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Doctor Robert G. Edwards, known as the "father of the test-tube baby," won the Nobel Prize for medicine this week for his work on in vitro fertilization. We asked iReporters to share their stories of IVF, and received some touching responses from grateful parents.
After trying for almost four years to conceive a child, iReporter Ronald Rydell and his wife eventually decided to try in vitro fertilization. The procedure worked, and twins Ryan Lawrence and Meghan Ann were born. Rydell couldn't be happier. "For all of the emotional, and financial difficulty, the self-doubt and self-blame we went through, we finally have the most precious gift of our lives," he said.
Kerri Helliwell said she had several concerns before trying IVF – namely the cost – and added that her husband's support was key. She ultimately opted for an egg donor and gave birth to her son Ian on Halloween of last year. "He is a happy, adorable, funny baby who is the apple of our eye," she said.
Myssie English, who conceived two children through IVF, acknowledges that the technique is controversial – in fact, an official with the Vatican recently criticized Edwards' Nobel win – but she would recommend it to anyone trying to have children. "If anyone has any questions or doubts about IVF, they simply need to spend five minutes with my children," she said. "They will find them absolutely adorable, smart, happy, sweet and loving. You can't put a price on that. I can't even imagine what my life would be like if I'd listened to the negative people and didn't pursue this option. I am truly blessed."
What's your take on in vitro fertilization? Has Edwards' contribution affected your life? Share your thoughts in the comments below or, better yet, share your family photos here.
My husband and I have been trying to conceive for 5 years now. We have been able to, with the help of medications, "get" pregnant but unable to have the fertilized egg reach my uterus due to tube problems. Our doctor advised that IVF could be our next step but I am unsure on how we can pay for such a procedure. Does anyone know if there are grants, programs, etc to assist with at least a part of the cost?
My husband, who is 27 years old, was conceived through IVF, in 1982, making him actually one of the early products of this new technology. He is most wonderful man in the world - smart, funny, adorable, artistic, and talented in so many ways. He is my miracle now too.
Hey st9493...My wife and I did IVF and she got pregnant on the first try. It was a little costly but no more than a new car...about 30,000...Most IVF places have a program where you can pay for 6 trys and if you don't get pregnant you get 75% of you money back. It is a better deal than paying for one procedure at a time. The medications is what cost a fortune. Any where between 3,000 and 5,000...I had to refinance my house to do it and I am so thankful I did. We have a little girl on the way!
My wife and I are unable to have children. While we have decided to accept that sometimes when you ask for things the answer is no, we respect your decision to try IVF. We have friends that have pursued this avenue and thankfully after some disappointment are now the parents of two lovely children. I am somewhat troubled with the question of cost. Should taxpayer really pay for other to have children. This does not seem to be a burden that should fall on society.
Hey ChrisSeattle....There is no tax payer money paying for any of this or everybody would be doing it. It is out of pocket believe me. I know ...I have done it.
There's a saying about dogs, "for every one you buy, one has to die". This is true of children also. Why not adopt? When there are hundreds of millions of children on Earth in need of a loving home, why would you go to such lengths to create another one?
Hey Damini76...I don't know of any baby that has died for me to have one. Adoption is fine and my situation could have came to that but we wanted our on that came from us....is that to much to ask?
I finally conceived and delivered a beautiful and healthy baby boy after 6 years of trying, 6 IVFs (the last one was the winner!!), and thousands of dollars of expenses. I believe that this was our personal choice and nobody else but ourselves should be financially responsible for it. However, our private health insurance company covered certain procedures. Now in our case we did not have any medical issues, it was only due to my age (43) and unexplained reasons.
Are you trying to say that people should stop having their own children and care for someone elses instead? I am pro- adoption but not instead of possibility to have your own child.
i am a proud father of 2 twin girls after trying many years and nothing. so we also tried IVF and it has brought us 2 wonderful girls aged 13 months now.. i don't know about the U.S but being a Canadian citizen, the health care covered the whole procedure of A TO Z and even if it weren't, it would be the best money i would have spent....
I have raised a child I gave birth to (24 yo now) and adopted a child (at 2 yo) a few years ago. I can tell you that I wouldn't dare to give anybody advice to adopt. This is too "easy" advice to give when the reality is that adopted child who went through so much trauma (less than 2 years) is a challenge hard to describe in words. So please don't give that advice lightly and let people decide what is can work for them.
My wife and I have IVF twin boys that will be 5 in Dec. We tried the adoption route and were turned away by a local adoption atty. for unknow reasons. Damini76, can you back up that claim with statistics (""for every one you buy, one has to die". This is true of children also")?
Didn't think so....
I wonder if anyone has considered the possibility of fertility issues being genetic, and now we're just propogating more people who will have the same issues. Adoption is a much better option, and those who say differently are just very selfish.
