Without intentionally starting a shit storm here, I’d like to post a few thoughts about the recent sextuplet births.
On the overwhelming majority of blogs that I read, the posts and comments are generally along the lines of outrage. Outrage at the parents, the doctors, the whole works, for allowing these women to try and carry six fetuses.
Just want to say: the outrage at the doctors I am totally with you on.Point blank, medicine let these folks down. That is my opinion. I am guessing the two mothers would disagree.
But an overwhelmingly common sentiment is that the parents are hypocritical for seeking treatment for infertility and then refusing to reduce the number of fetuses “because this is what God gave us.”
While I can understand why people are so upset, and I’m not saying this is what I would do were I to find out I was pregnant with sextuplets, I do not think it is automatically hypocritical to seek treatment and then refuse to reduce on religious grounds.
A common sentiment is: “If they really thought it was in God’s hands, then why did they (fill in the blank: take Clomid / take injectibles / have IVF / etc.)?”
An anonymous comment over at the Perky Ovary says: “When I hear statements like those couples, I ask myself if god gave them the trigger injection with half a dozen ripe follicles.”
With all due respect, I think drawing that sort of parallel is a little absurd. This is as crazy as suggesting that people who really believe having children is entirely in God’s hands need not marry or have sex, because hey, if you really have faith in God, why would you need to do anything to make it happen? These women pursued ART for the same reasons all of the rest of the IFers pursued it. They wanted to have a happy, healthy family.
If you are of a religious persuasion that believes that you get in life what God gives to you* (nothing more, nothing less), then this is what you are meant to have. Meaning that if you are not meant to have children, all the sex, IVF and donor eggs in the world will not get you a baby. Kind of along the lines of a “If it’s meant to be, it will happen.”
Ergo, if you cannot conceive for years and then get pregnant with six babies, that too is what you were meant to have. For folks with those sorts of convictions, getting pregnant through IUI or injectibles varies little from getting pregnant from sex. If it was meant to be, it was meant to be. And they believe very strongly that this is what they were meant to have.
* Again, not saying this is me or what I would do, and not saying this is what I believe. But I know people who are of this persuasion, and I am hoping to cast a bit of insight into what they may have thought.
Click here for an update on both sets of sextuplets.