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September 05, 2008

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Coral

All the blogs I have read of IVF have totally informed writers - she did not keep informed. Her fault.

She also whines too much. "I am grateful, but whine, whine whine."

Poor child, he will find these interviews on the net when he is older, and I wonder what he will think?

Lala

I agree, you have to be your own advocate! However - six years is an awfully long time to wait for treatment. I'm too distracted to read the article fully though, mild contractions.

becky k

as a new mother to a child conceived through ivf in the UK, i have to say i am a bit more sympathetic to her. we were really lucky to have a short wait for our first two nhs-funded cycles (6 mo and 9 mos) but only were successful with try #3 which we had to self-fund. however, we have friends in other postcode areas who got three free tries and/or had much longer waits. you are conditioned here to not make waves when you wait and i can see how she would have done that, trusting that "the system" was good and that doctors knew best. it's really not a fair system and most women who aren't reading ivf blogs have little idea how fragile their fertility is. i think this case is important for exactly the reason she says - so that other women take notice and education gets better, so that it doesn't happen to others. and can't you all empathise with the head-banging against the wall frustration as cycle after cycle was lost in the wait???

tess

hi becky
congratulations on the birth of your baby. and thank you for sharing your opinions. we dont have the nhs, so i really appreciated your post.

i do understand the frustration of waiting. i can empathise with the loss she feels and the frustration, but i look at magazines like jane, marie claire and they do have articles about declining fertility, and even articles declaring 40 something celeb mums who've just had twins do make a note of "declining egg quality." whether it is my epilepsy, cervix that never quite smears regular, or my infertility, i research my diagnosis and condition and long term possibilities. i don't just leave it to the doctors.

i did mention my sympathy for her, but she is losing me because she so clearly needed grief counselling before doing this donor cycle, and coming to terms with it. her statements (who can guarantee that a cycle with her eggs and her husbands sperm would have been successful anyway??) are going to cause her child a great deal of pain, and although i have sympathy for her situation, when i read those hurtful words, that is where i begin getting upset.

Dad aka GDad Blake

I would like to hear the NHS version of the events before reaching any decision.
Love to all.....Dad

Trace

Hmm, I don't know anything about British rules regarding fertility treatments. What is the NHS? I gather from the other commenter it's a goverment agency that pays for fertility stuff? Hmm, in the US we pay for ART ourselves. If you're not getting the service you want, suck it up and pay. Why not switch if you're put on a long waiting list? Why wouldn't you be PROACTIVE and do research online? How could someone be so naive to NOT know their egg quality decreases with age? It's all over magazines you see in the line at the supermarket. Open a Redbook or Womens Day. If becoming a mother was so important why didn't she do anything to help herself. Research is FREE. Plus, she didn't tell the doctors to do the procedure she wanted? Why? I know the other commenter said British culture is not like that, but I don't buy it. I don't really have any pity for her and feel sorry for the son who will read this article someday and probably feel like crap.

becky k

the NHS is the national health service and is a government funded health service that provides all medical care in the uk. it's free yet different local health boards provide different levels of free care for things like ART or procedures that might be seen as elective. once you exhaust what they provide for free, you are on your own. you can either pay the NHS and jump the queue or go privately.

with waiting lists, you often think you are there and then get pushed down the list. the situation is much worse in england, where this lady is, than in scotland where we are. but even in scotland, if the eligibility changes for a procedure you might find yourself bumped and a 2 year wait becomes 3 and so on. sure, greta could have done more for herself but i can imagine her like many others being caught in the system.

infertility is an emotionally charged issue. and also experiencing male factor inf, i really can relate to some of her frustrations. she said some hard things that are difficult to say about your child and perhaps are hurtful but they are real issues that anyone in her situation would face. she's just saying them out loud and i'm glad we didn't have to come ot the point to make choices she had to make.

and we can say all we like about magazine articles and celebrities (who are probably lying about what they've had done anyway) but the average bear is clueless about real fertility issues. i'm even annoyed at the article saying they "implanted" fertilized embryos into the womb. as harsh as this article is and as hard as these thoughts are to hear greta say, i still hold that this is an important case in the uk to bring more understanding and fairness to the system. it seems counterintuitive to me to provide an invaluable service such as IVF to couples that is then made less successful because of administrative hurdles and a lack of holistic care. and then we add a mental/emotional care need on top due to the damage done to the mum and kids...

lyns

not having read any of the above comments here is my opinon:

1. I have had not EVER had a fertility problem..Rick and I pass in the hall I am get preg!!!

2. I can understand her frustration with the system that they made her wait and then take more tests instead of harvesting her eggs and using them once they figured out Chris's problem... that seems to be the main issue here.

