Life is trundling on here. I'm working on getting my insurance deductible transferred from my old insurance to my new one, and finalizing plans for my trip to Alaska, which is one week away (yay!). I'm occasionally wondering if there's any tiny chance we could be pregnant this month (not bloody likely with our timing and lack of trying), but I'm not obssessing or stressing about it, and for purposes of not driving myself crazy, I'm assuming I'm not pregnant.
I am gradually thinking more about my upcoming IVF attempt. I am, surprisingly, not going nuts googling, researching, buying books, etc. I think it's because I have this big, exciting trip coming up (I'll post about our plans next week), and then I have knee surgery, and I've had to do a lot of thinking about both of those and it's just using up all my brain power.
* NOTE - READ THIS FIRST * The views below are politically and emotionally charged, and I'm mostly just thinking things through. I respect everyone's views and opinions on these matters, and I'm giving voice to mostly thoughts that are not yet completely formed. I welcome thoughtful discussion, polite disagreement and respectful debate, but not rudeness, disrespect, or meanness. I am always interested in hearing other points of view, but please be nice to me and to any other commenters.
SO. That brings me to a (rather long) article I read recently about what to do with any potential leftover frozen embryos. My husband and I have not discussed this at all, although I suspect his views will be similar to mine. Also, I haven't ever actually had a frozen embryo (or, to my knowledge, any embryo at all), so these thoughts are purely theoretical and I recognize they may completely change when I am actually faced with the situation.
The article I read discussed how, during an IVF cycle, she and most couples would of course choose to freeze embryos because at that point you have no idea if you'll get pregnant. You want to preserve every chance you have. This makes complete sense to me. But at some point, if you end up not using those embryos right away or soon after, you have to make a decision about what to do with them. The choices are to use them, donate them to science, donate them to a recipient, or discard them. There may be others I don't know of, but that's what I'm seeing.
I am pro choice, in theory. I actually do believe that life begins at conception, but I do agree with the legal view of "viability", having to do with the possibilities of survival outside the womb. I went to law school, and I don't want to get into a deep discussion about this now, but it makes sense to me that after viability, no one has a right to end a life that could continue without their help, and before viability, when the person in question has to work to keep that life going (i.e. by being pregnant), it is legally ok to abort.
I actually have a different moral view - I believe there are times when it may be morally appropriate to abort (rape, incest, etc.) as long as it is done as soon as possible. I believe it may be morally appropriate to abort at any stage during a pregnancy for certain reasons (i.e. certain death of the fetus before birth or the child shortly after birth, and not terminating the pregnancy would cause harm or pain to the child or the mother). There are other reasons, too, of course. I could sum it up by saying that I do not believe in abortion as a form of birth control, of correcting an "accident", or as something to be taken lightly by anyone.
While I have thought about this a lot (recommended reading - The Cider House Rules), particularly after taking the "morning after pill" as a teenager and realizing that life isn't black and white, I've found that infertility has changed my views in some ways and majorly strengthened them in others. The point of all this is that I never thought I'd have to think about abortion, or dealing with embryos, or worrying about when life begins, and now I do.
So. Here are my thoughts about my potential future embryos. The last thing I would want to do is discard them. My choice, after I was sure I would not be using them in the future, would be to donate them to another person or couple who wanted a child. I'm not 100% sure about this, but it's where I keep finding myself leaning when I think about it.
I do have a weird thing that I can't explain about biological connections. I would ideally like to be biologically connected to my children, and I would also like my husband to be biologically connected to our children. I've talked about it before, and I don't think that it rules out adoption for me at all, nor does it mean adoption is a second choice for me. But this makes the idea of children that are biologically mine, out there in the world with or without my knowledge, kind of weird.
Still - when I think of other couples wanting a child and not being able to have one for 100% sure (which could still be me, for all I know), and knowing that I could give them what they wanted at virtually no cost to myself, I can't see myself not doing it.
Even more importantly, I can't imagine having my own embryos, potential children, and not allowing them the possibility of growing into a human being simply because I felt weird about someone else raising them. Someone else who wanted a child so badly that they would be willing to take a stranger's extra embryo and raise the hopefully resulting child, my biological child, as their own. I could not choose to discard them over giving them to a hopeful person or couple to make a dream come true AND allowing the embryo a chance at life.
I don't have any specific thoughts on donating the embryos to science. I'm not against it, and I favor scientific research. I know I've benefitted from it myself. I would choose it over discarding the embryos. But the thought of being able to help someone who in the future is in the same place I am now trumps science for me, at least for now. And it gives my future embryos something as well, which is a chance.
If, in some bizarre world, there were no people waiting for embyros, and science decided it did not need anymore, and my only choices were to have more kids or discard the embryos, I would base my decision on what felt right for me at the time I had to make the decision. I don't have a hard and fast rule against discarding them when it's the only reasonable option. It is simply my last choice.
So. Those are my thoughts. Again, please be polite and respectful when you comment, and I'm looking forward to reading your thoughts. If you managed to finish reading this!