Re: Ask the Mineshaft: Reproductive Panic Edition

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It might be useful to separate out the two issues (twins, asshole doctor) completely when making decisions. Unlike triplets, which are almost always the result of medical intervention, surprise twins are a relatively common phenomena and it might be useful to think through "If we had surprise twins in a way that didn't involve an asshole doctor would we reduce?"


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 03-17-13 4:20 PM
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Real quick context: I have never wanted more than one kid due to past sibling abuse and financial concerns.


Posted by: Sally Hemings | Link to this comment | 03-17-13 4:23 PM
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And likewise, "If we'd just gotten pregnant without medical assistance, would we sue the doctor?"


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-17-13 4:24 PM
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(I do actually think 1 is a good question.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-17-13 4:25 PM
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The thing is, infertility makes this very different, emotionally. We can't have surprise twins. We can't have surprise anything. (To the point that I can't even imagine getting pregnant accidentally.) So the knowledge that a doctor ignored or did not listen to our explicit instructions and implanted more than one feels like I'm walking around with the kid of someone I don't like very much and didn't expect to be pregnant by, even though biologically it's the kid of someone I like very much indeed.


Posted by: Sally Hemings | Link to this comment | 03-17-13 4:33 PM
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Well, just to be technical, you could have still had surprise twins. A single embryo can be implanted, and then split post-implantation, no?

(I'm not at all saying that's what happened here.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-17-13 4:35 PM
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I believe Lizardbreath when she says that a lawsuit isn't a prudent option. Still, your doctor did you wrong and he or she is an asshole. Maybe this goes without saying, but you should change doctors.

I hope the bad news doesn't outweigh the good and that you and your family live happily ever after.


Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 03-17-13 4:36 PM
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I'd separate the legal question from the ethical one and recommend you make complaints with any organization through which others might get IVF referrals to the doctor. Even selective reduction doesn't undo the mistake or "mistake" the doctor made, but I know if I were in your shoes I'd find it satisfying you make it less likely the same thing would happen to anyone else.

I'm not raising twins,regardless of what every person who talks to us when we're out in the world thinks, but having two kids close in age is many ways cheaper than having two with a bigger age gap. Babys R Us, which I've only shopped at once when Val and Alex moved in and we needed more car seats, does a significant "twin" discount they let me take, and the same is often true for sign-up fees for activities. I know you're in a much more expensive locale (IIRC) and looking at two versus one rather than two versus a different kind of two is, um, different.

At the age my girls are at now (5 and 6) having two is a life-changer in a positive way because they keep each other company and hugely decrease the amount of time I have to spend in direct supervision. That's not anything you can count on, but it's been wonderful for us in many ways.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 03-17-13 4:39 PM
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It sounds like the lawsuit would at best be difficult since the doctor has a form with your signature that says to implant 2.
On the reduction, is one still considerably less healthy?Last update was no heartbeat which I'm guessing has resolved itself. If so I would consider it since there might be a low chance of survival of the less healthy one and it would also endanger the other. Presumably going through all this to end up with 0 babies would be very traumatic.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03-17-13 4:40 PM
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In case it wasn't clear, I'm not assuming the answer to the question in 1 is obviously no, and 2 indicates it might very well be yes. But I just thought thinking about it that way might lessen the power of the asshole doctor over your life and your decisions.

4: Speaking from ignorance, I'd have thought that even with IVF with one embryo you would still have a chance of identical twins at the usual rate (3/1000).


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 03-17-13 4:41 PM
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Sorry, pwned.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 03-17-13 4:43 PM
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One tactic to deal with the selective abortion question: make an appointment with a provider, and over the course of the week leading up, monitor your gut response. Relief? Sense of regaining control? Or sadness, and sense that it's a mistake?

I'm picturing basically the strategy where you flip a coin, and then check your gut response to the outcome of the coin flip as a way to get insight into your deepest preference.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 03-17-13 4:44 PM
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I don't know why it feels emotionally different to accept that identical twins from one embryo could have been a possibility, as opposed to implanting two after we specifically requested one and both taking. But it does.

(Second embryo/fetus/baby does now have a heartbeat but is measuring 10 days behind the other one.)


Posted by: Sally Hemings | Link to this comment | 03-17-13 4:45 PM
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10 days behind is a lot. Has the new doctor given you any survival rates on the lagging one?


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 03-17-13 4:49 PM
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Don't know yet. We're having a crazy super fancy ultrasound in the next couple of days.