3. Didn't they think of Surragacy???

4 I don't feel at all sorry for her now simply b/c they choose to use a donor egg and concive that way...of course she loves her baby..she carried it for nine months and no matter whose egg it is HERS!!!!

5. She had 6 years of waiting to figure out another option...didn't she think through the ramifications of using a donor egg? Didn't they consider harvesting her eggs before they aged???

6. B/c I have not EVER struggled with this I don't know.... I don't know what it is like to yearn for a child and a family so much that I was willing to do ANYTHING to concieve.... I don't know what my body would do ramped up on IVF hormones...i don't know if I could handle the pain and disaapointment that comes with failed tries and miscarriages...

7 I think what this family needs most is to forgive themselves..... she needs to heal and stop the guilt of an older body and a failed system....and come to a point of accptence and deal with it. They need to CHOOSE JOY!!!!

8 They need to foucs on the NOW... Jaden and the family they now have and stop worrying and trying to re create something isn't ever going to happen!!!

That is all I have... is my opinon valid??? I don't know b/c I won't ever have to make those decsions.... xo lyns

Not On Fire

Wow! How could you not be worried that the message you are sending to your kid is that "we sued because we didn't get what we wanted and what we got was you!". Yikes!

elaine d

I'm with you, Tess. I understand that this woman went through years of frustration but that doesn't excuse the way she talks about her baby as if he is in some way inferior because he doesn't carry her genes! I fear for his future with a mother with that kind of attitude. As the mother of an adopted child who is not genetically related to either my husband or me, I find her attitude very offensive. I do hope she sees the need to get some kind of counselling to help her deal with her sense of loss so that she can get on with being the mother that this child deserves.

Rebecca

I think the woman has NO EXCUSE for not doing her OWN research on her and/or her husband's fertility issues. It's not a secret that women's eggs deteriorate, not that I'm from the UK, but c'mon, they have all sorts of info on the net, and I learned that kind of info in middle school.

I do not personally have major fertility problems, but I definitely would never wait around for the government, no matter where I lived, to take action FOR me. I had trouble conceiving my last and I put a lot of effort to find the source of the issue. Plus, here in the US, IVF is anything but free. People pay through the nose for cycle after cycle.

As far as her comments about the baby, inexcusable. What if she had adopted? Would she love that baby even less because it shared absolutely no genes with either of them? I feel sorry for the little babe.

Some people want their 15 minutes of fame, it's a shame to use a baby for that. I'm not really getting how she's justified to "sue" the system for not allowing her to use her eggs whilst they still had a shelf life. She should have used a little self motivation to research her situation, instead of sitting on her keister waiting for the government to come around. A lot of things wouldn't get done around here if I waited for them!

Boulder

I guess I wonder why she didn't go to a country where she was more likely to wind up "seeing" a child that she had imagined having. That feels odd to me. If you know that you have always thought of your child as a brunette with green eyes, why go to Sweden? Or if you see your child as blonde haired with blue eyes, why head to a Mediterranean country? I mean, why use that donor/facility/country?

I don't know how I feel about her vocalization of her own issues, specifically because there *is* a baby now.

But I can truthfully state that this has been one of the single greatest reasons for my reluctance to go through donor egg. Not so much that I want a child to look like I do, but because I've craved the connection to my own past. Call that shallow, or call it what I think it to be - a pride passed down to me from my parents and grandparents. If you have that in your life, it can be a pretty hard thing to let go of. I'd like to have my child to have a chance to have my grandfather's eyes, or my father's hair, or my mother's smile, just as much as I'd like to have my child have my husband's eyebrows, or his chin, or his quick wit.

I'm sad for her, and for the child that will someday read that story. Hopefully, they will both recover and feel whole.

(PS - to lyns - if her eggs are bad, surrogacy doesn't really help, and it is far more expensive than donor in most locations.)

Suzanne

I'm with you Tess, the only person I feel sorry for is the baby. I live in the US so we didn't have our efforts to have a child funded by a national healthcare system. Regardless of who is funding it, the patient should always be their own advocate and educate themselves. After three failed medicated IUI cycles and two failed IVFs (one ending in miscarriage), we moved on to donor eggs. We were successful and now have a 15 month old daughter.

