Tuesday, May 22, 2012

IVF then contraception. An attitude I'll never understand.

I have a couple of friends who have done IVF.  Both have twins.  They're not friends I know through my Catholic circles, but they're wonderful people.  Of the two couples, however, 3 of the individuals are self-identified Catholics.  I'm not sure any of the 3 are still practicing.  But this incomprehension I have has nothing to do with the Catholic Church's stance on IVF.  Or contraception.

What I don't understand is how anyone who struggles to have a child, especially for years, and especially long enough to spend thousands of dollars on artificial reproductive technology, can "get what they want" and then vehemently "be done" and contracept.

First of all, you (general "you") were infertile.  You used artificial means to conceive, which means nothing got fixed.  So...hate to break it to you, but you probably don't need contraception because you're probably still broken.  But that's tangential.

Not to mention, you used ART to conceive and then you pump artificial hormones into your body in order to not conceive.  Your entire reproductive life will have been...ARTIFICIAL!  Yuck.

But mainly what I don't understand is how you can use IVF to bring two beautiful new blessings into the world, and still not be open to life, should by some miracle you actually conceive on your own.

I learned through 3 1/2 years of secondary infertility that none of this childbearing stuff is in our hands.  I can't comprehend using contraception after infertility, even if IVF is not used.  Well...let's be honest.  I can't comprehend using contraception after having children (even without going through infertility) at all.  It's like telling God, "Hey, thanks for giving me what I wanted, but I'll take over now.  Don't need You and Your silly Plan anymore."

In one case of my friends, the wife would like to have more children, but the husband fervently says no.  They have ten frozen embryos that they pay a lot of money to store.  She still doesn't know what she will eventually do with these ten tiny babies of hers.  In her defense, as much as she loves her daughters, I do think she now realizes the enormous impact of having done IVF.  She's really torn on what to do with the embryos.  Like I said, I think she would try for more children if the husband was open to it.  She's against using them for science or research (thank God), and has also considered donation, but is afraid that would be too emotional...always wondering if a girl walking down the street was her baby.  What a burden to bear.

In the case of the other couple, I believe it's the wife who is "done."  You know...what if they had twins again?!?  Oh, the horror.  Two more blessings!  Whatever would we do!  I don't know as much about their situation, but in my discussions with her, she seems to have no openness to more children.  I pray her heart changes.

But in any case, the idea that someone would go through the pain of infertility, the emotional and financial stress of IVF, and then contracept to avoid another child is mind-boggling to me.


  1. Right there with you on this one. I was just explaining to someone the other day that we're not "done" and never will be. Whatever God wants. I begged and pleaded and prayed and cried for 7 years to have another child. And I was blessed not once, but twice! How can I now turn to the Lord, who gave me my hearts desires, and tell Him no more? I can't. And thankfully, the Lord has given me the grace to not WANT to say no more. Praise God!

  2. It is EXACTLY like a friend of mine who is newly pregnant and terrified of miscarriage after already having one and having low numbers this pregnancy, who has to put up with a friend who had IF, did IVF, and now is FREAKING out that she may "accidently" be pregnant with multiples due to her overly high numbers. Um, makes my friend and I want to vomit.

  3. SC, I know!! I'm so grateful that I'm nowhere near WANTING to say "no more." But what makes me feel even more blessed is having a HUSBAND who would NEVER say "no more." I was talking about this topic with him the other night and he was like, "no way...I'd never NOT want more kids!" I'm so lucky.

    WR...wow...I'm so sorry for your friend. I can't imagine. Not sure I'd be able to stay close friends with that girl. God bless you and your friend!

  4. So true Nicole. I'm so thankful to have a husband with the same mentality.

  5. The mentality is sadly "better living thru chemistry" ~ babies when I want them and not when I don't.

    WR- will pray for your friend; it must be so hard to be in danger of losing a child and having be listen to someone gripe about an abundant blessing.

