Thursday, November 29, 2007

My Encounter With IVF - One and Done

Hubby and I have not had an easy time of it in the reproduction realm. Kinda a big irony since the wedding date got a bit accelerated due to a surprise double blue line. That was a long, long time ago. We lost that pregnancy, and the two that followed some time after. Along the way we were referred to fertility specialists who run all sorts of tests none of which told us or the doctors anything whatsoever about the reasons I rarely got pregnant and didn’t carry to term when I did.

My sister had success with IFV, both of her children were conceived that way so as time passed I began to consider that option. I hadn’t returned to the Church yet, although I had a rather powerful post 9/11 conversion to Christ and was part of an evangelical church at the time.

I was never really quite comfortable with IVF although I could not put my finger on why. It began to come into focus as we sat in the doctor’s office and she pressured us to sign a form to allow for selective reduction. I wouldn’t do it, but we told her we would think about it. I could not believe that a doctor who knew I had lost every one of my pregnancies would ask me to abort my children. I was stunned, and she would not do the IVF with out us signing the form. Hubbies solution, sign the form and in the event that we had more than the permitted three embryos simply go back to my original GYN. What are they going to do hold you down and force you to abort, he asked.

So we proceeded. That was several years ago, nothing happened, well nothing that resulted in a baby anyhoo. It was one of the nastiest experiences of my life. Daily shots and blood draws. An hour and a half drive up to the hospital every day. It cost a bunch, not just in monetary terms either.

When the procedure failed, the doctor spent time discussing other options with us. They involved the use of donor eggs. Those doctors are determined to get you pregnant, that’s for sure. They talked about using my sister’s eggs, as well as unrelated donors. You can look through photos and bios of available donors on line. That’s just weird. I kept hearing a silly song in my head to the tune of Steve Martin’s song about a thermos. “I’m picking out a gene pool for you.” I looked for a while, but it just did not feel right.

Although I had not returned to the Church, I was a practicing Evangelical, and one thing Evangelicals do is read the bible. I had read the story of Sarah and Hagar. It wasn’t pretty then and it’s not pretty now. We decided not to proceed with the donor option.

Since returning to the Church I’ve come to understand the Church’s teaching on IVF. To my knowledge the Catholic Church is the only institution that speaks out against IVF.

This article explains the Church's position on IVF better than I can.

Forgive us Father for we know not what we do.

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