This morning in the New York Times Magazine, there is an article called "Unnatural Selection." The article is about the increasing demand for twin to singleton pregnancy reductions. I am pro-choice. I firmly believe that a woman has a legal right to make choices regarding her own body and her own reproductive health. As a woman who has lost three children and is now anxiously awaiting the birth of my 32 week twins, this was quite a difficult read.
After our journey with recurrent loss, we were elated to find out we were having twins. I literally felt like I had won the lottery, only this was better. We were having two children. Sure, two children at once brings up scary questions about time and money and energy, but after working so hard for a pregnancy, these fears paled in comparison to the joy we felt. Reading that many women, after undergoing fertility treatments, choose to reduce to a singleton for social or financial reasons is baffling to me.
What is more difficult, though, is a quote near the beginning of the article. One of the women interviewed stated: "If I had conceived these twins naturally, I wouldn't have reduced this pregnancy, because you feel like if there's a natural order, then you don't want to disturb it. But we created this child in such an artificial manner--in a test tube, choosing an egg donor, having the embryo placed in me-- and somehow, making a decision about how many to carry seemed to be just another choice. The pregnancy was all so consumerish to begin with, and this became yet another thing we could control." Why would any woman say this, allowing such garbage to be published in an international publication? These are the very beliefs that we, as members of the infertility community, are trying to fight against. Whether conceived through IUI, IVF, with donor eggs or sperm, our children are not "unnatural" or "artificial." Calling fertility treatments "consumerish" implies that you can somehow go pick out the kind of child you want and then be guaranteed to take that child home in 9 months. But we know it doesn't work that way. Despite ours and the doctors' best efforts, treatments often don't work.
When members of our own community are making such ignorant statements, we have a long way to go in making people understand infertility and its treatments. Here's hoping that not many people read this article.