I was chatting with my BFF this past weekend after I let the cat out of the bag. She said to me “I can say this to you now that you didn’t need to do it, but I’m so glad you didn’t do IVF. I just can’t be ok with that.” I asked her to go on…
Basically she feels that IVF is not an ethical option, because there is the chance that all the embryos that get transferred will not make it. She believes (as do I) that life begins at conception, and if all that the transferred don’t stick, you’re basically having an abortion. I wondered if she was thinking before speaking at this point. Especially speaking to me. I retorted back, wondering if she thought I was committing a sin as well by having a miscarriage, or in medical terms, a spontaneous abortion. I created life, intentionally, and my body rejected it. Is there a difference? I honestly don’t think so.
Now, I took offense to all of this on so many levels. The first being what I said above: basically she was (unintentionally) placing me in a category of murderers. A group she “can’t be ok with”. For no fault of my own. Also, I tend to have immense respect for those who have to and do choose IVF. I think more highly of someone who gets to a point where that’s the only decision they can make. They are not choosing to possibly “abort” some embryos, they are giving life to the ones that stick around. I know enough of some of your stories, as well as my one in-real-life friend who have been faced with this decision, and chosen IVF. And I even know some of you, and my friend, are not pregnant with all the embryos that were transferred. And I do not think any less of you or your babies because of that.
I explained to her I simply don’t think you can judge the decision to choose IVF, or any other fertility treatment option until you have been right there. She thinks that because her got married she “didn’t think she could ever get pregnant” (I’m not entirely sure how much of this I believe), and had thought for ya know like, a day, about pursuing adoption and not IVF that she is completely qualified to make this judgement. Not so, friend. You have been no where near the place I’ve been. You’ve never had an embryo implanted and growing in your uterus, only to reach demise and be painfully ripped from your body. You can’t tell me I’m a sinner for creating life and not being physically able to sustain it.
Where do you fall in this argument? What ethical dilemmas have you walked through on the road to IVF if you’re there? I never got there, but I’d love to hear your insight and experience.