Skip to main content

The same scene keeps happening over and over again.  Woman takes fertility drugs.  Maybe she's a Quiverfull member, maybe she comes from a large family, maybe she and her spouse just want a gazillion kids all at once without having to space them out.  And bingo:  A gazillion fetuses.

But there's one small problem.

We weren't designed to birth more than two or at most three kids at a time.  Our bodies just can't handle it, and neither can the prospective babies-to-be.

And so, the docs, knowing what will happen otherwise (because they're been through this before), offer the woman the chance to terminate those fetuses that aren't going to make it anyway.  And of course, the woman and her spouse say no, because that would be a violation of "God's will".

And then the fetuses pop out of the womb four months early, and start terminating themselves one by one by one despite the best efforts of modern medicine, and the ones that are left, instead of being healthy and whole and sound, are what is known as "salvaged babies".

Instead of having one or two healthy kids, you'll wind up with three or four dying at birth and (maybe) one or two clinging to life but without the brain matter they would have had if they'd been without the brain matter they would have had in a less-crowded womb.

But that's okay, because that's somehow "God's will".

Arrrrrrgh.

Originally posted to Phoenix Woman on Mon Jun 18, 2007 at 05:54 AM PDT.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Our brains make us what we are... (9+ / 0-)

    ...and doing things that guarantee limited brain development limits who we can be.

    That's why this is so maddening to me.  These parents are cheating their prospective children.

  •  I think the Minnesota couple got poor advice (7+ / 0-)

    They wre informed that there were two mature follicles and there was a 25% chance of having twins, and 3% chance of having triplets and anything else was ridiculous to think of.  I'm stlll surprised Follistim was used and not Clomid.

    That being said, not reducing is like playing Russian roulette and expecting God to tilt the table.

  •  Good company (5+ / 0-)

    Yesterday, ChuyHChrist wrote the powerful I Guess I'm not Pro-Choice: Sextuplets.

    We don't have great tags in this area, but since tags are meant to help us search for diaries, I reassigned yours to something searchable. Resources below might help you find better ones.

    Many Kossacks bookmark tag links so it is easy to find new diaries on favorite or hot issues.  Some even add them to their blog rolls to make them easy to find regardless of what computer they are using.  That is an excellent reason to learn to use standard tags in your diaries.

    Thanks!

    ==============
    Resources for the tag enamored
    Learn more about tagging and other aspects of Daily Kos etiquette in these diaries.
    Check out the latest diary on tags on tags (complete with C-Span video mentioning the use of Tags at Daily Kos)
    Tag guidelines
    Tips on Creating Good Diary Tags
    Try to use tags from this Listof the most used standard tags.
    Find good tags (those used over 30 times) and their diaries by using this Great Tag Search Tool

    TUs, the tag cloud librarians could use your help. Consider giving the DKos community an hour a week helping with these Tag Clean Up Jobs

    •  Since my TU status is AWOL at the moment (4+ / 0-)

      can you add 'fertility' as a tag?  I think that might work in this instance. Thanks!

    •  tag suggestion (0+ / 0-)

      for another. i'm not editing this one.

      a typical approach to classification is general to specific: medicine, health care, IVF (or invitro fertilization).

      imo, the diary's content, while interesting, raises more questions than it answers about a "theology" or  "reproduction" or "ethics" in the reader. these terms may be appropriate qualifiers of the foregoing. i would not promote "fertility;" its usages are notoriouosly, invidiously sexist.

      OTOH, "reproductive choice" is a novel statement ;) about biological certainty, deserving elaboration.

      Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

      by MarketTrustee on Mon Jun 18, 2007 at 07:40:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  These Moral Judgments Seem Antithetical to Choice (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shanikka, Sharon in MD, dennisl, mpwife

    Instead of having one or two healthy kids, you'll wind up with three or four dying at birth and (maybe) one or two clinging to life but without the brain matter they would have had if they'd been without the brain matter they would have had in a less-crowded womb.

    But that's okay, because that's somehow "God's will".

    I guess this means you believe at least one of my triplet cousins, all of whom were born and remained healthy, should have been flushed down the toilet before coming to term.  

