Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The ethics of IVF

I am on Clomid at the moment and if that doesn't work our next option is IVF. I noted you went through IVF and I wondered what your personal experience was with dealing with the ethics of IVF as a Christian?
I am hesitant to go down that path even a little way, as I'm not sure my desire to have a baby wouldn't be too tempting, and cause me to push aside my concerns about the embryos we would create in the process and what to do with them if we have 'spares'.

I completely understand where you're coming from! We struggled with the situation as well. We knew we would do IVF, we just worried about getting too many embryos. We told ourselves up front we would give life (or try to) to any embryos we made. And we just prayed we would be wise about our decisions and God would be in complete control.

We got 20 eggs. Easily that could have become 15-20 embryos. So we opted to only ICSI 12 and to let the other 8 try naturally (we have a sperm penetration issue so we knew we weren't going to get super lucky with all 8 fertilizing).

In the end we only got 4 embryos. Only 2 that made it to our 3 day transfer. So we had no frozen embryos.

But I have to be honest with you, when you hear how many embryos you have growing, there is an instant connection. They are your "children". So many women have said the same thing. You feel protective of them and you want the best for them. So I think it would be hard to disregard them, unless that's your stance going into it.

But for us no matter how hard pregnancy would be or how much it would cost, we promised we would give a fighting chance to any embryos we created. My husband and I believe that once the egg and sperm meet, life has begun and that wasn't up to us to decide what to do with those precious lives we created. We could never have given the ok to destroy them. It just wasn't an option for us. And now that we have our baby and we look at him and remember where he started, I'm not quite sure how people could see it any other way.

So pray pray pray through the process that God will guide you and the entire process. We felt 20 eggs was just too much of a risk. Obviously it didn't turn out that way for us, but we couldn't have known that going into it.

And I wouldn't go into the situation without complete peace that it's what God wants for you!



Abbi said...

my b/f just went through ivf! she's on my blog.....she's raising roberson's! you need to check her out! she's a very strong women in her faith and loves the Lord with all her heart! she was blessed with 3 little miracle! triplets!! check her out!! (raising roberson's)

Dr. Erin and Mr. Heath said...

Also, it might be helpful to know that there are agencies that do embryo "adoption" or donations. My husband and I actually looked into adopting an embryo. That way, you know that you are not only helping a couple who might not be able to do IVF or experience the joy of pregnancy otherwise, but also providing life for this little embryo that you've created. Just another option!

Bonnie said...

Unfortunately I'm an Aussie and we're a bit behing you in embryo adoptions. As far as I'm aware it's not yet an option here.

Mary said...

Rae, reading this reminds me of what a miracle little Brighton is!!

The Patterson's said...

Thanks for posting. My husband and I have been having this discussion the past two nights because we have to decide this very thing in the next week.

I also love your blog...since my sister and I are going through some of the same things you did.

NeNe said...

My husband and I struggle back and forth about whether IVF is an option for us, morally. Sometimes it seems OK when done with careful limits and other times I feel like I would be plunging ahead of God if we even attempted it.

I struggle with the idea that it can't be natural to fill yourself with all of those drugs...but I still can't hear an answer from God or find one in the bible. Anyway- I thought this was an interesting topic.

Kimmy Kasl said...

Wow, I'm so glad you addressed this, Rachel! For the past few weeks, it has been something I've wanted to ask you about, but didn't know how to put it without offending you or making you feel guilty in any way. Didn't you get your degree in religion? I was wondering what different denominations feel about IVF. (All out of curiosity. I haven't looked into it yet.)
There are just so many things to think about when having a baby. Whoever you are, and no matter what path God takes you on.


Angie said...

My husband and I also struggled with the ethics involved with IVF, and after alot of prayer have felt the best path for us was to pursue embryo adoption.

Most people have no idea what kind of difficult decisions those with infertility are faced with.

Rose of Sharon said...

I'm so glad I found your blog! I want to adopt frozen embryos. It's been on my heart for a long time. This week I found a clinic that has 6 from a couple that may be willing to donate. In illnois, they have to get blood drawn & have a psychiatric evlaution before signing the consent. I waiting to hear if they'll do it. Please pray for me!

Rose of Sharon said...

I was dissapointed to learn that the couple who had checked "donate" on their forms, mean to "donate to science." The six embryos that I wanted to adopt are being destroyed. However, maybe God has another plan. I learned that another couple is willing to donate 15 frozen embryos! What an awesome responsiblity. I'll have to give life a chane for each of them. Your blog inspired me to try my own blog about the experience. Thanks!