Posted by: Sally Hemings | Link to this comment | 03-17-13 4:51 PM
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6 is what I was thinking as well. Can a doc weigh in?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 03-17-13 4:54 PM
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15 sounds good, since I'd guess you're going to have to make the decision based on data at least as much as emotions. Is there a preferred timeline for selective reuction? How soon do you have to sort all of this out?

And to 13, especially as someone building a family in the non-traditional way, I'm a big fan of just accepting how you feel regardless of why you feel that way. I hope this doesn't sound patronizing, but you don't have to be able to justify feeling hurt and violated because your plans were disregarded since that's already a perfectly good reason to feel the way you do. But there will also be a lot of situations where how you feel doesn't or doesn't need to have much bearing on the decisions you have to make, and I think it works better if you can tease them out as much as possible. Again, not meaning to make any assumptions about you.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 03-17-13 5:02 PM
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1) I'd be furious. I'd also find a new doctor.
2) Things I'd be asking myself (which I'm sure you are, but I offer it anyway):
a) how risky will the pregnancy be with twins vs. a singleton for me, given my medical history/profile?
b) if I decide to reduce, how risky is that for the surviving twin?
c) if I don't decide to reduce, how risky is that for both of them?
d) how would I feel if I'd conceived twins due to some method other than doctor malpractice? (worth thinking through, if only to figure out your own preferences.)
e) how will I feel if I decide to reduce and I end up with no baby? how will I feel if I decide not to reduce and end up with no baby? (similar reasoning to d.)

I'm really sorry this happened to you, not just because it's a hard decision, but because it's robbing you of a lot of joy at what should be a very joyful time.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03-17-13 5:03 PM
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Though since I'm butting in, it could help if you have a trusted professional who can help you work through how your own upbringing is coloring your view of parenting. I am one who stays haunted by shadow children and some of your comments have made me think you might be the type too. Know yourself and, if possible, have someone else who knows you well and isn't your partner who can help you get through this. (And that's advice I routinely avoid.)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 03-17-13 5:04 PM
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8.1: Yes, this is either better than or at least a good addition to writing a scary lawyer letter. Serves the purpose of making the doctor aware of the severity of his mistake, without eating your life.

15: This sounds like it might provide the sort of information that will settle it -- I obviously don't know, but if the answer is that the second embryo probably won't make it, then selective reduction makes much more sense. (I'd think. Depending on what your new doctor says.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-17-13 5:20 PM
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I would suggest at least talking to a competent malpractice attorney, who can tell you whether you have a case and what the damages might be (expected cost of raising two children v one, for example). Obviously, don't pay for the lawyer out of pocket -- either you have a good contingency case or no case at all. Also, equally obviously, don't expect "justice" or to make the doctor "pay" for what he did or to get psychological redemption -- but you mentioned financial concerns above, and it might be a reasonably decent way to get a fair amount of money that you need out of the situation. Litigation isn't fun but isn't that horrible as a plaintiff in a med-mal case; your lawyer should be able to take care of most everything, you'd have to put up with a fairly unpleasant deposition and possibly trial, but if you view it as more or less a business proposition being handled by others, it's not that bad (though, again, pay absolutely nothing out of pocket).


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-17-13 5:32 PM
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Fair enough. For me, I still wouldn't do it, but with Halford's warning to pay absolutely nothing out of pocket, and not to get overly emotionally involved in a case, I suppose you couldn't do yourself too much harm.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-17-13 5:45 PM
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OT: I also find myself faced with a decision about whether to start a medical malpractice suit against a doctor who performed surgery on me a year ago. The surgery was for an ovarian cyst. All of my pre-op imaging tests said it wasn't the kind of cyst that would go away on its own so under the knife I went. I was certainly a surprised to wake up and hear the doctor say that they cyst was gone, he was perplexed, but it must have resolved on its own.

Fast forward a year and I'm still in pain so my primary care doctor sends me for another ultrasound and there's the cyst, same one, same spot, surgeon even admits it's the same cyst. So now I'm facing another surgery for the same cyst on top of a full year of additional, pretty intense pain. Because the surgeon just didn't look hard enough? I don't even understand how it's possible.

I don't know what makes for a legitimate medical malpractice suit though and I don't know if my personal case is one where it is worth to pursue action. I'm just damned pissed off.


Posted by: Mary Todd | Link to this comment | 03-17-13 5:45 PM
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A unnecessary year of pain and an extra surgery sounds awful. I'm sorry about that. (No idea about whether there was incompetence or malpractice, though.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-17-13 5:48 PM
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Having a kid was a crazy stupid decision for me (I guarantee much more crazy stupid than it could be for you), but eighteen years later I'm a hundred percent pleased with my decision. Also a lot poorer than I would have been and with a life that turned out way differently than I might have expected. I'm sure an outside observer could say that I'd made the wrong choice (career-wise, seriously, WRONG choice) but I truly have no regrets. That being so, I'd say go for it, have kid number two.

