After my visit to CCRM, I have much more thinking to do on this subject.
I am not a fan of euphemisms. I'm a call-it-what-it-is-girl. If it's too distasteful to say, then maybe you shouldn't do it. Euphemisms are so often used by hypocrites - a personality trait I abhor!
So let's call it what it is - a selective abortion. There ya go, I said it.
I've posted about this subject already but yesterday at CCRM I was asked by no less than 3 people to ponder the subject. My doctor, the nurse and the psychologist. Their policy on donor embryo transfers is pretty strict at two, at most. And what I really felt was mild influence from them to transfer only one embryo (given I have several high quality embryos) and that's okay, because I felt they had my interests in mind.
But here's the rub. The chance of one embryo becoming a viable pregnancy is around 60%. Two embryos is in the 85% range. That's a 25% spread - too much for me to ignore.
Now for the brutal news - the chance of two high quality embryos becoming a twin pregnancy is around 45%. And I don't remember the chance of one of those embryos splitting (giving me a triplet) but it was not some statistically low number like .001%.
I honestly do not know how to play this out. And at the end of the day, while I met with their psychologist, I was honest with her.
I said, "you know, I've thought about that many times this year and I'm no further today knowing what I'd do than I was the first day." I went on to tell her what I told my doctor - a single embryo transfer is not something I can consider without the facts in front of me on transfer day.
For example, consider this wonderful scenario that I hope befalls me. My doctor calls me on day 5 transfer morning and says "Sky, I have amazing news - you have 9 stellar embryos, it's hard to know which is better than the other, they're all top grade and I have two that are hatching. Right now we're going to freeze whatever you don't want to transfer. So, will it be one or two?" I would say, "one." Perfect. (and may that be EXACTLY what happens and turns into a beautiful little person for me!)
But here's an alternate scenario that I hope and pray does not happen. My doctor calls me on day 3 transfer morning and says "Sky, you have 3 good embryos - the rest don't look like they'll make it. One is excellent and the others are good." Frankly, my answer would be - TRANSFER THEM ALL. I wouldn't want to return for one final embryo transfer if two failed, aside from not feeling great about freezing/thawing - it is never as good as fresh.
But what if those 3 less-than-stellar embryos all implanted?! Well, I think a triplet pregnancy is out of the question for me - I would have to selectively abort one. But what about a twin pregnancy to a singleton? I mean, if I'm not ethically barred from selectively aborting a triplet to a twin, why not a twin to a singleton? What's the difference? It's still terminating one fetus, isn't it?
And what happens here is that I realize doctors and nurses form an enormous bias and impart their personal religious and moral ethics on patients - and that concerns me. I mean, if you're willing to support the selective abortion of 5 fetuses to 2, why not support the selective abortion of 2 fetuses to 1? After all, isn't it is lawful to abort 1 fetus to zero.
DISCLAIMER: I'm not saying I could selectively abort twins to a singleton because I just don't know. I don't even know for sure if I could selectively abort triplets to twins. How could I know? I'm not in that place! But I guess I have trouble with anyone in the IVF world making moral judgments around this. Aren't we are all guilty of having our hands in the life/death pool whereby we have a hand in creating multiple embryos and then actively discarding some?
I personally know two women who are as Catholic as the day is long - staunch pro-life ladies who've also had IVF and had remaining embryos. Neither could bring themselves to donate those embryos to another couple and both of them chose to discard the embryos. I mean, huh? If life starts at conception then how is tossing them down a sink or by way of an abortion any different? Doesn't it provide the same outcome - they're still dead.
Just some thoughts as I embark on a donor egg cycle in future. I know I'll be faced with some very difficult decisions for which no choice will be without risk and, ultimately, I may have to choose the lesser of two evils - whatever that is for me personally.
I can only trust that I'll make future decisions with the same level of honesty and integrity in which I strive to live my life.
Tonight, more than ever, all of my sisters in this IF journey are on my mind - I wish you all peace, happiness and the fulfillment dirty diapers brings.