The writer is a mother to a three-year-old son, whom she conceived "naturally." She and her husband wanted one more child, and after trying for over a year, began fertility treatments. Neither she nor her husband wanted multiples. They struggled with the responsibilities, time, and finances associated with raising their son, and they knew they could not handle more than one more child. Her husband's insurance policy covered IVF, which the couple wanted to use to transfer just one embryo and decrease the chance for multiples, but in order for the policy to cover IVF, they had to try IUI (intra-uterine insemination) first.
Her IUI resulted in a twin pregnancy. IUIs actually result in more multiples than IVF does, because the number of follicles released by the ovaries cannot be controlled. This is how Kate Gosselin got pregnant with sextuplets, and how most higher order multiples happen.
The writer agonized over her decision, but ultimately elected to travel to a different state where she found a doctor to reduce the pregnancy to a single fetus.
She says this about her decision, "I know it sounds selfish, but I wanted to protect the well-being of the people already in my life — my son, my husband, and, yes, myself."
The author of this piece has been vilified.
"She used fertility treatments, and everyone knows what happens when you do IUI or IVF. You get twins, triplets, or more. Deal with it."
"She went into it knowing the significant possibility for multiples."
"She asked for it"
"Twins are not high-risk. Selective reduction should not have been an option - anywhere."
Here's what I think.
I'm pro-choice. I believe every woman has the right to decide what happens to herself, her body, and her family. As a result, I support this woman's choice, even though it's one I would not have made for myself. Even thought it's one that many, even those who say they are pro-choice, disapprove of. Was her decision selfish? Maybe. But who's going to make the call as to what is or is not a "reason" to have an abortion? She knew she was not capable of raising twins + her older son in a healthy situation. And she made a really difficult decision because of it.Most women who undergo fertility treatments do not want multiples. We want the singleton our best friend, neighbor, co-worker, and cashier at the grocery store got pregnant with after a few months of trying, or no trying at all. While we may say, "hell, after two years of trying, I'll take however many I can get," we don't really mean this. We may be infertile, but that doesn't mean we're Michelle Duggar. Twins and triplets scare the shit out of us too.
But on an even more personal level, I give the writer a great deal of credit for taking into consideration her and her husband's limits, abilities, and their desire to grow their family the way they wanted to, and not the way most other people thought they should. She knew they could not handle twins, for myriad reasons. She knew that to bring two babies into her life would not be healthy for the babies, or for her three-year-old son, not to mention the housing, job, and financial considerations involved in raising three children.
Believe me, I know all too well what this is like. If you read this blog on a regular basis, you know too.
I did not ever consider reducing my pregnancy to one fetus once I found out I was carrying twins, even though I spent the months prior to the pregnancy freaking out over the possibility of multiples. I had always wanted two children. I never wanted more than two. I did not want twins because I had Isabella already. I believe I felt this way because I knew I was not equipped to deal with three children under the age of three. Frankly, I'm not equipped to deal with a 4-year-old and two almost-two-year-olds. A preschooler + high-needs toddler twins is too much for me. Most days, I am on the brink. I feel like a customer service rep at a high-volume call center, meeting one need after another, all day every day.
What defines "too many children" is different for every family. For this woman, a toddler son + newborn twins was too much. For someone else, that kind of family is a breeze. She had every right to have the family that was the ideal one for her, just as women who get abortions because they're single, or in school, or unemployed and living at home with their parents do every day.In my opinion, to criticize the writer, as many have done, is unfair and it is wrong.
What do you think about her decision?