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   Monday, August 18, 2008  


I have too many thoughts swirling for a coherent post right now.  I'm feeling quite uneasy on so many fronts right now.  The best explanation is that I have a general feeling of upset without one clear cause to point to and say, "Yes, this is my issue."

As always, I'm feeling that my willingness to go to extreme measures for another child somehow informs a dissatisfaction, at worst, or an ungratefulness, at best, for what I have in my family of three.  Except that I am happy with my family just as it is.  Still, I can't shake the feeling that this desire will be perceived as such when it's simply not how I feel.  And, as always, I'm feeling angry with both myself for worrying about the perceptions of others in this and the situation for making me have to have the concerns at all.

I've been re-evaluating my views on life, trying to find some sort of biblical reference for guidance, and coming up short as this is a rather brave new world of medicine (Note to self:  Dig out copy of Brave New World; re-read.  Such a good book!)  This is strictly my issue and one that I don't expect everyone (or for that matter anyone) to agree with me on.  I've always been, for the most part, what I would describe as "pro life."  This does not mean just the life of unborn babies; this also includes the life of the mother.  I cannot presume to know the difficulties of making decisions that women are forced to make on that issue every day nor how I would feel if I were to have to make those decisions.  I hold these beliefs because I feel that God allows pregnancy when he wants to create a life -- that it is a life from the moment of conception and should be treated the same as any other life.  (This is also why I will never be on a jury where the death penalty is an option.  I guarantee that I will hang a jury on that one because regardless of crime, I can never be responsible for making a decision that the life of another should be taken.)  So, to bring this around to my original point, I don't know how I feel about using ART.  This all started with the horrible woman who wrote about Tertia as an "IVF Monster."  I strongly disagree with her on that front.  I am angered as a woman, a Christian, and a mother that anyone could say such a thing!  But it got me thinking about my own beliefs.  If I believe life begins at conception, at the meeting of sperm and egg, and if I know that I am only going to do this a maximum of 2 transfers or 1 successful pregnancy, whichever comes first, then what of the other lives that we don't allow to live?  What of any remaining embryos?  Am I essentially destroying life if I don't use them?

I can't quite figure out what I feel about that.  Having used birth control, I am not so naive as to think that I have never had a fertilized egg that failed to implant that I had no knowledge of -- nor do I think of those as deaths (not the case with early miscarriages or known chemical pregnancies).  I've never viewed an IUD as a method of destroying life despite the fact that their sole purpose is to prevent the implantation of fertilized eggs.  I'm leaning toward life beginning a conception where conception means "fertilization AND implantation in the womb."  But I question my change to this belief (from "sperm meets egg") as merely my way of justifying what I want to do in order to have another child.

So...uneasy.  What is your opinion on the matter?  Only answer if you can do so politely without saying that any other opinion is wrong -- simply tell me what you believe for YOU and why.  If your opinion, as mine is, is based in your religious beliefs, I'd be interested in knowing how that plays in -- Christians with biblical references would be appreciated, as well as other religions and teachings on life that would influence such decisions.

If you don't have any thoughts about any of the above...what about donor gametes?  In searching for others' opinions on the topic of surrogacy and ART, I've come across many that view traditional surrogacy and donor gametes as being essentially "cheating" on one's spouse (I don't see that one, but...ok).  I also talked with a friend who said that she would go all or none -- either genetically the child of both herself and her husband or have a child through adoption with no genetic tie to either parent.

Give me some opinions.  Give me something to think about.

(Don't for a minute think that I'm totally second-guessing our decision to go forward with this.  This is just one thing for me to obsess about during the not-totally-matched-with-a-surrogate-but-moving-that-way and therefore not able to move forward with anything else phase.)

   [ posted  @ 11:11 AM ] [ Post a Comment ] [ View Comments (1) ]
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  Comments about my post, "Uneasy":
Like a lot of family-building issues, the ones you raise are best determined by you and your husband. The fact that you want more children does NOT say that you're not satisfied with what you have -- to me it shows how much you love your child and your family that you want to expand it. As weird as it sounds, wanting my daughter to have a sibling and have that experience was an important part of why we wanted more than one....

Back to your question: I am pro-life for me, but do not presume to be able to make decisions about others' bodies or lives. The days following the amnio when we waited to find out if our daughter had the problems threatened by the damn quad screen were excrutiatingly hard and made more so because of the differences of opinion between my husband and I on what we would do, what if.....? We were thankful not to have to find out.

My biggest problem with many in the Pro-Life movement comes from the difficulties facing people whose babies have conditions incompatible with life have in obtaining the help they need to make the decisions they want to make wrt their pregnancies. See "Uncommon Misconception" and her Thomas as a case in point.

Having experienced an IVF transfer that didn't work, I now view embryos as POTENTIAL human life -- as we all know, a transfer of blasts does not guarantee a baby (or a fetus for that matter). Just because the cells managed to get together (with or without the help of a petri dish) there's no way to tell at that stage whether or not it would actually come to pass.....

Whatever your views are on that are no doubt formed from your own experiences. I was raised Catholic by devout but pragmatic parents. I trust that God gave me reason to try to make sense of all of the things (ART included) that He has made possible.

I hope that you're able to come to some kind of peace with the path that you decide to take -- for your sake, for your family's, and for your surrogate's. Good luck!

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