I found myself intrigued by this week’s news regarding the Three Parent IVF issue. I do not pretend to be an expert on such things but, I am hopeful that science will continue to find ways to assist couples in trying to conceive. As a child, I remember hearing about the first baby conceived through IVF in 1978. The news anchors referred to her as the “Test Tube Baby”. Many accused IVF physicians of “playing god”, condemning the fertility movement of upsetting the balance between science and ethics. People worried that IVF children would have long term medical complications or worse, endure the same fertility problems of their parents. I’m happy to report that the very first “Test Tube Baby” gave birth to her first child in 2007, a baby boy, conceived the old fashioned way.
This latest development in the field of infertility has reminded me of the inhibitions that haunted us when we were struggling to have a baby. As desperate as I was to become pregnant, there was always a part of me that could separate from the emotions and ponder, from a biological perspective, WHY? Was it bad genes or weak DNA? Was our infertility the result of survival of the fittest? Would our children be less than perfect, sick or fragile? Not only did I struggle with my thoughts on the possible biological reasons behind our inability to conceive, I also struggled with the spiritual aspects of our infertility. I worried that if God had really intended for us to have a baby, why had he not allowed it to happen? Were we going against God’s plan by pursuing IVF? Were we challenging Mother Nature by using science to overcome a biological predisposition?
The burden of infertility is physically, emotionally, spiritually and financially demanding. I acknowledge the current conflict between the ethical and biological aspects of advancements in IVF. I think it is important to remember that each of us is part of the human race, therefore the desire to perpetuate the species is innate in all of us. That does not mean that everyone wants to be a parent. Some choose to not have children and that is okay because we are all part of the human race and everyone has a place in this world. This desire for Human Beings to preserve the species is exactly why we hold doors for pregnant women, swoon at babies, ensure that the children are fed before the adults AND develop ways for the infertile to conceive.
I choose to believe that my fertility journey was not a battle between God’s plan and science but rather a blending of the two. I choose to believe that God was there with me during each and every injection, whispering gentle encouragement into my ear. I believe that God was in the operating room, keeping our Doctor’s hands steady as he extracted my eggs. God was in the lab with the technicians that cared for our embryos and he watched over us as the Doctor transferred the embryos to where they would live and grow for nine months.
My “Test Tube Babies” are healthy and smart and the human race is better because they are part of it. One day, they might grow up to be scientists, paving the way for future developments in infertility treatments. They could also become minsters, encouraging others to find their way through the darkness of a difficult time. It is not important HOW any of us came into this world. What is important is what we DO once we are a part of this world.
Here is a link about the Three parent IVF