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08/19/2010

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Interesting article about selective reduction. My husband and I considered it, going so far as to have a consultation with a specialist. In the end, we decided to keep our twins but I'm experiencing a lot of difficulties due to a twin pregnancy. They will also be born prematurely and underweight like most twins, and may require intensive care. All of this has consequences on the health of the child.

People think it's no big deal because it's become "common" in the U.S. due to the expense of infertility treatments (in general, Americans implant more embryos than they do in Europe) but it is still high-risk.

While I am torn on this issue, I do think that being responsible financially for your children is also important. I know many people who had trouble supporting 1 child yet had 2 and now require government support.

JJ-- Thanks for your comment. I really appreciate hearing your story-- and it actually helps me think some things through as I consider doing IVF. You're right, having twins is a huge deal with enormous physical and financial repercussions. I think I'm willing to take that on-- but I absolutely could not handle triplets under any circumstances-- so after reading the Jezebel article and your comment, I don't think I would put more than two embyos in... because I REALLY don't want to have to make that decision myself!

Oh yeah, multigrain cheerios are baaaaad. Shame on you. Kidding of course. Sounds like you are doing well. Congrats!

I loved the post from Shannon's Rainbow. 12 years ago I was part of a TTC community of women, was actually the community moderator. It was such a wonderfully supportive atmosphere of mostly women going through the same things. It's important to have someone who knows what you are going through. Someone you can lean on and someone who can lean on you if need be.

Ok YIKES on the Echo Park gang shooting! geez. I don't think I'd go so far as to change my workout spot. I have to think the chances of getting caught in something like that are unlikely but I guess it's always possible. We do have to live out in the world and who wants to give up a workout by a pretty lake for a hot sweaty stinky gym?! I was impressed by all the replies to that...even the LAPD for that area replied with information. That's cool.

Keep up the good work on the healthy eating. Might be time to check in to a better ISP. ;-)

Peace- Chris

JJ - fingers crossed your twins don't go into the NICU, but if they do, have Sarah put you in touch with me. I had two separate kids in two separate NICUs. I'll hold your hand across the internet.

Re the Jezebel piece, I went and read the original first person Elle article. Really a well thought out article. I think the author was very brave to write about it. If one is pro choice, then that means all choices. Other than health concerns for mother and babies, the divorce rate is significantly higher for couples with twins than with singletons. As an SMC, I am overwhelmed with my one child. I can not imaging handling twins on my own. I remember reading a post on an IVF message board from an SMC with twins. Although she loves her twins dearly, she said she had to go through a bankruptcy due to the costs of her children.

I am very grateful I was not faced with that choice. I was holding my breath at that first ultrasound until the dr said there was one heartbeat. But it was something I thought about. It was a long and difficult journey to get pregnant, and by the end I became more aggressive with the number of embryos transferred. As terrible as it sounds, a reduction would have been easier than not getting pregnant.

"The divorce rate is significantly higher for couples with twins."

@Dora: Is this true? Do you have references or citations for this?

Is the divorce rate also significantly higher for couples with more children than those with fewer children?

If all it takes is twins to split up a couple that would have been fine had they had a singleton, then their marriage can't be in very good shape. A marriage tenuous enough to crumble under the weight of two children would also be shaky enough to crumble under the weight of one.

This is all I could find, with the key part marked ****

A 1990 study conducted by the National Organization of Mothers of Twins Clubs (NOMOTC) on the “Effects of Multiples on the Family Unit and Marriage” also found that respondents cited the first month and years after the multiples’ birth as the most stressful. Stressors noted included: a lack of sleep, an excess of work for the mother, and difficulty in finding time to spend with a spouse.
**** Interestingly, only 6% of those answering the survey questions were divorced, and of those, most did not see the multiples as a factor in the breakup of the marriage. ****
However, a later study by NOMOTC on single parents and divorce did find that 39% of those responding felt the heightened emotional stress of parenting twins or more contributed to their marital problems.


Actuary-- Interesting! Thanks for that.

Sent from my iPad

Thanks for including my post in your reading list, Sarah! :)

And THANK YOU for the Jed Whedon recommendation! I downloaded the album, and it's already become my current favorite.

This in no way relates to your post, Sarah. I just don't know another way to send it to you. A friend sent me the link. Possibly the cutest website EVER and seems like something you would like.

http://www.weegarden.com/Welcome.html

Actuary, this is what I've heard. Having twins is very different than having multiple children consecutively. Regardless, I believe every woman/couple has the right to do what is right for their family. Without judgment. If you don't believe in selective reduction, don't do it. Likewise, if you don't believe in assisted reproduction, don't do it. Or abortion. Or birth control. Or home birth. Etc., etc., etc. Reproductive choice encompasses all choice.

I applaud the mom who wrote the Elle piece. Her frankness about a difficult and controversial issue will help women feel less alone if they are faced with such a heartbreaking choice.

Thank you, Dora. I also believe that people are free to make their own choices, and do not need anyone else's permission or approval.

My concern was that you noted a fact -- a divorce rate for parents of twins -- that seemed to have no basis behind it. As an actuary, that kind of thing raises a red flag for me. I haven't looked into it, but I suspect statistics would show there are many demographic characteristics that correlate with divorce rates but that being a parent of twins would not correlate in any meaningful way.

Rereading the study above, I would note that the information below.....

However, a later study by NOMOTC on single parents and divorce did find that 39% of those responding felt the heightened emotional stress of parenting twins or more contributed to their marital problems.

....says nothing about whether parents of twins had a higher divorce rate. It is a common fallacy to think it does. Even if 100% of couples with twins who got divorced did so because of stress from parenting twins, that says nothing about whether parents of twins have a higher divorce rate than parents of singletons.

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