But I think the reason I say that is at least in part because of your 5. When I was pregnant I was very definitely having the kid of someone I didn't like very much, didn't expect to be pregnant by, and was really, really, really angry at. But when the kid in question was born none of that mattered a bit, nor has it ever mattered since. I resented that little zygote quite a bit but once he turned into a person, he became quite, quite charming.


Posted by: Sarah Wynde | Link to this comment | 03-17-13 6:12 PM
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I spend a lot of time talking people out of lawsuits. The legal system is a pretty blunt instrument, and while in some circumstances it's fine, in many it's a bad idea.

In Mary Todd's position, I'd engage a lawyer, and get a demand letter out. The screw up is pretty straight forward -- it's hard to imagine that the operation that misses the cyst meets the standard of care.

The twin situation is more complicated. Unlike Mary Todd's case, I think it might be hard to stay distant from this. It sounds like some (a substantial part) of your injury is emotional, rather than economic -- there is economic injury, yes, but it's not the motivating factor, is it? -- and that means that the opponent will make every effort to probe your emotional state past and present. This might get pretty intrusive. There also might be an argument that implanting two is the standard of care. In any event, there's no real need to make that decision now, so far as I can see. You can deal with the situation as best you can, and see how you feel about after a year (assuming there isn't some sort of shortened time for suit in your jurisdiction -- you should be able to get that sort of info in a free consultation, though, and without getting entangled in something when you have more important stuff to do.)


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-17-13 6:20 PM
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I'd like to second Halford on the lawyer -- this doctor ignored your wishes in a way that will cost you a lot of money, and even if you don't want to go down a contingency road, you might find someone who will write a threatening enough letter to get you a refund -- and I'd like to second Thorn on the shrink.

feels like I'm walking around with the kid of someone I don't like very much in the context of past sibling abuse is a good suggestion that you would benefit by processing these feelings with someone besides your partner.

There's no obvious right answer to your dilemma, but it sounds to me like given what's happened to you both in the distant and recent past, you stand to gain a lot more peace about this decision than you could possibly have right now.

(And it can't hurt to say again that the lawyer is as little likely to win you the peace as the shrink is the cash.)


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 03-17-13 6:40 PM
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6: A friend asked that only two embryos be implanted because she did not want to have to deal with selective reduction. One of them split, and she gave birth to triplets, two of them identical.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 03-17-13 6:42 PM
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The shrink already exists for, you know, reasons, but has not yet been consulted about this. On my list.


Posted by: Sally Hemings | Link to this comment | 03-17-13 6:57 PM
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Personally, and with the caveat that this is a situation I've never been in and, in many of its particulars, will never be in, I would think you should reduce. This pregnancy is happening with the assistance of medical intervention, and selective reduction is, in some ways, a continuation of that medical intervention. That a doctor along the way did a poor job shouldn't prevent you from getting the care that you wanted; if it's possible to see it with that valence, I'd think that would be good.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-17-13 7:01 PM
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I don't know why it feels emotionally different to accept that identical twins from one embryo could have been a possibility, as opposed to implanting two after we specifically requested one and both taking. But it does.

While I've never done any sort of IVF and so can't claim any understanding from experience, this makes complete intuitive sense to me.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 03-17-13 7:03 PM
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Also agreeing with Halford. An experienced malpratice lawyer in your jurisdiction can give you a better idea than any of us about what you can expect -- in terms of basic process as well as likelihood and extent of success. The beauty of the contingent fee is that the lawyer has compelling incentive to give you a realistic assessment.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-17-13 7:31 PM
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Delurking as a parent of twins, also through IVF. We also strongly wanted a singleton pregnancy and ended up pregnant with twins. I can't speak to reduce or not, and with one measuring 10 days behind it might be moot in the end (10 days is a lot). But I can speak to dealing with twins when you only ever wanted one child.

A twin pregnancy is more difficulty and risky, but the outcomes tend to be pretty decent, statistically. Much better than triplets. I will say that if you decide to keep the twins you have to go through a mourning process where you let go of the image you had of having and caring for one baby.

All that said, my twins are five now and it's super awesome. I am incredibly glad we have both of them. There are a lot of wonderful things about twins that go beyond the typical sibling relationship. The first year is rough, but then it gets so much better and once you pass the tipping point of 3 years or so, I think twins is easier than having two different-aged children.


