At least once a week I get a message or email asking why and how I decided to transfer 2 embryos. I love answering these questions and helping others going through infertility/IVF. I decided to share this information publically in the hopes that it helps someone trying to decide whether to transfer 1 or 2 embryos because it is a very hard and big decision!
Most doctors will recommend transferring one embryo if they are good quality because it is safer for the mom and baby(s). Most of the doctors that I visited only wanted to transfer one in me. I actually decided not to go with a doctor who refused to transfer two embryos. My husband and I are the minority who always dreamed about being twin parents (crazy how things work out, huh?). We prayed both embryos would stick!
There are a lot of risks with transferring two embryos. I’m not a doctor, so this is just what I’ve experienced, heard about, or seen happen to others.
- Obviously, a high chance of multiples. Being a twin parent is hard work! So many people said to me before and during my pregnancy that twins aren’t only double the work, they are three times the work. I finally get what they mean! I was a baby sitter and a nanny for families for years with 3 or more kids and I have to say twins are so much harder than having 3+ kids at different ages. Twins are also double the cost, you really do need two of almost everything and the costs will hit you all at once instead of being spread out over a couple of years.
If you end up pregnant with twins there are additional risks you should know about. Thankfully I didn’t have most of these but my pregnancy was extremely hard even though I was a 28 year-old who couldn’t be healthier prior to pregnancy and my babies were healthy. Most doctors consider all twin-pregnancies high risk.
- Preterm labor. Most twins come early, average is 34-35 weeks. However, I’ve seen many twin moms deliver a lot earlier than this and some delivered so early that their babies didn’t make it. 😔 Thankfully, I was able to carry my twins 3 days short of full term for twins (37 weeks) but I was miserable towards the end.
- NICU- That being said about preterm labor, a high percentage of twins end up in the NICU. We told everyone but our parents to not plan to come visit us in the hospital immediately following birth because twins have such a high chance of being in the NICU and no one would be able to see them except for us and maybe our parents. Thankfully we got to avoid the NICU all together but that is rare!
- High Blood Pressure- I had this in my third trimester and it was really scary, this is also very common. I guess one of the babies was blocking blood flow and my blood pressure was really high. I had to watch it really closely and due to this they induced me early and put me on Magnesium through Labor because they were worried I’d have a seizure.
- Gestational Diabetes
- Swelling in your legs and feet: I am lucky to be a very small person with skinny legs but during the end of pregnancy, I wasn’t getting good flow to my legs and they swelled so big I kept calling them tree trunks and they hurt! I had to go to Triage so many times to get ultrasounds on my legs to make sure I didn’t have a clot. I never did, it was just swelling or water retention. Luckily, a few days after post-partum, I woke up and my legs were back to being skinny. 🙂
- Extreme morning sickness: Just go ahead and get a prescription for Diclegis, you’re most likely going to need it. This was rough for me!
- Acid reflux: This is common in a lot of pregnancies but especially common in twin pregnancies. Mine was so bad that I had to sleep sitting up and I often puked on myself in the middle of the night (lovely, I know. Just trying to keep it real).
- Diastasis Recti- This is something I wish I had been warned about. I had no idea this was even a thing until I was diagnosed. I blogged about this here. While thankfully, mine can be mostly controlled with exercise, I will forever have it unless I have cosmetic surgery (not something I will do).
- C-section: As much as 80% of multiple pregnancies end in C-section. I know this isn’t too important to most people, most just want healthy babies delivered safely but some this might be a deal breaker. A C-section is a major surgery and recovery is often tough.
- Something you should also be aware of is you will have 2-5x the amount of appointments that singleton pregnancies have. This is very time consuming but you do get a million ultrasounds which it’s always fun to see your babies. 🙂
Again, we decided to transfer two because we wanted twins! After everything we went through, transferring two embryos increased our chances of bringing home a baby by 10-20%. The idea of bringing home and possibly completing our family with one transfer sounded AMAZING! I obviously do not regret transferring two embryos because it gave me my two miracles!! That being said, I will never not share how hard my pregnancy was. I can’t even count how many times the doctors and nurses said to me, “You are only experiencing this because you’re carrying two babies, this rarely happens with a singleton pregnancy.” That being said, I was back to feeling myself and back to my normal weight within two weeks post-partum, the body does amazing things!
If you’re struggling with infertility, I’m sending lots of prayers and baby dust your way.
If you’re a twin mom, sending you the biggest hug! You’re a rockstar!
I really enjoyed reading this post as I just completed certification on a lesson dealing with the limits to the number of embryos to transfer. The risk are so great which is why I believe the majority of doctors do not promote it. I am glad that you spoke to the risk associated with transfering more than one as well as you and your husbands thoughts/dreams. I am so happy that everything worked out as visioned. May God continue to bless you and your family.
I just saw this today for some reason! Thank you so much for your sweet message!