1. Thank you for telling your story. Your perspective is needed, not only as a voice of the heartbreak of infertility but also of the devasating consequences of listening to that heartbreak over the cautions of the Church.

    As for your 2 children that are frozen, I really have nothing to add to what others have already told you. Catholic scholars disagree on what is best for these little lives. I wrote a review of Catholic thought on embryo adoption. Although it does not strictly pertain to your situtation, there is logic there that my help you come to terms with whatever you decide. You can find that review here: http://www.marymeetsdolly.com/blog/index.php?/archives/1035-What-is-the-Catholic-view-on-Embryo-Adoption.html

    God bless you. I will pray you and your husband have peace.

  2. Julie

    Thank you for sharing your story. So often the desire for a child is such a strong thought that it overpowers the ability to think or reserach the consequences of the IVF decision. Also knowing of Catholic resources to help with infertility is not well known i.e. JPll Institute in Omaha. Your story will help other to have the whole picture before them.

  3. Dianna

    I admire the bravery of this author( I couldn’t find her name) to share her story here. I know many many Catholic friends who don’t know our Church’s teaching on IVF.

    My heart breaks for the author …. I hope she will be able to help others with the sharing of her painful story. My prayers go up for she and her family.

    Kudos to Lisa and Joel for tackling a difficult topic head on.

  4. Jenny

    Hello. You are doing the right thing in telling you and your husband’s story. If it can stop one Catholic couple,who is considering IVF, from doing the wrong thing, you have succeeded. God Bless You. Keep up the good work.

  5. Renee

    What a BEAUTIFUL, heart-felt story!!! Thank you for sharing. I pray for you as you agonize with this cross, but maybe this is your opportunity to move forward with grace. THIS is the untold story that no one knows they’ll have to deal with. Thank you, Mother Church, for giving us these “rules” to protect us from heartache. God bless you!!!

  6. winter

    I just wanted to offer you my prayers … we, too, did IVF and although we did conceive (and went on to use up our remaining frozen embryos) now we’re left with intense sadness and grief over the ones who didn’t make it. It was clear that the lab arbitrarily decides which embryos are “good enough” to freeze … had I not begged to transfer one extra 1 of my children wouldn’t be alive. It makes me so sad to think if that is the truth of other “poor quality” embryos the lab said we had to discard. I have been looking around trying to see if there is a Catholic support group post-IVF to deal with this and share our story, but so far no luck. I almost wonder if I should start one. You are not alone.

  7. […] To those who struggle with infertility: the Catholic Church is not your enemy. She wants what is best for both you and the children you so desire. The truth about IVF is that, besides immorally separating procreation from the marital act, it is a serious health risk to both the woman and her future child — if she is lucky enough to give birth, that is. Most women will go through multiple IVF cycles before an embryo will even attach itself in the womb, let alone survive until birth – and those suckers aren’t cheap. Not only do they cost each couple tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars, but they come at the expense multiple human lives. When it comes to IVF, the number of lives lost, destroyed or ‘frozen in time’ significantly outweighs the number of human beings actually living outside the womb as a result of this technology. According to recent numbers more than thirty embryos are created for every successful birth by IVF. And even if you intend, as the Savages did, to give every embryo you create a chance at life, you don’t exactly have control over that, as a reader at the Practicing Catholic painfully reminded us recently. […]

  8. Petra Spahr

    There is nothing wrong with IVF, beautiful children were created by God through His instrument of science. Embryos lost are the same as what naturally happens, we just usually don’t know it. When vaccines first were made they were opposed as interfering in God’s will as to who lives or dies. We no longer believe that, so why so about IVF?

  9. SKC

    I know that I am late in this comment, but I just came across this blog while researching IVF. My husband and I are not Catholic but we are Christian, and we are currently undergoing IVF. What bothers me a little bit about this story is the fact that, while yes every life is precious, not every fertilized egg is actually a human life. The reason why so many couples miscarry very early on in pregnancy, and why there are so many months out of a year that a couple can’t get pregnant is because not every egg carries the actual DNA and capability to turn into a baby. Many eggs will fertilize and then stop growing. This is not because something died, but simply because the egg wasn’t actually viable. Life begins at conception, but not necessarily a human life. There is a Chromosome Screening Test that can be done to see if the embryo is in fact a viable human. If the embryo does not carry the correct chromosome make up, then it’s not actually a viable human embryo. This is NOT the same as genetic testing which screens for imperfections. I believe, unequivocally, that that is wrong. This simply tests the possibility of that embryo continuing to grow. Of that embryo being a baby. Embryos that are aneuploid do not carry the chromosomal make up to be human or to live beyond a few weeks. These are the embryos that would naturally miscarry.

    I only bring this up as a suggestion that this couple might consider. They could have their frozen embryos biopsied and tested. It is possible that those embryos are not actually viable, and therefore the moral dilemma could be diminished.

    I pray for them as they struggle through this and would be very interested in an update if their situation has changed.

    • SKC

      When I say “live beyond a few weeks” I mean as an embryo. Not that they could be born and live a few weeks. Just wanted to clarify.

  10. Kylemoore

    I, too, share this dilemma. Both of my children are IVF babies, they are such gifts…at the time my husband and I were having fertility problems, we did not know that IVF was not accepted by the church despite attending Engegement Encounter before marraige and Celebrate Love once married, (our weekend leaders knew we had fertility problems and that we were going to do IVF, no one educated us!). Now I am 54 years old, and just got a notice that I have some left over frozen embryos. According to this couple’s research, the morally right thing to do is to keep them frozen. I have been searching for the right answer. I don’t know what the future holds, but I guess for now and until science has more answers, I will continue to keep them frozen.

  11. Pericarpe

    What about putting up your freezed embryos for adoption? That would be a catholic solution and probably the most humane way to handle the situation. You would’nt let your kids down (staying stucked in the freezer) and at the same time you would help another infertile couple.

  12. Ruby Norman

    To want a child and not be able to conceive one becomes an all-consuming trauma- to those who don’t want children or conceived easily maybe this is stupid but it’s not. People who use IVF have nothing to be ashamed of. There is nothing wrong or evil about wanting your own biological child. And it is nothing wrong with wanting to be pregnant and to give birth. Is the fertility business becoming very much a snake oil business? Seems like it. They shouldn’t be allowed to sell unproven treatments and neither should they be allowed to prey yon the vulnerable. But in specialized facilities you wouldn’t face any kind of trouble. Friend of mine did IVF in clinic in Kiev, Ukraine. They leave the country with healthy child, without any paper problems. Therefore if deal with professionals you will have nothing to worry about. People are too keen in this country to judge others for their life choices and too quick to tell others what to do. They should concentrate on their own lives and let other people choose their own path.

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