The Gift of Infertility, Part 3

While natural family planning (NFP) is not always effective for couples (like us) who are trying to conceive naturally (see part one of this series), the Church has good reasons for its teaching on human sexuality (see part two and our "Response to Readers"). Nevertheless, many couples believe they can use intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF) without violating their consciences or their faith, because, after all, such techniques create life, not destroy it.

Flirting with Danger

Proponents of artificial reproductive technologies (ART) often argue that IUI and IVF are actually "pro-life." The thinking behind this assertion is that every endeavor aimed at bringing forth new life promotes the dignity of life. Of course, all orthodox Christians, both Catholic and Protestant, agree life begins at conception. For this reason, Dr. Dobson recommends that couples using IVF fertilize and insert only as many eggs as they are willing to keep, and no more than three. "To fertilize and implant more than three," reckons Dobson, "would unacceptably increase the risk of pregnancies of quadruplets or more, pregnancies which carry high risk for both mother and babies."

These dangers are significant. According to the CDC, even twins, who comprise 30 percent of ART births, "are still at substantially greater risk for illness and death than singletons." Dr. Eric Surrey, president of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology, cautions: "Twin pregnancies are at a three- to five-fold greater risk for pregnancy complications and perinatal mortality compared to carrying one fetus. With triplets, there is at least a seven-fold greater risk." Low-birth weights and neurological diseases, such as cerebral palsy, are also far more common in twins and other multiple-infant births. In addition, women using ART, especially when combined with drugs that cause ovarian hyperstimulation, are putting their "health and lives in jeopardy," warn Drs. Marie Anderson and John Bruchalski. "Since there is no regulatory agency to oversee the industry, women are treated as research subjects, given drugs that pose an unknown risk."

 While pro-life Christians who resort to IUI or IVF would never consider having an abortion, they should keep in mind that the reproductive technology industry is institutionally dependent upon the destruction of human life. On average, women 35 and younger are impregnated with three to five embryos per cycle. Most IVF specialists discourage couples from transferring just one embryo, but approximately 66 percent of all ART births are singletons. At the same time, the overall live-birth success rate for ART is 29 percent. Hence, well over 70 percent of all embryos created through ART do not survive. Thousands more children that reach the fetal stage are killed via selective or "multifetal pregnancy" reduction, a euphemism used to refer to a first trimester abortion. Although the CDC does not disclose the exact number of multifetal reductions each year, the number of multifetal pregnancies accounting for miscarriages and induced abortions exceeds the number of multiple births by approximately 10 percent. A 1993 study found that 31 percent of multifetal pregnancies ended with miscarriage while 27 percent ended with selective reduction.

With experts complaining about an "epidemic of multiple births," physicians feel pressure to keep their multibirth rate low. As reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, "The creation and destruction of human embryos is part and parcel of modern infertility treatments, reflecting both the inherent inefficiency of human reproduction and efforts by fertility clinics to keep costs down and success rates as high as possible" (Aug. 20, 2001, A-1).

It is estimated that as many as one million embryos have been destroyed since IVF was introduced in the United States in 1981. Over 500 embryos alone lost their lives to produce the first "test tube baby," Louise Brown, in 1978. Currently, more than 400,000 embryos are frozen.

Even if a couple follows Dr. Dobson's advice and transfers only as many embryos as they are willing to carry to term, they are still unintentionally cooperating with the murder of nascent human life. To begin with, these couples are benefiting from technologies that would not exist without embryonic research, research many of these same couples oppose. Additionally, they are lending financial and social support to a system that dishonors life by encouraging such practices as selective reduction (i.e., abortion), cryopreservation and genetic selection. Finally, couples who use ART tacitly buy into the abortion-driven myth that life begins upon implantation, rather than conception. After all, no one sends out pregnancy announcements when their baby is still "in vitro." Yet the debate over when life begins — at conception or implantation — is one of the great divides that separate the culture of life from the culture of death.