Not for one second did I lament the loss of passing my genetic material on to my child. I was too busy thanking God that I had a healthy beautiful child. Even now as our fiesty toddler makes some days a challenge, I am so happy that I have her because there are so many infertile couples who are still waiting for their miracle to happen.

lyns

my surrogacy question was b/c she had a long time waiting for a baby... didn't they explore EVERY option possible to have a baby with her egg and his sperm??? Couldn't they harvested eggs when they were good and used them later? It goes back to my point about her needing to have explored all the options and not sueing a government program....

My husband and I were talking about this last night and he made an interesting point...its an ethical question... no matter how you look at it (and perhaps this is part of the underlying issue) there is now another woman in their relationship...part of what she is feeling is this sense that no matter how you look at it this baby is NOT hers.... so on top of the guilt she already is feeling she now is feeling utter failure.... just a thought...

Auntie Pammie

I only have two comments re: this woman.
,, in this day and age how could she NOT be more self motivated to do her own research re: her fertility and its other issues? If she did not have internet , the library offers it for free as well as an abundance of other ressources.
,, personally I feel she is a
selfish Ungrateful sod.I guess she is in the mindset that unless the child is 100% genetically yours it is not "your" child, I feel for these narrrowminded people who think this way as they are denying themselves the greatest gift of all.

Petal

What she has done and said just baffles me. Incredibly unbelievable. Greedy cow! Now wants the money back from remortaging the house now that there is a credit crunch or what!

She/they had time to research a donor and do it privately in another county so what on earth did they do for 4 years while waiting for a NHS appointment? Just waiting for the postman?

Did she/they do counselling before? There is no way she could miss any article in a mag, newspaper, headlines hard copy or online about declining fertility in the past few years. Unless they are hermits living a hole waiting for NHS to worry about them.

Not saying her reaction is not normal for someone in her case but usually steps can be take to minimise those risks. And sometimes it is worth to keep quiet and only discuss with your shrink not the world where you look more greedy than anything else. I hope for the kid's sake that she never falls miracously pregnant with her own kid. She should act like she really is grateful, shut up and get on with life oh and regular checks that she does not develop any sort of post natal depression.

Sara

I have a lot of sympathy for everyone in that article. Of course I feel for the child. Some children have real issues with being donor-conceived, and having an article like this floating around may someday play into lingering issues that the child may have. However, I also feel very sorry for the couple. Yes, they weren't very proactive, but the readers here are all assuming that they knew that there was an issue that they needed to be proactive about. There are a lot of people out there who just trust their doctors to do the right thing. Their doctors said you need this test and that test, wait in this queue and that queue. Surely a naive patient can be forgiven for thinking that this meant that the DOCTORS thought that they had time. I admit that I absolutely can't imagine waiting around for six years like that (if I had the economic wherewithal to do explore alternative options, which it appears that they did), but I am naturally an information seeker and a bit of a control freak. Some people are more mellow and optimistic. I really don't think it's responsible for a doctor to put them on a waiting list and run a bunch of tests, all the while knowing that by the time their turn came up it might be too late, without TELLING them that.

If they're suing for money, then I don't agree at all. However, if they are trying to raise attention to a problem, then I can understand their point. At the very least, the NHS wasted a lot of public money running those tests while making sure that nothing useful came out of the outcome.

As for the comments that they should have had the tests earlier, or harvested her eggs earlier, harvesting the eggs presents pretty much the entire cost of an IVF cycle, and freezing eggs or embryos lowers your chances of success. So, that would be equivalent to self-funding treatment while shooting yourself in the foot at the same time. The tests can be expensive as well (a laparoscopic surgery is almost as expensive as IVF in some cases, so that really does represent wasted resources on the part of the NHS.

I think that those of us (myself included) that are not used to a government-sponsored health service might be much more accustomed to seeking choices and to considering health care to be our own responsibility than people that grew up in countries with a NHS. I did IVF in Korea, which has an NHS, and could have had half of the costs covered by the system, but as a resident expat who isn't used to the system, I didn't even think to ask!

Coral

"With his thatch of dark hair, olive skin and eyes which are already turning brown, newborn Jaden Mason is not - lovely though he is - the blond, blue-eyed infant his mother Greta always dreamed of having. "

Hmm, I wanted a blue eyed, blonde kid, I got two green/brown (both hazel) eyes and dark haired kids, any ideas who I can sue???

She is still weird.

Jody

The couple sounds incredibly ill-informed -- even in their choice of donors, since they could have gone to South Africa, for example, which has been a donor-egg "destination vacation" for a while. And those of us in the US system (and Canada?) seem to share the bafflement that they just sat around waiting in this queue -- even a brief reading of IF blogs shows lots and lots of British women going elsewhere to get treatment, because of the long waits at home.