    If women choose to carry multiple fetuses, that's their choice, whatever the outcome.  It's seems quite bizarre and ironic to me that those who are the loudest in advocating for 'choice' find so much offense at women who are choosing what they do with their bodies after receiving informed consent.  

    •  I'm in agreement with you (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mamamedusa

      Where I find the God's will argument to be weak at best, I do believe in a patient's right to choose their medical treatment options, and this includes selective reduction.

    •  My bosses sister had quints (5+ / 0-)

      all are healthy.  I agree, we can't argue for choice and then sit and condemn when someone wants to give birth to every egg that got fertilized.

      Besides, most women take the fertility drugs, not so they can have multiples but so they can have a child.

      "A feminist is a woman who does not allow anyone to think in her place." Michelle Le Doeuff

      by mpwife on Mon Jun 18, 2007 at 06:28:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Very True (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sarac, Sharon in MD, mpwife

      This idea of disturbed me about yesterday's diary on the subject as well. (Although, for the record, so did the idea of doctors prescribing fertility drugs to folks in their early 20's who had only been trying a year.) It seems that if you are having babies and folks don't think you should, your choice to do so is no longer the dispositive issue in the debate.  Unlike the situation when you're trying to talk about abortion, which everyone is always insistent must be a matter of choice.

      To me, if you're for reproductive choice, you're for reproductive choice for all women no matter what they choice -- and that includes their choice to have babies you think they shouldn't have, and we should be supporting all of them.  Womanists have been advocating this holistic view of reproductive rights for years and have been routinely ignored.  As Dorothy Roberts writes eloquently, what folks really mean when they talk about choice is a "negative liberty" - i.e. the freedom to act without the state intervening.  They could otherwise care less about real reproductive choice for women.

      My separate place for mental meanderings: Political Sapphire

      by shanikka on Mon Jun 18, 2007 at 06:29:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  same here (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shanikka

        yesterday's diary and the comments were deeply disturbing to me.

        Pro-Choice for me means exactly that. I take it at its most literal sense.

      •  Why I disagree.. (0+ / 0-)

        The decision to go to a doctor and get fertility treatment is and should be an absolute right.  However, at that point you have changed the equation no longer is it just the couple involved there is a doctor as well.  The doctor is doing extraordinary things to bring about a successful pregnancy and eventual birth.  His is the information that informs the decisions throughout the procedure.  
        If the doctor comes to the conclusion that starting with a large number of fetuses and then paring down is the best way the patient needs to be informed of this and consent to said treatment.  If after the procedure is started the patient decides that they have ethical problems with the paring and want to go ahead and carry all the fetuses to term they are screwing up the procedure.  I don't support someone being treated for breathing problems caused by smoking continuing to puff away.  I don't want them arrested, but I don't support them.  That is the same way I feel about a couple going for fertility treatment deciding that they will do what the doctor says when they like it, but disregard it when they don't.
        Are you saying that wanting the couple to abide by the medical advice of their physician, who's opinion is informed by his training and the experience of the medical community, is not respectful of women's reproductive rights.  Because I think it is respectful and I think the couple lacks respect for the medical community, who's services they used to conceive their children.

    •  Triplets (4+ / 0-)

      are doable, I have triplet cousins myself.  Sextuplets, not so much, the odds of causing suffering are greater than the odds of creating healthy lives.  That doesn't mean I believe this choice should be legislated against, however.

      I personally think this case is a very sad oddity - most women who have fertility treatments have nothing like this outcome.

      "Virginia Woolf's idea of a room of one's own has never been the place for middle- and working-class women. We work with interruptions." - Ananya Chatterjea

      by sarac on Mon Jun 18, 2007 at 06:30:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Did any doctor in fact suggest that? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tonedevil, Sharon in MD

      I'm guessing not, because triplets  have a good survival rate.

      -9.0, -8.3. Unashamed to die-- Antioch College, 1852-2008. requiescat in pace

      by SensibleShoes on Mon Jun 18, 2007 at 06:36:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They have a fairly decent survival rate (0+ / 0-)

        compared to higher multiples...however, after having twins, I would never attempt to carry three.  Took everything in me plus all modern medicine had to offer to get me to 34 weeks.  I seriously doubt that my body would carry three long enough to give all of them a decent chance at a fairly normal life.

