Sunday, August 24, 2014

Why I'm Not Doing The Ice Bucket Challenge!

First off let me say that this is for personal reasons and I am in no way looking down on anyone that has taken part in the challenge. ALS is a horrible disease and finding a cure would be amazing!!! let me back up to December 2003...that is when Michael and I started our journey with infertility. Technically we had already been trying for over 2 years, but this was when we first visited a fertility specialist. This time in my life is really just a blur. It's seems like from 2003 to 2006 I wasn't actually living my life it was more like watching it. There were so many appointments, prescriptions and procedures it's mind boggling. After 4 unsuccessful attempts at IUI (artificial insemination using Michael's sperm) our only other option was IVF.

IVF was scary to me, but in order to obtain my goal of being a mother and giving my parents grandchildren I thought this was it! More drugs, more procedures and in all 20 of my eggs were harvested from my ovaries. Out of those 20 eggs 12 made it to the next phase. The first round of IVF was unsuccessful so we were down to 10 eggs. On the second round we used 2 more eggs and I did get pregnant, but that resulted in a miscarriage. After that procedure I was done....I just couldn't put my mind, body or spirit through anymore at that point. So we took a break! Three months later I got pregnant with Owen...all naturally! 

Here was the dilemma...we still had 8 embryos frozen at the clinic. 8 babies! Now I know that not all of them would end up taking and growing to full term, but there was a chance. We had decided early on that we would never discard them....they aren't just tissue! So we paid the banking fee for a year and waited to see what might happen. Then when Owen was 8 months old I got pregnant with Jack. That's when I knew that those 8 embryos would never grow in my womb. First off I could not put my body through that again, second off I was getting pregnant naturally and third we couldn't afford to do IVF again. 

After thinking long and hard we gave our 8 embryos up for adoption. To this day I have no idea what has happened to them. They could have been adopted and used and resulted in babies. Babies that are biologically ours. They could still be frozen waiting to be adopted. I don't know and that bothers me, but that's the choice we made. 

Back to the ice bucket challenge...I had been seeing it on FB for weeks now and I just knew eventually I would get challenged. The whole time though I felt something was not right. Of course donating to a foundation and spreading word about finding a cure for a horrible disease is a great thing, but like I said something felt wrong for me. Then a friend of mine posted this article on FB about why she wasn't doing the challenge. The article is here.

As you read the article you'll see that the foundation that is being donated to participates in embryonic stem cell research. Because of my personal experiences this is something I can't participate in. The thought of my 8 embryos being used for scientific experiments is awful....let alone any embryos! Not to say that donating to find a cure is a bad thing, but you have no control over where your money goes and that I'm not okay with. In the article he also lists an ethical research program that you can donate too instead. Click here for that. 

Again let me reiterate...I'm not judging anyone that has participated and passed on the challenge to others. I'm flattered that I was challenged! This is solely for personal reasons!