Posted by: albe | Link to this comment | 03-17-13 9:22 PM
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Re 5: I know of two people who tried for a long time, assumed they could never get pregnant naturally, had an IVF (or two), and then later *did* get pregnant naturally. One of the couples had been trying for seven years before their IVF. So don't assume that you won't need birth control after this.


Posted by: Molly | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 5:42 AM
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this is really tough and I'm so sorry you doctor put you through this. I can't put myself in your place, but I agree with the suggestions upthread about trying to separate "horrible doctor has done a rape-like thing to my personal bodily integrity" from "I am pregnant with twins holy fucking fuck OMG twins what the fuck!?" because the latter might be OK even though the former can never be. I am no medical expert, but I would be so afraid that selective reduction would cause the loss of both fetuses.

you are a first time mom; I know many people find it super-irritating to be told how much everything will change when you look into their gooby little shining eyes, trailing clouds of glory, etc. I was expecting that, and I got exactly that, but many women don't feel that way. but they are trailing clouds of glory for real! but I also suffered from post-partum depression even having lots of help; waking up twice as often might have destroyed my sanity. as an imaginary friend on the internet who presumptuously tells you what to do, I say KEEP ALL THE BAYBEEZ. perhaps the problem will resolve itself. certainly sibling abuse should mean you must have an only child. it doesn't mean you must have more than one child either, but I don't think it should be allowed to still have so much powe over you. I am wishing you all the best.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 6:01 AM
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That happened to both of my mom's siblings: tried for a long time, decided to adopt. When each one adopted their eldest, they then unexpectedly got pregnant within a month or two, and so they each have two kids about a year apart in age.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 6:03 AM
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36: that happened to my aunt and uncle. I think it was always a little weird for the eldest, but I haven't talked to her about it in person.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 6:07 AM
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Adopted kids are apparently a great aphrodisiac.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 6:42 AM
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38: Life would be so much simpler if the main reason for involuntary infertility were not fucking enough.

More likely something about being around babies activates the babymaking machinery. So those considering IVF should also consider just hanging out wiith a baby for a while.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 6:52 AM
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We went through IVF and the chance of selective reduction not being that selective and reducing the count of foetuses to zero always freaked me the heck out. Did not come to a decision point but the odds weren't that great given the reproductive hoops we had already jumped through. Plus, you know, loss what we were hoping for more of.

So I like the separate courses of action advice, anyway.


Posted by: Asif Ali Zardari or something | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 7:55 AM
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We will rent you a reproduction-inducing baby for a low fee. Or a reproduction-inhibiting 3 year old if that's your preference.
"being around babies activates the babymaking machinery."
Isn't it the opposite? Although maybe that's only your own, like how breast feeding inhibits further reproduction. Maybe being around a non-genetically-related baby does activate.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 8:01 AM
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I'd heard that, statistically, it was a myth that people get pregnant right after adopting. That as many people have trouble getting pregnant a second time, and turn to adoption or medical interventions for their second child, as the reverse situation with the first child being non-easily-conceived and then a quick second.

Anecdata in my own family notwithstanding. I don't know that I believe the paragraph above.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 8:04 AM
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I'd be willing to believe confirmation bias over almost any other explanation.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 8:23 AM
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42: It's not a myth in that it happens sometimes, but I've also read that there's no meaningful correlation except that it makes a good story and so people like to comment on it.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 8:26 AM
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I just killed a mosquito, while sitting in my office. Also the high is 90° today.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 8:32 AM
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Pause-play.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 8:33 AM
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We're getting another 6-8 inches tonight. Laydeez.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 8:33 AM
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I will take my endometriosis, low ovarian reserve, and my husband's severe male factor infertility and get right on the fucking and the being around babies right after I do or do not have...

Wait. I don't want more than one. Hm.


Posted by: Sally Hemings | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 8:34 AM
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Global Shitty Weather Disruption sucks.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 8:34 AM
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Well fuck. 47 just ruined my day-- I could have gone many many more hours before I had to know that.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 8:36 AM
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47: Wait, what? Fuck.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 8:41 AM
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It's like you people don't have the French Toast Alert System in your bookmarks.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 8:42 AM
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||

Oh god. A math major that I recommended for grad schools and that I think highly of just posted an Illuminati/Mark of the Beast/Numerology/ACA Reform thing on Facebook.

|>


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 8:43 AM
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As in, as part of ACA, all Americans will be implanted with RFID chips, which is the mark of the beast and signaling End Times and Rapture and blah blah blah. Plus a lot of significant dates, which when converted to Biblical passage numbers, have ominous overtones.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 8:45 AM
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But it's "spring" "break"!