  6. I'll never get this either. In fact, I never "got" the contraceptive mentality. Maybe God was prepping me for the future, but even as a child, I just couldn't fathom deciding "I'm done" having children EVER. Yes, biologically eventually decides for you, but I've never wanted to decide it for myself. Add IF on top of that, and you can bet I'll never be "done." It just always seemed like the saddest decision to make, especially in today's culture when most are "done" after having just 1, 2, or 3.

  7. p.p.s. Sorry I am totally loading up your combox! I remember having fellow twins in my same grade at our elementary school. I got the distinct impression that their parents were "done" after having them because ohmygoshthey'retwins. As a twin myself with a little sister, it really irked me. I felt sad that they were missing out on more sibs just because they were blessed with their twin. And I see that mentality regarding twins elsewhere too, and it honestly kinda offends me! Again, God prepping me to become a crazy pro-life Catholic at an early age?? :)

  8. A major AMEN to this post! I will never understand this mindset… Something is seriously awry.

  9. And maybe slightly off topic, but do you know what the little "collection" room for the husbands is like? It's stacked with porn magazines and videos for the man to produce his "specimen". Completely immoral and does not have any place in a Christian life. The whole thing is really twisted and sick. And so many good people look past this, just to get the baby at all costs.

  10. Sarah, that's another thing my husband and I were recently talking about. I remember when we first thought we were going to have twins, a family member made a comment off-hand about giving back some baby items "because you'll be done after this, right?" *sigh* I just said, "I hope not!"

    Leila - EW!! I can't even imagine setting foot in one of those rooms. So totally immoral and just plain gross. But hey...if it gets us a baby, right?!? Ends justify the means! :(

  11. You ladies are talking like babies are blessings...didn't you know they are an accessory... A commodity...

    I also have a friend who is trying for her 2nd IVF baby at age 45... She will still have 8 frozen embryos after this try... How could you live each day knowing YOUR BABIES ARE FROZEN!!

    I can't get my head around that no matter how hard I try...
    Carla - Henry's mom

  12. THANK YOU! I've always been puzzled about this mentality. I don't understand how someone could spend YEARS begging God for children, and then turn around and say, "No thanks" to the ones He chooses to send them.

  13. Unbelievable! The mindset of some people. And the eight frozen babies ... I wish people thought through things a little more.

  14. Amen, amen, amen, amen. Phenomenal post.

  15. Control. Cosumerism and the commodization of children is the reason behind these irrational actions that people, couples, men and women (with the resources to do IVF then contraception) take.

    The teaching that children are a gift from God is far, far, far away from their minds.

    Consumerism has become the new religion of this crowd.

    And, when you "want" something, you deserve it and should get it--no matter what.

    Sad, sad, sad.

  16. I could not bear having frozen children. One time someone asked me if I would consider donating my eggs so other women could have children. Immediately, without thinking I said, "NO. Those are my children." My eggs are not children, but that was my instinctive response. This is a bit off topic I realize, but not too far off. I mean I think one reason open adoption is more popular because woman who give their babies up for adoption still want some kind of connection to or reassurance about their child. Hopefully birth mothers who give their children up have peace in their heart. They did not destroy their children.

    I'm sure having twins is tricky logistically and demanding, but eventually they learn to feed themselves and tie their own shoes. I don't know how mothers of newborn twins get any sleep, but somehow they get raised. That must be why there are mothers of multiple clubs, so the moms and dads can get some helpful tips.

    I think having a twin would be like always having a friend, and that would be wonderful.

  17. I know several people, friends from online, who have done the same exact thing. One went back on bcp not so much because she was "done" but because she has PCOS, and, I quote, "It's not safe for me to not have my period every month." (says her Dr). Ummm... EXACTLY!!!!!! Another has IVF twins and promptly announced she was "done" after the gender u/s revealed one of each. Oh, how very perfect.
    Disgusts me. :(

  18. fun and games while ivf babies are born, what a burden to bear afterwards knowing what you did with other embryos........ironic eh?

    sorry for lack of caps, holding one of my natural twins:)