You know, I had never heard of selective reduction until my Intended Parents and I started talking about contract issues. I did understand the basic facts of carrying more then twins. That it would be difficult on me as the surrogate mother and on the parents who would be raising them and lastly, on the babies themselves...potential health issues that could make life a challenge for one or all. But the choices: How many embryos to transfer, how many to carry....and the reduction medical procedure, IF needed...how is that done and when in the pregnancy and what happens to the ones (embryos) who are left behind? I really wasn't thinking....
My first surrogacy pregnancy started out as a 3 embryo transfer and the first ultrasound showed 3 sacs....2 had heartbeats and 1 was smaller. The Dr was unsure if it was a viable developing fetus . What did that mean? It meant that we needed to have another ultrasound a week later and I had the pleasure of the first SERIOUS selective reduction "talk". (The one I should have taken seriously before the contract was signed!) When my IP's and I left the Dr's office and finally all the possibilities sank into our brains, we revisited what we had agreed on in our contract. At that time I actually had said "Sure, I'm fine with selective reduction." and signed the agreement. Never did I think that we would actually be faced with that decision. My IP's did NOT want triplets. My IM would have reduced down to a singleton if she had the chance. Truly they were not mentally or emotionally prepared for a litter of babies. (And they made that very clear from the start to me and anyone else who would listen.) I knew that I would go through with it because I had agreed....however, I was scared and honestly, because I hadn't researched what exactly a selective reduction entailed, I was uneducated and uninformed. Thankfully, when I returned for my next ultrasound, the 2 sacs with the heartbeats were growing and strong and the 3rd one hadn't changed...no growth...no heartbeat...and a unlikely candidate for a third fetus.
This taught me a valuable lesson that I passed along to others as I helped them through the matching and surrogate pregnancy process. It is essential that you are educated, informed and you are mentally and emotionally ready and willing to go through with any decision stated in the contract before you agree verbally and with your signature. Research anything that you don't quite understand....question your attorney, ask your partner what they think, talk with your RE and make sure you are 'ok' with every aspect...all the possibilities. Just be prepared......because you never know what might happen.
If you are interested in learning about Selective Reduction you can click here: