There are many bonuses to IF.
Yep, you heard me right, I really think there are. Not necessarily bonuses that you can live without, but I think I am thankful for them.
We have participated in 'science currently in development'. This process has been an education not just for the issues that concern us, but the wider community.
We have been forced to consider our opinions on embryonic stem cell research. Would I have skipped gaily past this issue without a care in the world had I not been in a position to consider what I’d do with my own excess embryos? Yes, maybe.
I know most of our fertile friends look, quite frankly, disinterested when this topic is raised. Are they pig-ignorant? No, they just don’t have any spare embryos anywhere to make decisions on. It’s theory, and it’s political discussion that’s currently getting airtime, but without being in a position to decide if it’s something you’re going to participate in, well maybe you can just get by without a strong opinion.
Designer Babies (don’t you love that term?) This is something else we’ve been exposed to. If we had opted to PGD any of our embryos, we would also have been in a position to find out gender.
We didn’t PGD, because unfortunately the writing was on the wall for our embryos – poor embryo quality due to maternal age.
But one of our friends did.
Having suffered a late-term loss due to downs (boy), and having had a further two first trimester miscarriages (downs) followed by two failed IVF cycles, her and her husband opted to PGD on the third cycle. They also opted to find out gender. Because they wanted a designer baby? No, because they were forking out $8K already and they decided that they would find out gender, at the same time, as any genetic disorders. Four embryos – two tested positive for downs, two came back clear. The two positive were boys, the two negative were girls. Cycle result = negative.
Are they monsters? Not that I can see.
They are people that opted to find out additional information. Were they planning on throwing back either gender? No. Reality was, they were finding out gender in advance simply because they could. Some decide to find out during an ultrasound, others decide to wait till birth.
Am I too liberal? I have no idea.
What I do know is that one of the greatest bonuses of this journey is that I have become completely open to other peoples choices. I cannot bring myself to judge anyone that makes 'ground breaking' choices (gender selection) any more than I am able to judge those that choose to wait for the 'surprise' at birth. In fact I feel I have to respect people for those choices. I know how much discussion, research and time it has taken myself and Mr. S to reach the point of making decisions for our future. I know what we have had to experience, what doors have been slammed shut in our faces.
So we have made the decision that we are embarking on a donor eggs journey. Will some people judge me and think my choice is repulsive? Probably.
But as an adult, I have chosen to do what's right for me to build my family.
Am I a monster?
My thanks to Stella And/Or Ben for starting this discussion.