Desperately Seeking Baby...Babies Found

My thoughts on raising twins and a singleton after infertility.

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Monday, March 03, 2008

Book Tour - Embryo Culture

This month, I decided to be part of the Barren Bitches Book Brigade as this month the book pick was Embryo Culture. I had wrote about it before, but I was curious what other questions other had of the book. Here are some of the questions given to me (hopefully, my answers make sense - I'm writing them in a drug-induced state to try to feel better during this cold).

1. The author researched different religious views on ART while she was in the decision process. How did you make your decision to pursue ART, adoption, childfree living etc? Did your religious views play a big part in that decision?

I honestly did not think too much about my religious views when making the decision to go forward with ART. I certainly believe in God, but that belief didn't make or break the decision to move forward with ART. I briefly may have thought about whether this was right, but it was really a fleeting thought. The biggest thing we thought about was how were we going to pay for it and how far were we willing to go? In the beginning, I thought I was not going to go to IVF because of the cost and because it felt like a huge gamble. It may not work and we would have put so much of our money into something that didn't work. So we did IUIs but when that showed it wasn't going to work - something changed. I just didn't feel like we had done all we could and we should try IVF before deciding what to do next. We found a way to make that happen and thankfully, IVF was the procedure that would make us parents.

2. Did religion shape the decisions you made about treatment? And in turn, did your infertility change the way you looked at your religion?

Same as above for the first question. As to the second, there were so many times during the course of trying to get pregnant, that my faith took a nosedive. I just couldn't believe in a God that would let people who I felt mistreated their children have those children in the first place when there people like myself who wanted children so badly and would, I thought, be great parents. Somehow, my faith stuck around - it went through a rollercoaster much like my emotions while going through infertility. It definitely is hard to have faith when things are bad.

3. If you have children via ART, did you every wonder some of the same things that Beth wondered? Would they be "different"? Would others who found out they were ART babies treat them differently?

No. I never did think that they would be different. After all, so many couples before me had children via IVF and they were all fine. In this time, IVF is so common that it wouldn't have occurred to me that my babies would be different. However, I do wonder about other people. Do they treat my babies differently if they know they were conceived via IVF. I have to believe that most people around my own age would not because it is so common today. However, if IVF is against their beliefs, then maybe they will. Also, I do want my babies to grow up knowing other ART babies - particularly IVF babies - as I think it is important for them to know other babies who were conceived in the same way. I'm not sure why I feel that way though.

4. In Chapter 5 ("Professionals"), Beth writes about her clinic experiences. I got a chuckle out of her observation that "my early-morning posse and I seemed to be codelinquents doing time in juvie hall," as well as her description of George, the (male!) u/s tech. How was/is your clinic experience similar to or different than Beth's? Did you meet/Have you met any particularly memorable people (either fellow patients or clinic staff)?

One of the doctors at my fertility clinic seemed like a wonderful guy. He seemed genuinely happy to make people parents - to help them fulfill a dream. I remember him writing on one of our early ultrasound pics "TWINS!!!!!!!!!!!" - the several exclamation points just made me smile. My OB is also a wonderful person and I am so glad that the fertility clinic doctor recommended her.

5. I had a different experience from the author concerning the type of clinic she went to. She went to a big clinic where she was treated as a number, whereas I went to a smaller clinic where there was a more personal touch. What was your experience? If you went to a big clinic, was it by choice? Did you feel like you still were treated as an individual? Did you have to deal with a Carol-like person? If you went to a smaller clinic, did you feel it was adequately staffed, etc. for your needs? Did you research various facilities (or did you do like me--go with the recommendation of my personal doctor)?

My clinic was a big enough clinic but I feel like I was treated as a person rather than a number. I can't remember one person at that clinic that was anything like Carol. I chose this clinic mostly because they were the only ones that offered the shared risk program, however, we did look into the other major fertility clinic in town. I'm glad we chose the one we did though because of the people at that clinic.

That's about it. If you want to read my earlier "review" of this book - you can find it here and here.

I did like this book a lot. It brings up a lot of questions that I had thought about and some that I hadn't. It is definitely a book I would recommend to others.

Intrigued by the idea of a book tour and want to read more about Embryo Culture? Hop along to more stops on the Barren Bitches Book Brigade by visiting the master list at Want to come along for the next tour? Sign up begins today for tour #11 (The Mistress's Daughter by AM Homes with author participation!) and all are welcome to join along. All you need is a book and blog.



  • At 5:56 AM , Blogger The Dunn Family said...

    Welcome to the book tour, and thanks for sharing your answers. I think you aren't alone in that going through IF has caused many people to question their faith. It's hard to hold onto faith when so many things just don't make sense or seem fair.

  • At 6:16 AM , Blogger Jendeis said...

    Just wanted to say that I enjoyed reading your answers on the book. I too like my RE and clinic staff. Even though it's a big clinic, I've never felt like a number there.

  • At 6:32 AM , Anonymous Ellen K. said...

    Glad to read your comments, Heather. Hope you're doing well!

  • At 11:27 AM , Blogger BethKohl said...

    Hi Heather. I have been relieved to hear so many positive things about people's experiences at their clinics. Truth is, I think a lot of the worst places ended up failing (I know that is true here in Chicago). People just didn't want to deal with cold or officious or sloppy clinicians, not when there is so much at stake and the costs -- however you define that -- are so high. I also checked out your two earlier posts about the book. I am glad you ended up liking it, tangents and all (as you can see, those tangents are how I think and write. I do need a mental lasso, but can't figure out a way to get it in there.....)

  • At 4:51 PM , Blogger The Town Criers said...

    I think wanting your child to know other IVFers totally makes sense. I mean, we're part of a twin club for that reason too--I want them to know other multiples so if they turn out to be the only ones in their classroom who are twins, they have that support.

  • At 6:14 PM , Blogger loribeth said...

    Isn't it fun being part of the tour?? -- it's what got me to start my blog in the first place! I enjoyed reading your thoughts, especially on faith. I also hadn't considered the perspective of how other people might regard children born from IVF. Sad to think they are not considered "natural" children by some.

  • At 7:11 PM , Anonymous Gabrielle said...

    "The biggest thing we thought about was how were we going to pay for it and how far were we willing to go?"

    Your comments struck a chord with me, because this is how I think. I can handle the BIG questions (religion, point of life, etc) for a little bit, but then the pragmatic me wants find answers for the real questions, like the ones you posed above.

    I enjoyed reading your responses. Thanks for sharing!


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