“All these procedures, drugs, doctor's appointments… we can always find things to be in love with about the IVF process and to be super thankful for.” - Episode 5 (16:04)
IVF and “natural” conception are incredibly similar processes. Comparing the two is a step towards falling in love with this part of your journey.
One of the major misconceptions - and frequent objections - hanging over women who conceive through IVF is the idea that it's “not natural.”
This is wrong, obviously, but many people who believe it simply don't know how natural IVF is. The best way to dispel the confusion is to hold it right up next to “natural” conception and note the similarities.
The Parts: Egg, sperm, uterus. All the stuff you learned about in high school biology. All are necessary for both IVF and natural conception. Of course, what about the drugs involved in IVF? Drugs or no drugs, no matter the size of your reserve, almost all of the time you'll find yourself with only one or two super healthy-looking embryos. Why? Because that's how it's supposed to be, naturally.
Fertilization: This is where the biggest difference lies. The egg and sperm are put together in a Petri dish, but only the egg and sperm that are right for each other will grow - the same as they would if they were inside you. All we've done is introduced them a little differently.
Embryo Insertion: Although a doctor places the embryo inside you, absolutely nothing will happen if the environment isn't right. The IVF process can't force your body to hold onto an embryo. Nature kicks in where science leaves off. Unless you have a bone to pick with an instrument being used to insert the embryo, this part is all you.
“It's not enough to just get pregnant via IVF treatments. You have to have the foundational stuff, the support, the emotional and physical decluttering, and the mindset work.” - Episode 5 (13:01)
The natural conclusion to the argument that IVF babies are “unnatural” is that the resulting child is different and that you or your baby are somehow inferior.
In fact, there often is a difference, but the difference is in the parents, which goes on to affect the children. Parents of IVF babies worked and sacrificed and persevered for their child. There's nothing mundane about these pregnancies, and so every baby born this way is treated like a miracle. Their lives are forever changed, and their parenting is affected in the most beautiful way.
There’s no shame or stigma in fertility treatments - embrace them for the amazing opportunity they are.
All the challenges of the IVF process make it so necessary for mothers using this method to have a solid foundation built on the pillars of science, environment, mindset, and support, as well as strategies for problem-solving as they go along their fertility journey.
“It is a miracle that any of us have been created normally. And I think it's really important for all of us going through fertility treatments.” - Episode 5 (3:12)
The final complaint in the argument that IVF is “unnatural” has to do with the drugs you're given during transfer if drugs are utilized. Natural transfers are frequently an option. Sure, you could definitely call those drugs an interference to the natural process of conceiving.
But you know what else you could call them? A miracle. You should look at those drugs as a way to help you get past whatever fertility roadblocks you may have to deal with. Difficulty conceiving is just a medical condition. Would you feel ashamed of taking medication for your allergies?
There will always be those people. The ones who don’t fully understand the process, and think IVF is unnatural. When you run across them and they look unfavorably on your fertility situation, extend them compassion for doing the best they can with the knowledge they have.
Above all, send love to your situation. You are not unnatural, and neither is your baby-to-be.