Infertility & the Illusion of Control
ON BUCKING GOD'S PLAN
Isn’t it true that bringing a new life into the world is a good thing? Shouldn’t “fertility challenged” couples do all that is medically possible to conceive a child?
Humanae Vitae and Evangelium Vitae warn us that artificial reproductive practices could have negative consequences. However, listening to this message is difficult when you think you are doing something good. And so my wife and I, like many other couples, journeyed into the chaos of fertility drugs, clinics, and the up-and-down cycles of monthly pregnancy tests. Although our two-and-a-half year odyssey did not end with a child, we learned something valuable concerning the Church’s teaching on life.
Our infertility situation was not unique. I have seen estimates that 10-20 percent of married couples have trouble conceiving and thus face decisions on what to do if they desire a family. We met many such couples along our journey. Some of those we met experienced the “miracle” of conception, while others, like us, only experienced further failures and heartaches. However, we all lost a part of our human dignity in the frantic world of fertility treatments.
Our story begins when my wife and I married in our mid-20s and developed a plan for our life together. We would travel and establish our careers for the first five years or so and then begin raising a family. It was a good plan; we were young and in complete control of our lives — or so we thought.
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