We have our lovely son through IVF and hope to have more in the future. IVF has given me the best gift of my life and I am eternally thankful to all people who helped to get the medicine to that point because we could not have a child without it.
On other note, Damini has clearly no idea about adopting. As a matter of fact we gave it a try before our IVF cycle (I had multiple miscarriages and we were not sure IVF would solve our problem) and aside of it being twice the cost of an IVF cycle including meds, the administrative hurdles were significant and the wait 2+ years if we were approved and pick to begin with. Adopting is a lot harder than people imagine.
GSO2111.....I guess I am just selfish!
To Damini76... We worked on trying to adopt a child for over a year before trying IVF. Adoption is not an easy road. If you're willing to take older children, or special needs children, then it is a little easier to adopt. But, if you're trying to find a healthy infant, then it may not be easy to get paired with a birth mother. Adoption can be expensive and stressful. I didn't know how challenging it was to adopt before we tried it.
Please read my post above.
Adoption is NOT a better option. You can't tell I am sellfish because I have adopted and I think I will get though all right, but you can't imagine the difficulties. It is not an option for most people.
Try shadygrovefertility dot com.
They guarantee you will get pregnant or give you 100% of money back. I do not know the cost.
It amazes me that people go on about how badly they want children of their "own". Really? Maybe God has chosen for you to have a child of your "own" that was created from someone else, why is that so difficult for people? A family is not about who's belly you popped out of, but who and what you bring to the lives of those who love you! Stop being so one sided and see the numerous oportunities to have and LOVE a child who needs you as much as you need them!!!
To GS02111... Louise Brown, the first IVF baby, has conceived naturally and has a son of her own now. Some fertility issues may be genetic, but others are not.
To amfos....nobody is saying that adoption is bad...and GOD is still in control...If you do IVF it is still up to GOD if you have a child. So if you are saying that we are some how going around GOD then you need to understand how IVF works....it is meds and procedures but it is up to GOD if you get pregnant.
Wouldn't it be marvelous if the only way to conceive were IVF? Think about it - no more teen pregnancies, no more 'accidental' children. Every child would be the result of a deliberate decision by the parents to have them, and only parents who can afford to raise the child would do so.
I wager the welfare rolls would shrink significantly too.
it's really sad the amount of money and time people will spend trying to have a baby when they could adopt a child in need of a loving home. very sad
to tonydailm....let me tell you what is sad...people not understanding what it is like for a woman who dreams of being pregnant...far as the money goes...its there money...is the world in the business of telling us what to do with our money now?
People who post comments like stop being selfish and go adopt because you are asking for too much.. make me mad! So accept what is happening to you and stop turning for medicine to help you have a biological child of your own. By that same logic then why turn to medicine to treat cancer? diabetes? Parkinson? accept your fate and be passive aggressive.... it doesn't matter what YOU want, what matters is what society wants you to do... yeah, this ADVICE for yours will keep applying to other people, when you are faced with the same problem, you will try to have a child of your own first then think of Adoption which btw comes with a LOT of problems and issues. we are all the same at the end of the day, some are already faced with the issue and others sit on the sideline and like to give their opinion. But when they have to make a decision themselves, WE ALL WILL MAKE the same decision.
The Nobel Prize is so deserving. What IVF did is bring me back to life.
Dr. Rosenwaks from Cornell is the Man with whose help we have our blessing. We tried different clinics, our miracle was born on our 7th IVF attempt (that made it to transfer).
Dr. Rosenwaks is incredible and Dr. Charles March is an incredible Ashermans specialist.
For the 'brilliant' one who suggested adoption - its easy to suggest when you are not faced with infertility. You KNOW NOTHING about the complexity of adoption.
We all know someone brother/sister/cousing/aunt/friend/neighbour who is married or in a committed relationship and doesnt have children - DO NOT suggest Adoption to them. If they are having fertility problems - believe me they know their option to adopt. If you care about them - raise money for them - whatever they choose to do - adoption or IVF.
What the doctors don't tell you is with IVF you have a 4-5 time more likely chance to have a child with Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome or Angelman Syndrome.
Although I love my beautiful daughter who was born with a donor egg to avoid having my son's genetic condition, I would have liked to know that she had the higher risk of these syndromes. My daughter does have Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome and we wouldn't have had to waste time trying to figure it out what it was and could have started the cancer screenings earlier. But my doctor never told me. Thank God that she does not have any malignancies at this time, but we must continue to monitor her throughout her childhood.
IVF is a wonderful option, and was the best option for us. I don't regret it, I just would have liked to have known the risks.
To tonydailm... Adoption is expensive and time-consuming, too. We tried adoption first before trying IVF. I am a supporter of both adoption and IVF, but please don't judge others because they chose one over the other.
