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The Clements’ IVF Journey

I just can’t understand… June 9, 2009

Filed under: Random thoughts,Ugh — Aria @ 10:14 am

If you know you or your spouse have a medical condition that has an almost guaranteed chance of passing to a child of one gender but not the other, why on earth go through gender selection to specifically have that gender? I’m on a pregnancy forum, and one woman there mentioned her husband has a genetic disorder that will pass to a son, and it includes infertility. On the infertility issue,

we decided to still go thru with gender selection for a boy. The way Dh looks at it is:

” we have to pay good money for him then he can do the same thing”

Now is it just me, or is this very sad? She and her husband had to go through IVF to conceive this child. They know the heartbreak and cost and hope and hope shattered when there’s no pregnancy. So why on earth specifically aim for a child of the gender you know will have to go through the same thing? I can fully understand going through gender selection to try to have a child of the gender who won’t have to experience the heartbreak as a certainty. But to intentionally put a child through it? Even having a random gender embryo isn’t bad. Gender selection is thousands of dollars per try on top of all the other costs. But why spend those thousands to try making sure the baby will be the gender that will have to grow up and face infertility?

“We had to, so he can do it too,” is a cruel way to look at it. Will the husband feel better if his misery in infertility has company from his son?

And before anyone wonders why I’m having a baby when my health isn’t perfect, we’ve been through genetic screening. None of my conditions are genetic. All are environmental. I’ve been tested for being a carrier of many things, from various trisomies to hearing conditions. If testing can be done for it, I’ve done it. I’m as genetically “clean” as it’s possible to be when it comes to the things that can have prior testing. (I’m on an egg donor registry, obviously inactive right now, and this includes in-depth testing too.)

I’m not going to begrudge anyone from wanting a child and having one knowing there’s a chance a kid can be hit with something. What I can’t understand is specifically aiming, and paying thousands more, for a child who is going to have the same problem. It seems to me good parents should do what they can to prevent their children from being seriously ill or having a condition that could shatter them, if there’s a way to do so, rather than to aim for a child who is ill or has that condition solely because raising Y gender would be more fun than X for Y parent. They get the fun of boy-stuff, and the child will grow up to pay for it, and they know it. They had to pay, so it’s just fine to make their child suffer the same way, and to pay for the increased chance of having that child who will have to suffer. But what’s it to them? They got to have their fun with their child. Hopefully that child will win a lot of money or something if he wants to have children, and good luck being infertile in the dating world.


8 Responses to “I just can’t understand…”

  1. jewelssparkles Says:

    Nasty as this sounds, I hope the boy grows up not wanting kids, not only so that he doesn’t have to spend thousands of dollars trying to have them, but also so that his parents never get any grandkids. Just as punishment for their selfishness.

  2. Aria Says:

    I don’t think it sounds nasty – the child would be better off never wanting kids so he doesn’t have to suffer through wanting them and having them only be a dream.

    As she’s since explained, they already have a daughter, so want a son now, despite knowing he will grow up to face their soul-crushing challenges. Infertility for someone who wants to be a parent is just that, soul-crushing. But their want of a child of both genders is more important because, as they see it, if they had to go through this so have him, then he can go through it too.

  3. xyneshia Says:

    Okay, I totally believe that you read it, but I don’t think it is true. The blogger was probably (hopefully) some asshole lurking and then invading a legitimate site just to say hurtfull things to piss people off. As a mother, as a mother of disabled children, there is no way in hell someone would intentionally do something like this. No chance, no way, especially since they are allegedly going thru the same thing. It does not make any sense. It is a natural desire to want better for our kids than for ourselves and to protect them in every way possible. Now I am not saying all good parents are the same, I have a friend who is a lesbian and a wiccan and raises her child in a way that teaches her that witchcraft and homosexuality are to be explored and celebrated. I do think she is a good mom. I am Catholic and raise my kids as such and though we have nothing agaist homosexuals, condem the acts commited as a part of homosexuality. She thinks I am a good mother. Two vastly different people, values, lifestyles and parenting styles. Two really good friends who love each other. We both want the absolute best for our kids and would fight to the death to protect them. Oh I went and got on my high horse again, I’m sorry. Anyway I think it was somebody just trying to be hurtfull to people on the forum struggling with fertility problems.

  4. psychohist Says:

    It seems weird to me, too. Then again, I never really understood the “I want one boy and one girl” thing, either. I know some women who really want daughters; maybe the father here just really wanted a son?

    To me, a lot of the difficulty of infertility was the uncertainty about whether it could work for us. I’m not sure that having a known type of infertility that one knew IVF would get around would be soul crushing – one might just think of it as “okay, I have IVF instead of sex to have kids”. Granted it’s a lot more money, but it’s still not that large compared to the total cost of bringing up a kid.

