Please be kind and have an open heart


#1

Hi there. I am a 26 year old girl that is struggling with infertility. I was raised catholic and still am a practicing catholic. In August 2008, I married the man of my dreams after dating for 5 1/2 years. I feel so blessed to have a wonderful family, husband, and in-laws. I was blessed that he too was raised catholic so we share that :D As soon as we got married (at the time I was 25) we started trying to conceive. A year after no luck, we went to the doctors (praying I just needed my tubes cleared or something simple). Unfortunately, I was diagnosed with premature ovarian failure....I'm out of eggs at the tender age of 26 :crying:
Our family has dealt with so much in the past few years. I lost a good high school friend to cancer. Then in May of 2007 my husband and an aneurism that threw a blood clot. Thanks to God, he survived. Unfortunately in February 2008 we lost his sister to cancer (she was 26 years old). October of 2008 my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, she is still currently with us :D I feel like we have suffered so much heartache and would do just about anything for a break here!! We actually conceived in December 2009 but ended up miscarrying (baby's due date was my sister in laws birthday) just a kick in the gut! The miscarriage was due to my poor egg quality (failing ovaries).
Anyway, the reason I'm writing. I know the catholic religion is against egg donors. Please be kind when replying to this post, I don't mean to start a debate or argue with catholic beliefs. I guess I just want to know more behind the reasoning. Here's my dilemma: for me to experience a healthy pregnancy, I would need donor eggs. I'm not against adoption nor is my husband but we would like to know more about why the catholic religion is so against egg donation. Our view is that God decides which children come into this world, as my doctor (a catholic) has said, "I've seen really good eggs go in an not result in a pregnancy and really bad ones go in and result in a pregnancy. Tell me God doesn't have a hand in that?"
Any guidance or words of wisdom would be much appreciated. Oh, and by the way, my husband and I are incredibly healthy individuals (minus his little health scare - his clavicle bone was too close to his first rib). We both workout everyday and are at healthy weights. No health concerns. Obviously no STD's either ;) You just never know with people now a days so I'd thought I'd throw that out there. We're GOOD, PRACTICING, CATHOLICS! A hard find for 26 year olds these days :thumbsup:


#2

There are a couple of reasons the church opposes in vitro fertilisation. The main being that conception of children in this manner does not follow natural law.

The other opposing idea is that if there is more than one egg fertilized that the possibility exists for fertilized eggs to be discarded (aborted).

I found this which might help you.


#3

I did already discuss with my husband that if we got 6 embryos from a donor, we’d be having 6 kids. Not one of them would be spared.Thank you so much for being kind and posting this link. It’s very helpful. I often think of Sarah, God promised her a child and eventually (yes, she was 90) she got her child. I wonder if he’s perhaps teaching me patience, or maybe we were meant to be parents to some other child. Times like these I’d love a glimpse of His plans :wink: Thank you again for this information. I often think that if I’m struggling with the idea that it’s not a good one and I should trust in His plan in His time.


#4

Pray for discernment, and peace with His decision.


#5

Because its lowering the beauty of the act of marital sex. Every child has a right to be conceived in the sexual act of his parents. Every child. Our sexual organs are so much a part of us and our identity that the church doesn’t allow transplants of certain reproductive organs.

Sarah conceiving a child was a miracle that God performed. She didn’t borrow eggs to do it.

Just because science can do it doesn’t make it right.


#6

First off… you have my prayers and sympathies and an open heart. (((HUGS)))

Please know that the teachings of the faith are not against the good intentions of a couple who is desiring to have a baby… but the *morality *in achieving this through IVF and egg donation is not solid.
This is one good article here on CA that may help a bit… read it, it’s VERY good.
catholic.com/thisrock/2006/0604fea3.asp

I encourage you to seek another opinion. There is a fabulous fertility clinic called the Pope Paul VI Institute that has worked *miracles *within the moral guidelines of the faith… contact them.
popepaulvi.com/home.html

If you cannot find service through them, consider getting another opinion from an NFP-only doctor… ONE opinion is never enough.
onemoresoul.com/nfpbyspeccat
aaplog.org/physiciansearch.aspx

Again… seek additional opinions… and PRAY.
Also, consider the incredible BLESSING of adoption. :slight_smile:


#7

Here are some Vatican documents (first will link you to other related documents):

vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20081208_dignitas-personae_en.html

And USCCB has a wealth of information

usccb.org/prolife/issues/ivf/index.shtml


#8

You would have six kids, provided all six implant and survive. IVF doesn’t have a very high outcome per attempt to implant. Many women go through multiple cycles, with multiple embryos, and often end up with just 1 surviving baby.

