Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Two (or more) part two

Thank you all for the great comments on my last post!

Karen... In retrospect, you're right, of course. I was so convinced that NOTHING was going to work that multiples wasn't a reality when I decided to transfer 4. Actually, when I had the 'better' embryos, I didn't get pregnant at all... (I guess this is in line with what Mel wrote today). I've been following your story and all your thoughts about reduction. I know I would have made the same choice you did.

Sarah... My last IVF was the only one in which the doctors even asked how many embryos I wanted to transfer. I was willing to go for 3. My (now ex)-husband said 2 and that's what we did. I think that some clinics are still pushing their agendas of higher pregnancy per cycle rates and are therefore anxious to give you the best shot at pregnancy, even if it includes the risk of multiples - so, although the doctors may KNOW best, they may not always do it. It's exactly like Thalia put it - "change the way clinic stats are measured and rewarded. Currently it's not in their best interest to allow SETs (single embryo transfers) as that potential first failed cycle would be a negative mark against them" (BTW, the cycle mentioned above led to an unsuccessful single embryo pregnancy)

Kirby... I know just where you're coming from. My feeling is that there are cases where hoping for twins makes sense - it depends on your chances to succeed with IVF (there must be some parameters that give an indication, especially in cases of known fertility issues), your age, how many children you'd like to have and of course how many IVF cycles you'll be able to go through (emotionally / financially / physically). With the success rates being the same overall, as Thalia said, with the ETs being split between two cycles - it means that women/couples who feel they have more time can allow themselves to reduce the risk of multiples without reducing the chance of pregnancy per retrieval.

Bea... I am truly praying for you to have a healthy singleton pregnancy :-)

Thalia... I love your comments and I totally agree with you.

Lastly, congratulations to Mia whose daughter Ava Marie has finally come home from the hospital!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Two (or more) for the price of one?

This article discusses the merits of single embryo transfer and why it hasn't really caught on yet. I think one of the main points is the feeling that transferring more than one embryo actually gives us a better shot at pregnancy. Aside from the font being way too small for my over-35 eyes, I thought the article was interesting.

Having been in that position, I chose to transfer 4 embryos in each of 4 cycles. In the first of those (my second cycle) I got pregnant with one baby (there was probably another that implanted, but only one made it to the sac stage) and in the last of those, I originally had 3 sacs (despite lousy quality embryos). Two survived (they are turning 11 next week). For me, it was ideal. I always wanted a lot of kids and, at that time, treatment was subsidized for just the first and second child, so getting a third one really did seem like getting another one free... I was also very lucky and carried my twins to the end of 39 weeks. Both were born weighing close to 6lbs.

Whenever people tell me how great it is to have twins, I say that there's a reason that most babies are born as singletons, but then again, it does seem kind of special to have twins & if I had to wait as long as I did to become a mom and go through so much, it is kind of nice...

If you have to choose how many embryos to transfer, how many would you choose & how would you feel if you ended up with twins or more?

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Again?

It's Mother's Day again? And still no baby.

Do you break down in tears or do you keep thinking, "someday this will be MY holiday"? Are you completely indifferent or do you absolutely hate that you have to wish your mom Happy Mother's Day?

This post from last year is just as relevant this year. For those of you who haven't read it, maybe it will help you get through this day.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Donor Insemination Movie - And Then Came Love

Eric over at di-dad sparked my curiousity about the movie And Then Came Love in this post. He raised some very interesting questions and I wondered if there was any way to get an answer to some of them.

I sent a letter to Caytha Jentis, the writer and producer of the film, asking her to share any information she could regarding the donor insemination aspect of the movie (specifically mentioning that I would share her responses with the readers of my website).

Here's her response:

Dear Rachel,

Thank you so much for contacting me to learn more about our film. As you know our film is about a donor inseminated single mother, and I would describe it more as a romantic dramedy than comedy. While it certainly has a romantic fantasy element with humor and is a "feel good" film, it was very important to us to deal with the subject matter in a sensitive, thoughtful way and introduce issues that are not only relevant to DI single mothers, but the broader post feminist issues today's women face pertaining to balancing career and family - as well as even broader topic of "what is a family?"

I am the writer and producer of the film, and this is my first film. I hope that you and members of your group can see the film, as we always hoped that our film would invoke discussion. In fact one of our Behind the Scenes featurettes is about the "issues" and includes interviews with Jane Mattes, the founder of "Single Women by Choice" and Amy Harmon of the NYTimes who wrote extensively on DI.

While I am not donor inseminated nor a single mom, I did a tremendous amount of research on the subject matter, and do feel a strong connection to our protagonist as the film is really about the "search for love" as much as "search for the father." By the way, it was important to the director and I that the film should not have all the answers, and in the end was a film about people that any audience would care about.

All the best,
Caytha Jentis


I was glad to read that the topic hadn't been taken lightly and it will be interesting to see the movie.