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To give advice that I did not and would not follow myself

(44 Posts)
MaryRobinson Tue 05-Mar-13 22:43:26

But I still think is a good advice.

My friend is doing IVF and has to decide whether to put one or two embryos back in.

The advice is put one back.... But I'm the mother of twins.

ceeveebee Wed 06-Mar-13 08:49:34

Well I don't have any other children to compare to but I can honestly say that my first year with my IVF twins has been delightful. I went to all the baby activities that my singleton friends went to, swimming had to be done at weekends with DH but that's quite nice to do as a family anyway. Now my friends are all TTC or pregnant with number two and I really do not envy them as I think a baby and toddler would be harder than two the same age. And I really could not go through the IVF process again after so much heartache for those five years. So I would go for two embryos if I had my time again

iloveitalia Wed 06-Mar-13 07:51:24

Mary Robinson, I watched a p series recently on TV ( am in N.I.) that concluded that only about one in five IVF attempts are successful. I had dd last summer, thanks to a successful third IVF treatment. My first- one embryo- failed. My second- two embryos- failed. It wasn't until the doctors put in three embryos in my last attempt that I was able to have ONE baby.
I' m not generally an opinionated person, but I really do think that your friend should transfer two embryos. I understand that three/ four/ five etc day old embryos have a higher success rate.....but all i all, this still rather low.

LadyPessaryPam Wed 06-Mar-13 07:39:01

EuroShaggleton I think fraternal twins don't have a risk of transfusion syndrome, it only happens to identical twins that share the one placenta. Spontaneous embryo splitting can happen to any pregnancy, IVF or natural.

LadyPessaryPam Wed 06-Mar-13 07:34:10

I have grown up naturally conceived twin DDs and I would go for the 2 embryos even though it was hard work. The DDs have such a good relationship with each other now, it was a joy watching them grow up. They went to 36 weeks gestation so I was very lucky maybe?

I think also it depends on the age of the mother, maybe if she is older it may be better to risk a multiple birth as a young woman has more time to space them out.

One other thing, it is not unknown for one or more embryo to split so you could at worst end up with 2 sets of identical twins shock

Lovecat Wed 06-Mar-13 07:16:39

I had IVF when it was standard to put back 2 or even 3 embryos. However I was one of the one in whatever who don't respond well to IVF drugs and consequently I never produced more than 4 eggs at a time.

First attempt 3 were put back, lost them all. Second attempt only 2 became viable embryos and both were put back. One was lost within the first month. One became DD.

Depends very much on her circumstances, how many embryos she has and how old she is (2nd time around our embryos were 5 days old, one still didn't make it, after 35 the stats fall off a cliff sad ) and a host of other factors. I would have advised 2 if asked.

Good luck jumpingjackhash smile

MsNobodyAgain Wed 06-Mar-13 07:10:29

I think I would give the same advice as the OP.

I had ivf, 2 embryos implanted and I remember the relief I felt when I was told it was a single pregnancy. The irony is I got pregnant naturally when my DD was 8 months old. It was twins.

Funny old world.

jumpingjackhash Wed 06-Mar-13 06:56:00

We're planning on putting 2 back in our latest FET round next month. Having tried a few times already with one to no avail, our highly-respected consultant has said he'd put 2 back if he were us. We're not canvassing friends on the decision (even those who have been through IVF and can reel off all of the stats (as we can!).

After so many disappointments it's important to feel we're giving ourselves the best chance of a baby at the end. If we get twins, then wonderful, our family will be complete and we won't have to go through this process again. We're under no illusions twins are easy! wink

EuroShaggleton Wed 06-Mar-13 06:55:57

I think your advice was good and certainly well intended. My decision to only have one put back was heavily influenced by seeing my very close friend's twin pregnancy (ivf but from a SET- it split). It was a very difficult pregnancy and she almost lost the babies several times. They had twin to twin transfusion syndrome and her waters went at 31 weeks. She was then on bed rest until they got them out and into nicu at 35 weeks. They are doing well now but I would rather go for more rounds/fets to try to get a singleton than put them both at risk with two.

Two going back only increases the chance of pregnancy by about ten percent but a twin pregnancy hugely increases the risks for mother and babies. There is a big campaign push for SET to be used more often for these reasons.

HDEE Wed 06-Mar-13 06:54:56

KC225, it's not an awful thing to say, it's true. I had four singletons before my twins, so trust me, I know the difference. Even now they are three, we can't do the things I used to do with a singleton.

A trip to the park with both twins and one adult is impossible. There is no way to keep both safe, eg, while one is about to fling himself from the top of the slide, the other is wandering in front of a swing.

Swimming alone is impossible. No where lets you take two babies in the pool unaccompanied.

There are precious few times where I used to just sit holding them asleep, marvelling at how beautiful they were. Because as soon as I'd done feeding one, I had another, and as soon as that one was asleep I put him down so I'd get an hours break before the next feed.

At toddler groups, doing songs that require adult/child to do actions together, mine have to take turns.

