'Miracle' twins: the story of celebrity IVF
Another week of trash-mag goodness, another celebrity IVF success story. This time it was Celine Dion expounding on the miracle of her IVF pregnancy at 42. And just to prove that it was a real gift from God, the songstress has not one, but two little buns in the oven.
Celine and her husband Rene Angelil's announcement comes hot on the heels of John Travolta and his 47-year old wife Kelly Preston happily announcing their pregnancy to the world several weeks ago, closely followed with the shock discovery that Preston actually had two fetuses (fetii??) on board.
But of course she did. That's how celebrities do it, right? Forget the singular IVF miracle, save perhaps former Friends star Courtney Cox who has been out of the closet on her attempts - and success - at conceiving a child with IVF.
Nope. It's all twins for the celebrity IVFer.
I want to know whether their doctors gave them the talk on double embryo transfers and the complications that can arise from a twin pregnancy. It's not always the easy route to an instant family as the glossy mag spreads would have you believe. Multiple pregnancies come with a whole host of potential risks.
Which isn't to say yours truly wouldn't celebrate with a massive flute of Maison if I were to achieve such a pregnancy, but I would remain cognisant of the inherent risks and potential trauma that can happen with a twin pregnancy and birth. I want to enjoy any potential babies one at a time. It's single embryo transfers pour moi, but enough time spent on international infertility blogs tells me that over in the Land of the Free, the docs will transfer as many as you want. It is, after all, the country that gave us the creature known as Octomom. But I digress.
While the happy campers love to sell their stories about successful IVF pregnancies and the stress of it all once it has happened, I wonder where the celebrity poster-girl for involuntary childlessness is. Oh yeah, that's right. She's got a double-page-spread showing off her rainbow family adopted from insert-name-here developing country. It's all so easy across the Pacific.
While I completely understand and accept a couple's decision to remain childfree - some of my best friends are childfree by choice - I wonder the kind of damage these celebs are having on an impressionable public. Like it or not, young people - women in particular - do look up to celebrities as an example. And the message coming through loud and clear is that IVF is a get-out-of-jail-free card for anyone who "forgot"to have kids. If Kelly Preston can do it at 47, then it should be a snap for a 42 year-old, right?
A couple of months ago, I was talking to a few colleagues about having kids. I was reading aloud an article about a random celebrity who had managed to conceive via IVF. I think it was an ex-Hey Dad cast member. Anyway, a young colleague of mine - about 24 - commented that she had no plans on getting pregnant until she was in her late 30s and if by then it was too late, she would get get a fertility specialist to do a Jennifer Lopez on her, and she could pump out a ready made family for the price of one.
So I told her our story, and I like to think she came out a little wiser at the end of it. Less attention to the trash-mags, more time spent on Wikipedia. Both excellent sources of information.
* Disclaimer. Hell yeah I am jealous. And I am absolutely thrilled for Celine, Kelly, Jennifer, Sarah Jessica, Geena, Julia and all the others who have achieved what continues to elude me. And I'm only 34.
Are celebrities twin obsessed? Comment on Prue's blog.