Thursday, December 11, 2014

IVF: Top Five Questions and Answers From A Future Mom

I had so many messages and wonderful comments yesterday, that I thought I would continue on in chatting about IVF.  And hopefully, answer some of the tough questions that I know I have asked myself, and that I've discussed with my doctor.  So, again, this is me talking, not a doctor, not a specialist.  Just someone who wants to be a mom.

1. What IS IVF?  IVF stands for In Vitro Fertilizaation.  The basic definition is, an egg that is fertilized outside of the body.  So, I think that most people reading this have been through 8th grade health class, and can understand that.  There are a couple of processes that are like IVF, but the process is a little different, they are called IUI and also, ICSI.  But those are for another blog post.

2. What makes IVF a better option than adoption?  A lot of insensitive things can be said about people who choose to go the IVF route, but honestly, one of the worst can be 'why don't you just adopt?'  To those people, I ask this, if you knew that there was a CHANCE that you could have the joy of seeing this little person grow before your eyes, they have your features, your temperament, they even have mannerisms that are just like you and your significant other, and you are blessed with seeing that person grow and mature, would you take it?  I think most people would answer yes.  I will say, that, my husband and I were prepared (and we may still do it at some point!) for the idea of adoption if IVF wasn't going to work.  However, IVF gives all of the people like us HOPE!  Hope that we can know the joy of seeing our smile on their face, hope that we'll know how to do our little girls' hair because it's just like ours.  Those are things that are thought about, and that's why it's pursued.

3. When Did IVF start?  I mentioned this briefly in my previous post, but IVF has a long history of failures and skepticism dating all the way back to the 1800's.  But the first successful IVF pregnancy occurred in England, in 1978.  Louise Joy Brown is the very first 'test tube baby'.  From there, in 1979, the U.S. Ethics Advisory Board approves a federal grant that will allow couples in the U.S. to use IVF as a way to start their family.  Shortly after, the very first IVF clinic was opened up, right here in Virginia.  IVF was very controversial then, and in some circles remains controversial.  But for the most part couples who thought they would not be able to have children of their own have embraced this treatment with open arms (just as we have!)

4. Is IVF 'Playing God'?  Yep, that's right.  I'm gonna go there.  And I'll tell you why.  As a Christian woman, I really wanted to understand what was going on.  I wanted to be able to answer that question for myself with confidence.  Here's the thing: The Bible does not address IVF, because it simply wasn't around back then.  However, the Bible is VERY CLEAR about life...and that God likes it!  My goodness, God made miracles happen for women who were unable to have children in the Bible, or were past the age of being able to have children.  Our advances in technology have allowed us to save countless lives that otherwise, should have died.  Why is it so hard to think that technology could help us create it?  I realize that I'm oversimplifying it, but as far as I'm concerned, we are in no way stepping outside of moral bounds by going through with this, and, the doors continue to open for us to proceed in the process.  We are trying to get pregnant, just like many, many other couples out there, we just have to go about it in a different way.

5. Are you going to have twins?!  I LOVE this question!  Because I kinda hope that I do!  However, the way the IVF clinic that we are going to likes to do things, and the way that most IVF clinics prefer it now, is that they do not implant you with as many embryos as they can.  The days of 'Jon and Kate Plus 8' are long gone in the IVF world, and they realize now how dangerous that was for the babies and the mother.  Now, they recommend just one embryo, maybe two, if you really would like to try for twins.  But the truth is, with the sensitive nature of how these little lives are beginning, they want to be sure that everyone involved is healthy, and that means, less embryos.  So, in our case, we'll see, but it just depends on how each specific case is looking.

So there you have it!  I don't know if these are the top five questions for everyone, but they certainly were mine!  I hope that it helped to give you a little info on the subject, and if you do know of someone who is going through IVF, the types of questions that helpful to ask, and which ones are a bit more sensitive.  Thanks for reading!


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