When Does the Pursuit of Pregnancy Go Too Far?


Now 10 years outside of my pursuit of pregnancy and all the related dreams I once held dear, I find myself preoccupied by the complex questions and issues that continue to swirl around the ‘fertility’ industry and those swept up in it. I sat down last month to research and write a longer piece excerpted here:

Once a young bride-to-be swept up in the gauzy haze of romance, I remember someone once asking me about my priorities. Was I focused on the wedding or the marriage? I began to ask myself that question in a different form as I moved further down the reproductive medicine path: Do I want to put my long-term health — mental, physical and financial — at risk on unregulated or unproven procedures or live my life?

As much as my heart ached in the turmoil of our unexplained infertility and losses, I knew I could not saddle a child with the responsibility to make it better. Nagging worries about any resulting child’s health and identity issues was one of many reasons we stopped treatment…

You can read the full piece here on Medium. Thanks to Klara and those who have also shared the piece online and via Facebook and Twitter. (Much appreciated Lisa, Jody, Justine, Jonathan, Christopher, Alizah and Catherine-Emmanuelle and the many others who have Tweeted).


You might also find this interview by Cristy and Mo a good companion piece. They acknowledge and set aside their own fears and ask Loribeth and I to discuss what it meant to let go of our dream of successful pregnancy and move toward a different life than the one we once envisioned. (Note: I’m getting a transcript of the nearly hour-long podcast made and will share — in print — some of the discussion as a part II to this blog post later in the week. Stay tuned.)

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8 thoughts on “When Does the Pursuit of Pregnancy Go Too Far?

  1. Great piece, Pamela. You ask some excellent questions.

    The podcast with Mo & Cristy (two years ago, already??) was a definite highlight for me, as I know it was for you, and I am thrilled to hear you’re having a transcript made, which will help to further share the message.

    1. Pamela Tsigdinos

      Working on it! Lots of material there — and it’s still fresh and relevant…

  2. Please continue to write these pieces. They are needed. So much I want to write here, but in the interest of brevity I will just say that your calm, knowledgable, supportive voice was a welcome addition to everything else we were bombarded with after diagnosis. In a sense you presented things in a way that tipped the scales in favor of not proceeding down the treatment path and reassurance that it really would be ok.

    1. Pamela Tsigdinos

      Thanks, Kinsey and Mali! Very much appreciate the feedback. As I told someone today, extreme positions only make people less likely to “hear” — and there are many reasons to have thoughtful, non-confrontational discussions on this complex topic.

  3. A very thoughtful piece, Pamela, raising lots of questions, many of which are taboo even in the IF community when we discuss IVF and assisted reproduction. Once again, even though I don’t agree with all our restrictions, I am pleased that NZ has a regulatory process around the use of reproductive technologies. At least it means that there is a discussion going on.

    The issue of IVF conceived and donor conceived children is one in particular I’ve thought about. There is a lot of discussion about adoption, adopted children and their rights, open adoption, etc. But I don’t see the same levels of discussion about donor-conceived children. Or perhaps I’m just not in the right parts of the internet.

    1. Mali, I had never heard or thought too much about donor-conceived children & how they felt about the subject… until I read a book a few years ago called “Everything Conceivable” by Liza Mundy. Quite an eye-opener, for me, at least. I was really struck by the parallels between this group & adoptees. http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/381710.Everything_Conceivable

  4. Excellent article, Pamela. I must say those questions and concerns are really food for thought.

  5. So needs to be discussed – courageously and honestly. Thank you.

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