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 8:46 AM
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and that I used to think highly of


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 8:47 AM
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John Nash was apparently a talented numerologist.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 8:49 AM
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Everybody knows that the mark of the beast is credit/debit cards. Your student is a nut.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 9:01 AM
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||
Remember how a while back I talked about how I hadn't talked to my mother in over a decade?

She showed up at my front door yesterday.
|>


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 9:09 AM
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Holy shit. How's it going?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 9:11 AM
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She asked to use his computer to post to Facebook.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 9:15 AM
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The really crazy thing is that Josh's mother is [redacted].


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 9:20 AM
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For her, or for me?

It was actually a very sane conversation. She started it off better than any of her previous attempts, and when I laid out some basic ground rules, she seemed to understand and be willing to follow them. We ended up talking for about an hour and left it on decent terms.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 9:21 AM
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It was really fucking disorienting, though.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 9:26 AM
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62 is excellent. And good luck, Josh. I'd like to make a "if it seems like she's on meth, don't let her blow you" joke, but that seems wrong. So I won't do that.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 9:30 AM
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Wow, Josh, I'm glad it went as well as it could have and very, very glad she was at least willing to respect your boundaries. But yikes, that has to be a shock!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 9:35 AM
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65: In any case, SP had you pwned.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 9:53 AM
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67: I didn't even catch that. Now I'm doubly ashamed.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 9:54 AM
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Yowza, Josh!


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 10:15 AM
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59 Holy wow.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 10:20 AM
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There are no coincidences. Your mother is a lurker, Josh.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 10:27 AM
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Your mother supports me in email.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 10:42 AM
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I don't know about mothers and all, and I think Halford's a moron, but I have no objections to instantaneous sex.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 10:47 AM
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Some of us try to make it last.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 11:02 AM
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62 is now even better.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 11:05 AM
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I'm late to the discussion, but I add my sympathies, Sally. What a crappy position to be in.

The questions in 18 seem helpful, esp. finding a doctor you can trust and can give you advice based on your specific medical history. (35 seems manipulative and best ignored.)


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 11:09 AM
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Some of us try to make it last.

Yes and during that time I'm having twenty more sexes!


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 11:16 AM
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To rosily improve my shitty-ass picture, I also found a new doctor, who won my heart and I will marry in a respectful non-sexual polyamorous kind of way after she said that whatever decision I chose to make was the right one.


Posted by: Sally Hemings | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 11:24 AM
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78: Hooray!


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 11:25 AM
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Definitely follow up with us after your mega-ultrasound, because that's when the question really resumes.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 11:26 AM
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I'll leave the malpractice issue to the lawyers, but as a parent of IVF (egg donor-assisted) twins, I'm happy to offer what I can about our experience.

We went with what understand is still the SOP, to have two implanted in order to maximize chances of having at least one develop to term. We accepted the possibility of a twin pregnancy from the beginning, so reduction wasn't going to be an issue. Given my wife's age, it was considered a high-risk pregnancy from the beginning, so she had special attention from our obgine, who was excellent.

Having twins has been utterly fantastic despite a host of stresses beginning with total bed rest in the last month of the pregnancy and a genuinely insane three-month postpartum period during which neither of us got three hours of sleep at a stretch. I don't regret a penny of the expense or a moment of the effort.

Our next-door neighbors followed us in the same reproductive approach and found themselves in the same position as k-sky's friend in 28, which I mention only because they considered reduction and later were horrified that they'd even entertained the idea. So there's the potential for that reaction, which you've likely considered already.

Cala's questions in 18 are excellent. To her comment I'd add that you're in a shitty but (not to be a Pollyanna about it) potentially unexpectedly awesome situation. Feel free to contact me at the linked email if you want.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 11:51 AM
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mega-ultrasound

XtreMe Ultrasound! Coming to ESPN's 2014 X-Games.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 11:51 AM
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82 just made me cross my legs.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 11:52 AM
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I'll make a respectable woman of you yet.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 11:58 AM
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84: It's nice that someone still cares to try . . .


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 12:52 PM
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86

12-16 inches here.


Posted by: Light Rail Tycoon | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 4:35 PM
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87

86 to 83.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 4:40 PM
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88

78, 79: in all likelihood, titties!


