Ummmmm, I got a little deep on this one...sorry.
Our children are the result of IVF...all of them...yup, even Charlie was bought and paid for like the rest of them. Without the miracle of modern medicine, our rooms would be empty, our house would be clean, our bank accounts would be full, our dinners would be quiet and dull, and there would be NO blog! And....we would probably be living at the beach rather than a house that is in a "good school district". How sad would that be!?!?!!?
I am not particularly thrilled with the fact that we are a walking advertisement for IVF, but triplets will do that to you. And, I definitely don't like it when strangers think that we are open for a Q&A session about our personal journey through infertility. But, we considered the decision to do IVF very carefully and I am comfortable with our decision and hold my head up high when I am asked about it by family, friends, neighbors, acquaintences, the woman blocking the exit to the elevator at the mall and the cashier at Kohls that so eloquently asked if my kids were "God given"...huh?!?!
Being Catholic, I realize that our decision to do IVF is not supported by the Catholic Church. Of course, I have a lot of respect for the Church and I completely respect their position concerning IVF. However, my feeling is that this matter is between me and God. If St. Peter gives me a hard time at the pearly-white gates, I'm fully prepared to argue my case. I feel that I have a pretty strong argument and I feel pretty good that he will end up letting me in. If you think I am wrong about that, I'd appreciate it if you'd say a few prayers on behalf of my soul. ;)
Now, why am I writing about this today? There have been a few times over the last few years that I have heard or read something that has made realize that for some people, there is a still a horrible stigma that they attach to people that seek fertility treatments. I had a personal experience with this recently and it has been weighing on my mind. I figure that if I write this out, maybe it will leave my mind open to think about other things. So please, bear with me or feel free to skip this post all together.
Anyway, I can completely understand that if because of religious beliefs or moral standards, a person thinks IVF is wrong, they are entitled to that opinion...believe me I have enough of my own of those type of opinoins. However, it is the people that think that they are somehow a better, more whole person, because they had all of their children "naturally" that get me worked up. Why people even waste their energy even caring about that stuff is beyond me and believe me, I realize that getting myself all worked up about this is pretty dumb too. But I can't help it. I have heard it with my own ears and read it with my own eyes. The craziest part is that I am sure that these high and mighty people know people very close to them that have seeked fertility treatments. See, most people do not have a triple stroller that shouts "Look at me, I did IVF". Believe it or not, most IVF's result in only one baby! There is a good number of people walking around this world that have IVF babies and you'd never know. The fertility clinic that I went to has one or two sets of triplets a year, yet every time I had an appointment, there could be 10 patients in the waiting room. That is a lot of moms with IVF singleton babies that aren't given the 3rd degree every time they go to the mall.
It is late, but I am going to try to get out my point. If you see my family as something as less than a true miracle, you are missing out. If you think less of people that have a family by means of fertility treatments, be careful. You may be judging your sister, brother, son, daughter, niece, nephew, cousin or best friend. If you think of IVF as being morally wrong, then use your energy to pray for the victims of infertility and the doctors and scientists that do the research and treat the patients. If you think that you and your family are somehow better than those of us that used fertility treatments, you are so WRONG! ;)
Finally, here is something that I once read and found very interesting. I did not write it and do not agree with 100% of all of it, but it definitely provides a lot to think about.
What do I think God meant when he gave me infertility? Couples experiencing infertility often receive well-meaning but extremely insensitive "advice." We can all list the most popular ones: "Just relax and you'll get pregnant," or "adopt and you'll get pregnant," or "things happen for a reason", of the most painful from those who think they've got the goods on God's plan, "Maybe God never meant for you to have children." The sheer audacity of making a statement like that never fails to amaze me."These same people would never walk up to someone seeking treatment for cancer and say, "Maybe God never meant for you to live." However, because I am infertile, I'm supposed to get on with my life. It's hard to understand that people can not see infertility for what it is, a disease for which I have to seek treatment. What if Jonas Salk had said to the parents of polio victims, "Maybe God meant for thousands of our children to be cripples, live in an iron lung or die." What if he'd never tried to find a cure? Who could think for one minute that that was God's plan?"
What do I think God meant when he gave me infertility?""I think he meant for my husband and I to grow closer, become stronger, love deeper. I think God meant for us to find the fortitude within ourselves to get up every time infertility knocks us down. I think God meant for our medical community to discover medicines, invent medical equipment, create procedures and protocols. I think God meant for us to find a cure for infertility."No, God never meant for me not to have children. That's not my destiny; that's just a fork in the road I'm on. I've been placed on the road less traveled, and, like it or not, I'm a better person for it. Clearly, God meant for me to develop more compassion, deeper courage, and greater inner strength on this journey to resolution, and I haven't let him down."Frankly, if the truth be known, I think God has singled me out for a special treatment. I think God meant for me to build a thirst for a child so strong and so deep that when that baby is finally placed in my arms, it will be the longest, coolest, most refreshing drink I've ever known."While I would never choose infertility, I can not deny that a fertile woman could never know the joy that awaits me. Yes, one way or another, I will have a baby of my own. And the next time someone wants to offer me unsolicited advice I'll say, "Don't tell me what God meant when he handed me infertility. I already know."-author unknown
I think that Ben, Jack, Drew & Charlie are the reason that God gave us infertility, and I am so glad that he did....but that is just me.