IVF gave us two beautiful boys!! I will be forever grateful to Dr. Edwards!
danmac53 -brilliant. :)
Serious Blog ... Well Said !!!!
Ivf and Adoption is just a dream for us.. A dream out of reach because of the cost.. 1 cycle is about 11K-13K.. adoption if min. 9K up to 30K.. we are looking thru Foster Care but I fear our marriage might struggle with the problems that come with it.. so we are up in the air with that..
I also look at IVF another way...
My husband says he wants to purchase a new vehicle 30K.. I think to myself.. oh, you will go buy a vehicle for 30K but not put that money towards IVF or Adoption.. But, then again.. I get where he is coming from.. there is no guarantee's.. with Adoption or IVF.. I would feel horrible if we paid all that money and it didn't work.. I think we need to fight the insurance companies and have it mandated for coverage.. we should not have to go thru this to have a child..
I am at the point where I think it's just not ment to be.. I am so happy for everyone that it has worked for but IVF and especially Adoption should not cost anywhere near the price that it does..
Danmac53 and Lub the cheering section.
Make fun all you want - but you have no comprehension how when the natural way to conceive doesnt work. The effort it takes to go through IVF, the finincial and emotional dedication. How trying it is on a couple - emotionally, psychologically.
My point was if people want a baby "so badly" they should be open to loving any child...biological or not!
All of this discuss proves just one thing....person choice is alive and well in the world!!! Just like voting, abortion, what to wear, what to eat....choices, choices, choices!!!! Do what works for you!!!!
If you adopt a child older than a newborn, like from foster care or orphanage, you cannot imagine how hard it is to love such child because of the damage done to him/her by neglect or abuse. Just "Opening heart" to this child won't work. You have to have a theraputic environment for this child and be prepared to being threatened and hit and kicked and hated by this child and love him/her at the same time. This has nothing to do with "loving home" and it can be only done in a home where parents have extraordinary strength to do it. Don't preach what you know nothing about.
You can't polish a turd. No one wants some crack whore's HIV niglet.
You are wrong and too bad you speak like this. The kids that go for adoption can't carry the blame for their parents. It is likely that their parents were abused or neglected and don't know how to be human. These kids can be helped to become humans and good citizens but it dones take extraordinary effort. You don't sound very human yourself. I am sorry for you.
1 IVF - $15,000
2 Adoptions - $54,000 (yes, many adoptions are not free!!!)
3 Kids - Priceless
BTW - the government does fund a lot of this in the form of tax breaks and credits. Depending on your earned income, much of the medical expenses for IVF can be deducted. In addition, adoption expenses carry a 1 for 1 "tax credit" that can be carried over from year to year.
I am a huge fan of both adoptions and IVF. My money (and yours if you pay taxes), my children, my joy.
I am against IVF for the simple reason that I do not believe in tampering with nature. If you are infertile, then that is the way nature (or God) wants you to be and to interfere with that is unnatural and unhealthy. Maybe you cannot conceive because your body cannot handle pregnancy; maybe it is a genetic issue; maybe you have gone through menopause and shouldn't be having kids in the first place.
Take the money you would have put towards implanting an embryo (even the word implant sounds unnatural) and adopt instead. There are numerous kids who need loving homes with stable lives and who need a chance to thrive. Sure, some of them come with emotional baggage, but you have the opportunity to remedy that.
On a side note, I don't think that insurance dollars should cover the costs of the treatments. That is an optional choice that should be paid for out-of-pocket.
My wife and I have been trying for some time to have children. It’s a very hard thing to go through. We tried IVF and got pregnant but my wife had a miscarriage. I agree with SeriousBlog, I see this as medicine helping us with a problem. If you had cancer or some other disease you would look for help. IVF is not different.
To dom625. I find your post very rude. You have no idea what it is like until you have to walk down that path. If you got cancer would you accept it and not look for treatment and help? It is the same thing. We have medicine and procedures to help people. IVF is no different.
Good luck to everyone having trouble conceiving or adopting. God brought us our first beautiful son through adoption and exactly nine months later He gave us another through IVF. To GSO2111: both boys are "OUR OWN"!! and as far as infertility being "genetic," most women in my family tree have had at least four biological children generation after generation. Maybe YOU need to do some research...
Amfos and GSO2111: if you two actually have people who are willing to procreate with you, I'll pray that you never have to go through the heartache and pain that some of us do!
My husband and I failed 2 IVF cycles using perfect blastocysts. Undergoing immune testing before a 3rd try. We considered adoption but not ready for several reasons: 1) most children available for adoption require special care and we don't have the resources to give them the best head start; 2) adoption process takes years and is more expensive than IVF; 3) we want to be pregnant and give birth. Unless you have been in our position, you have no idea how difficult infertility is. It is the hardest thing I have ever experienced, left a hole in my heart, but IVF gives us hope. Even if there are genetic or immune problems, science has advanced to the point where these obstacles can be overcome. We remain hopeful our dreams will come true.