Getting both toddlers into the car safely, next to a busy road, when one is a 'runner' is an experience all of its own. Quite frankly we have had at least one close call with a bolting child and the other dangling out of his seat while I dart after him.

I suppose if you have only had twins then you don't know any different, and I wouldn't swap mine for the world, but I certainly think it would have been nicer for them and me if they were born separately.

It wasn't/isn't all hard work. I was always so proud taking them out and showing them off (still am). They make us laugh every day and are so incredibly funny. But personally, taking everything into account, there is no doubting that singletons are easier.

I think most twin parents (and probably many singletons ones) will admit that the first year is mostly a blur of tiredness, crying and feeding.

nooka Wed 06-Mar-13 06:44:29

I think your response was good, you didn't tell her what to do, just your opinion looking back.

I have two children very close together (16mths - dd was an accident) and if asked whether that was a good idea I'd say although it is lovely now, it was very difficult for the first couple of years, and if I had the choice to do it all again I'm not sure what I'd do.

Of course the difference with IVF is that it's a choice, so much more difficult. Plus of course the whole uncertainty about whether the pregnancy will be successful.

I'm sure that your response will be one of many inputs to the decision.

Twattybollocks Wed 06-Mar-13 06:33:20

2 embryos doesn't always mean 2 babies, but it can, and often does. Sometimes it even means 3 multiple pregnancy is hard on the body, the risks are much higher for both mother and baby and it also increases the risk of cesarean. Assuming both babies arrive safely, its also much much harder in the early days (although no less amazing because of that)
Being a mother of twins is an incredible gift and blessing, but it's not one I would choose personally. I think you gave her sound advice

TraceyTrickster Wed 06-Mar-13 01:50:02

As the mother of an IVF baby. you are wrong to give her this advice.

I had 6/7 transfers, all with 2 embryos and we only had a single baby from that (and very happy with that ourcome!). Two embryos does not equal two babies.

I would love to have had two successes but it was not to be. Don't spoil your friend's deligth.

KC225 Wed 06-Mar-13 01:04:16

HDEE - 'parenting twins takes a lot of pleasure away from motherhood'

That's an awful thing to say. It's tiring and challenging at times but that's all part of the wonder of motherhood

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Wed 06-Mar-13 00:08:19

I think your response is well balanced and fair to be honest. It's a tricky conundrum anyway and I'm not sure what I'd do in that situation.

notsofast Tue 05-Mar-13 23:50:14

I can't believe some of the nasty comments on this thread.
I am mother of prematurely born twins and agree entirely with OP and HDEE.

MaryRobinson Tue 05-Mar-13 23:44:29

She asked me what I thought. And I said "In your position I DID put 2 back. The advice I was given which I did not follow is put one back, I think it is good advice". I wasn't asked what she should do and my answer to that would be that it's her decision.

By the time you get to Having three day or five day embryos the chances of having a baby are actually quite good.

HDEE yes parenting twins does take away a lot of the pleasure I motherhood.

maddening Tue 05-Mar-13 23:41:22

Also - how does she feel about twins?

Does she want more than one dc? Will she be able to afford ivf for dc2? Does she have a support network? Does she have the finances for childcare if going back to work? Does she feel she would cope.

By all means give her your own insight in to life with twins but her circumstances are different and may she may base her decision differently to you.

ClippedPhoenix Tue 05-Mar-13 23:39:47

Well maybe things have moved on to the point of a "one" choice.

can you also decide what they look like to boot? grin

Kytti Tue 05-Mar-13 23:37:03

YANBU because it was only your opinion. I also have twins and 2 older dc's and yes, it's bloody hard slog. Still, let's be honest, from the moment you see them in there, you want them BOTH so badly.

Unfortunately not so many people around at 3.00am to help feed etc though.


Your friend should speak to her consultant. I'd stick both back in. I do it all again. Most Mummies would. smile

HDEE Tue 05-Mar-13 23:35:43

Clipped, the chances aren't next to none? Fertility friends have a good section on SET and why is a better option.

MortifiedAdams Tue 05-Mar-13 23:35:00

Did she ask "what would you do?" or "what should I do?"

If its the former, YANBU. The latter, then YABU.

HDEE Tue 05-Mar-13 23:34:44

I'd advise one, especially if she is young or the eggs are from a young donor.

Whatever anyone says, parenting twins take a lot of pleasure away from motherhood. It's mostly a long, hard, knackering slog in the first year.

Add in the consequences of premature birth (my twins were born at 23 weeks) and SET is the preferable option IMO.

ClippedPhoenix Tue 05-Mar-13 23:34:15

there was me thinking you were struggling with the new understand of maybe having twins but you are actually telling her to use one embryo knowing full well the chances of even conceiving in this manner is next to none.

It's almost like telling a woman due to give birth that it's going to be the most excruciating pain ever!

Who does that?

MaryRobinson Tue 05-Mar-13 23:32:44

I'm not judging her whatever she decides. Promise.

ClippedPhoenix Tue 05-Mar-13 23:29:01

In that case it's not up to you to advise her and I think you're pretty judgemental really

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