    Perhaps the son will decide only to have daughters.

  5. xyneshia Says:

    Well, when I got knocked up the first time I wanted a girl and got one! The next time I wanted a boy and I got one! My daughter wants another brother and my son is afraid of babies and hopes that it comes out a puppy. So I guess I should want a son so at least one of my children is not dissapointed. Honestly though, all I want this time is the same thing I wanted last two times: a baby. Pretty or manly or cute or ugly, webbed toes or ten toes, each is my child and I love them dearly. I heard some moms on a forum I belong to (all wanted girls) that actually were so disappointed when they found out they were having boys broke down in tears right there during the ultrasound. Sheez! come on people, grow up. I think it is normal to kinda lean towards wanting one or the other. Call it human nature. I don’t think it is normal human nature to be so upset that you cry tears of sadness when you find out your kid is the “wrong” gender, I think that is the result of growing to adulthood that glorifies a ” I-am-a-victome” and “the-world-owes-me” mentalities where everyone should always get everything they want. Not to climb on my high horse again BUT……….then there are the people that say “so long as it is healthy” a lot of these people just are saying that they do not care about sex and hope that there child is free of health problems. Nothing wrong with that at all, I feel the same way. I dont say that though………….here is why……………….Then there are these types of people, people who would kill their kids if they are born less than perfect. I read an article, sad to say by a Christian woman in a Christian book, her little one was without oxygen for a minute while he was being born. (so was my little boy for the record). The little guy seemed okay but they kept him in the NICU just to be sure. She tells about a prayer that she was praying. I am not gonna get this exactly word for word but this is pretty close “Please let him live, I want a child, but only if he will be okay. Please, please, I do NOT want a disabled child”. She goes on and on for several pages saying how she would accept only comfort care for him and allow him to die if the doctors think that the lack of oxygen may have caused his IQ to drop. I would like to strangle this woman! honestly, kill your child because he or she is not smart enough? I’ll admit that when I got preggers the first time I wasn’t dreaming of having a child with a learning disability–but I got one, and I am thankfull to God everyday that I have her and would never dream of killing her! I will also admit when I was pregnant with Christian I went around telling Troy, “this one will not suffer like Nikka, he is going to be perfect!” I was crushed two and a half years later when I found out he had autism, a condition far more severe than what Nikka has. If I would have known he was autistic the day he was born I still would have been crushed. But not for the same reason as the auther of the book I read. I just don’t want him to have to go through it, just like I dont want Nikka to get painfull periods or have a broken bone–but I am pretty sure both will happen. If I would have found out right after they were born what each of them “has” as the term goes, I would be no less in love with them, I would not want them less, and certainly would not kill them or tell God that I do not want them! Can you imagine (from a religious point of view) telling God “no thank you, please send me a better one next time” honestly! Oh dear, look at all that, I did it again, lol. Almost goes along with the person who you were talking to lately about destroying zygotes for being the wrong gender and chinese culture aborting females and practicing infanticide on baby girls –okay I added the second part. yes, it is illegal in china to kill fetuses for them being female and illegal to kill baby girls but it still happens. The chinese gov’t (as lowly as it is) enacted a law that if your first child is female you are allowed a second so that you have a chance at having a boy–the murding still goes on! Tragedy all the way around, child suffers death because they dont live up to momma and daddys dreams………….

  6. Aria Says:

    Sorry, I laughed so hard at Christian’s hope that the baby is born a puppy! That is just too precious. I remember my brother hoping one of our aunts who was pregnant would give birth to a puppy!

    The forum at had a post recently, I think I sent you the link, of someone sooooo upset over feeling she might be having a boy that she wants to abort. Momentary disappointment is understandable, but the breaking down, the life being ruined, etc., is just sick. Don’t want that gender? Adopt the baby to someone who will love it, and then realize how you (general sense) are to be able to conceive naturally. I wish it were possible to take all the people who would be so disappointed over a certain gender and trade their fertility for the infertility problems of a couple who would love whatever child came their way. We infertiles would not only love that child, but would love to have our children conceived via acts of love with our significant others rather than having to time things to when follicles are the right size (at best), or told no sex at all for a week prior to a procedure to three full months after is there’s success.

    Oh that victim mentality…. Those people seem to be the same ones, more often than not, who can’t handle someone having a different viewpoint, like someone thinking something else is a conspiracy against them. The people who don’t take responsibility for their actions, and sue schools for holding back Little Johnny for not doing his homework because it might damage his ego to be behind the other kids his age. When I was in school, that was motivation to actually DO homework.

