Saturday, April 21, 2007

Why I Shouldn't Watch TLC

Since I've been trapped at home for the past two months, I've been watching a lot more TV on the weekends with H than I normally would. Skimming through the online TV guide, I find myself drawn to TLC's line up of shows like it's a train wreck. First there are a million episodes of a Baby Story (I always seem to tune in just in time for the close-up of a C-section), then there's that show about the little people who have twin boys, Little People, Big World (my God, if a 4-foot little person can have twins I really need to suck up my pain!) and then the worst--Surviving Sextuplets and Twins.

Of course we had to watch. How does one have sextuplets and twins? Well, through fertility treatments, of course. The title is misleading--the twins, not the sextuplets, came first, through a round of IUI. They didn't say it out right, but it appears the sextuplets were also the result of an IUI. H thought this was pure craziness--what had the RE been thinking? Since they were successful with twins the first time, weren't they monitoring the number of her follicles more carefully so that excessive multiples wouldn't happen? I don't know; the show didn't seem to care about those details. H felt that this was the type of program that gave people without a clue about IF a bad impression about fertility treatments and the people who use them--the desperate designation. (Wouldn't you know that even the show synopsis calls the couple "desperate to have children.")

Well, watching this couple go through pregnancy with the sextuplets and then cope with 8 little babies in all opened a lot of discussion between me and H about our own IF experience. I have to say, seeing a woman pregnant with sextuplets after already having twins, her belly stretched beyond imagination, made me feel like a royal wimp over my own aches and pains. (She could actually smile when showing her 54-inch belly! And to think mine is only 43 inches.) Her enthusiasm was not enough to make me think I'd ever be able to go the multiple route again myself, though. If H and I ever try IVF again, I am pretty sure I will only transfer 1 embryo. I have absolutely no regrets about transferring two this first time, and I am so, so happy they both took, but I don't think my body could handle multiples a second time.

H, who said he'd never do fertility treatments at the beginning of our diagnosis, has gone from saying we should only transfer 1 embryo the first time (he was convinced by me and the doc to put back our two), to saying he'd be willing to put back 3 if we tried a second time and had three embryos of equal quality. Wha??????? Now, I'm very glad H has come around to being more accepting of IVF and the multiple "risks" involved, but there is no way I could put back three. Not only would it be bad for me, I'd be even more worried about the health of three if they all took. I'm touched H is willing to give IVF another try with me--he was so against it in the beginning that I think his change of heart shows how much experiencing a pregnancy has meant to him. I am so happy I've been able to give him that. Experiencing the pregnancy together has been wonderful. But I'm the one who probably wouldn't go through IVF again at this point.

My reason--none of our embryos were able to make it to blast before transfer, and we only had 2 that showed promise. Which meant we had to transfer both of those two or else we'd be sacrficing one of them (my clinic won't freeze anything less than a blast). Knowing that both took in this last case, I couldn't make that sacrifice if I were faced with the same situation in round two. So yes, we'd have to transfer two again. And of course both might not take--none might take at all. But I don't think I could put myself at risk for multiples again. At least, now is not the time to talk to me about it as I'm crippled by the pain of this current pregnancy.

It's not just about the pain, either. It's about all the risks to the twins themselves. The fears of prematurity and other complications. The things I didn't realize when I first saw those two beautiful sacs on the ultrasound screen. I wanted this. I wanted twins before IF was even an issue. Asking for more doesn't feel right.

Knowing that this will probably be our only go round with infants then, H is very eager to make the most of every moment with our baby boys when they arrive. He is way more into itty bitty babies than I am. I'm more of an "age 3 and up" kind of gal. As a result, H made the decision this weekend to apply for FMLA at work in order to be home an entire month with me after the boys are born. This is a little scary, as it means no income at all for us for awhile, but I am so lucky to have a partner who wants to be so involved in our babies' lives. I think it will be a wonderful month, even if all we eat is mac and cheese for a while. :)


Jamie said...

Those shows definitely mess with your head. It is good that it is giving you and H a chance to talk about things and look into the future.

I am sure that you guys have enough money saved to easily be able to support yourselves for a month. And the bonding, quality time, and chaos of twins will definitely make having both of you home very worthwhile. :) I definitely don't think this will be a situation you will regret!!

And, even though I'm newly pregnant, the thoughts of going through IVF again are already going through my mind. For some reason I always thought I would have twins and the fact that this is only one scares the crud out of me. What if I have one this time, do this again in 2 years and end up with twins? Agh! Your fears are normal and definitely highlighted by the issues you've been having.

Hang in there. Soon you will have two little miracles and all of this will seem worth it (at least that's what I hear. :))

GLouise said...

I watched the "Surviving Sextuplets" as well and I still can't get over it!

Did you see the sequel? I was so happy that someone gave that poor woman the reconstructive surgery she needed so desperately :-)

Motel Manager said...

I am impressed you made it through that show!

My husband also just applied for FMLA leave (albeit for two weeks). I am glad that it exists!