Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Decision

When we first found out that there were five babies, the doctor immediately began talking to us about selectively reducing the fetuses. He strongly recommended reducing to two, and he referred me to a doctor in Houston who is skilled at performing reductions. The doctor felt that it was the only way to give some of the babies a chance for a decent life.

The “reduction doctor” in Houston gave me all kinds of statistics for the survival rates of multiple pregnancies. The outlook for quintuplets was not good. Because there are so few quintuplet births, there isn’t very good data on the mortality(whether or not they live) and morbidity (whether or not they have disabilities) of the babies. For quads, there is only a 50% chance that the pregnancy survives to 24 weeks. It is less than that for quints. Twenty-four weeks is about the earliest a baby can be born and still have some chance for survival. If the pregnancy survives past 24 weeks, the average delivery for quints is about 28 weeks. This means that about half of the babies will be born before 28 weeks. Babies who are born between 24-26 weeks, have only a 65% chance of survival. Of the 65% that survive, only 40% will be intact, meaning that they will not have long-term disabilities. The doctors all assured me that the happy smiling quints that you see on TV are very much exceptions to the rule.


Over the next three weeks, we talked to several doctors, other mothers of multiples, and church leaders. Nearly all of the medical professionals strongly recommended reduction. We also spent a lot of time praying that we would make the right decision. This was a very emotional time for us. Then one Sunday, nearly three weeks after hearing the news, a feeling that is hard to describe came over me and at that moment, I knew that these five babies did not come to me by accident. I knew that God had sent them to me for a reason and that he wants me to do all I can to bring them into this world. I felt it so strongly, that I could not deny that this was the answer that I had been searching for. I felt such a sense of peace come over me. It felt as though a boulder had been lifted off my shoulders. There was no more of the doubt and dismay that I had previously felt.

Since that day, I have felt so much peace and confidence in the decision we made. I know that the road ahead is going to be incredibly challenging, but I feel comforted knowing that we are doing the right thing.
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15 comments:

Joy said...

no... they didn't come to you by accident... they came to you via medical intervention. not divine intervention.

Princess Ang-hamin said...

woah, harsh comment from joy! i have no doubt that any medical miracle is divine intervention. it is not by chance that God provided this family with 5 babies at a time...

the statistics are clear.

betty taylor said...

i believe it is DIVINITY which has allowed the creation of doctors/researchers who develop these amazing medical advances. CONGRATULATIONS to you on your five blessings! regardless of exactly how things happened, these babies are gifts from God and in His plan for you and for them, it was known all along! :)

Michelle said...

Rachelle--Your entry on how you decided to not reduce your pregnancy is touching. It must have been such a difficult and heart-wrenching decision process, which no one but you and your husband can imagine. I am so happy that everything turned out and that you and all of your babies are well! Congratulations and best of luck to you all!!

C'est La Vie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Johane said...

Girl God has blessed you with five beauitful babies. No matter what anyone says, God allowed us to have doctors to treat and take care of us.

Be blessed! And may God Bless you and your family.

Me said...

Uh... I'm pretty sure that EMD Serono had more to do with your 5 babies than god did...

Anonymous said...

"I knew that these five babies did not come to me by accident. I knew that God had sent them to me for a reason and that he wants me to do all I can to bring them into this world."

You must be american...like Joy said they didn't come to you by accident because it was a medical intervention, its not divine in anyway. Seriously if you where that religious then you wouldn't have seen a fertility specialist to begin with surely? doesn't religion suggest that fertility is wrong?

How you could sit there and write that with those two things contradicting.... it's just bazar really. I'm guessing it was fate that made you go to McDonald's as well or was it just the fact that the time and space rift guided you there? or maybe it was both since your mixing both science and religion together.

Its totally astonishing to think that someone who already has two children and wants a third should be allowed to get fertility treatment anyway, only in america would they let you do that, when there are so many other people who would jump at the chance of having a single child. I personally think you need to look at the way how you see it as the work of God and look more at the fact that you received something which you shouldn't have got? And like a typical american you saw an opportunity and took it...

Monique said...

Hey, to Annonymus who wrote on "August 1, 2009 4:24 PM",

If you think that being on la religion means to follow rules, you're so wrong. Being religious and/or believeng in god is as free as all of we should be. Your speech about "contradiction" is as stupid as you.

I don't believe in any religion, but i'm pretty sure that there is a huge force above that makes things happen. We are not alone in here. Someone is giving us our experience and is taking care of us too.

Anonymous said...

i'm actually surprised that you had to think about it being a mormon and all. that is disappointing.

Brooke said...

@Anonymous from Oct. 11
I'm confused as to why you're disappointed. The following quote was taken directly from the church website: "Church leaders have said that some exceptional circumstances may justify an abortion, such as when pregnancy is the result of incest or rape, when the life or health of the mother is judged by competent medical authority to be in serious jeopardy, or when the fetus is known by competent medical authority to have severe defects that will not allow the baby to survive beyond birth. But even these circumstances do not automatically justify an abortion. Those who face such circumstances should consider abortion only after consulting with their local Church leaders and receiving a confirmation through earnest prayer."
If the life and health of the mother is in jeopardy, it is SOMETIMES justified. I'm fairly certain that I'd have to think and pray really hard about it too.

Kelly said...

Rachel, what a touching explanation about your decision. I love how we can receive answers to our prayers and that you had the faith to rely on that inspiration. What a joy those five lives have been to not only you, but to so many of us who have had the privilege to meet them and enjoy their sweet spirits.

Kelly said...

I read the other comments after posting mine and am surprised at how negative and critical some people are. Why would someone bother taking the time to put such rudeness on someone's personal family blog if they don't agree? It gives me even more appreciation for you, Rachel, for all the criticism you've had to endure and listen to. It's a good thing you know who you are and where you come from.

Anonymous said...

Fertility specialists help overcome barriers to fertility, but ultimately it is GOD who gives life. You can have fertility treatments indefinitely and still not become pregnant if its not Gods will at that time. And every pregnancy no matter how long or short, has a purpose. This is truth. Judge not.

Lauren E. said...

I was just watching your show on TLC and was brought to tears when your husband said something along the lines of "If were were to listen to the doctors, I couldn't imagine meeting one of those babies in heaven and having them ask me, 'why didn't you give me a chance.'" What a beautiful testament! God bless you, your husband, and your beautiful children and thank you for taking a stand on something so important ... the right to life!