oohhhh in vitro…

I’ve had this post in que for a while now…I figured I better write about it before it’s totally off the table and becomes a non-issue.

But, with that being said, I feel more and more that it’s off the table.

When we were in the beginning stages of this process (what was that…oh, like a month or two ago?) and even a little before that, Chris had some trouble any time in vitro came up in our conversations. He said he didn’t know if he could get past the “test tube baby” part…but I encouraged him to be open to it because a) I just wasn’t super educated on what that meant and b) it was really important to me to carry a baby. Even during that initial visit to the fertility specialist he was panicking about the idea of in vitro…mostly because, at that point, we were surrounded by pictures of twins and even triplets!

However, when the doctor said that in vitro was our best choice (and only choice, as far as reproductive therapy is concerned) Chris kind of came around to it, and initially, I did too. He put our odds of it working at about 80%, which is pretty high, and gave us a 35-50% chance of multiples…which is also pretty high. The multiples thing still concerned Chris, but kind of excited me. (I think years of reading “Sweet Valley High” made me develop a secret dream of having twins one day.)

For several days we said we would probably try one round of in vitro, then adopt from there if it either didn’t work or we wanted more babies. A loooot of money is involved in that process, and even though the odds are high that it would work, there is always the chance that we would spend all of that and not end up with a baby.

I was able to talk to others who had faced this choice, some of whom had successfully pursued in vitro (and have adorable babies thanks to it!) and others who opted against it. I so appreciate the willingness of other women to talk to me about their own journeys with infertility, and I cannot emphasize enough how personal this type of decision is. Both in vitro and adoption are hard roads to walk, and the list of pros / cons for each is enough to make your head spin. What I’ve found, more and more, is that this is really a decision we’ll have to make according to what God’s will is for our family, just as others have had to seek Him as to what is right for theirs. In my mind there isn’t a clear right/wrong answer….after all, God produces life through in vitro just as He does through normal conception.

My struggles with in vitro came as I began to do a little more research and seek God as to what He would have for our family. I can get past the shots & all of the medication/procedures involved (although, I’m not going to lie, those are more than a little intimidating!)…it’s the extra embryos that I can’t find a peace about.

For some (who are familiar with this process, I guess) it’s a little presumptuous of me to assume that we would have extra embryos. But the truth of the matter is that with my PCOS, the odds are very high that they would be able to harvest a *lot* of eggs. From there, it’s a numbers game. Typically, not all of the eggs mature enough to fertilize. They’ll perform the in vitro with those that do, by using a needle to literally insert the sperm into the egg. That is the moment of conception…life. From there, they carefully monitor the embryos to see which ones grow at the correct pace and mature to a certain point. {Insert lots of medical terms here.}

At that point, final decisions are necessary pertaining to how many embryos are implanted (most doctors, ours included, will only do 1 or 2 embryos at a time) and what will happen to the remaining embryos. The options include: “letting them go,” freezing them for later use, donating them to science, or putting them up for adoption.

So, back to the numbers…the odds are pretty high that after implanting 2 embryos, we would have some left over. And those little embryos are what I just can’t settle. In my heart, I just feel that if I claim that life begins at conception, then I will be held accountable for what I do with any embryos (which are now *life*) that are left over after the initial procedure.

Trying to work it all out, I had the line of thought that we would just need to make the commitment to give all of those embryos the chance at life. But once you go there, you have to acknowledge the possibility that doing that might become impossible at some point. What if a pregnancy were to cause a problem for me and it wouldn’t be safe for me to have another? What if something happened to Chris or I? {A lot of “what ifs,” I know…but I felt like we would need to be prepared because I know we will have to live with whatever happens to us…and those embryos.}

So…yeah. I just can’t settle those embryos.

{Plus, I’ve heard from others, and read, about the stress fertility treatments can place on a marriage…and I don’t know that I want to put that on Chris and I. I have no doubt adoption can do the same, but it feels different to me somehow.}

My thoughts on this subject run pretty deep…but I’m also still sorting out how to verbalize all of them. The best way I know how to put it is like this…for me, the main reason I think about in vitro as a choice is more that it can provide the pregnancy experience and all that surrounds that. Of course I would love a biological child, but I’ve seen God work out adoptive babies fitting into their family & looking like they were born into that family too many times to get hung up on that. It really is more about being pregnant and being “in control” of that experience (ie – knowing exactly what I’m putting into my body, that I’m getting prenatal care, being able to breast feed, etc).

And the thing is, I just don’t know that those reasons are enough when there are babies being born who need good homes.

I feel like I’ve been all over the place. But that’s kind of what happens in my brain when I think about this topic.

So…I think I’m going to post this business and go to bed.

Tomorrow I think I’ll write about all the good God has been up to.

Blessed am I.

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3 thoughts on “oohhhh in vitro…

  1. I feel exactly the same about “destroying” any left over embryos. I feel like I would need to give every last one at least a chance. It turns out we only had one good enough. Maybe its god, who knows…. Good luck xx

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