Would seeing an NFP only doctor be possible? They look at things differntly, maybe give you hope for a pregnancy.

try onemoresoul.com/

Maybe there is a doctor in your area who can help.


#9

please, please speak to a Catholic priest about this.

I know that this involves letting go of a dream. It’s a death of sorts and that’s always hard and painful.

But, you have to trust the Church on this. God uses the Church to lead us to his Truth.


#10

I too am not fertile. My dh and I have decided we will adopt an older child later on that needs a family as everyone seems to be scrambling for the babies. Some of us are called to give birth and others are just called to be parents.


#11

Practically speaking, adoption is great and a guarantee to having a family (then again, I’m adopted and biased :smiley: ). I watched children conceived in the manner you’re inquiring about (mom used donated eggs). Just seeing her face (and the uncomfortable look) when people would compliment the kids appearance to her (knowing they don’t have her genes) said it all. The child she conceived after them, was from her egg (a surprise pregnancy) and the attitude and facial expressions when that child was complimented about his appearance being similar to her said it all. Maybe it was her insecurity, who knows.:shrug:

But I can say that after having met my biological family, God DID save me twice (first from abortion, second from a life of trouble based on what my biological half-siblings lives turned out). Of all the adoptive parents I know, not a one regrets their children coming into their lives in another way. While there may have been an initial sorrow for their loss of fertility, the love of their adopted child made that fade away fast. This is still hanging on the wall in my mom’s kitchen (just so you know how proud she is to be my mom :thumbsup:):

‘Not flesh of my flesh, nor bone of my bone, But still miraculously My own. Never forget For a single minute: You didn’t grow under my heart, but in it.’


#12

I would encourage you to look into Christopher West’s books or videos on the Theology of the Body (which is a compilation of writings from Pope John Paul II - West brings this beautiful teaching down to the level of the ordinary lay person). Or if you have the opportunity, go see him speak.

The Cliffs notes summary of the Theology of the Body reasoning about the marital act is this: God created man in His image. God is a Trinity, a communion of persons (Father and Son) from which proceeds yet another person (the Holy Spirit). The marital act between a husband and wife, in it’s most productive form, images this more perfectly than perhaps any other example in creation. Let me say that again: The sexual union of spouses and the conception of children is perhaps the most perfect image of the Trinity that we can acheive. That is astounding if you think about it. And of course, it’s not an accident. It’s how God wants it. It’s how God wants babies to be made - the way which glorifies Him.

So to try to do it another way, is not only disrespectful of the Blessed Trinity, but also it also is disrespectful of the spouses in question, and particularly disrespectful of the baby who deserves to be created in the the glorious way that God designed. In the case of egg-donation, there is a union of the husband and another woman, in a series of non-loving acts (masturbation, and conception in a test tube) and then a placement of that immortal soul (and body) into the womb of an unrelated person, in an attempt to imitate the creative act.

The benefits of egg-donation are that the wife gets to experience pregnancy, and can have control over the pregnancy, and the husband gets the perk of being a biological relation to the baby. But the negative is that it degrades the dignity of the baby being born, by not allowing it to be born in the way that God intended. As tempting as I imagine the benefits are, nothing can trump the degradation of the most perfect reflection of the Blessed Trinity. As you said, you have a goal of experiencing a healthy pregnancy. But while healthy pregnancies are something that most mothers are blessed to experience, the true purpose of childbearing is to end up with the child - the little person with an immortal soul, who you can help get to heaven.

All of this said, I have no judgment against you or anyone else who might be facing the temptation to use egg-donation, or other forms of artifical conception. I recognize that the action is wrong, but I know the temptation is extremely strong. And I can’t personally relate to the strong feelings that accompany your situation. Or the type of grieving that might occur in order to let go of the hope of being able to experience pregnancy. Prayers for you.


#13

I don’t have anything to add to what the others have posted on the Church’s teaching regarding this matter, but I wanted to share with you that a lady I work with was diagnosed with premature ovarian failure in her late 20s. She went on to have two healthy, beautiful children naturally in her 30s after her and her husband had already resigned themselves to unlikelyhood that they would ever have children. Your diagnosis isn’t necessarily God’s diagnosis. Please be open to His will. If you are truly called to be parents, He will send you a child. I wish you the best and will remember you in my prayers.


#14

I figured this out on my own as a practicing Protestant that does not teach against it. The obvious is about the number of children you’d carry to term, since abortion is objectively evil. Then there is the issue that not everyone is capable of handling more than one at a time for pure sanity sake. Then there is the fact that you would be blocking God out of the equation until after you get what you want. This is objectively evil. And I don’t even know Moral Theology, just logic and a built in sense of right and wrong…maybe that’s what moral theology includes.

