When we found out I was pregnant with twins, the doctors immediately offered me selective reduction. I didn’t answer the first time it was brought up, because I was shocked. Not only was I surprised I was carrying two babies, but I was unaware that they even offered selective reduction for twins.
I knew I was going into a high-risk pregnancy, and my chances of coming out of it with a live baby were not nearly as high as almost anyone elses. I also knew I was looking at bed rest, hospitalizations, complications, and NICU time. I wasn’t naive, I realized that it was going to be a long, difficult pregnancy, and that carrying more than one baby just complicated things further.
I remember the doctor telling me I was a candidate for selective reduction because of my history. I just couldn’t imagine killing one of my babies on purpose after burying three. She’d said there was a 5% chance of pregnancy loss associated with reduction, and a 95% chance I wouldn’t make it to term carrying two. I wasn’t expecting miracles. I knew the cards were stacked against me.
She began to talk to me about all of the things that can go wrong with a baby that was born early- brain bleeds, long NICU stays, etc. I reminded her we did 9 weeks with a 25 weeker. I knew it was her responsibility to inform me of my choices and make sure I knew about the possible outcomes. I totally understand that. But I wasn’t going into the pregnancy blind.
The more I thought about it, the more annoyed I got. I’d already buried three babies. Why would I intentionally take the life of another? I knew going into the pregnancy better than anyone that there’s no guarantee of a live baby. I didn’t do fertility drugs, there wasn’t six of them in there. I’ve never had preterm labor, my losses are from pre-e and HELLP and a cord issue. I knew carrying two increased my chances of pre-e and HELLP recurring, but that wasn’t enough to go through with the reduction. I knew I’d probably have the same complications with just one baby.
I didn’t feel like I was ignorant to what my chances if having a successful pregnancy were, and what possibilities could occur. I knew bedrest and a long NICU stay were very likely in our futures. I remember thinking that both babies were measuring right on, perfectly healthy. It’s not like one or the other had something wrong with him that would jeopardize the pregnancy. It’s MY body that ends up screwing up, not the babies.
Obviously I didn’t go through with the reduction. If I had, we now know that it would have been Dylan who was sacrificed. Kind of ironic, since he’s the healthy one, the twin without cancer. And I went to 33 weeks- further than I dared dream at the time. I only went to 35 with Lili and Mia. As I watch these two boys crawl all over each other, I can’t imagine life any other way.