Sunday, May 3, 2009

Religion, Faith and IVF

Ugh, I'm coming in a little late on NIAW, and I had every intention on having this post finished in time. So, a day late and a dollar short, here it is:

In honor of National Infertility Awarness Week, I bring to you a post about religion and faith and infertility.

A few weeks ago, my mother brought to my attention an opinion piece in our local Catholic publication regarding IVF. Normally a hard-line Catholic, my mom was infuriated by what this priest had written. Now, I know that in its basic teachings, the Church is opposed to IVF. This was something I struggled with when starting on my journey to Gavin, but eventually put those concerns aside, as I believe that my God would not deny me the ability to have my own child when I was so ready and willing to have one. I would just have to go about it in a different way than most people.

After a while, I logged on and read the piece and was seething with anger by the time I finished. It is a complete and utter condemmnation of those who choose this route.

Now, my faith is extremely important to me, but going through this entire infertility/IVF process has really made me re-examine my faith and the teachings of my Church. I went to Catholic school from Kindergarten through 12th Grade and also attended a Catholic affiliated college. I have found solace in Religon many times over throughout my lifetime. I have travelled to see the Pope twice, participated in Youth Ministry, and was a cantor and Eucharistic Minister throughout my teenage years. I married a non-Catholic, but continued to attend Church on my own. When I received my infertility diagnoisis, I turned to God and said prayer upon prayer to help us through the process.

Although my child was "created" by science, I believe that science was directed by our love and ultimately by God. If my boy was not meant to be, then he would not be.

Now, I do understand where this priest is coming from in terms of adoption. There are indeed many children out there looking for a loving home. This is something that the Barron and I seriously considered, and we still have not ruled it out for future children. However, the adoption process is almost more time consuming and difficult than IVF, and we were not willing to take that route without at least trying for our own biological child.

I do still go to Church occasionally, but my feeling when there has changed significantly. I no longer feel the comfort and solace that I once felt while sitting in the pew. I almost see Church now as a doorway to direct communication with God. A God that I feel, could never look at my son as anything less than a miracle. And this is what keeps my faith alive, while my religion has somewhat lapsed.

5 comments:

Candi B. said...

Wow. I am seriously hot right now. I read the article and I am almost ashamed for this priest. How could anyone NOT see that God works in science?? Otherwise, it wouldn't be able to exist. Sad.

Dr.Rutledge said...

Hi Sully,

I want to thank you for sharing this post and experience.

I'm a physician and former faculty member at Harvard and Stanford Medical Schools. I discovered your blog while looking for the best health writers on the web. I reviewed your posts, and think your writing would be a great addition to the Pregnancy & Fertility Community on Wellsphere, a top 5 health website that has nearly 5 million visitors monthly. If you would like to learn more about how you can join our Health Blogger Network, republish your blog posts and be featured on the Wellsphere platform, just drop me an email at dr.rutledge@wellsphere.com.

Cheers,
Geoff

Emily said...

Wow. I read that piece. Made me SEETHE. How awful.

Heather said...

I have had the same feelings. I used to struggle with the "moral" aspects of infertility treatments. But I figure if I haven't gotten pregnant in 2 1/2 years, God is directing me to go ahead with it. And look what it brought you!! I am hoping for the same. I pray God's biggest blessings on you! Thanks for your posts.

TylerandBrianne said...

I just happened to run past your blog and wanted to leave a comment. I am not Catholic but instead Baptist. I do not care nor have I ever asked my Church how they feel. I believe this is a matter between me and God. I got pg w/ T on clomid, B w/ inj/IUI and am now currently pg w/ a 3rd from IVF. Yes this is my last. LOL God has shown me many times the correct path to get pg w/ all 3. With the last He held my hand as I lost 91pds, and then he gave me the money for IVF. I am so sorry that the Catholic Church has taken this stance b/c now many people will have to deal with this in silence. God would not want this.