        However, most people aren't in a position to be able to personally make such comparisons.

  •  "salvaged babies" (0+ / 0-)

    I never heard that before.  That's dreadful.  The worst kind of playing God.

    Even single babies born premature at less than 3ish pounds are much more likely to have cognitive, psychiatric, academic and other problems later on.  1 pound each - good lord.  Even the Dionne quintuplets were about 2 pounds each when they were born (and they occurred naturally, so to speak).

    "Virginia Woolf's idea of a room of one's own has never been the place for middle- and working-class women. We work with interruptions." - Ananya Chatterjea

    by sarac on Mon Jun 18, 2007 at 06:25:28 AM PDT

  •  Quiverfull (4+ / 0-)

    creepiest people around

    -9.0, -8.3. Unashamed to die-- Antioch College, 1852-2008. requiescat in pace

    by SensibleShoes on Mon Jun 18, 2007 at 06:30:22 AM PDT

  •  If you talk to infertile couples (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    historys mysteries, Sharon in MD

    (and there is a large and well established support group for them, called RESOLVE) you will learn that the oveerwhelming number of these couples are looking for a child, and might regard twins as a bonus, but are not seeking large groups of multiples.  Because most women who go to invitro have difficulty with implantation as well as with conception, the odds are that some or all of the concepti will not result in a pregnancy.  It's not an exact science, however, and these horrible results can follow.

    If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

    by marykk on Mon Jun 18, 2007 at 06:34:43 AM PDT

  •  I thought yesterday's diary was excellent - (7+ / 0-)

    thoughtful, precise. I felt some of the comments jumped the shark however.

    But I have never been able to tolerate the "it's God's will" explanation/rationalization in this situation, or any other. My neighbor lost her husband at age 34 to cancer. When conferring with their priest about the service, she told him that if he used that expression, she'd walk out. He told her he found the expression inappropriate at best, offensive and wrong at worst, and never uses it.

    •  "G-d's Will" (2+ / 0-)

      is, almost by definition, unknowable.  Because G-d is unknowable - too boundless to be comprehended by mere mortals.  I had a child with a mortal illness. I'll spare you the details, but she survived.  The same week, I picked up the paper and read about a child in another (substantially economically depressed) part of town who got up in the morning with the same symptoms and came home dead.  It would be incredibly arrogant for me to assume that G-d loved that child less than mine.

      But infertile people hear a lot of that crap too.  "G-d didn't intend you to have children."  Yeesh!  "Did you hear Him report in on the issue?"  

      If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

      by marykk on Mon Jun 18, 2007 at 07:03:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And for atheists (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        historys mysteries, Tonedevil, marykk

        the comment is irrelevant altogether. I would love for people to add caveats if they invoke their god's name. "In my belief system..." People are so narrow minded - they see the world through their own perspective, and I believe it's willful. If a friend uses that manner of speaking with me, I let it pass, focussing on the good intentions behind the words. If the speaker is not someone I particularly care for, I will explain that although I appreciate the sentiment, it is not applicable to me.

        I assume this all related to my abhorence of generalizations.

      •  right wing Christians (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tonedevil

        Have a God as small minded and mean as themselves.

        The biggest threat to America is not communism, it's moving America toward a fascist theocracy... -- Frank Zappa

        by NCrefugee on Mon Jun 18, 2007 at 07:54:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  related relevant quote (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tonedevil, Pandoras Box, mamamedusa

    "The Only Moral Abortion is My Abortion": When the Anti-Choice Choose
    http://mypage.direct.ca/...

    a study done in 1981 (1) found that 24% of women who had abortions considered the procedure morally wrong, and 7% of women who'd had abortions disagreed with the statement, "Any woman who wants an abortion should be permitted to obtain it legally." A 1994/95 survey (2,3) of nearly 10,000 abortion patients showed 18% of women having abortions are born-again or Evangelical Christians. Many of these women are likely anti-choice. The survey also showed that Catholic women have an abortion rate 29% higher than Protestant women. A Planned Parenthood handbook on abortion notes that nearly half of all abortions are for women who describe themselves as born-again Christian, Evangelical Christian, or Catholic.

