This post is in response to SIF's post, "The Truth About IVF". I recommend reading it before reading mine. You might also like to read Lindsey's response here (interesting not only because I adore Lindsey and SIF, but because they are friends in real life). And to be thorough, here is a link to SIF's most recent post, which is on this same topic.
As many blogs as I follow (and that's a large number), there are only about 25 that I read religiously. Every.Single.Post. Single Infertile Female is one of those blogs. I love her writing style. I love her sense of humor. I think we'd be friends in real life (yes, I'm totally a creepster!).
So, on a Monday morning past, while sipping my coffee and trying to get myself motivated to do some work, I read her post about her feelings on IVF, and how they have changed.
It wasn't until about three-quarters of the way down the page that I started to feel a little uncomfortable.
What started to make me uneasy was when it shifted from the "IVF is not something I feel comfortable doing again" theme to the "IVF is going too far in general" theme.
As an infertile who has no chance at conceiving except for immaculate conception or IVF, it's hard not to take offense when someone disagrees with your chosen path.
But I wasn't, and still am not, mad. I didn't get angry reading her post. After all, personal opinions are what you expect when you follow someone's blog.
And SIF has been through IVF. Twice. So, she has every right to form her own opinion about what is right for her. I'd rather read opinions about IVF from people who have been-there-done-that, rather than from people who barely know what IVF stands for.
I do know that I instantly started defending IVF in my head. And my first instinct is to compare IVF to some kind of life-saving treatment, like chemotherapy. I tried to justify it this way in my head for a while, and then I realized that infertility and cancer are not on the same level.
As much as I sometimes think that infertility is the end of the world, it's not the end of my life.
So, to compare infertility and cancer, IVF and chemo... it's not a fair comparison. Or is it? No, you can't die from infertility, but chemotherapy and IVF are both medical procedures. They are comparable in that respect, at least.
It's a slippery slope when we start on the path of questioning whether medical procedures are going too far. Are life-saving medical procedures and medicines the only ones that get the free pass? Is medical intervention going too far when it helps alleviate debilitating pain that wouldn't have been fatal? Where do we draw a line? And who is this "we" that makes these decisions?
Because I can't conceive naturally, should I just live out the rest of my days barren? I can't afford to adopt, unfortunately (I didn't realize the average cost of domestic adoption was $32,000 until reading it here). I'm not sure that the foster-to-adopt route would be right for me, as I've seen heartbreak in that arena when children are returned to their birth parents.
I was lucky enough to be accepted into a clinical trial for my IVF, so my cost has not been considerable.
And I will do what it takes to become a mother, and to make Buster a father.
I've never thought that IVF was going too far. That it was toying with what shouldn't be. And that's where the comparison to cancer, or any life-changing medical condition, can come in to play. Why should we only alter our fates when it comes to saving our lives? Why shouldn't I want to alter my childless future? If the technology exists, and has proven to be safe, why would I not do everything in my power to fulfill my dreams?
I can understand why IVF is not something that everyone would pursue, whether it be due to religious, financial, or emotional reasons. And I can completely understand why SIF would not want to go through another IVF cycle. But to make the leap from it not being right for her personally to saying it's going too far for everyone, well I can't agree with that.
Because I don't think it's going too far.
But that's just my opinion. And like SIF, I'm entitled to mine.