The same google search keeps showing up on my sitemeter: is IVF selfish? I wish there was a way to respond to those people directly--just send them a quick note to set the record straight.
An Open Note to People Who Search About the Selfishness of IVF:
Hey, my name is Melissa, and I just wanted to let you know that IVF isn't selfish. Why? Um...because at the end of the day, you're doing it entirely for another person. Yes, you get to be a parent, but being a parent can go in many different directions. You can become someone's mother and they can grow up and move away and never speak to you again. Motherhood does not guarantee that a child is going to remain with you forever. So...yes, IVF isn't selfish because the person who benefits the most is the child. Who is being born. Instead of being just another unfertilized egg or a school of sperm.
What? That's not good enough? You think that it's selfish to ask other people to help you while you put your body through hell so you can have this child? Do you think people who go through cancer are selfish? Or people who lose a limb in an accident? They go through a period of time when they need help. That's the beauty of the human race--we can reach out to one another and ease each other's journey by working together. And infertility is a disease that cannot be cured--it can only be treated. And while it may not be "life threatening" in the same way that cancer is life threatening, it is certainly life-style threatening. And it causes depression. And beyond all that, at a most basic level: it's okay to need help. There, I said it. And the people who help you will in turn rely on you one day--they just don't know it yet. But that's what happens: things happen that you can't predict. So take the help. And give it back later. It will all come full circle.
What? Are you kidding? You're still not convinced? Well...IVF isn't selfish because you're not wasting money. You're spending it to (1) treat a disease and (2) raise a child. It's just that the cost of your child is sky-high before the child is even born. So just consider it an additional child-related expense. It's the only way to rationalize it or you'll go crazy thinking about the cost.
IVF isn't selfish if your partner doesn't want to try it and you do. It's not selfish to want to be a mother (or, if you're male, to be a father). And IVF isn't selfish if you're male and you want to do it, but your wife is drawing the line at needles. It isn't selfish to want to be a father. And it isn't selfish of her to want to try other routes to parenthood. You both need to be on the same page to get through IVF. Because it is hard. Emotionally and physically. But at the end of the day, it all goes back to your original question: selfishness. And none of these things are selfish--either doing IVF or choosing not to do IVF.
Listen, in a perfect world, you two would go into the bedroom and have some sex and be cuddling a newborn nine months later. But that's not the way it's going to go for you and it's not the way it's going for me. And you deal. Using some form of ART isn't selfish--it's just the path you have to take in order to get what everyone else gets easily.
At the end of the day, no one else is going to be able to convince you. I have a feeling that you know this. But you're googling it because someone has scattered some seeds of self doubt in your mind. And that's really crappy of them. And I'm sorry that you're going through that. But IVF isn't selfish. It's actually one of (because there are a bunch of equally unselfish and highly wonderful paths you could take) the ultimate gifts a mother can give: life. And going through hell to give that life. That takes a bold woman. And a strong woman. And a kick-ass woman. Not a selfish woman. There are no selfish women in the infertility world.
So ignore anything that people are telling you and get yourself in the stirrups. You can head over to my side bar and read a bunch of write ups about IVF and how to give yourself a sub-cue or an IM injection. And stop searching the Web for proof to back-up an idiot's words (choose the correct apology: (1) oh...the idiot was your husband? I'm sorry. All due respect. (2) oh...the idiot was your wife? I'm sorry. All due respect. (3) you're the idiot who is questioning whether it is selfish? I'm sorry. Maybe go back to the top and read again?). You need to save your strength for the cycle.
Check back and let us know how it goes!