I've Got the Power 

Ironically, many of the couples using IUI and IVF in their late twenties and mid-thirties were contracepting earlier in their marriage. This is because IUI and IVF are the logical counterparts of the contraceptive mentality, whose fundamental tenet is that women enjoy total control over their fertility. The following comment from one infertile woman perfectly epitomizes this view: "I'm not a control freak, but it's one area of my life that I thought I'd always have control over. You know, I was on the pill for five years before we started trying to have a baby. … Five years I thought I was in control of my fertility. When I didn't get pregnant, it came as quite a shock" (Handbook of Families & Health, SAGE Publications, 103).

Predictably, the Catholic Church is criticized from both sides: When it's convenient, couples tell the Church that they should be allowed to contracept; when they change their mind, they tell the Church that she should permit them to use IUI and IVF. Either way, the Church is accused of being archaic and narrow. Rather, it is the view that separates the procreative and unitive aspects of marital intercourse that is truly "narrow." Such a view reduces the sexual act to being either primarily for the sake of unity or primarily for the sake of reproduction. The Church alone, in her wisdom, refuses to divide the two.

The Church refuses to divide what God has joined because she does not have the power to do so (cf. Mt. 19:6). The possession of such power would enable man to become like God (cf. Gn. 3:5). In fact, this premise underlies the scientific revolution, which promises man total control over nature, even human nature and human sexuality. Some might argue that the power science gives man comes from God, but not every thing invented by man is for his own good. This does not mean that technology cannot be used to assist the reproductive process, but that such assistance must never be divorced from the recognition that all life is a gift.

In accepting the gift of life, man agrees to respect the means by which life should be transmitted. A man who gave his wife a diamond ring, for instance, would be horrified if she used it as a drill bit. Likewise, a gift should not be opened before its time; rather the gift-giver chooses when and how to give the gift. As Donum Vitae reminds us: "The child is not an object to which one has a right, nor can he be considered as an object of ownership: rather, a child is a gift, 'the supreme gift' and the most gratuitous gift of marriage" (II, 8).

If children are "the supreme gift of marriage," how are couples to understand their infertility as a gift? The fourth and final part of this series will discuss the heart of the mystery of infertility and provide additional resources for those who want more information.

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  • Guest

    Every anti-life example you give in this article has absolutely nothing to do with IUI and everything to do with IVF.  Therefore, even if you are correct that the Church currently has a clearcut teaching against IUI, I continue to question your decision to consistently lump it in along with IVF.  Is it because both procedures fall under the category of ART?  The theological objections to IUI might be very sound, but its implications particularly in the context of the examples that you offer here put IVF in a league all its own, one that is distinct from IUI.  Furthermore, as an expectant mother of twins (who were conceived naturally with no fertility drugs or treatments), I don't appreciate the way this article portrays twin pregnancies.  I am well aware that twin pregnancies are high risk, but unlike triplets and other multiples, they are fairly common even among people who don't struggle with infertility.  We twin moms have enough to worry about without having grim statistics thrown in our faces.  I do, however, appreciate your efforts to expose the hideous destruction of life that occurs as a result of IVF.

  • Guest

    Claire, the statstics are what they are.  This article is not being addressed to you. It is being addressed to those who would intentionally, through the use of ART, subject their children to these greater risks.  That is not what you did!

    If these articles upset you, it might be better for your peace of mind to not read them. You are growing two precious babies and all of us wish nothing but calm and joy for you during this pregnancy.

    Take care,

    Mary

  • Guest

    Thank you so much for this wonderful series of articles.  I feel this need to tell my story, if that's okay.   Not knowing the Church's teaching, nor probably wanting to really find out or follow it, 7 years ago we attempted IVF/ICSI (after a few years of natural attempts and surgery).  We justified it by agreeing to only use our egg and sperm (even though donor sperm was highly recommended), that we would transfer all of the fertilized "eggs" and limit it to 4 tries.  Despite two fresh cycles, two frozen, and "good looking" embryos, our last attempt yielded a pregnancy that ended in miscarriage.

