Give us a break!

So I’m bawling again. Damn whoremones. I’ve just finished watching a BBC piece on IVF, on Louise Brown (the first ever IVF baby), and on future children born through this process. It’s really hit a nerve. I’m just so grateful that this treatment was developed, that it’s become common place, that technology has continued to develop, and that we’re fortunate enough to now be expecting our little miracles, all because of science.

I’ll forever be thankful to everyone involved in our treatment and to everyone who has gone before, paving the way for the multitude of infertiles desperate for a family.

At one point in the piece they work through comments from viewers and of course there’s a good old negative nelly amongst them. “IVF is selfish when so many kids need adopting.” It’s hard not to get angry or upset with views like this but I find the further through our process we’ve come the better I’ve got at dealing with it. I now feel a little sorry for people holding an anti-IVF view, especially when it comes to the adoption piece. They’re just uneducated on the topic, it’s really not their fault, and I need to remember that.

The majority of the time it’s not a personal attack and if many of them knew the facts around IVF and around adoption, they wouldn’t hold this view. Of course there’s always some for whom it’s “unnatural” or whatever but hey, you can’t win ‘em all.

Personally IVF saved me and saved my sanity. I honestly cannot imagine a life without children – I know for some the childfree life is their dream, but not for me. At multiple times throughout our journey the thought of staring down the hole of a lifetime of childlessness has almost been too much, and the fact that I now have the chance to have a family, through utilising the IVF process, is a total mindsaver.

Of course we considered other options, a genetic relation to our child or children wasn’t a deal-breaker for us. We looked seriously into adoption and were working our way through the adoption process when we had our successful IVF treatment but with only roughly a 5%-10% chance of being able to take home a child through adoption here, the chances of this happening for us were pretty slim.

It also always baffles me that people call us IVFers selfish for trying IVF instead of adoption. Why aren’t they saying that to every pregnant or parenting person out there? Surely if IVF is selfish then so is a “normal” conception! Why are you creating another child when there are supposedly (although not in reality) so many children out there needing homes?!? Surely what holds true for one should hold true for all in this sense.

The other major argument that gets bandied about a lot is that it’s not natural but really, what’s not natural about it? All it is is sperm and egg meeting, just as it would in a human body when all parties involved have ‘normally’ functioning body parts. All that changes is the setting that this meeting of sperm & egg occurs in. Of course there are variations on this, just as there are variations on the types of infertility, but if you boil it down to pure basics it’s sperm and egg meeting, bonding and implanting in a woman’s uterus. There’s nothing unnatural about that.

“But it’s not what [insert name of religious/spiritual being here] intended.” Now personally I’m not a religious person so I can’t identify with this statement, not that I would be able to even if I was religious, but if that’s what you truly believe then:

If it’s not [insert name of religious/spiritual being here]’s desire for us infertiles to be able to have children via IVF then why did he/she/it allow IVF to develop?

If this scientific development that allows couples to have children is against [insert name of religious/spiritual being here]’s will then surely this theory must hold true for all illnesses/diseases/accidents. Cancer patients shouldn’t get chemotherapy or other life-saving treatments, people in accidents shouldn’t be given medical care to enable them to survive, in fact any person requiring medical treatment shouldn’t be able to receive it – if it’s [insert name of religious/spiritual being here]’s desire that these people have these issues and can’t recover or live normally without medical assistance then why should they be given that medical assistance.

But infertility is not life-threatening? Neither are a high percentage of things that people go to the doctor for. Should people be refused antibiotics or other medications because their illness isn’t life-threatening and their body might recover on it’s own? If your answer to this is “No” then how can you possibly answer “Yes” to the same question applied to infertility? Infertility is almost always caused by a medical condition or issue which stops a couple from able to conceive (and I say “almost always” here because in a very VERY small percentage of cases it’s just bad luck and a couple will go on to conceive if they just keep trying. But that is by far the minority.)

Now of course there will be some people who answer “Yes” to the above questions and it’s ok that you hold a totally different opinion to my own but please, PLEASE, do not force your opinions onto me or call me names. Just as I’m happy for people to believe in whatever religion they choose, the second that these beliefs start negatively impacting on others who don’t share the same ideals those opinions become harmful, and intentionally harming others just isn’t cool. No one’s making you do IVF if you don’t believe in it but please don’t condemn others who feel it’s the path they need to follow. By all means express your opinion but don’t degrade, name-call, or try to force other people to conform to your beliefs. I’m expressing my opinion here on this blog but I’m not forcing you to read it and I’m not forcing you to change your beliefs, merely asking you to give a break to others who hold differing views.

IVF is allowing me to have a family, one I would more than likely not be able to have through other means, and for that I am truly grateful regardless of anyone else’s opinion.


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