There are some things that are too easy for an IF blogger to talk about when certain stories are in the news - 66 year old women giving birth, women without heads nor uteri pregnant without assistance, 18 year olds with three kids by three baby daddies, those blasted Duggars in all their procreating-like-rabbits glory - all simple ways to concoct blog posts filled with outrage.
It's Friday and I'm annoyed with my blogging recently anyway, so I will take the easy way out and blog about this and this. The same situation with two (apparently) very different outcomes.
The first couple, from the land of a gazillion lakes or whatever, got pregnant with sextuplets as the result of a Follistim cycle. A quick glance at their personal website reveals that they are religious, and as such, could not possibly fathom selective reduction. Instead, they decided to trust God that everything would work out swimmingly and all six babies would be born healthy and vital.
Unfortunately, the babies were born at 22 weeks, with their weights ranging from 11 ozs to 1lb 3ozs. One of the babies, a boy, has died, and the others are in critical condition. The other set of sextuplets are reported to be healthy, born at over 30 weeks and with weights between 2 and 3lbs. The only complication at this point was the minor issue of ACUTE HEART FAILURE of the mother postpartum. Yeah, that's all. Almost dying and leaving one partner to take care of six children, another glorious side effect of the multiples experience.
I have commented on others' websites before that I could not be any less keen on the multiples experience for myself if I tried. I have absolutely no doubt that I would have selectively reduced a pregnancy of three or more, whether it was my first pregnancy or second. I never had any desire to have an "instant" family and I wouldn't have paused for a moment when making the decision.
I recognise that this would be the best option for me, but not everyone. However, I think it is absolutely insane and selfish to continue with a pregnancy with four or more fetuses. The chances of infant mortality are nothing to be disregarded, not to mention the very increased likelihood of disabilities. It's all well and good to put your faith in God that it will all be taken care of, but how does that help the baby that weighs as much as a jar of jam, hooked up to endless machines?
There are some comments on the Minnesota couple's website from a couple of months ago which scoff at the notion of selective reduction. The gist is, who needs the evil of selective reduction when you have God on your side? One commentor even complimented them on not "buying into" the whole selective reduction idea, which...well, I don't know if I even have words for that level of ignorance.
What if this couple end up with no babies from this experience? Is that the way God wanted it? Rather than undergoing the selective reduction process (whose listing on wikipedia includes infanticide amongst its "see also" category), the babies you felt were a gift from God spent their brief time on earth suffering and in pain. Where is the sense in that?