    Through it all, deep down, I felt it was wrong and that we should not control what is truly a miraculous gift, and the whole process lacked the sanctity and divinity it deserves.  Everything about it was so scientific.  Then, there were the risks I took with my body and most of all, the risks to my embryos.  We even bought into that culture of death lie "life begins at implantation not conception" and that we have a right to a pregnancy and baby (just like everybody else-why can't we too?).  In essence, it was all about us and what we wanted.

    Thanks to our forgiving and every loving Father, He knows what is best for us.  We finally decided to put complete trust in Him and His teachings through the one True church.  The Catholic church and its teaching really makes sense and it gives all the beauty and dignity creation deserves.

    Through the strength of our Lord, we mourned the loss of our dream to bear a biological child. We then began to conceive a child in our heart and soul through the challenging road of adoption.   Our lives have been enriched beyond measure because of a loving God who always wanted us to trust Him completely.   Alas, we are now priveleged to be parents- to two beautiful miracles born in Colombia- sons- Matthew and John.  Often, we pray for and give thanks to their brave and loving birthmothers, who cherished the divine within them and gave our children the gift of life.  They selflessly want for them what they are unable to provide.   We have completed the legwork involved for a third child, and wait in hope for the joy of another precious miracle to become part of us through Love.

    Praise and Glory to God!       

  • Guest

    Patty,

        That is a beautiful story, and very inspiring.  Thank you for sharing! 

  • Guest

    "Father forgive them for they know not what they do,"  are Christ's words that I put on my own lips many a time regarding these issues.

    One aspect of the Culture of Death that permeates both the "life" side, ART, and the "death" side, contraception and abortion, is that human beings are treated as objects.

    The mothers are unwilling landing pads for blastocysts. They are unwilling incubators with abortion. 

    Parents select children as if they were shopping in Nordstrom for a designer bag or tie. 

    Human embryos and fetal body parts are a commodity and wombs are for rent! 

    Children are  a right and owed to couples.  They are to be taken off the shelf and petted. Or spoiled thus feeding a parent's ego.  (Few couples truly ponder the mystery of parenthood and proper rectitude of intention is frequently not there when planning a family even among Christians.  Most folks are oblivious to my observation, however, and think indulgence, etc…equals good parenting.)

    Selfishness defines the Culture of Death even among those who seek pregnancy….when they want it as they want it. One must work the pregnancy into a lifestyle schedule.  Teachers only will conceive in late summer and early fall to maximize summer vacation before the kid is warehoused in some form of daycare.  If no pregnancy is achieved the woman returns to birth control and tries again next year.

    God is mocked even when the gift is recieved. Couples who tried for years to conceive, consider spacing, either through NFP or more commonly contraception or sterilization after the birth of the long awaited prize.  If a baby is conceived naturally and without direct intention, they begin to worry about finances and other temporal issues.  "We only ever wanted one," you hear.  "We're too old.", some say.  I know a 41 year old woman who gave birth to a baby conceived by IVF.  She was pampered and nourtured and the baby was esteemed as a great accomplishment.  Meanwhile I was the same age and pregnant with my 10th. I was the freak and my baby was ignored as if her humanity had been diluted by her 9  siblings born first.  The IVF mother now contracepts and I"m pregnant with our 11th child.

    Another woman had a tubal ligation, divorced, remarried, got a reversal, had a child and sterilized herself again!

    One woman used licit fertility treatments to give birth to a singleton and then twins.  Ten years later an unassisted pregnancy occured and the baby is born when the parents are 39 and 40.  Now it's inconvenient.  "If this had happened earlier we'd have been open to more.  Teach us NFP!"  (These folks are millionaires, by the way…but time is running out on the tummy tuck.)

    What is going on?

    "I want what I want, when I want it!"

    Yesterdays gospel from Luke is one that has sustained, strengthened, and comforted me for many years: 

     "Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom…..with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys.  For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."

    One must live a life permeated by faith, hope, and love.  The above quote from Luke 12:32-34  summarizes that truth.  I never make decisions paralylized by fear.  Fear is of the devil. Perfect love casts out fear Jesus tells us.  This scripture animated Pope John Paul  II's life.

