How I Decided to Transfer Two Embryos During IVF
By Kristyn Hodgdon, Founder, The Fertility Tribe
I should preface this by saying, patience is not one of my virtues. I have become increasingly more patient after going through infertility, weeks of bed rest, and multiple hospital stays, but my natural instinct is to be incredibly impatient and at times, impulsive.
That being said, after multiple failed IUIs the choice between transferring one vs. two embryos was simple. I wanted to do whatever was going to get me pregnant the fastest. To my husband and my doctors, it wasn’t such a straightforward decision. My husband was scared of the idea of twins, and being a much more patient person than me he didn’t want to jump the gun by transferring two embryos on our very first frozen embryo transfer. My doctor was also hesitant to allow me to transfer two embryos. Her argument was that I was young (28 at the time) and that I had multiple frozen embryos remaining. She also really stressed the fact that a twin pregnancy would be high-risk.
At the time, I honestly laughed off the whole “high risk” pregnancy thing. I told myself I was young, in shape, and “people have twins all the time!,” so I’d be able to carry twins without a problem. Boy, was I wrong, but more on that later. I also really loved the idea of having two babies at once after everything I had been through to get to this point, but ultimately my husband and doctor talked me out of it.
So for my first frozen embryo transfer we only transferred one embryo, and it never sat well with me. From the get-go, I felt like we made the wrong decision. My instinct told me that I was supposed to transfer two embryos, and I felt like I had gone against my gut. I told both my husband and my doctor that I was uneasy about it and made them promise me that if this transfer failed, we would transfer two the next time. They both agreed, and sure enough my first transfer failed. I was devastated, but for some reason I was able to get past it quickly because I knew in my heart I was meant to transfer two embryos. Don’t ask me how I knew it, but I just did. So the next time we transferred two, and you know how the rest of the story goes.
When I found out we were having twins I wasn’t in the least bit surprised. Something told me that this was meant to be, and I wasn’t at all scared for the pregnancy despite my doctor’s warnings. But as you know, my pregnancy was far from easy. I had severe morning sickness from the get-go, and then at 26 weeks and 6 days I went into pre-term labor and landed in the hospital for the first time.
All in all, I ended up being on bed rest for 7 weeks, with 25 total nights spent in the hospital. There were days during my first hospital stay where I was so terrified that my babies were going to be born early that I wasn’t entirely sure they would be okay. It was three months of uncertainty, fear, boredom, sadness, happiness, basically, all of the emotions rolled up into one. I ended up not giving birth until 37 weeks and my babies thankfully avoided NICU time, but things could have turned out way differently.
So many of you have asked me about whether I would recommend transferring one vs. two embryos. I don’t share my story to scare you, and I don’t know your individual circumstances, but my advice would be to talk to your doctor and your partner and then think long and hard about your decision.
Yes, it’s amazing to have two babies at once, and I truly believe I was meant to have twins and go through everything I did to bring them into this world, but I would advise you not to transfer two embryos just because you’re impatient. Really think about how twins and a possible high-risk pregnancy will fit into your life, and then whatever you decide don’t look back!
Que sera sera- what’s meant to be will be!