    The biggest threat to America is not communism, it's moving America toward a fascist theocracy... -- Frank Zappa

    by NCrefugee on Mon Jun 18, 2007 at 07:52:58 AM PDT

  •  Has anyone done a study of premature (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tonedevil, Pandoras Box

    and conservatism?

    One of my sisters was premature. She is the only one that is a wingnut and married a neocon military recruiter from Texas.

    Just wondering.

    The biggest threat to America is not communism, it's moving America toward a fascist theocracy... -- Frank Zappa

    by NCrefugee on Mon Jun 18, 2007 at 07:58:14 AM PDT

  •  I have to eat (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pandoras Box

    some of my harsh words from yesterday for the docs in this case.  If what is reported on the Morrisons' web page is accurate

    It wasn’t long after our wedding that we began to think about children. We both love kids, and in spite of plenty of babysitting opportunities that our older friends eagerly gave us, we longed to start our own family. What we thought would be a simple task turned into a year and a half long roller coaster of hope and defeat. We spent over a year praying and trying on our own. Eventually we came under the care of a clinic that had succeeded in helping some of our close friends conceive. After two failed cycles using Clomid, we tried the drug Follistim. Brianna’s first cycle with the new treatment looked great. She had two mature eggs that were ready to be released, and two immature eggs that probably weren’t going to be viable. There was a 25% chance of us having twins, a 3 % chance of us having triplets and anything else was laughable.

    There's no indication that the docs acted irresponsibly in assisting with conception.  This may just be the cosmic roll of the dice.  Of course there's always the possibility that one or more of those feti are identical twins, with a lesser number of concepti having split and reproduced.

    If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

    by marykk on Mon Jun 18, 2007 at 08:13:06 AM PDT

  •  Women don't take fertility drugs (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marykk

    to have "a gazillion babies".  They usually take them with hopes of becoming pregnant with one baby.  I can understand the desire that people have to reproduce...its a normal human emotion.  Are these drugs prescribed too easily?  Maybe.  Are there doctors who aren't properly following patients?  Absolutely.  

    There are humane ways to allow the treatment of infertility without so many multiple births.  And frankly, as a woman who carried twins, women should be advised just how difficult such a prospect can be and that even with "just two" babies there are no guarantees.

    Personally, I don't understand a woman who would doom six babies to almost certain death.   Being that there are such fools out there, its doubly important that we ask our medical community to tighten up its efforts at preventing such things to happen.

  •  yet the infertility is not seen as that same will (0+ / 0-)

    odd isn't it?

    •  You don't think so? (0+ / 0-)

      Obviously you've never been subjected to the remarkably insensitive things people say to childless couples.

      If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

      by marykk on Mon Jun 18, 2007 at 10:05:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hey if they are going to play the "Gods will" (0+ / 0-)

        card in part of the experience then it should follow that it would apply in ALL of it, but it doesn't now does it?

        You will see infertile prolife couples go and make use of that secular science to undo what God has wrought in their lives in subversion of that will at the drop of a hat.  You will see those same couples advocate for life beginning when sperm meets egg...yet have no problems in flushing the umpteen number of excess fertilized eggs down the crapper after they have gotten what they want.

        What I am targeting here is their own hypocrisy and mental tapdancing.

  •  Does anyone know (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ebohlman

    what percentage of women receiving these treatments are not white, and/or upper-middle class?  Aren't they very expensive?  How much does insurance cover?

    •  Answer: not very many (0+ / 0-)

      And unless the coverage is mandatory (like in Illinois, under what I consider a very ill-conceived (no pun intended) law entitled the "Family Building Act") most carriers will not cover it.  And it's generally very expensive.  Particularly if it's more than drugs and moves up to IVF etc.

      If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

      by marykk on Mon Jun 18, 2007 at 02:34:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Expense is a factor (0+ / 0-)

    The high cost of fertility treatments and the limited availability of insurance coverage can be a factor that pushes people to risk a multiple pregnancy. If you can only afford one or two attempts, you may not be willing to pin your hopes on a single embryo. This is another instance of how the economics of our health system can skew the decisions that doctors and patients make.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site