    For my husband and me our children are living testimonies to our faith that the ability to procreate a human soul with the Eternal Almighty God surpasses ANY human reality. A cost benefit analysis across the spectrum of issues:  finances, stress level, non life threatening health conditions for myself, to name a few, is inappropriate and short sighted.  We try to live a life corresponding to God's Grace so that eternal souls can be brought into the world and raised to the glory of God!

    One reason I have been open to life on every cycle, I do have about 14 months of breastfeeding low fertility, is that I never wanted to feel like a was using God to get a baby "As I like it."  I never wanted to risk passing up the GIFT that He had planned for our family.

    Living in this current Culture of Death requires, in my opinion, an heroic response!  For us raising a large family purely by the Grace of God, is our answer.  It is not always fun or easy, but I am full of joy and at peace.  Like the little drummer boy, my husband and I have given God a gift:  humans made in His image and likeness.

    True charity also requires a response along the lines of, "There, but for the grace of God, go I."

    "Let the children come unto me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God.  Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdon of God like a child shall not enter it."  Luke 18:16-17

    Living the above scripture is the gift my children have given me.  It is the pearl of great price.

  • Guest

    Congratulations,Patty!  I hope your third baby arrives safe and sound!

    I, too, have participated in the Culture of Death and rejoice in God's mercy!  How happy is the woman who has been forgiven much, for much is her thanksgiving! 

    Being open to life is my way of saying thank you and offering reparation for my sins against life.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Guest

    We are trying to adopt. At our training session every other couple (except us) had tried all of the reproductive technologies, including surrogacy. They all seemed desperate and emotionally raw. What was saddest to me was that for them, adoption was THE LAST resort, not the natural alternative when the natural means of having a baby were not working. As Catholics we need to WORK HARD to foster the idea that adoption is a good thing, not a last resort. God does not owe us babies! Whether we conceive or adopt, it is God who gives the gift. This has made is so much easier for us to deal with our infertility. 

  • Guest

    Thank you for your sharing Patty, may it be an instrument of healing, understanding and conversion for all who read.

     

    My sister & her husband have also received the gift of infertility. Almost 21 yrs married & have never adopted, yet it is rare that they are home alone & I don't mean just day visits or overnighters. They have learnt to appreciate their fertiltiy, as it is, just as each couple are called to do. The fruitfulness of their union is shared with the community as they have discerned God's call in their life.

    I have a friend in Canada who runs a small day care service from her home offering parents a safe & nurturing environment for their children; referrals have kept her going over a number of years.

     

    These are all real needs of women and couples; that we may come to know & appreciate our fertility for no matter the situation we are neither less nor more WONDERFULLY MADE; that orphans & other children in need would be welcomed by generous hearts into their homes; that the mothers and fathers in need would be able to find safe and nurturing day/night care assistance for their children.

     

  • Guest

    The article does not address IUF ( in utro fertilization) very well , because as pointed out all the examples are primarily of what is wrong are related entirely to IVF ( in vetro fertilization) and or Drug related multiple pregnancies ( also immoral by church teaching because they put th e mother and the babies at extreme risk).

      

    so there are really two types of IUF ( Drug assisted and Non Drug assisted) ( the only fertility drug I know of that meets the church criteria as moral is clomid which works as a normal hormone and does not have any danger of multiple births beyond , rarely, twins).

      

    Even non-drug assisted IUF is immoral according to church teaching but for a somewhat different reason.  Primarily non-drug assisted IUF frustrates the unative act because it involves the husband masturbating first and then using a syringe to get the sperm higher in the uterus.

     

    As such it robs the sexual act of it's sacramental nature and is breach of the marriage vows. 

      

    What perhaps is the least immoral type of IUF is the type where the husbands sperm is captured after normal copulation from within the vagina, concentrated and then pushed further up into the uterus using a syringe.

      

    However, my studied opinion is that even this falls outside the heart of love and is sinful because it introduces a 'control' mentality into the act of having children and that is what people don't want to face.

