IF and the City

I used to feel sad when I watched the episodes with Charlotte failing over and over again while trying to get pregnant. Little did I know that my own attempts would lead me on the same sad journey. We've now passed 4 years in the trenches. 6 failed IVF/ICSI cycles = nothing. Time for something new - donor eggs. Success at last. Now for round 2.

Monday, October 30, 2006


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.


At October 30, 2006 9:16 pm , Blogger Susie said...

well said and no - you are not definitely not a monster...

At October 30, 2006 11:26 pm , Blogger Thalia said...

I think you're great for putting this out there. I feel something similar, although I would never have been against stem cell research, knowing what it can provide for those with diseases like parkinsons. There ARE benefits to this situation, even though we wish we'd never had to learn the lessons this way.

At November 01, 2006 3:47 am , Blogger Millie said...

One of the other benefits I've found through IF is the people I've met, in real life and online.

I've always supported stem cell research. I think I came to the whole donor egg thing fairly early, mostly because I decided to be a donor.

I do think that everyone has to do what's right for their familes. And I try not to be judgemental.

I can't imagine someone would choose ivf + pgd just because they want a boy or a girl but I suppose if that's what they want then who am I to stop them?

I also can't imagine a family who's had 3 losses due any trisomy not at least considering pgd if it's possible. Any loss is too much and that's an awful lot of loss.

At November 01, 2006 4:38 am , Blogger Heather said...

Not a monster.

I agree, I am much more open to other peoples choices. I don't judge as much. Everyone has their own path.

At November 01, 2006 9:30 am , Blogger Lut C. said...

Where I live, IVF, PGD for medical reasons, donor eggs/sperm/embryo's aren't all that controversial.
Selecting gender without medical reason is controversial, rightly so in my opinion.

At November 02, 2006 1:39 am , Blogger Kris said...

You are so right. I have my limits, but I know those are mine and mine alone because that's what works for me and H. I'm sure some people might judge my decisions. That bothers me and I can't possibly judge others for their family building choices... everyone does what's right for them. Definitely not a monster.


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