A commenter on a previous post asks questions. We've never had quints or sextuplets in our NICU, but I have talked to moms of quads who were offered the choice and opted not to reduce.
I, too, am an NICU RN. I don't understand, but I am open to listening, to those--docs, fertility specialists, OR parents--who think that having 6 babies at one time is a good idea.
The mom of the 30-weekers was in trouble after the birth because she had such a large increase in blood volume to support that pregnancy . . . The kids, even at 30 weeks, are still at risk for developmental delays, learning disabilities, and more.
What would entice someone to take such risks? Please enlighten me.
I don't believe that ANYONE thinks having 6 babies at once is a good idea. People want one baby, maybe two. They find that the less risky forms of intervention either don't work (clomid), are out of their price range (IVF), or violate religious precepts (IVF and/or IUI). They opt for one of the follicle stimulating drugs, perhaps with intrauterine insemination, and find that they are pregnant with way more babies than they'd planned for.
If they choose not to selectively reduce, they may lose all the babies -- or the babies may have multiple challenges as a result of prematurity. If they choose to selectively reduce, they may lose all the babies (miscarriage is one of the risks) or the babies may be born very premature as a complication of the selective reduction. Odds of carrying to term do increase with reduction, but there are no guarantees. Either choice is perilous and heart-wrenching.
There is also the religious objection to selective reduction. If you believe, as I do, that life begins at conception, then choosing to reduce may not be an option. I couldn't do it and neither could the moms of quads with whom I've spoken. Some people do make this choice, in spite of their religious beliefs, because they fear that all the babies will die if they do not.
The reason you hear so much about "miracle pregnancies" and "gifts from God" is that the people who decide to reduce almost always decide to maintain their privacy. I understand that choice - although if they were willing to share their experiences, anonymously or otherwise, it might help people to realize just how big a problem there is with the current state of infertility treatment. Women shouldn't have to make the sorts of choices presented by a higher order pregnancy.
Those who choose not to reduce for religious reasons cannot spend their days worrying. They have to hope that their babies will survive -- and possibly thrive. They must rely on their faith to get them through a very challenging experience.
If anyone would like to share their experiences anonymously, they can email me at tiggersdontjump at gmail dot com. Tell me how much or little you would like shared. I am willing to post a composite or actual experiences.