      

    You DO NOT have a right to have absolute control over your fertility.

     

    Even if you are using NFP to avoid pregnancy it SHOULD "with a heavy heart" in other words something you would rather NOT be doing because you "want to be having" more children if God would allow it. 

      

    Taking artificial control over fertility in general is a result of not trusting in God and the article is exactly correct in the ascertain that IUF and IVF have in common lack and unwillingness to trust, rather then be in control.

     

  • Guest

    Fishman: I think the point of this article is to educate people on how something that appears good, ART, is actually part and parcel of the Culture of Death.  Let's call it the flip side of the abortion coin.  This article does not discuss any forms of exclusive  hormone therapy to assist fertility, because issues involving low fertility related to hormone  deficiencies are medical conditions.  Therefore, there is nothing illlicit about treating a brain chemistry problem ( under which many of these infertility issues fall).  For example, would you deny a diabetic insulin in some form:  pills, shots, or pump delivery because it isn't natural?  Obviously examples abound of the theraputic use of hormones in advancing human health.

    A regular menstrual cycle is part of being a healthy female.  Pregnancy and breast feeding are protective factors in a woman's health too.  Regulating a woman's cycle in a responsible way  whether to help a woman achieve pregnancy or achieve normal cycles is a good that the medical community can provide.  I believe that what fishman is getting at is hyperstimulation of the ovaries which produces multiple eggs for fertilization even if they are fertilized in the totally natural way. Very often this results multiple embryos.Then "Doctors of Death" selectively reduce human beings.  (Whoever is closest to the needle gets a shot and–silence– no more beating heart!)  Despite the abuses of hormone therapy, I believe the Church teaches that there is a place for its use.

    Further, as far as I know none of us responding to this article are reproductive endocrinologists.  There are many  drug therapies availabe aside from Clomid.  For instance, my sister has a condition whereby her brain doesn't signal her ovaries to start producing estrogen.  14 years ago her infertility specialist was pioneering a technique using a pump delivery system to deliver gonadatrophins to my sister in a controlled manner. It is called a GNRH pump.  It mimiced the hypothalmus function by injecting her with hormones (FSH)every 90 minutes for 5 days.  She was closely monitored for hyperstimulation.  If more than two lead follicles developed, she was not given the shot of LH.  She conceived a singleton on the first cycle.  Fifteen months later, she conceived twins while undergoing  Humagon therapy. (Her specialist with the GNRH pump had moved).  She has had irregular cycles ever since and has not used NFP to try to conceive.  However, she just delivered a baby who was conceived as a miracle by surprize!  God certainly has plans that made even Sarah laugh!

    As the article states, we must use extreme caution in dealing with the gift of human fertility.  Exercising caution doesn't necesarily mean a method is illicit.  After all, don't you look both ways when crossing the street…especially in NYC!

  • Guest

    Fishman,

       Elkabrikir is right;  fertility drugs beyond clomid aren't illicit per se;  there are times when they're appropriate to correct hormone imbalances.  Dr Hilgers, who is a faithful Catholic and NFP doctor, prescribes injectible fertility drugs when appropriate.  However, Catholics are supposed to exercise caution and avoid the hyperstimulation that you refer to.  

         I agree with you that it is not ethical for us to usurp God's control over our fertility.  That's my second biggest gripe about IVF:  the biggest issue I have is the destruction of embryos and the freezing of embryos that occurs during IVF;  my second issue is that creating embryos in a petri dish is playing God.  I can honestly say that when my husband and I did IUI last fall, it was not because we were trying to usurp God's control;  we honestly at that time thought that the Church had not yet declared it licit or illicit (and I'm still not convinced, by the way). However, in retrospect, a commenter on last Monday's infertility article helped me to see that without realizing it I was pushing the envelope and trying to get away with as much as I could.  Your analogy with NFP is something that occurred to me when I made this realization, because NFP is an area that the Church gives us some leeway to use our consciences, and even a well catechized conscience is subject to fallen nature, so we have to be very, very careful with using NFP to avoid a pregnancy. I never imagined that avoiding a pregnancy would even be an issue for me, but it might, if please God all goes well with my twins.  I honestly feel that the most our home and budget will allow is for 3 children unless something changes in the next few years.  If we are blessed with a third, my husband and I will have some serious prayer and discernment to do about whether it is ethical for us to use NFP to avoid a fourth. 

