't imagine my life without her either. I just wish this woman would be more respectful of her decision.

Charles Caldwell said...

My wife and I also went through this "talk." we learned that there is a theory in science that SR doesn't make a difference: the theory is that when the body gets pregnant it Pre-sets ashen it will deliver. That was 9 has ago and our triplets are now 8. Can't imagine selectively reducing.

Charles, Hong Kong

Helene Eichenwald Slutsky said...

Okay my dear, I too have been writing a post in my head. Great minds think alike.

Well said.

Now, if you choose to filter commments like the blogger in question, that too is your choice.
It is your blog and you decide- just know that I could not agree with you more.

Unknown said...

I went through these talks too as a mom of quadruplets plus one. I too agree with you, but it is her choice and not your business to complain about her choice. Maybe she is in denial, if you've not spoken to her in person how do you know how she really feels? She's typed it, but it's only words. I spent three months balling because I was scared. I'm glad you enjoy your girls and your life style, it's not fair to judge others.

Kristina said...

It is m blog and I choose how I feel. I don't just write words though. I write my thoughts which I am freely allowed to do. I guarantee that people judge me as well. It's perfectly in someone's right to do so. I don't appreciate the fact that she still holds herself up as a triplet Mom. As I said in my post, if she had written with courage and heartache I would be defending her. I'm pro-choice remember?

Helene I will not delete comments on here. I'm not a blow-sunshine-up-your-ass kinda girl. Love you!

anAmericaninGermany said...

No one is SUGGESTING anyone choose Selective Reduction except doctors. Whatever the doctor may say, a woman has the RIGHT to choose... I chose selective reduction in 2008. I am thankful I was able to make the choice and have a healthy child to show for it. I have NEVER suggested that anyone choose SR, I only try to support mothers who choose it, on their own terms. Please take a moment to read my blog and get some perspective. I'd really like to see the HOM community stop attacking and continually try to shame the SR community into submission. I am not ashamed of my decision to reduce and love my child as much as any mother loves hers.
Keep in mind that this blogger is in the midst of her pregnancy and has a trillion thoughts going through her head...she's struggling with fear of the unknown while waiting for the procedure to be over, all whilst hormonal and being abused by HOM moms. Please encourage other HOM to stop attacking and abusing us. Understand we are ALL faced with different circumstances, and all fully support and respect your decision to continue your pregnancies, can you please try to do the same?

Kristina said...

I was not trying to shame anyone into not choosing SR. It is after all, your choice. I state it again. I don't blame her for her choice. I blame her for her choice to show her triplet stomach, for blogging about a being a triplet Mom when she most obviously was not choosing to remain a triplet Mom.