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 5:09 PM
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89

also because I was so exhausted last night I made two confusing typos, namely I meant to say that past sibling abuse should neither force Ms. Hemings to have only one child nor oblige her to have several and that it was unfortunate that it was still such a powerful force in her life even though it was over. so, maybe see your psychiatrist and do lame oprah homework worksheets, what the fuck do I know.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 5:12 PM
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I know absolutely nothing but I've been spending a lot of time takling to my friend ( a stay at home dad) who'se 2nd child turned out to be a surprise set of twins right after a move away from his netowork AND my godson and new godson who are 1.5 years apart. The twins-father is exhausted and cash strapped but he seems to feel strongly that as soon as he gets over the hump he'll be golden and he and his wife have magically hit upon the perfect sibling combination. (1 boy, 3 years, then two twin girls.) My godson, whose father is practically absentee, is suffering mightily through the interjection of a sibling, and his mother (who has literally almost been killed, multiple times, by her abusive older siblingg when they were both adults) is terrified that she's going to f up the sibling rivalry prevention. So it seems like if you're going to have children with siblings, twins is the way to go, as long as you avoid a Jacob Have i Loved type situation. If there's zero risk to the remaining fetus and you definitely cant' work through your rage with a shrink, then I guess go for the elimination, but for the love of god swear a pact of secrecy with TJ b/c the surviving fetus turned child is going to feel cheated if it finds out it could have had a twin. that's my total barging in your business with no good cause except you asked.


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 03-18-13 6:53 PM
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91

Update: size difference between embryo/fetus things won us a ticket to genetic testing. No definite decisions for a little while yet.


Posted by: Sally Hemings | Link to this comment | 03-19-13 7:42 PM
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92

Yikes, Sally, I hope you get more useful answers in the next step.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 03-19-13 9:11 PM
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93

Ugh, thinking of you. Can't imagine what it must be like having this hanging over you.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 4:52 AM
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94

Hoo-boy. Does that mean an amniocentesis?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 6:28 AM
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95

CVS (chorionic villus sampling). I don't really know what's involved in the procedure but I've been told I should take a day off from work afterwards. I suspect this means it will be painful.

Shitty TV ahoy!


Posted by: Sally Hemings | Link to this comment | 03-20-13 9:45 AM
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When you get your results, let's bump this thread back up to the top and resume dissecting your life.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-22-13 8:59 AM
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97

Results back:

Don't know yet about the baby that's measuring normally, but baby b has trisomy 18 (incompatible with life).

I'm a little ashamed that I feel relieved that the most challenging moral decision of my life has been taken out of my cultural Catholic and intellectual atheistic hands.


Posted by: Sally Hemings | Link to this comment | 03-22-13 1:16 PM
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Sigh. I don't think you should feel ashamed. The stupid original doctor should feel ashamed, but you just played the hand you were dealt. I hope everything goes as well as possible from now on.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 03-22-13 1:19 PM
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99

Oy. But as you say, probably a relief.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-22-13 1:36 PM
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100

I personally am sort of relieved.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-22-13 1:37 PM
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101

Sifu Tweety was the doctor?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-22-13 1:39 PM
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102

Not to ruin things, but I don't recall trisomy 18 being completely incompatible with life. Severe birth defects but it's not like anencephalopathy or anything.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03-22-13 1:40 PM
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103

The advice the dr gave me after I had CVS was "Go home. Put your feet up. Drink a glass of wine."
(Did you have it through the stomach or the hooha? I had it through the stomach and it hurt like a motherfucker, but only for like 30 seconds.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-22-13 1:40 PM
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104

I'm always the doctor.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-22-13 1:40 PM
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97: Don't feel ashamed. My cultural Catholic side would say this is God's way of working out a horribly difficult problem, and my intellectual atheist side feels relief for you.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03-22-13 1:41 PM
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Edwards syndrome (also known as Trisomy 18 (T18)) is a genetic disorder caused by the presence of all or part of an extra 18th chromosome. This genetic condition almost always results from nondisjunction during meiosis. It is named after John H. Edwards, who first described the syndrome in 1960.[1] It is the second most common autosomal trisomy, after Down's syndrome, that carries to term.
Edwards syndrome occurs in around one in 6,000 live births and around 80 percent of those affected are female.[2] The majority of fetuses with the syndrome die before birth.[2] The incidence increases as the mother's age increases. The syndrome has a very low rate of survival, resulting from heart abnormalities, kidney malformations, and other internal organ disorders.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03-22-13 1:43 PM
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107

102: Median lifespan 5-15 days?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-22-13 1:44 PM
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108

More wikipedia:

In 2008/2009, there were 495 diagnoses of Edwards syndrome (trisomy 18) in England and Wales, 92% of which were made prenatally. There were 339 abortions, 49 stillbirths/miscarriages/fetal deaths, 72 unknown outcomes, and 35 live births.[9] Because approximately 3% of cases with unknown outcomes are likely to result in a live birth, the total number of live births is estimated to be 37 (2008/09 data are provisional). Major causes of death include apnea and heart abnormalities. It is impossible to predict an exact prognosis during pregnancy or the neonatal period.[7] Half of infants with this condition do not survive beyond the first week of life.[10] The median lifespan is 5-15 days.[11][12] About 8% of infants survive longer than 1 year,[13] One percent of children live to age 10, typically in less severe cases of the mosaic Edwards syndrome.[7] Surviving children are described as happy and parents report that they enrich their lives.[14]


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03-22-13 1:45 PM
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I would totally feel relieved, too. I'm glad you were spared an unpleasant decision.

