Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Judge me if you wish - However, know that this world is not black and white

Sorry this is long...

We have decided to begin the process of IVF as all other infertility treatments have not been successful or based on my condition and reaction to the medications I was not a candidate for certain procedures. I think it is important for me to outline my thought process for those who either are going through infertility, may have to face infertility issues, or have never been in this position. There seems to be a black and white, right or wrong stance on this procedure depending on which article and/or voice one chooses to read or listen to. But we had to decide for ourselves within our faith and our morality where we stood and what IVF meant... So her it goes...

After many days, months of prayer and research my very realistic and practical brain has come to the following conclusions which I feel align perfectly with my very spiritual and faithful heart.

I believe that life begins at conception, but what is conception? I believe that our Lord and Savior have granted many with minds, wisdom, knowledge and expertise which create great doctors that assist us in various medical areas. That being said the overall umbrella debate over IVF and faith (from my research) is the theory of believing that the doctor is somehow playing "god" through the IVF process. However, as I read those with varying view points a couple of items become very clear: 1. Most of the authors writing opinions had a political, religious, and/or medical agenda and 2. The majority of those against IVF had not experienced the actual process of IVF.

So what is IVF as a process and how does it align with my internal and moral belief that life begins at conception? I must admit I wasn't certain I would find an answer and was at peace that we may not choose IVF.

Fundamentally, I think we must ask ourselves the most basic of questions, what is conception? Conception is the meeting of the egg and sperm in a woman's womb. All three aspects must be present in order for life to begin and exist.

How amazing is our God that there is something so incredible, miraculous, invisible that medical science can not recreate, it can assist like any other procedure/surgery/therapy but ultimately it is up to our Lord and Savior and his divine purpose to grant us life and healing.

So my practical brain then said how do we break down the process of IVF and conception. As stated above there are three equal parts (all for one-one for all) of pregnancy/conception: 1. the sperm 2. the egg and 3. the female womb. In order for life you must have all three. The natural way to create life is through the act of sexual intercourse between a man and a woman or the gateway/action to allow for the sperm, egg and womb to all meet. In the IVF process because of our infertility issues we require a different action or an outside act to allow for the sperm, egg and womb to meet. Our act is with the assistance of a specialized doctor. The process of IVF and the assistance of a medical doctor only gets conception and pregnancy 2/3's of the way to life the meeting of the sperm and egg in a lab. Therefore, there is no conception and there is no life because these two entities can not survive without the female and even when met together can not produce a life or a soul. Yes, it is true there is cell growth (or medically the beginning stages of splitting of cells), but this can only go so far before the split cells require a host to latch onto for life to begin requiring all the necessary nutrients for growth and sustainability.

There are plenty of "fear" articles which propagate an agenda about test tube babies or even let's say test tube animals as the reasons "Christians" or "devoutly religious people" should not do IVF. The bottom line is that medical science has never ever been successful with creating life without the aid of a female body either human or animal.

Conception to me and my faith is the moment life can begin the moment an egg and sperm are united in the womb of a mother whether that is through natural means (and for those who can get pregnant naturally and do not know the struggle please keep your judgements at bay) or through a little assistance by doctors. The only way for life to begin is with all three...

So pray for us as we embark on this new journey even if you do not agree. As this decision is not only a soul searching time it will also be an incredibly emotional and physical journey as well. The medications, appointments, and procedures are not easy and require a lot of strength, patience, and courage. Ultimately, we are at peace with our decision and are thankful to our Lord and Savior for opening the doors to an incredible doctor and we are confident that we will be blessed with a beautiful baby (or babies).


Laurie and Chas Fritz said...

Dear sweet Brenda,
I do judge you! I judge you and your wonderful husband to be brave, God fearing people who will make WONDERFUL parents to some very lucky babies! I will be praying for God to be with the doctors and you in the days ahead. Blessings and prayers to you!

Betty Stew said...

This is another new and exciting journey and experience for you and Andy.
However, your life, Brenda, has been full of new experiences - of bravely going where few have gone before. Seemingly, the story of your life! -
You always seemed so brave as you got on planes to far away sometimes dangerous scary places, challenged issues that were unfair, and entered into conflicts determined to right the things in this world that are wrong. But as your mom - the one who shares a bond like no others with you - I could see what others didn't. Behind your brave face and squared shoulders - I could see the glimmer of fear and the hesitation to take that next step. -- But forward you would go.
So, my dear daughter, you take another step into yet another new and maybe unsettling process - a process that requires you to be brave and strong - one that will assist you to give life. And that is the word “assists" you. For it is you, your wonderful husband, and God who will make this miracle.
Dad and I will be here for you both - for you all!!
We will praise God as we wait and will give Him glory as we watch the joy come!

sharonie said...

your mom's post was so well said! I am excited for you and Andrew and can see already all the support you will have along the way. What I have learned in tough times is to surround yourself with those who will support you, encourage you, and pray for you. I am so proud of you for being so open about this journey you are on. I can't wait to see the joy that comes from this journey!

Anonymous said...

AWW! Congrats Brenda!!!! I hope that the process is very easy and happens quickly!!!! I hope you and Andrew feel God's peace and will be praying for you!!! Cannot wait to see the post that you are going to have a little baby/babies!!! Get ready for the rollacoaster of Mommyhood!!! YAYYYYY!!!
Mandi Capo

Jason said...

Brenda, I've only recently become acquainted with you and Andrew and have been absolutely awed by what God is doing in and through you. You don't know me from Adam, but we share an Almighty Father to whom I will pray for you and Andrew during this process. I have a dear friend who is in her sixth month of pregnancy following IVF (her second attempt) and she is having twins!! "Itsy and Bitsy" as she is calling them now are thriving and my friend and her husband praise God daily for the gift HE has given them through the doctors. She is on Facebook...I don't mean to be at all preseumptuous, but if you'd like I'm sure she'd be more than happy to talk with you about her experience. I'd be happy to direct her here to your blog and perhaps the two of you could chat. Wow..too long for a "first comment" on a blog, but know I am praying for you both! ~Jason

Anonymous said...

Just a judgements here. We recently were faced with this same decision. We agreed with your premise that conception is the fertilized egg in the womb. But, our doctor wouldn't agree to allow each implanted fertilized egg a chance to thrive. In other words, he wanted to implant 10 eggs in the hopes that 1 or 2 would 'take.' Then he wanted to selectively remove the remainder if there were too many. Have you found someone locally who would agree to only implant 1 or 2 fertilized eggs?

Brenda S. Marin said...

To Anonymous - My doctor will only implant up to thee fertalized eggs. In fact, he has commented to me that the medical field has changed many of its policies based on the recent influx of extreme multiples (i.e. Kate Gosslin and Octomom). In my experience I have not had to be faced with implanting so many. If you would like the name of where I am doing my infertility please let me know. The best way would be to find me on facebook and send me a quick email. I will share any knowledge that I have learnded.