As a Catholic now, I understand this even more than ever because I have an understanding about vocations. It sounds to me like God is calling you and your husband to adopt because its obvious you wish to be parents. Look at the bright side of this, at least your body won’t go through all of the changes. Your sacrifice in giving birth, to me, would seem a bit like lacerating yourself on purpose and call it penance yet it would be considered gravely sinful in the eyes of the Church and God.

Pray pray pray…


#15

aga - I wasn't implying that Sarah used donor eggs, just that with time she got the child she so desperately wanted. Sorry if that came out wrong. Sometimes I have to remind myself that it's His time line, not mine :o

em - Thank you soooooo much for all the wonderful resources. I'm very blessed that my husband and I are both open to adoption. I think many men aren't so I feel very blessed. We didn't know about these doctors or resources....thank you so much again!

kage - Thank you for posting these links.

Mary - I didn't even know NFP doctors existed! I'm surprised they didn't cover that in our pre cana classes. Until you and Emily mentioned it my husband and I had no clue! Thank you.

leonie - We did meet with our priest last year when we got diagnosed but he was very vague on the reasons why. We're very fortunate to have such a wonderful priest that we can go meet and talk openly with. I think a lot if it is because he has supported us and our family through many hard times. I guess my husband and I just needed some clarification as to why it's seen as a sin.

joandarc - I'm so sorry for your dx as well :hug1: I think it's wonderful that you and your husband have a plan, thank you so much for sharing! I wish we could come up with a plan :confused:

gmarie - I always love talking to adopted kids and seeing how they feel about their adoptive family. It seems to give me comfort. I know in my heart if there's a person that is meant to be a father, it's my husband. Kids just love him!!! I also love the saying your mother has, thank you so much for sharing! P.S. I grew up near you :) I'm originally from Byron, IL!

ThyKingdomCome - Thank you so much for bringing it down to a level I can understand (I do have a MBA but sometimes this is all a little hard to read into). Thank you for also being understanding about me needing to explore this idea and know all the facts. It's a very overwhelming diagnosis and I didn't want to jump into any decisions.

samovila - Thank you for sharing the story about your co-workers :hug1: That gives me so much hope!!!! Thank you for keeping me in your prayers too. I know God knows the desires of our hearts and I know He will bring us a child. I'm just wondering if we should proceed to adoption or wait to see what His plan is for us. At this point in our lives I know we wouldn't feel comfortable going the donor route.

The Geographer - Thank you for adding to this post and reminding me of the bright sides of adoption :thumbsup: That thought didn't even occur to me. Thank you for your prayers as well.

Thank you everyone for being kind. I know this is a very sensitive issue and I was afraid I would be scorned for even dancing with the thought. My doctor tried to push us into it in August and continues to do so at every visit. We met with our priest last August after we were diagnosed and he was just vague on the subject so we felt we needed to gather more information before we made any decisions. I know that for now donor egg is not an option for us. I'll be looking into the NFP doctor and Pope Paul fertility center. We may also move on to adoption soon while still trying to have genetic children, the heartache is just too much to handle sometimes and I think the joy a child would bring plus knowing we can help a child may help ease this pain a bit. We will take any prayers that are being offered that God will guide us to the child we were meant to have ;) You will all be in my prayers tonight, I thank God that you all were so kind, open minded, and informative!!! Bless you all!


#16

I think you and your husband should be commended for putting your faith before your personal wishes and what is available and not rushing ahead with your doctors advice. You are in my prayers and I wish you the best.


#17

You and your husband are awesome-role models for all of us, for the reasons stated in the previous post.

In my prayers...


#18

He may be a doctor, and he may have been raised as a Catholic, but it sounds like he’s not a ‘Catholic Doctor’.

From his comments above about good eggs and bad eggs, it sounds like he values human life by its strength, by what it can do, not because it is in the image of God’s own Son.

There are probably a lot of doctors out there who deceive people in the same way - “I’m a Catholic too! So there can’t be anything wrong with it, right?”


#19

I just want to add that your Dr has a financial motive for pushing the unnatural methods on you. He would be making a LOT more money if you went through with the egg donation than he's making at your regular appointments. I hope you can find an NFP Dr in your area, that would be such a blessing! Prayers!

PS: Ditto to those PPs who said you and your DH are making wonderful role models by choosing your faith over your wants.


#20

I want to thank the OP for your kindness- we are not upset as there a lot of reasons it would have been bad if I had been pregnant and may have killed me. So God has a plan for everyone. You are excellent role models.


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