Saturday, August 13, 2011

A horror story of reproductive medicine gone wrong ...

I haven't yet gotten around to writing or even showing pictures about the wedding Eli & were part of in June. Those 4 days were awesome and it was so great to see my friends, but as soon as we got back we had to leave again and then we moved. However, from the moment this incident occurred I've been wanting to tell the story and since I can't sleep I'm going to do that now.

The morning of the wedding I was with the other bridesmaids and it was my turn for the hairdresser. We started making small talk and when I mentioned I had two year old twins, the first thing out of her mouth was, "So who was your doctor?"

I was shocked at the question (people aren't usually so blunt) and finally just said that we used an RE in CT. She then asked me if we did IVF. She knew the terminology pretty well so I was convinced that I was speaking to a fellow IFer. So I started talking some about our struggles, that it took 3 years etc. You know all the things that someone who has also gone through IF would understand. I then waited to hear her story. I knew she had children so I assumed she too was a success after infertility story.

Oh my how I was wrong. Her response, "Oh, I can get pregnant at the drop of a hat. I did IVF to get a girl."

**Cue my mouth dropping open**

I had no words. She proceeded to tell me all about how she can get pregnant without any effort (which is such a lovely thing to say to someone who has just shared that it took 3 years to have their children...) Anyways, after having her two boys she was convinced that she was never, ever going to have a girl. (She made this seem like the worst fate possible. A travesty, life cannot go on situation *gag*) So she went to a clinic in Southern California that caters to those who want to pick the sex of their child. According to her there are two such clinics that exist in the United States.

I was appalled. I had heard stories about the existence of such places,  (usually uttered by people opposed to IF treatments) but I had never really considered that there were clinics whose sole purpose was the selection of the sex of an unborn baby.

I was pretty much done with the lady at this point, but she was doing my hair, was holding a hot curling iron and there was no escape. So lucky me, I got to hear all the details of her cycle. How she spent $25,000 trying to get a girl, had 6 embryos that were girls but none of them made it. Ultimately, her IVF cycle was not successful.

Then, then... it gets worse (I didn't think it could but it does).

Then, she finds a doctor who willingly wrote her a prescription for clomid so she could have a girl??!! What the heck!? First of all clomid does not assist with the sex of the baby. Second, clomid is a medication, it is not candy, and should only be used in a monitored cycle when necessary. The fact that she found a doctor to go along with her quest for a girl scheme and wrote a prescription for clomid was astounding and appalling.

I asked if she was monitored she said no. I asked if she was worried about high order multiples, or cysts, or any other negative side effects from a drug she did not need. She said no, and wouldn't you know it she did end up having a girl. She's convinced it was because of the clomid. I'm convinced that she's an idiot as are her doctors.

There were other parts of the conversation that were super bizarre. Something about a mans sperm and temperature and how that makes the sperm turn into a boy or a girl (I think she was confusing human sperm with Alligator eggs that's a random fact I learned in Agriculture education in high school). She knew nothing about biology and I was just done with her in general and didn't wish to argue. I tried my best to indicate the ways in which her treatment was misguided, but she wasn't hearing any of it.

This woman was a walking advertisement of reproductive medicine gone wrong. I had no words, it was an awful conversation for me and I could not wait to escape.

This woman represented for me someone who is the cause of so much opposition to reproductive medicine. She's a prime example of why people try to legislate an end to ART (Artificial Reproductive Technology), she's an example of so many misunderstandings about ART's purpose and function. ART is to assist those with medical conditions and diagnosis'. It is not to pick the sex of a child!! It's not a game. It's heartbreaking, difficult, expensive, and not something I would ever chose for myself if I had any other choice. Yet, this woman makes a mockery of this technology, of the decisions that so many have to make because they have no other choice, solely because she wanted a daughter to dress up in pink!! Her two boys were not enough, the thought of a third boy was to much to take, poor her. Arggg!!!

*deep breathes**

Luckily, one of my friends was doing her hair next to me (this friend knows our TTC history) and she witnessed the entire conversation. At that point the whole exchange was so bizarre and unsettling I was grateful that later I would be able to vent to someone who actually heard those words coming from her mouth.

I must now try to sleep and calm down because even writing about this event infuriates me.


creole wisdom said...

What a crazy. How rude of her to even ask that.

I have two cousins who just had twins a few years ago and I would NEVER ask them and they are FAMILY!

My gosh people are just so rude these days.

I'm sorry.

~Jess said...

Someone needs to smack her. I would have probably just gotten more and more infuriated and red faced sitting there, trying not to rip into her.