          

  • Guest

    Mary,

         Thank you again for your support.  I promise if I find myself getting stressed out I will back off from reading these articles.  Those twin statistics are nothing new to me, I just question whether they belong in this article, since twin pregnancies are fairly common and not unique to IVF (triplets and other multiples are rather rare outside the context of IVF, so I can understand including those types of stats here).

         It might not seem like it from some of my posts, but I actually have really enjoyed this series, and while I still have some disagreements with the authors and some of the commenters, the dialogue has helped me to learn something new about myself and this is good for my spiritual growth. Most importantly, I am very thankful to see infertility being addressed to this extent.  It is a very important issue for our Church.

  • Guest

    Elkabrikir,

       I have one more example you can add to your list:  my sister-in-law did IVF;  she ended up with 18 embryos (16 are currently frozen), and had two transferred;  one miscarried.  At her postpartum checkup after my niece was born, her obgyn convinced her that she should go on the Pill to avoid an unplanned pregnancy!  This is a woman who tried for 3 years to get pregnant, was never able to do so and resorted to IVF, and now she's worried about the horrors of an unplanned pregnancy? 

  • Guest

    Claire!

    all I can say is:

    TYPICAL!Frown

    Thank God one can still repent until one's last breath….physicians included…Oh!  I'm sorry, they are God!

  • Guest

    Oh, and I forgot to mention that my brother is a lawyer in NYC and makes a 6 figure salary, and his Christmas bonus last year was bigger than my whole annual salary (I'm the primary breadwinner in my household, unfortunately;  it's a huge burden for me).  My sister-in-law doesn't even have to work, and she has a cleaning lady.  So it's not like an unplanned pregnancy would be a financial burden.

  • Guest

    I always enjoy reading your comments, Elkabrikir.  Your words are always wisely stated, and this time I cried when I read  "…rejoice in God's mercy and How happy is the woman who has been forgiven much, for much is her thanksgiving!"  I still need to heal from the wounds of my sin.

    And you said it Ourfamily! God gives the gift- whether via adoption or birth- the love between parent and child is the same, and we need to work hard for people to understand that, afterall, it is the parent who is blessed to have a child.  Children teach us so much about ourselves, and what it means to truly receive the kingdom of God.  I never viewed adoption as a last resort, just one of two routes to take to make a family, but because of my imperfect selfish nature, I wanted what I wanted- a baby growing in my uterus, then being able to nurse our baby.    And there is no doubt God is involved in making the right family for us (as he will for you, ourfamily)—- with our first adoption, we prayed whether domestic or international and from what country- the next day there were 3 signs that landed smack dab in my lap- go international and to Colombia!  We named him Matthew- gift of God (and my hubby's middle name).  He kept his birth name as his middle name- Mauricio.    With our second son- we knew God was there yet again-  his given name at birth was Juan Camilo, which is the exact same name of the child we had been sponsoring for three years prior- now what are the odds of that!   Hence, his God chosen name John Camilo.

    Adoption is not an easy road, but oh what indescribable joys you will receive when you become a Mother!     We can only pray that those couples in your class who have probably had the life and sense zapped out of them from years of "doing it my way" in a lab will soon see the adoption route is full of love, life, hope, and most of all, God's presence.  

  • Guest

    Spice:

    your point is well made.  We are not the gifts we have received!

    Mr Rogers had a song I always find healing.  It's called

    "It's You I Like" (not the color of your hair, not the clothes you wear, they're just beside you….) I also likes his "Every Fish is Fancy" song (every fish is fancy every fish is fine, your fish is fancy and so is mine!….)

