For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows grace and favor and glory - honor, splendor and heavenly bliss! No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.

Psalms 84:11

Saturday, January 31, 2009

My Thoughts on Octuplets

The villagers punished her for acting as if she could have a private life, secret and apart from them.

If my aunt had betrayed the family at a time of large grain yields and peace, when many boys were born, and wings were being built on many houses, perhaps she might have escaped such severe punishment. But the men - hungry, greedy, tired of planting in dry soil - had been forced to leave the village in order to send food-money home. There were ghost plagues, bandit plagues, wars with the Japanese, floods. My Chinese brother and sister had died of an unknown sickness. Adultery, perhaps only a mistake during good times, became a crime when the village needed food.

~The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston

I'm quoting this because I think some of the attitudes mentioned in this can be applied to the story of the unnamed woman who recently had Octuplets. Having 8 babies at once, during a time when the economy is thriving, might only be seen as a harmless mistake. But now? When things are hard? It's seen as irresponsibility to the extreme.

And now that more information is coming out about the mother, well, the reporters are having an absolute field day.

Just 3 hours ago this report was released.

Assuming it's all true, what is this woman thinking??? Now I have no problem with people having large families. I'm not someone who thinks that having more than 2 children is wasteful and irresponsible and terrible for our environment. I think that people who are good parents SHOULD have children, and hopefully balance out this world with those who are terrible parents and have them anyway. But this was reckless medicine at the very least.

Lets get to the medical facts of the situation first. The grandmother of these babies has already said that the mother had IVF (invitro fertilization). IVF is when a woman takes hormones to stimulate egg production, after ovulation those eggs are harvested, fertilized, and then transferred back into to the mother. It is an expensive, difficult, painful process. There is no guarantee that ANY of the transferred embryos will "take", but any responsible fertility doctor will only transfer 1 or 2 embryos, possibly up to 4 if they are deemed poor quality or if the mother is advancing in years. After the embryos are transferred there is the possibility that they will split into 2, so 1 transferred embryo may result in a twin pregnancy. Four transferred embryos could result in octuplets, but it would be extremely unlikely that ALL of the embryos would split. According to some reports and rumors that are out there, many are suggesting that 8 embryos were transferred, and if that's the case then the doctor was an absolute loon! If 4 were transferred and by freak anomaly all split, then that would be more understandable. But it would be pretty unusual for a woman who is 33, already has 6 healthy children (proven egg quality), to have 4 embryos transferred. Doing so would be extremely risky, and most doctors in this field do what they can to prevent such HOM (higher order multiple) births.

Now, I am very pro-life. So for me personally, if I went through IVF and discovered that I was carrying many babies, there's no way that I would be able to eliminate even one baby. However, I certainly do think that doctors AND patients need to do what they can to prevent such situations from occurring in the first place.

I think the question most people are asking is, why is an unmarried woman who already has 6 children, who lives with her parents in a 3 bedroom house, getting IVF via donor sperm in the first place??? How could she afford such a procedure when it takes many childless couples years to save up to afford it? And how is she going to take care of 14 children, all under the age of 7?!? Especially since in the last article that was written the grandmother is quoted as saying that when the mother gets home from the hospital, "I'm going to be gone."

I'm certainly no expert, I've had a very tiny glimpse of what it's like to have more than one baby at a time. I know that you just sort of do what's in front of you at the time and get through by the skin of your teeth. That's just life. But I had support. I had a husband/father in the picture. I had parents who would drop everything and come running if I needed them to. I had friends, and neighbors bringing meals and lifting us up in prayer. And even so, it was SO HARD!!!

My grandmother had 3 boys under the age of 5 when she found out she was expecting twins. But that was back before birth control was readily available, and she certainly didn't try to have her children so close in age. And it absolutely was very difficult. I can't even imagine how hard it was for her, especially since by all accounts my grandfather was no help whatsoever.


I can not possibly imagine having 6 kids all under the age of 7 (including 2 year old twins by the way!), and then bringing home 8 babies at once!!!

And not by some sort of accident, but because she went through fertility treatments to make it happen?

I think you must be some kind of crazy in order to WANT that.

Either that or your fishing for a TV show or book deal.

Seriously, if this woman ends up on Extreme Home Makeover I will NEVER watch that show again!!!

No, tell us how you really feel Amy? lol

Let me reign myself in here for a moment and say that I know we don't know the whole story yet. And I'm SURE that there's more to it than what the media is saying. There always is. Having been on the news a time or two myself I know that there is always much more to the story than what the media proclaims.

But I can't help but think that the reason why the mother hasn't held a press conference is because there IS questionable circumstances surrounding her conception. Unethical circumstances. I don't believe for a second that when the truth does come to light that I'll suddenly feel sympathetic towards her or that her reasons for going through IVF after having 6 healthy children will be reasonable.

Overall I think this whole situation is pretty much a slap in the face to every couple out there who has tried for years to have just 1 child... while this single woman has had 6 + 8.


Stacy said...

The more I read on it, the more I feel the same way. What were these ppl thinking? As one who suffered infertility, you're right, it is like a slap in the face and I question her motives. Is it that she loves kids that much or is she looking for hand outs/sympathy? Even if she loves kids, what was she thinking anyway with this economy? Not to mention how inconsiderate of her living with her parents.

Rosie said...

That is very strange. No, it doesn't sound natural or right. Although, just in general, I believe children can grow up to be a blessing to an economy.

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