Monday, January 26, 2009

Greedy BIC: Doing The Most

"the wells get deeper/more unfolds/and at the bottom/there she goes/but wells are endless/i find more..." --Solange

Having a baby is one of the most beautiful things on earth, and I've often wondered what it would be like to not be able to reproduce. There are so many things that can go wrong where your fertility is concerned, and despite what media and general beliefs would have you to believe, the window for having a child of your own is actually quite small. Some women of 35 and 36 have tremendous difficulty conceiving and have to turn to egg donation and/or in-vitro fertilization (IVF). As someone who has worked in and is experienced in the fertility & reproductive options industry, I am constantly amazed at women's desperation and greed when it comes to assisted reproduction. There's Jon and Kate, who, although they have a lovely family and a cute little show, should never have transferred six embryos into Kate's uterus in the first place. And now, we have an unidentified woman (like we won't be able to find out who she is the minute she leaves the hospital) who just gave birth in Bellflower, CA (not too far outside of LA) to octuplets. That's right, eight children. Six boys and two girls, weighing between 1 lb. 8 oz. and 3 lbs. 4 oz. They're all alive, I'm assuming they're relatively healthy, and the mother is doing "fine". How could she not be doing fine? She's certainly doing better than when she was lugging eight tiny humans around in her belly for 30 weeks. But the bigger question is: why eight?

Again, as someone with experience in this field, I'd like to acknowledge the slim possibility that this woman did not use fertility drugs or an egg donor. That possibility is macrobiotic-diet skinny. I'm willing to bet this woman's ovaries were stimulated up the ying yang. And she probably opted to transfer eight embryos because she thought that only one or two would take. Well, newsflash: they all took. I find that women in the predicament of having to have assistance with their reproductive efforts so through stages from pessimistic ("only one or two will work so I'll transfer 12") to greedy ("well if I have 12 embryos to work from, I'd rather just use them all") to lazy/spoiled ("I mean, I'll just transfer them all, because I really hope to have twins or triplets and be done; I don't want to be pregnant more than once").  Unfortunately, some infertility doctors are enablers, allowing some dastardly mess to go down with patients who clearly don't believe in selective reduction. The woman who gave birth today should never have had eight embryos put into her uterus. If you can't see yourself with eight children (which few people can), don't take for granted that some of the embryos are not going to take, assume that they all will. Eight children is not cute, especially when they're all the same age. That's a litter, like a dog. And we all know, in the pet store of life, who the dogs actually are.

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