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Octuplets Breed Hope

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Guest blogger Elizabeth Kelly: Why would a woman with six kids take enough fertility drugs to give her eight more? I don't know. But eight is enough ... to give me hope for my own chances of having a baby with IVF! I did the procedure last week and have just a few more days to wait until I find out if it worked. As the date for my pregnancy test gets closer, I've been feeling nervous -- IVF is a tremendous emotional, physical and financial commitment. But I figure if this woman can get pregnant with eight children, having just one should be easy!

woman crying

This is my second attempt at IVF, after one round of fertility drugs and three artificial inseminations. My doctor carefully monitored the number of eggs maturing as a result of the fertility shots he prescribed. He recommended transferring four embryos, but I asked if we could try for five, and he agreed. At my age (39), the chance of twins with a transfer of five embryos is still only 9%, and the chance of triplets, quadruplets or quintuplets is 1.3% combined. Yet with that one additional embryo, the overall chance of pregnancy rises 12%.

At this point, I want to maximize my chances. Of course, I know there's a risk involved that I'll have a multiple pregnancy. Honestly, if I ended up with twins, I would be ecstatic, since I would love to never have to go through all this again. But if it's triplets or more, the doctor would recommend selective reduction (which I know is a nice way of putting it) to protect the health of the remaining two children and myself, and that's what I'd do. I can't imagine finding out I'm carrying seven children (I guess even the mom didn't know there was an eighth until she actually gave birth!) and just going forward with it. But then again, I can't imagine getting into that situation in the first place.

I suspect that rather than seeing a fertility specialist for IVF, the octuplets' mom may have just been prescribed fertility drugs by her ob/gyn for a timed intercourse cycle (where you have sex on a particular day after releasing multiple eggs) or artificial insemination (think turkey baster). It's possible that her doctor didn't closely monitor her egg follicle growth, so she may not have even known what she was getting into. Or she may have been warned that too many follicles matured that month and that her cycle was being canceled, but she went ahead and had sex anyway. I don't know, but I'm glad I'm not the one having eight kids. Still, the fact that someone just did gives me hope about the chances of my test coming up positive at last.

next: Why Does a Dad Kill His Family?
25 comments so far | Post a comment now
R January 31, 2009, 8:56 AM

Please, please don’t do the selective reduction if you become pregnant with multiples. (Hah! Talk about a cruel aphorism). I had a triplet pregnancy, a selective reduction, and an extremely pre-mature delivery—25 weeks. (1#14 oz, 14 oz) The tinier baby lived a week. I wish to this day that I’d had the triplets. I would have had 2 precious children instead of 1, and no sorrow, or regret over murdering one of my babies.

R January 31, 2009, 8:57 AM

Oh, and one more thought. Selective reductions are not done until 12 weeks gestation. By that time, the baby is completely formed, fingers, toes, eyes, central nervous system. Look at the pictures. It will break your heart.

ash January 31, 2009, 9:20 AM

please save your opinions on selective reduction for yourself. she didn’t come here asking what you thought. she came here to give a positive insight to a story that is causing nothing but negative uproar.
If her doctor recommends it because it ENDANGERS her life, then I think it is necessary and not MURDER.

Wakeupcall January 31, 2009, 10:32 AM

R- Stop beating yourself up about a decision you made - the best one you could have made based upon the information you had at the time. If you could only carry 2 babies for 25 weeks, chances are you would not have carried 3 for the amount of time needed for ANY of them to have lived.

Kelly January 31, 2009, 11:17 AM

Hope? Really? The Duke Fertility clinic flushed my embryos prior to implantation when my insurance failed to pay them what they wanted. I have never filed bankruptcy (this woman did). I have never had any debt (this woman had over $900,000 according to her bankruptcy papers). I have never had any children and likely never will due to the way this country gives money to some people and just takes it away from others (this woman already had 6 children before the next 8). Hope? Really?