    As you reminded us,Spice, we are all fearfull and wonderfully made in the Image and Likeness of God.

    Jesus tells us in Parable of the Talents that we will not be judged by the gifts we have received but rather by how we have used them!

    Thanks for posting from the sunny and hopefully breezy Islands….we're in a horrible heat wave and drought!  Even the pools are 98 degrees and miserable!

  • Guest

    I apolgize I probabaly spoke far to broadly when I says 'other firtility drugs' there are in fact many other kinds of fertility drugs and treatments.

     

    To my knowledge clomid is the only drug that actually forces ovulation but does also carry as a common side effect pregnancies in numbers over 3, which of coarse for obvious moral reasons must be avoided.

     

    I'm not a doctor and certainly don't cliam to know every medicine on the market and it's possible effects on a womans cycle.

     

    My background is simply that my wife and I were classified as 'infertile' by fertility specialist 3 years into our currently 6 years of marriage.

    Our baby was born 6 weeks ago.  My wife has had 2 cycles in the coarse of our marriage ( unidentifed hormone imbalance). 

     

    We we concieved we used clomid  ( a much lower dose actually then the previous 2 times she had taken it).

    We know another couple who tried for 5 years IUF multiple times , fertility drugs you name it. 

     

    the concieved naturally with no help of any kind when they were taking a 'break' from trying ( they had basically given up).

     

    I am utterly convinced people concieve when God allows it and not otherwise.

     

    believeing WE can be in control of the _supernatural_ is refered to in the bible as witchcraft btw 😉

     

    all of the biblical condemnation about witches was orginally directed to those who used artifical contraception as well.

     

     

     

     

  • Guest

    Fishman!

    Congratulations to you and your wife and baby!  (Is your baby's name Isaac?Wink or Samuel or Hannah!

    The joy of a firstborn is unsurpassable!  I remeber thinking that all the love songs in the world were written just for my Elisabeth!

    I agree, regardless of fertility status (so to speak) we conceive only when God deigns it!  One should never fall into the hubris of thinking otherwise.

    I hope all is well with your growing family!

  • Guest

    Fishman,

         Congratulations!  That's wonderful news.  I wonder if your wife has PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome);  that can cause ovulation to be rare.

         I am an example of one of those people you describe who conceive on God's timetable while not trying very hard. My husband and I tried to conceive for 3 years.  During our initial workup, all my tests came back fine, but my husband had low sperm motility.  We tried acupuncture, herbal supplements, organic foods, etc with no improvement in his motility.  I conceived last summer, but miscarried immediately.  I then had further testing which showed that my fertility had taken a nosedive since our initial infertility workup, and my FSH levels were perimenopausal (early menopause runs in my family, but I never expected my leves to go from perfect one year to horrendous 15 months later).  So then we had both my issues and my husband's issues to contend with.  I did a couple of cycles on high levels of Clomid and then did one unsuccessful IUI last October (and yes, I regret it, which I won't go into here because I've explained that story in previous posts).  At that point, we gave up hope and decided to adopt, although we still tried every month without any medical intervention (as I have become a pro at identifying when I ovulate).  In mid-June, just as we were due to pay a $1500 adoption home study fee, I found out that I was pregnant, and a few weeks later found out that I'm carrying twins!  There is no explanation for the timing of this pregnancy, other than it's in God's time.  And his timing couldn't be better;  even though I had hoped to conceive three years ago, in retrospect I can see that this is the ideal time for us.

         I want to clarify that I have always felt that adoption is every bit as miraculous as biological parenting, and I know I would have loved a adopted baby just as much as I love my twins.  But, we are still so grateful to God for choosing this way for us to become parents.  Particularly because adoption would have meant taking a large sum of money from my brother (the rich lawyer who did IVF), and this was really upsetting me because I don't like taking handouts from people.

  • Guest

    yeah the only trouble with adoption is the expense and difficulty is even more sacrafice then having a child. 

     I wish the barriers weren't so high, strange how to protect children we keep them orphaned

     

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