    That woman is sick. Sure, few people actively hope their child is born with a disability, but if you have one who might, it’s evil to hope and pray that the child dies is not her idea of perfect. There are plenty of people out there who can’t have kids by any means (IVF isn’t a guarantee) who would LOVE to care for ANY child, even a disabled child, and would love that child as more precious than anything in the world. Hell, plenty of fertile couples would also love to adopt any child. Stupid system makes it next to impossible though (I was denied due to my medical history, and John and I were trying to adopt a black older sibling set – the trifecta of what not to be in the system: not white, older than 5, and a sibling set, but nope, I was sick years before, so no home for those two girls).

    Do you think Christian suffers from his autism? I’ve known children with forms of retardation and other mental disabilities who were so completely happy that I envied them, and some functioning in that spot where they knew something was different and were upset and hurt by it. I hope he’s able to be happy. The last picture I saw of him was a few years back, and he looked like a happy little angel. And you’re not wrong for being crushed to find out he had autism. Not only does autism hinder what the person can do in life, it’s extremely hard on the family and limits the time that can be devoted to other children. But you don’t love him any less, and that is ultimately what matters.

    From a religious standpoint, sending a rejection letter to god that a child isn’t good enough is rejecting one of the two best gifts anyone in this world can get (the other being a loving, supporting partner on this earth). From that same standpoint, it’s telling god he made a mistake in what he sent, and since the Christian view is that god is infallible, this is saying that god is indeed fallible, and if he is, how can the infallible god exist? A roundabout way of looking at it is an indirect way of denying the existence of the god in which that person proclaims to have a belief.

    In China, to my understanding, infanticide against females isn’t exactly punished. Some countries, such as China and India, have laws against telling the parents the genders of the babies before birth to cut the rate of abortions against females. The governments are realizing that the imbalance of males to females is increasing crime all around. Of course the laws for one child (two in only a couple circumstances) have not been lifted. Problem is, even if the law was lifted, the problem of infanticide still would exist. Why raise a daughter who will only go off and take care of her husband’s parents in their old age? There’s no financial incentive, or any other incentive, to raising a daughter. There’d be killing of girls anyway and keeping of boys, the more boys, the more people to care for them. If anything, the one-child law is likely keeping the imbalance from getting worse by not enabling couples to have several sons and no daughters.

    You know, a lot of children seem “broken” at birth, have some ailment that can actually be fixed within a couple years, and then go on to have 100% normal lives. I was a baby born with jaundice, no big deal, and seemed otherwise perfectly healthy. From what I was told, I didn’t cry often. I started saying Hi to people I recognized at three months, was walking at 9 months, and toilet trained during the day at 11 months, and night-trained at 13 months. You know, one of those “perfect” babies. Well, that sure lasted, right? Medical hell starting at age 12 that pushed my parents to the brink of financial ruin and they considered divorcing not to split, but because the tax deductions for two singles is more than for a married couple, and they needed the money. Medical hell lasting 11 years. A “perfect” baby means jack in the long run. Would that lady rather have a baby with an IQ ten points lower that it otherwise MIGHT be, or would she rather have the “perfect” baby who ended up having horrific medical problems later?

    We hope our children are healthy, but know that a “perfect” baby means nothing in the long-run. Illnesses happen later, accidents, etc..

    Novel? 🙂

  7. Aria Says:

    Also, on the issue of perfection:

    Aaron was perhaps the best friend I ever had. He changed my life more than any other one person has. He saved my life from Jeff more than once. He had severe seizures, multiple sclerosis (he was able to walk though, no wheelchair), and was wrongly convicted of rape in Oregon (he was 16, and he and his girlfriend, 15 at the time, younger by just two weeks, had sex, and her mom found out, and pushed for statutory rape charges, and since they did have sex, he admitted it, and the girl testified it was mutual consent, but Oregon’s mandatory-minimum laws bit him, and he spent time in prison in Oregon as a teenager and bad things happened to him there).

    Among other things he said, “God made me perfectly broken just the way I am.”

    That lady who claims to be Christian, yet clearly hopes her child dies for not being “perfect”, should hear that.

    It still saddens me deeply thinking about Aaron being dead now. Four years ago. He wasn’t perfect by that lady’s standard, but any parent would be blessed to have such a soul as their son.

  8. xyneshia Says:

    To answer, no Christian does not seem to suffer at all. He is the happiest person I have ever met to be honest. Seeing kids call him a freak causes me to suffer, that does not diminish his dignity, value or right to life liberty and the persuit of happiness. Since he does not understand that they are being mean, he is not bothered by that at all. Nikka on the other hand, the developmental dyspraxia certainly causes her to suffer. She loves life and is in general a happy person. Her disability is both physical and mental and at times can take a toll on her though. Even at that, going back, I certainly would not have aborted or killed her. nope, she feels that way too I am sure. Her life is more than worth living and she has dreams and aspirations just like everyone else and I am sure she will accomplish them.

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