One Embryo or Two

Thursday, January 14, 2016

When we first started down this path I was certain I was going to have twins. I sort of assumed that the success rates of implanting two embryos over one must be higher. I figured that if we are going to go through all of this to have a baby we may as well implant two. 

The term elective single embryo transfer (eSET) first came up when talking to the family with whom our donor also shared their embryos.I hadn't even really considered transferring only one until that point. My husband kept saying he didn't want twins but I just sort of brushed him off. Once I started to really consider the implications we decided to transfer 1 embryo at a time. And this is why:

1 - Gestational Diabetes - the chance of getting gestational diabetes with ART (artificial reproductive technology) doubles when compared to the rates with a natural pregnancy

2 - Preeclampsia - the chance of getting preeclampsia is 1.5 times higher with ART

3 - Premature Birth - twins are more that 4 times more likely to be born premature

4 - Quality Snuggles  - When Brennan was born my favorite times were spent with her resting peacefully on my chest. While I know things will most certainly be different with a three year old running around I know that the best chance of getting to enjoy those moments again is to only have one baby at a time. Brennan's first year absolutely flew by and I feel like I didn't have a chance to soak it all in. I can only imagine that same feeling with two babies.

5 - Being Out-Numbered - We have always talked about having 2 children. Being out numbered sounds pretty scary. If we were to get pregnant with twins right now we would (prayerfully) have 3 little ones running around. If we ever consider having a 3rd I'd much rather it be a second pregnancy (because first births suck LOL!). But two children sounds perfect.

6 - Financial Stress - The financial stresses of having twins makes me really nervous - preterm labor, bedrest, medical leave, not to mention the costs after the birth. We will be able to provide better for our children by only having 2. If God decides to give us twins, that will be up to Him. We won't be doing anything to increase the chances. 

7 - Cesarean Section - A cesarean section birth is 2-3 times more likely with a twin pregnancy over a singleton pregnancy. While a vaginal birth is no guarantee for any woman I would love to increase my chances by carrying one baby at a time. 

8 - Individually Frozen - Our embryos were frozen individually. Many embryos are frozen in straws of two. This decision would have been much more difficult to make if they were frozen together. The embryos being frozen individually was more reassurance that we are making the right decision for us. 

Interesting fact - Identical twins can split from a single embryo on days 1-3,. days 4-6 or days 7-9. Our embryos are day 5 and day 6. So there is still a chance of our embryos splitting naturally. That means we will have the same chance of twins as any natural pregnancy (around 2%). When 2 embryos are implanted the chance of twins is around 30%. 

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