Infertility Post 8: A Controversial Topic
At my first appointment with my reproductive endocrinologist, I announced, “We’re NOT going to do IVF because of these (x, y, and z) moral issues.” I felt better getting that off my chest. There were several things we could try before IVF, but we would be stopping short of that level of treatment.
The RE looked slightly perplexed. I remember him glancing down, then looking at me and my husband. “Actually, I feel the same way,” he said. “But the facts of the matter are a, b, and c.” The information he gave me was new, offering a different perspective on the questionable procedure.
My husband and I believe life is precious, that it begins at conception. It is the natural way we are created.
But we live in a terribly broken world. And sometimes, when dealing with individual stories, the natural order gets very mixed-up – disturbingly so, and it’s no one’s fault. A “right” answer becomes elusive. There are women who end up making terrible and heart-wrenching decisions that no human should ever have to face. We pray for miracles – fast and pray, sometimes – but they don’t always happen, and sometimes there’s no option to “wait and see.” Decisions have to be made.
Thank goodness most stories aren’t like this. But the sad stories don’t usually get posted on blogs or message boards. The women involved just quietly hurt.
My decision whether to continue treatments, including IVF, was mild in comparison. It was still stressful, though, to wonder whether we were interfering with life by trying to create it in this unnatural way.
Ironically, my mixed-up prior medical history made it a little easier to work through my questions. Looking back, it was probable (certain, in a couple cases) that I was experiencing very early miscarriages. In other words, my body, in its natural state, was ending life at its earliest stage.
If my body could do this repeatedly, left without intervention, why couldn’t we intervene, when our intent was to create and support life?
When the brokenness of the world has turned nature on its head, Christians are called to provide mercy and practical relief as best we can, even though the process isn’t picture perfect. Our doctor, a Christian who had experienced infertility in his own family, did this for us. He was there trying to pave the way for families like us who would not have felt comfortable pursuing treatment without a doctor who was patient enough to listen, understand, and explain the facts.
After our conversation with him (and especially after a failed adoption), we decided to continue as far as we could go, up to and including IVF.
The healing of our piece of the broken world would come in the form of cold, controversial, scientific medicine.
This post is part of a series on our journey through unexplained infertility. To read the rest of the story so far, please click here to see the index of posts.