C.H. and E.E. have been going steady for seven years and finally decided to tie the knot during the Feast of the Black Nazarene on January 9.Their wedding was held at the Manila Cathedral followed by a reception at the former Ramada Hotel in Manila. They were doubly blessed during the wedding because the bridal car had been upgraded to a limousine service without additional cost. They even had a police escort on the way to the church to avoid the monstrous traffic even if they didn't request one. Their fast thinking driver opted to follow the cop.
For five years, the couple wanted to have a baby, but was unsuccessful. They consulted different infertility doctors who gave them drugs, both oral and injectable. They underwent different laboratory procedures to determine the problem but all the results were normal. They went as far as touching the fertility idol that was exhibited in one of the five-star hotels in Makati in their desperation to have a child – all to no avail. After three years, they surrendered to the Lord their desire to have a baby and let nature take its course. After 10 years of marriage, they were blessed with a 2.5 kilogram, bouncing baby boy who is now a healthy good looking teenager.
T.C. and R.C. were married through simple civil rites in a resort in Pansol, Laguna among friends and relatives. After three years without any children, the couple went to a fertility consultant who subjected them to a battery of tests. Still, they remained childless. But they had the chance to practice their parenting skills when the woman’s relative left to work abroad. They became foster parents to two nieces aged 12 and 9, and a one-year-old nephew.
R.E. and D.E. have been active core leaders of the Light of Jesus (LOJ) family, a Catholic lay community. They never had children of their own but are now parents to thousands of servants at their weekly prayer meeting, the Feast PICC, now called the Feast Bay Area.
Above are different stories of how each couple dealt with infertility issues. Infertility is defined as the failure to get pregnant after actively trying for 12 or more months. It is not a disease in itself but a symptom of many underlying diseases or conditions that may be congenital, acquired or due to lifestyle choices.
Some causes identified in the females are PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) , endometriosis, smoking, obesity, use of birth control pills and other forms of contraceptives, STD ( sexually transmitted disease), delayed marriage, late child-bearing age and sterility from previous abortion. Whereas causes of infertility in the males are low sperm count due to medicine, alcohol and smoking as well as sterility procedures like vasectomy. Proper diagnosis for the cause of infertility will provide the treatment.
If you cannot conceive a baby naturally, what options do you have? Some choose to adopt a child but legally, it would take some time. In some instances where doctors cannot find any cause, other couples would resort to extraordinary means to bear a child, like an in vitro fertilization (IVF). As of 2013, about five million babies worldwide have been conceived through IVF.
There are four major steps in IVF. First, several egg cells are taken from the female by using a hyper-ovulation drug. Second, sperm cells are collected from either the husband or another donor male via masturbation. Third, an embryo is created in the laboratory by placing the eggs and sperms collected in a petri dish or test tube to allow fertilization through intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection. Lastly, the embryo is transferred into the woman’s uterus.
The Catholic Church says no to IVF for various reasons. First, the fertilization occurs inside the laboratory instead of the human body via the loving union between married couples. The true meaning of procreation is lost.
Another objection is the destruction of human life that is involved in the process. Only healthy embryos are implanted inside the mother’s womb, while the defective ones are destroyed. Some are kept frozen for future use. If several embryos grow inside the womb, the excess ones are aborted. This is like the Nazi annihilation of the Jews in the 1940’s wherein hundreds of millions of babies were killed, not in the gas chamber but in a petri dish inside a sterile facility.
Finally, the child is not an object to be desired and conceived through biomedical means and be subjected to manipulative techniques. A child is a gift of life from God.
But if you’ve resorted to using IVF as a means to have a baby, do not despair. Continue to love your child. Nurture and shower your baby with all the affection that she deserves. Let your child feel that she is special because she is a child of God. Pray for those unborn babies that you’ve lost. If you’re a Catholic, avail of the sacrament of Reconciliation from a priest who has the authority to absolve that sin.
Our God is a God not just of second chances, but a generous and forgiving Lord. We need repentance in that we acknowledge that we have sinned, ask for forgiveness and accept the consequences of our action. It is never too late to repent.
Thus, think twice about undergoing IVF just to have a baby. Choose what is right and just.