Last year, Christy Beck of Richmond, Virginia, became a mother after years of struggling with infertility. For Christy, finding out she was having triplets Rockwell, Cali, and Elli was a dream come true.
She told Inside Edition, “I’ve always dreamed of a having children and being a mom my whole life. And it’s just something I’ve always wanted.” Now that the triplets are born, Christy said, “It’s just been so amazing. Just looking at them every day and their sweet little smiles … They’re definitely coming into their own personalities. It’s fun to watch them together.”
Beck explained to Inside Edition that after years of heartbreak she and her husband Ryan decided to pursue invitro fertilization, even taking out a loan to finance a final round of the procedure for one last chance at becoming parents to biological children.
The triplets are now almost one and thriving. Christy shares updates on an Instagram page with more than 120,000 followers. It’s hard to image the Beck’s beautiful snapshots missing one of the trio, but Christy says that is exactly what doctors told her was necessary.
During the IVF process, the Becks discovered one of the difficult and seldom discussed unintended consequences of IVF: high-risk multiples pregnancy. Of course, twins and triplets can be conceived naturally; with IVF, the chances of a multiples pregnancy are greater because often multiple preborn children at the embryonic stage are transferred to the mother’s womb to increase the chances that one or more babies will mature to full-term.
For the Becks, they discovered that Christy was carrying twins after a successful embryo transfer. Just weeks after the transfer, Christy says, “They scanned me and were like, ‘Congratulations, you have twins.’” She added, “I didn’t hear a word the doctor said from that minute on. I was just like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is unreal.’”
Her miracle pregnancy became even more unreal when Christy and her husband learned that one of the embryos split to become twins sharing a placenta. It was then, Christy says, that they faced mounting pressure to end the life of one of the triplets in abortion. In addition to the risks that come with twins sharing a placenta, Christy experienced many difficulties during the pregnancy, including an adverse reaction to medication and high fevers.
Doctors claimed the twins were too high risk and told Christy that they posed a risk to the third baby. The type of abortion the doctors advocated is euphemistically called “selective reduction.” In this type of abortion, doctors try to determine which baby appears to be the healthiest and then kill one or more of the other babies to increase the chances of a full-term gestation for the healthiest.
Many parents testify to the fact that this terrifyingly callous attitude toward human life is all too common in the world of IVF. Because of the high chances of conceiving multiples and the risks that come with that, selective reduction abortion has been called the “dirty little secret” of the fertility industry.
Many parents face sometimes intense pressure from doctors to abort one or more babies to reduce pregnancy risks. Sometimes this pressure comes even immediately after discovering triplets when doctors bombard parents with worst case scenarios and push for them to abort one or more of their children for the sake of the others. Even mothers carrying twins or a singleton can face these same pressures to choose abortion instead of continuing with a challenging pregnancy or carrying a child who may have disabilities to term. While abortion advocates claim selective reduction only eliminates “potential life,” the procedure involves stopping the beating heart of a unique human being. A baby with a beating heart is living, not a “potential life.”
Despite pressure from their doctor, the Becks refused selective reduction abortion. The pregnancy was far from easy, and Christy continued to face many challenges. Christy was put on strict bedrest starting at 20 weeks, and the triplets were delivered on April 4 via cesarean section. Born at 32 weeks, the triplets each weighed around 3.5 pounds and spent two months in the neonatal intensive care unit. Fittingly, all three babies came home with their parents on Mother’s Day.
A powerful photograph on Instagram shows three sets of footprints on Christy’s pregnant belly. The picture brings home the truth that Rockwell, Cali, and Elli were all living and unique human beings in their mother’s womb with their own precious footprints. Now that they have been born, we can easily see each smile and growing foot, but just because they cannot be seen easily in the womb does not mean we can let their lives be snuffed out.