Do you actually want me to bump the thread up to the top? It seems less necessary, since there isn't an anguished decision to be made anymore. And since you got the results while the OP was still on the front page.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-22-13 1:45 PM
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108 to 107- yes.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03-22-13 1:46 PM
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No, it's okay. I mean, moral complexity and personal anguish is way less fun than dick jokes.


Posted by: Sally Hemings | Link to this comment | 03-22-13 1:51 PM
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112

111 to 109.


Posted by: Sally Hemings | Link to this comment | 03-22-13 1:51 PM
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SP, no offense, and of course Sally can speak for herself, but trisomy 18's prognosis is bad enough that if one were troubled morally about reducing to a singleton were they both healthy, it's reasonable that one would be less troubled in this case (as for many people, a diagnosis of trisomy 18 is reason to terminate), and as such the wikipedia of survival rates is striking me as extremely tone deaf.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03-22-13 1:51 PM
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And I join everyone else in being happy for your being spared a difficult decision.

AKA what Heebie said.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-22-13 1:53 PM
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111: I don't see why we can't have both.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 03-22-13 1:55 PM
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111: Q: Why did Sally Hemming's doctor cross the road?
A: Because the Dick Store called and said they were running out of him.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-22-13 1:55 PM
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Have you found a new doctor yet?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03-22-13 1:59 PM
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118

I have. She is warm, and fuzzy, and I love her and kind of want to throw over Thomas Jefferson for her. He's always busy designing Monticello or swivel chairs or some crazy thing.

(Except I half-think that TJ is planning to do the same thing because I have been no picnic to be around lately, having turning into a wailing banshee who mainlines Grey's Anatomy and has Very Intense Discussions and cries and has abused the frozen fruit aisle at the grocery store to a shameful extent.)


Posted by: Sally Hemings | Link to this comment | 03-22-13 2:06 PM
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Thanks for the update, Sally. I'm glad you're feeling relieved. Fingers crossed now for good news back about baby A.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 03-22-13 2:16 PM
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I know pointing that out was not... comfortable, but I've heard of people born with trisomy 18 so I'm pointing out it might not be automatic reduction. It sounds like Sally has a new doctor who knows what she's doing and obviously would know more about what's likely to happen, so if it is going to resolve itself, then I'm happy the dilemma isn't going to be faced.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03-22-13 3:37 PM
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I think you misunderstood Sally's state of knowledge if you thought she was confused about that.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-22-13 3:40 PM
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It sounds like it, if her doctor says it's a sure thing.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03-22-13 3:47 PM
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115: I did my part!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-22-13 3:52 PM
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122: I'm not clear if you're unintentionally being an idiot or if you're intentionally being an ass. Sally has not said anything indicating that her doctor has told her, or that she believes, that she will inevitably spontaneously miscarry. "Incompatible with life" is a perfectly reasonable way of characterizing a condition for which 97% percent of fetuses won't survive until birth, and of the 3% that make it to birth, only 1%, or .03% of the initially diagnosed fetuses, will survive to age 10 (trusting wikipedia for the stats).


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-22-13 4:00 PM
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Since the answer is unintentional idiot, I should probably stop now, but then it wouldnt be the Internet. It seems like everyone is describing this as solving whether she'll need a selective abortion. I'm pointing out that may not be the case. Certainly it makes the choice easier, for which I'm glad for her.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03-22-13 4:12 PM
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And I should say in the spirit of trying to help inform in case she was misinformed with the chance of further unpleasant surprises. But it sounds like she is not misinformed so I'll stop also because battery is dead.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03-22-13 4:16 PM
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It seems like everyone is describing this as solving whether she'll need a selective abortion. I'm pointing out that may not be the case.

All the comments are equally compatible with describing it as solving the problem of whether she should make the decision to have a selective reduction of a healthy fetus because she didn't plan on, and doesn't want, twins. Now that she's got one fetus that has essentially no chance of ultimately surviving, that's no longer a difficult decision, whatever needs to be done medically to bring about the selective reduction.