I also agree with whomever it was that wrote they should have gotten more counseling before they did donor egg, to come to terms with the loss of a genetic connection (which most people would agree is a loss, even if not a huge one for particular folks).

I don't know -- I am not going to waste a lot of sympathy for these people, but it does seem as if they were very poorly served by the system. No, there's no guarantee that they would have conceived with her eggs and his sperm if they had acted when she was 36 -- but their odds would have been much better.

Why they didn't go private when they found out their diagnosis escapes me, really. How you can get through a lap procedure without someone telling you that your eggs are on a timeline also baffles me -- I do believe that was the IF doctor's obligation. No IF doctor in the States would see a patient in her mid-30s and not inform her that time was of the essence. They wouldn't leave that piece of information unsaid.

JoeInVegas

I am more disturbed at the attitude of her and others regarding the treatment she did receive. The line "we have friends in other postcode areas who got three free tries" - THOSE AREN'T FREE TRIES - somebody had to pay for them. To take the attitude that other people are responsible for paying for your choices seems to be a more generic attitude. If you are physically incapable of having kids, sorry, that's God's choice, suck it up and live with it, don't assume that I and other taxpayers are responsible.
(sorry Tess, shouldn't use your place to complain).

Lowa

We must pray for that wee innocent little lad:( I am seriously scared for him:(

kate

I am shocked by how anyone could not feel a child that they carried in her body for 9 months is not truly her child. You carried that baby under your heart, you nourished it, cared for it, doesn't that make it your baby.

My heart breaks for her baby not that he might not have a genetic bond to the woman that gave birth to him but the fact that she is upset he is not from her egg. She feels robbed? You have got to be kidding me. I can not even fathom what she is saying it is simply ridiculous. She should be happy to have a healthy baby.

I also question people like this that feel if it is not their baby biologically they could not love it as much as if it was. I would think any child that you raise biological or not biological you would love because that is a person you have seen day in and out, cared for, protected, raised. Blood or not blood does it really matter? I don't know but again I feel sad for the baby that grows up with these two as parents. Hopefully she can look past her sorrows and truly love Jaden as he deserves.

Mel

I do feel sorry for her. She says repeatedly she loves him and is grateful for him. She wants a biological child, it is 1st choice for all of us. Natures way of ensuring our line is continued. For many this is sadly not possible and clearly for some the longing doesn't go away. She wants to see change and she is making it happen. She, rightly or wrongly, is taking action and doing something about this. I don't believe he will feel unloved or unwanted one day as he so clearly is but I do hope she will sort out her issues by the time he gets old enought to understand.

tripleblessings

This is a sad story at many levels. Yes, it sounds like her health care service offered too little, too late, and this should be addressed through a formal complaint procedure or public investigation. A six-year wait for treatment is not at all reasonable.

But it is questionable whether earlier IVF/ICSI treatment would have been successful, so I doubt that the lawsuit will succeed. And it certainly seems to contradict the couple's statements about how happy they are with their new baby.

I feel that this couple should have undergone counselling before making the choice to use donor eggs. In fairness to the child they were trying to conceive, the couple should have dealt with their frustration, anger and grief at the loss of a biological child before beginning the donor cycle. It would have been better to address all those questions about how to talk to their child about his conception before they made the final decision to choose that donor.

I guess there is a tendency in court cases to state the supposed harm suffered in the strongest possible terms, perhaps to exaggerate it, in order to win the case. I hope that this couple have now accepted their family situation, and have fully bonded and rejoiced in their healthy baby son. If not, it's time to go for counselling, before their relationship with the baby is harmed by these unresolved issues.

There is no taxpayer funding for IVF in Canada. Couples must pay all the costs themselves, but the wait times are less than one year at most clinics.

Of course, there is no guarantee of success, even with many treatment cycles. The real tragedy comes to those couples who desperately want a child and are not successful with any form of assisted reproduction techniques, or adoption. I will save most of my sympathy for those who have suffered years of infertility, or the loss of a beloved child.

Karen Ritchey

How I would have loved to have been able to carry for nine months,my two children, who we adopted. How I would have loved to have been able to tell them stories of before they were born...having had the privilege of giving birth and adopting... there is no difference in how my children are viewed by their parents. I correct people when they ask...'which one is yours'? These people are lucky not to get hurt!
For this mother to have had the privilege of carrying her child for nine months, regardless of whose cotton pickin' egg it was...should thank God and her lucky stars that she got to be a mom. Period.
Get over it lady, and celebrate this miracle baby. Thanking God for the different ways He has of creating families...Karen

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