|This is the face of IVF|
In honor of National Infertility Awareness Week, I thought it would be appropriate to return to blogging with a message that’s very close to my heart: Don’t ignore babies born and families built through assisted reproductive technology. We are every bit as valid and valuable as those created the “old fashioned way.” As our healthcare laws are debated and – hopefully – reformed, I think it’s important not to overlook the disease of infertility. Just like any other disease or disorder, assistance should be provided to those who need it.
It’s amazing to me that not everyone agrees. The right to bear children – one of our most basic, biological functions – is still controversial. Making a baby through IUI or IVF is seen as a luxury only deserved, apparently, by those who can afford it. I believe that wealth should not influence who gets to procreate. There’s a million different ways to argue this point, but I’ll try if I can to put religion and politics aside.
Perhaps this analogy might help: Is seeing a right or a privilege? Let’s say that a person has some sort of problem with their eyes that prevents them from seeing. Let’s also say that a surgery or procedure of some sort would correct the problem and restore the person’s vision. Is the problem life threatening? No. People can live without sight. But I think most would agree that a surgery or procedure to correct a problem such as this would be considered “medically necessary.” So should, in my opinion, any surgery or procedure that corrects a part or process in the body that is not functioning correctly. Why is the desire to be a parent met with more judgment than the desire to see?
On January 21, just before the stroke of midnight, I pushed my 9 lb, 4 oz baby boy into the world. He was and continues to be the greatest miracle of my life. The fact that his life began in a Petri dish makes him no less miraculous. Nor does it make me any less worthy of being a mother. I’m grateful to have had insurance that covered most of my IVF process. I know others who’ve spent the equivalent of a down payment on a house to achieve the same goal.
With that in mind, I want to encourage everyone to call or write your Congressperson in support of the Family Act, which would create a tax credit for the out-of-pocket costs associated with infertility medical treatment. You can read more about it here:
Consider what you would do if you couldn’t have the family you spent your life dreaming about. If having a family isn’t your dream, imagine what you would do if you couldn’t see. As a new mother blessed with my first miracle, I can tell you that for me, having my son has been like opening my eyes for the first time. He makes life beautiful.