What's with this 'you can't understand unless you've been in our position'? Everyone in the world has been in a situation where they've had to give up something they wanted because it was too difficult and/or unethical to pursue further. If you can't love a child you don't share DNA with, you're not cut out to be parents, period.
To Beans3: No, I have not had to walk the infertility pathway. I have two sons and had no issues with conception. However, speaking as a scientist, as someone who sees the immense strain that we are placing on our environment and resources, I believe that humans have become extremely overpopulated and that we (as an entire world) need to implement measures to ensure that generations from now, our descendants will still have access to the pleasures that we take for granted. Shirking nature by artificially inducing pregnancy is not natural and leads to more people on the planet.
And, by the way, as to your cancer jab, I don't believe in artificially extending the life span like we do. Just because we have the technology does not mean that it should be used. Humans were never meant to live as long as we currently do. And, no I do not have cancer. I have had relatives with cancer and I feel that it would have been far more humane to allow them to die than to expose them to the horrors of chemo and radiation treatments. But that's just me.
dom625: you don't believe we should artificially alter the lifespan because we live long enough already? are you kidding me? as a "scientist" have you really forgotten all the lives extended/saved for children who are stricken with cancer? thanks goodness it's "just you."
dom625: IF THERE ARE TOO MANY POEPLE ON THE PLANET WHY DID YOU HAVE TWO!!!??
I agree with the people that say you can't understand unless you've been through it. My husband and I have gone through IVF in the states and it was very expensive. We couldn't afford it after one try. So we made the decision to leave the country and try IVF in Panama. That was last summer. It didn't work, but we still want a child very much, so we made the very difficult decision to actually move from the US to Panama. It wasn't an easy decision, but when you want a child, and have gone through every possible resource in our family, then you make sacrifices. If you have never been through it than you cannot possibly understand. Don't judge people for the decisions they make as a family. It is up to each individual family.
oh my gosh, i can't help but keep returning to this post. dom625: first of all: OTHER PEOPLE'S TAX DOLLARS DO NOT pay for most fertility treatments here in the u.s. so please get the facts. other countries helathcare plans may cover it but those citizens also pay half their salary to taxes! secondly: how many children have you adopted who don't have a home? is trying to conceive a child only reserved for those who can do it so easily? lucky you! let me know if you'd like to practice what you preach and adopt a child. i'd love to share my experience... on second thought, please don't raise anymore children.
Jaimed: You think of the kids saved because of cancer treatments. I see how the world was better off (resource and space-wise) when our population wasn't so out of control. We are consuming water and food reserves at an alarming rate, and we raze forests to use the land for farming. This is a good thing how? We interfere on a daily basis with nature and we are going to pay the price.
And I had two because that's called replacement level fertility, which does not contribute to overpopulation.
And when did I say "tax dollars" would pay for IVF? I said that insurance should not pay for it. Insurance plans do not cover bariatric surgery, so why should this procedure be covered?
And, no I have not adopted. We are financially able to support two kids, so adoption is not in the cards right now. And "trying" to conceive a child should not be limited to those who do so easily, but actually "having" the child should be reserved to those whom nature and God allow.
Thanks! I agree with you on one point- God "allows." God did allow me to "have" my second child when He allowed the IVF to work =) As for your other elitist points of view, God help us all.
For those of you who are struggling, try not to let these nasty people get to you.
Please stop shoving adoption at infertile couples. We've already heard of it and know what it is. It's a personal choice, and not for everyone. I'm adopted and that's why I have absolutely no interest in adoption. It was a bad experience and I never want to see nosy social workers or family court judges again. If adoption is so sacred, then why are only infertile couples expected to do it??
The idea that "God gives babies if He wants you to have one" is cruel. Yeah.. God chose to sterilize me yet gave Garrido 2 kids thru his rape victim jaycee Dugard? He gave Susan Smith two kids to drown because she was more worthy? I DON'T THINK SO.
Consider the power your words have to hurt before you open your mouths.
Alternatives such as acupuncture and herbs work just as well, cost less, and are less invasive.
Is it possible that those who can't conceive naturally, possibly shouldn't conceive? Is it not possible that many of the problems that are becoming more common in children today are doing so because in the past, people who had those problems (i.e. peanut allergies) would not live to reproduce?
Are we increasing the incidence of genetic disease exponentially because there is a gene to "not reproduce" associated with many of these conditions, and we're going around that gene with IVF?
We may find in another generation that IVF didn't do humanity any favors.