Tuesday, February 03, 2009

A Woman Had Octuplets...

And so began a huge moral and ethical debate over reproductive technologies and who actually has the right to treatment and who has the right to refuse treatment. As a mom of "just" triplets I find higher order multiples frustrating. Not because I don't think it's cute but because I get asked about them all the time.

Everywhere I go I am asked "Do you watch that show John & Kate plus 8?" I do sometimes but what does that matter? She has sextuplets - I have triplets. They aren't the same thing. I'm not sure if they're asking because they're hoping that I watch to make myself feel better? It's their way of saying, "you don't have it so bad, someone has it worse then you" - trust me, I know. Lots of people have more kids then me, some of them even have 5 at the same time!

Yes, it may have been inappropriate for a doctor to put so many embryos in if indeed she did IVF and not IUI like I would suspect (I've NEVER heard of a doctor putting 8 embryos in a woman at one time especially someone as fertile as this woman apparantly is). But what frustrates me is that people are now saying it's unethical for her to have had more because she already has 6. Maybe this could be true due to her mental state but to say that a doctor should refuse treatment based on what someone already has is just unfair.

All five of my children were conceived using reproductive technologies (and the grace of God - ultimately He alone is the giver of life but I did seek a doctor for treatment). I have a medical disorder called polycystic ovarian syndrome which causes me not to ovulate, ever. So, I would be one angry woman to seek a doctor's help for more children only to find out he is refusing me treatment because I already have five. How would it be his/her place to tell me this? If I were a fertile woman who would tell me I couldn't have kids? I find it quite unequal to say a fertile woman can have 10 children but an infertile woman cannot.

There should be no denial of treatment based on what a woman already has. There should be responsible treatment BEFORE conception because selective reduction is murder and should not be an option. I couldn't imagine my life without one of my girls and if there had been more I would have kept them all. But I worked closely with my doctors to try and rule out high order multiples. By God's grace I have them and it was His plan that I do because none of my doctor's wanted me to have so many.

So, please when you think about this story don't lump all infertile women together. There are millions of responsible women out there who should not be un-done by one woman's mistake (if it is one - that's for her to decide herself and I pray her children are well taken care of as they grow). I am thrilled to have five kids and if the Lord allows I would have more but for now I am content with what I have been given. I would hate to be judged by my reproduction whether lack there of or in excess! How about you?

Just one woman's take...

4 comments:

Denise Wheeler said...

Dorinda,
Not that this comes as a surprise, but, very well written. I completely agree. I did IVF. I was on the max dose of Follistim and Menopur and only produced 4 eggs. None of them were of great quality so my RE decided our best shot at one was to implant 3. This would have never been done had my organs worked correctly. I can't tell you how shocked he was to discover I was pregnant with quads. I lost one at 10 weeks. I too would love to have more but I know it isn't in our future and I am OK with that. Should it come up, I would be one very angry woman to be told that I couldn't have anymore because we already have 7. I am a responsible adult and support and care for my children on my own. If I have the financial means no one has the right to tell me no.

The Nash Family said...

I think the debate is over this woman being single and still living with her parents. If this were a "couple" that had a stable home, not sure there would be must debating going on here.

Angie said...

Dorinda, I completely agree with you. What we know of this story seems to be heartbreaking...
I hope and pray that those little lives will be well taken care of.

Maureen said...

It was nice to read this. I had four children naturally and used some help for number five. I have felt kind of weird with this whole news story because people seem to be suggesting that there should be a limit on how many kids you can have if you use fertility treatments... People say things to me, not realizing that my baby was conceived using fertility treatments.