2homebirths January 31, 2009, 11:37 AM

Ms Kelly,
Best Wishes for your upcoming positive result! As a woman who never struggled with infertility, I couldn’t possibly understand how hard it’s been for you. However, I find it difficult to believe that others would think it acceptable to give medical advice or pass judgement on your choices. You’ve gotten this far using your own intuition, decision-making skills, & faith. Those are the same attributes that will enable you to be a wonderful mother. Keep your head up and the lines of communication open between you, your care providers, and support team. Often times, we plan so much for the pregnancy that we tend to overlook the two decades of parenting ahead us. (A well-informed support team comes in handy after the big birth day.) Good luck!

Justin January 31, 2009, 11:49 AM

We need to put an end to the mormon faith, that’s what’s bringing these people to produce multiples like this.

mv January 31, 2009, 12:45 PM

how much does this cost? IVI? or IUI?

SesshoumarusGirl January 31, 2009, 1:46 PM

Good luck on your journey to motherhood. I wish you the best and much happiness.

While I’m glad the “CA 8” are healthy (for now) I hardly see that situation as one of “hope” …I see it as a sad abuse of medical technology.

I’ve had three losses in the past 18 months, and have yet to concieve. So forgive me if I’m not all warm and fuzzy about a single mother who already had six kids, and decides to have MORE via IVF

vonrock January 31, 2009, 5:21 PM

If you can’t feed em, Don’t breed em. and for abortion, as rough as your life has been, and as bad a life your mom and maybe father my have had, aren’t you glad they didn’t kill ya. there are more than thousands of children that need the love of someone. it’s to bad people think selfishness is part of Loving ..
momlogic ? ? ? your kidding right ?

crabman January 31, 2009, 5:44 PM

are they going to have a show like john and kate plus eight

A January 31, 2009, 6:35 PM

This story gives you hope? I don’t get it - you’re a lot older than the mom of the litter, and you’d abort anything more than 2. Not seeing the connection.

lynn February 1, 2009, 9:00 AM

i read an article where someone close to her had told a reporter that she was getting paid for her ivf’s!!! where did she find such a benevolent benifactor?????

my husband & I have tried fertility treatments twice in our 14.5 years of marriage. We were told that my polycystic ovarian syndrome (inherited from my mom. I was over due…just don’t know by how long….9.5 lbs) leaves ivf as our only option….insurance won’t pay!!!

Anonymous February 1, 2009, 9:09 AM

how is it anyones business how many kids this woman chooses to have ?

Susan February 1, 2009, 10:53 AM

Well, “Anonymous,” since the woman is unemployed and her family declared bankruptcy a year ago, it is likely that WE, the American taxpayers, will end up paying for all of these children. THAT is why it is our business!

patti February 1, 2009, 1:25 PM

The young lady is self-centered and very irresponsible and Not one dime of the taxpayers money should go to her and her family. If she has chosen to do this then it is HER responsibility. But she is very selfish because she hasn’t thought one second about the babies and their lives!!!!! People like this will destroy America - which I believe is their goal!!!!!

Nancy February 1, 2009, 9:47 PM

How did this woman pay for IVF? I know it’s expensive, and she is broke.

sherron teal February 1, 2009, 10:49 PM

What kind of a future do these children have? This woman clearly is not in her right mind, and now she has fourteen children with no father, has declared bankruptcy and is living with her mother! Someone at this fertility clinic should have put a stop to this ridiculous nonsense, now everyone of these children will end up suffering along with society!

Rita February 14, 2009, 4:47 PM

I am a single mom of two children ages five and nine years old and somtimes it can be so overwhelming. There is absolutely NO WAY that one woman can take of 14 children. I’m outraged as this is the biggest case of child abuse,child neglect, and child endangerment and it’s being played out straight in the public eye and the mother then needs pulic assistence to care for these poor babies that did not ask to be here. I think that the courts should step and take some of these kids!

Vfcvjlmo June 30, 2009, 12:38 PM

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