I meant to call you an idiot if you thought there was a real chance you were adding new information to the discussion, because honestly, if she's under a doctor's care, already contemplating a selective reduction, and gets news like this, what are the odds that the doctor isn't going to be advising her on what makes sense to do medically about the reduction in terms of the health of the other fetus? I meant to call you an ass if you were trying to imply that whether or not to selectively reduce a pregnancy that had a no more than 0.08% chance of producing an infant that would live for a year should be an... uncomfortable or difficult decision for her.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-22-13 4:21 PM
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To be clear, yes, I also read the wikipedia page and saw the statistics. Yes, I am comfortable deciding to reduce this pregnancy by one (or abort twin B, if you want to be blunt), given those odds.

I don't think that I'm revealing too much by telling you that I'm not Rick Santorum, who has a baby with trisomy 18. He probably wouldn't approve of the IVF in the first place (or the fact that we'll donate the remaining embryos to stem cell research).


Posted by: Sally Hemings | Link to this comment | 03-22-13 4:47 PM
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Does Rick Santorum not approve of IVF? When I was being recruited by a Catholic school a few years back, one of the nicest things about the place was the excellent health insurance, which covered IVF.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 03-22-13 5:12 PM
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Isn't there a subgroup of prolifers that's going around adopting frozen IVF embryos aka 'snowflake babies'? I don't know that Santorum's one of them, but it seems in character.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-22-13 5:17 PM
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Snowflake babies that stay on my nose and eye babies,
These are a few of my favorite things...


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 03-22-13 5:20 PM
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You can't rhyme 'babies' with itself. Has to be something like 'Snowflake babies that stay on my nose and have scabies'.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-22-13 5:22 PM
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128- Well, I'm glad the decision is easier now. Sorry if posting excessive info seemed insensitive. I think everyone here knows I'm an idiot, not an ass.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03-22-13 5:24 PM
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But there's not supposed to be an internal rhyme to that line, and plus then you're not making the eye-babies joke.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 03-22-13 5:26 PM
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Okay, but for future reference, look back up the thread. The only plausibly useful thing you had to say on this point was "You know you might still need to abort the fetus with trisomy 18, rather than waiting for a spontaneous miscarriage." And that was said, loud and clear, in your 102, which no one disagreed with in that regard -- there were no comments indicating that anyone thought that a spontaneous miscarriage was a sure thing.

What looked tactless and made me snap at you was your continuing to come back repeatedly to harp on the same point, after it had already been made (and was probably unnecessary in the first place.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-22-13 5:32 PM
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108 I only posted in response to 107 which I think is the excessive info- 106 was establishing that my tentative belief in 102 was in fact as I recalled hearing (my fuzzy recollection was a cousin who died at 1 week when I was a kid)


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03-22-13 5:38 PM
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Nah, IVF is a no-go for hardcore conservative Catholics because "the intervention replaces the marriage act in order to engender life," as well as discarding embryos and the selective reduction thing.

Generations of Hemings ancestors are rolling in their graves like high-speed lathes.

133: It's okay. I am also an idiot on many occasions.


Posted by: Sally Hemings | Link to this comment | 03-22-13 5:43 PM
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120 also clanged a bit, in that you were saying that if the situation didn't 'resolve itself' there would still be a 'dilemma' to be faced. Sally had been clear from her 97 that from her point of view, the dilemma was resolved -- your 120 came across to me as insistence that she should still be treating the selective reduction, despite the fact that the fetus was terribly unlikely to survive, as a serious ethical problem. Given that you say you didn't mean it that way, no hard feelings and I apologize for snapping at you, but I do think it's worth looking back at what you said and seeing how it could be read.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-22-13 5:51 PM
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118.2 suggests that you'd be well-suited to lesbian life should you decide to ditch your dude for Dr. Awesome.

More seriously, I know from our adoption stuff what a relief it sometimes was to have a tough and uncomfortable decision taken out of my hands. (Oh, and I should say somewhere that I've finally reconnected with Rowan, who's now living in our town caring for an ailing relative from his birth family and coming to terms with his history. And doing stupid-teen stuff, I'm sure, but I'm so proud of him and delighted that I'll get to see him soon.)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 03-22-13 6:38 PM
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139.1: She could write a book called Oranges Are Not The Only Frozen Fruit.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-22-13 6:43 PM
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137: Yep, Culture of Death. In fact, that happened to be the subject of the homily the first time we ventured to take our precious little IVF babies to Mass. Meanwhile, the US had recently invaded Iraq, but that apparently didn't qualify as part of the Culture of Death. Fuck you, Father Shithead.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-22-13 7:06 PM
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