In the news, two fertility clinics suffered storage tank failure this week, resulting in the loss of thousands of frozen eggs and embryos.
What irked me were the quotes from one of the clinics:
“A large number of the patients who have stored embryos in the clinic have let them stay there unused for around eight to 10 years.” Implying that the embryos had no value and therefore it was no big deal.
And this quote:
“We’ve created many, many babies for women over the years.” Again, suggesting a “you win some, you lose some” attitude and total disregard for the impact on the patients who lost on this occasion.
A quote from a woman who is suing the facility after she and her husband were informed their frozen embryos were no longer viable sums up what was really lost in this catastrophe. “The medical community calls it tissue. I like to think of it as my children.”
It’s Whiny Wednesday. What got under your skin this week?
Yep. That perfectly captures the medical field’s (I’m hesitant to call them a ‘community’) unfeeling, clinical attitude. I’m so sorry for all of those peoples’ losses.
My whine is that yet another young woman in my building is pregnant so she’s resigning from the condo board. Guess who’s going to be asked to replace her because she’s childless and has so much time on her hands??? This has sent me in to a huge backslide of both sadness AND rage, and I’m really beating myself up. Got in a huge fight with my husband last night. Praying for some grace and comfort.
Emory L. says
I’m sorry to hear about your situation. I get triggered by something every couple of months it seems and it makes it really hard. It is so frustrating to be called on because of your childfree status. I worked with a woman a while back who was single and didn’t have kiddos. She was constantly expected to take on extra responsibility by her family because of all of her “free time”. She also was working two part time jobs on top of her full time gig and had a life outside of that. I am sure it is easy to look at someone without children and assume that we have more free time than most, but it really is unfair.
Brandi Lytle says
The loss of these embryos deeply saddens me. One of the reasons my hubby and I did not pursue IVF was because I could not decide what we would do with the unused embryos. When the doctor said we could discard them, I started crying because to me, I would have been letting them die. I am so, so sorry for the loss that these people suffered. And I am extremely irritated that the medical community and clinics are not taking this tragedy more seriously.
This was also one of the reasons we didn’t do IVF either. The doctor literally told us they would throw the sick embryos away; which in our case was going to be about 50% because of the CF factor. 70-100k for a maybe and the total uncaring attitude from them was enough to never go back.
When they realized my husband had CF and I was a carrier they pushed HARD for donor sperm. We just felt like dollar signs to them.
Brandi Lytle says
I’m so sorry that you had to go through that, Kara.
I appreciate that doctors need to maintain some sort of distance, but it seems that infertility clinics are taking it to the extreme. Personally, I think they should view the embryos as life. Otherwise, it doesn’t seem that they are taking the situation seriously enough.
Emory L. says
I saw this news story and it broke my heart. I cannot imagine what it would feel like to put that kind of trust in an organization and then have it fail. It is really disturbing to see the level of nonchalance held by the clinics over something that is truly a tragedy.
Whiny Wednesday for me…
I am having conversations will all of my friends, (again and for the last time) about me being unable to conceive…
Last week I had coffee with one of them and I addressed the subject. She answered: I always pray for you. What else do you want me to do???
I answer: how about showing compassion?
“I believe when your friends can’t show compassion for you and they don’t have a clue about your needs… it’s time for a new set of friends…” just a thought!
My heart breaks for those poor people who lost eggs or embryos in this fiasco. 🙁
A (male) friend from college flagged the story on Facebook & made a comment about the clinic’s response. A lot of his (male) buddies commented with jokes that were in extremely poor taste… it was obvious none of them had ever been through infertility treatment. :/ I said my heart went out to the affected parents because for many of them, this was their last chance at becoming parents and now it was gone. Another woman called the guys out directly, said she’d been through infertility treatment, & it was nothing to joke about, and that this was devastating for the people involved and not a laughing matter. To his credit, my friend apologized.
My whine for this Wednesday is that it’s spring break hereabouts, and everywhere we go, we are faced with hordes of screaming children and frazzled parents. I suppose we could just stay at home & hide 😉 but we already have extreme cabin fever after a very loooonnnggggg winter. And this comes less than a month after the “Family Day” long weekend (which was more like four days around here, as many of the kids had Friday off school as well as the Monday holiday….!). Sigh.
I was devastated for these patients when I read this earlier this week .. like what the actual *** .. there goes not only their 10s of thousands of dollars down the drain but also their only hope for children .. careless careless industry .. only cares about making money .. doesnt care for the well being of patients.
Today I’m feeling whiny as a teacher who is left to deal with the emotional baggage of deadbeat parents. Whether in jail, emotionally unavailable or abusive, I scream inside my head that these unfit people are able to have children and the more qualified are denied the chance.
It’s like applying for a job and being passed over in favour of a less qualified applicant.
Ughhhhh, I can very much relate. It feels like a cosmic joke some days when every single encounter with parents and their kids results in coming away thinking “how could those parents be so neglectful or even abusive? It’s harder to get a driver’s license than become a parent.” And yet taking the time to be emotionally and financially ready to be responsible, loving and stable parents means it’s too late and your fertility is too far gone. Cosmic joke.