Two Years and Counting


Deep Thoughts by Lauren
December 17, 2007, 3:30 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I’m trying to keep myself from thinking too far ahead into situations we’ve yet to reach, but frequently my mind ventures into uncharted territories. I never thought we’d find ourselves not being able to get pregnant pretty easily, so I haven’t really thought through the reality of IF procedures. What do I even think of IVF? And I’m really only going there because Dr. H actually mentioned that one as a possibility for us, depending on the results of the test M had this morning. (We won’t know results for at least another week.)

Once we had been trying for six months or so, I started to do research into fertility, ovulation, and procedures for infertility. My mom and part of my own brain told me to not read too much about procedures and things that might or might not happen. But the other part of me says it’s better to know what the future might hold so I can prepare for it, rather than to be tra-la-la-ing along, thinking everything is ok, then bam, I need IVF. So over the past several months, I’ve read many blogs and articles written by and about people who’ve undergone IUI, ICSI, IVF, and various other confusingly-named fertility procedures. Obviously, IVF is the scariest. (My apologies to those of you who’ve already done all this—I don’t want to offend anyone, I just need to figure out how I personally feel about it all.)

Speaking of those of you who’ve already gone down these roads, I’d love to hear how you decided that these procedures are ok ethically and/or spiritually. I guess I’m thinking about all this because of M’s test this morning, and the ensuing results that could potentially point us directly to IVF, according to Dr. H. I don’t want to find myself on a roller coaster that’s already started and not be able to slow it down to figure out my thoughts about it all.

Prior to the appt last week, I’d pretty much gotten to where the idea of IUI was fairly easy to swallow. I told myself, “It’s still my egg and M’s sperm and all the action is still happening inside me, not in a Petri dish on a lab table—all that’s really happening is that we’d be giving the sperm a little push at the beginning.” I kept thinking, please let us need that and not IVF. When I think of IVF, I think of artificial-ness, man-made, not God-made, taking the origin of a human life out of God’s hands and putting it into a doctor’s hands. That’s why it’s so scary to me. I have yet to work through it enough to be ok with it. Right now, I don’t know if God’s ok with it. Just because science has advanced enough to bring these procedures into existence, that doesn’t necessarily mean He’s ok with it all, does it? I can think of many things that science and technology has allowed us to conquer that He’s most likely not ok with. Is the realm of fertility procedures in that same boat? (And again, these are the thoughts rolling around in my head. If I were to give myself some more time to think through it all, I’m sure I’d come to a good conclusion, so please don’t be offended if you’ve done or are doing these procedures—I’m not judging at ALL.)

On the other hand, when we get sick, we go to the doctor for medicine to make us feel better. God has given humans brains and intelligence and over the years, all these brains have come up with myriad ways to make people feel better. When we get sick, should we just sit at home and forsake all the medical help available to us at the doctor’s office, thinking it must be God’s plan for us to be sick? Or in an even more related example, say you get cancer. The remedy for cancer is to have poison pumped into your veins and months of treatment. Do you say, “It must be God’s will for me to have cancer,” and not go through with the treatment? Or do you say, “God has allowed science to advance to such a degree that even though I have this potentially fatal disease, there is a cure available for me and I’m going to take it”?

Given those examples, however, is it a totally different ballgame when you’re talking about creating life? My life is already created, so me taking medicine or treatment if I had cancer is about preserving life, not creating it. Is there a difference?

I know that if a baby is created through IVF, it’s still God who decides if a baby is created. He’s still the master and originator and sustainer of all life, IVF or no. But if we go through with IVF or another fertility treatment, does that mean we’ve abandoned the hope that God will bless us with a child in his own time, and that we’re taking things into our own hands? That we’re saying, “God, you haven’t given us a baby and we really want one, so we’re going to make it happen on our own?”

I don’t have an answer for any of this right now, but I’d love to hear from anyone else who’s grappled with this issue and has come up with an answer or a way to think about it.

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2 Comments so far
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I’ve grappled with all those things, and now I’m grappling with them again as a new doctor has challenged the way we opted to pursue IVF. We made our decisions about whether to do IVF and how to approach it based on 1) our belief in the sanctity of human life beginning at conception, 2) our desire not to presume on the future, 3) a confidence that no matter how much doctors know, it is still up to God to bestow life, and 4) a sober evaluation of our own hearts (i.e. were we making a baby into an idol, or were we putting God first and trusting him for whatever happened?). As we evaluated all that, I read a few really helpful resources; I wrote about them here – http://entrustedsoul.blogspot.com/2007/03/art-and-heart.html – and here – http://entrustedsoul.blogspot.com/2007/03/reading-infertility-companion.html. Ultimately, we did do IVF, limiting the number of eggs fertilized so that we wouldn’t have to freeze or discard any embryos. Two attempts that way didn’t work, so like I said, we are re-evaluating now under the care of a new doctor. But even if our process changes, our principles won’t – and our principles may even dictate that we don’t attempt IVF again…

Comment by andrea_jennine

i think it’s great that you’re thinking through this all this now. this is your journey – for you, your hubby, and your savior. i often think of you, and i will pray for you and your hubby as you think through all these issues. i am thinking through some of these same issues – though tentatively and perhaps prematurely – so i appreciate walking this with you through the blosphere.

Comment by Heather




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