Leslie Glass, 33, and her husband, Heath, have three children. Garrett, age 5, was conceived without assisted reproduction. Toddler twins Bella and Madi were conceived through IVF after Leslie suffered ectopic pregnancies and doctors warned the couple not to try to get pregnant on their own again. The Glasses, of Johns Creek, GA, paid $22,000 for three rounds of IVF and figured it was their last chance to have more children. So they had two embryos transferred, and both succeeded. Bella and Madi will be 3 in June.
Leslie spoke to WebMD about her experiences.
I did [want twins] because it was so expensive and I knew that this was probably it for us. We didn't go in there and say, we'd like twins. It was, 'We can't get pregnant, we need your help, this is the only way we can do it, and if we get twins, all the better.' Because whether we had twins or one, it's still $22,000. So if this is it, then let's just complete the family.
I don’t think you can really put a price on your family. The way I look at it is, I'm so lucky to have my kids -- it chokes me up ... the hard part is it's so expensive. The other side is adoption, and that is also so expensive.
[IVF] is not a guarantee, and you could spend hundreds of thousands of dollars doing this. I know one girl in particular that spent $100,000 with several attempts that resulted in a baby.
What price tag can you put on that? There isn't one. I don’t care what kind of debt you have to go into to have your baby made up of you and your husband and carried in your belly. There's no price on that.
Before getting IVF, the Glasses' doctor required them to get fertility counseling.
You have to make all sorts of decisions -- like if there was a divorce, who gets the embryos if you have any ... and how would we handle twins plus one. You go through all that. I think they're pretty thorough.
I wanted to put three [embryos] in to definitely ensure one would take and hopefully two, again for the money. And [my doctor] said absolutely not, she wouldn't do it. So I don't think they were twin-hungry. Their goal was to make one baby, which I think is the right goal.
The Glass twins are healthy, but Leslie did have to go on bed rest for 6 weeks during that pregnancy, and she says their first year after the twins were bornwas "really, really difficult," in part because Garrett was only 2 at the time. Leslie says when she's out, she often hears people say they would like twins.
I get that all the time when I'm out, 'Oh, I wish I had twins; I hope I have twins.' Be careful. It's not easy. You wouldn't change it, but it is no joke.
As hard as that [first] year was, it was totally worth it. And what's a rough year or two over the course of your life? I'm going to have another rough year or two with teenagers.