How can you be a Christian and still have done IVF?
First, let me start by saying that my husband and I cling tightly to the Gospel. As a result, we believe that a life is not defined by capacity. We treasure ALL life: the unborn, individuals with special needs, the elderly, I think you see where I am going…God certainly is not shy about how He feels about the unborn, so neither are we.
Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.
For it was you who created my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb…Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in your book and planned before a single one of them began.
So wait…how can we live by an ALL-life valuing perspective and still do IVF?
It seems impossible, doesn’t it? That’s what we thought, too. When we were told that IVF was the only safe way we would be able to get pregnant, we thought “Game over.” I was furious, devastated, and I felt like God had forgotten us. All of these strong emotions made it extremely hard to think past the next minute, let alone years down the road.
This is the part of the infertility journey that I think is missing something HUGE: counsel.
This brings me to a point that I cannot allow you to skim-read: DO NOT MISS WHAT I AM ABOUT TO SAY!
If you have made decisions in your fertility treatment protocol that you regret, my heart breaks with yours. There is NO judgment here. You just wanted a baby, your empty arms ached. It is nearly impossible to think clearly about the future, or what you will do with leftover embryos. Give yourself grace. This post is NOT a condemnation for those who have done things differently than we did. This post is meant to be a helpful guide for those who are currently making these tough decisions. SO, what do we do about extra embryos/human lives?
The infertility journey is hard to navigate as a Christian. Your doctors will tell you to spend your life savings in order to get a viable embryo, all while using very conflicting language. They will start to talk about the “chosen” embryo as a baby while considering the other “less quality embryos” as a clump of cells.
The contradictory language just did not resonate with us. I wanted to get pregnant, I did not want to play God. So after much prayer and counsel, we did something totally out of the box. Keep in mind that Christianity is counter-culture. We expected some hesitation from our specialist, and we had to have numerous difficult conversations. If you take our approach to IVF protocol, then prepare to advocate for yourself and your beliefs!
THE ALTERNATIVE IVF PROTOCOL VS TYPICAL PROTOCOL
Sounds crazy, right?
Here are the questions I want to ask yourself though:
- Are you leaning on God to fulfill His promises, or are you relying solely on science?
- Are you willing to live with the moral dilemma and potential guilt of having unused embryos?
- What carries heavier weight in your heart: your finances or potential human lives?
With our alternative protocol we knew we were decreasing our odds of getting pregnant. We could only afford one single cycle. This was our only shot to get pregnant, which made it extremely tempting to try and increase our chances. We are so grateful that our church rallied behind us and provided us with tons of counseling.
We had to cling to our faith.
We have been really blessed by experiencing the freedom of not having any frozen/leftover embryos. It would have devastated us to receive our lab bill, especially after our NICU bills, and then have to think about what to do. We could not afford to continue to keep my eggs frozen. While it hurt to let my eggs go, I praise God for protecting me from the pain of having to let actual human lives go.
I urge any of my sweet sisters going through this to pause and really picture the future. I long for others to know the same freedom we have experienced. I pray for those who (completely understandably) are now facing the difficult choices that follow typical IVF protocols.
This topic matters. These difficult questions matter. Unborn lives matter.
Your freedom matters.
“To diminish human dignity in any form, is to snuff out the image of God.”
-Russell Moore & Phillip Bethancourt-
To read our other posts about infertility, click the links below!