Last night I watched the episode of a new show called "Quints by Surprise." Although the quints were not a surprise, they came from IUI's. They seem like a very nice couple, but the husband complained and complained about money. It really bothered me.
TLC is also adding another show about a set of sextuplets. We all know about Kate and her eight. The WE channel also has a set of sextuplets. We also all know the disaster that is OctoMom.
Sigh . . . .
From an infertility advocacy standpoint, these shows are BAD news for us. I know many of us dream of having insurance coverage to pay for our treatments so we don't have to take out loans, work three jobs, put second mortgages on our homes and all the other things people have to do to attempt to have a baby. People already don't want to pay for that but when they see shows like this we are totally screwed. One IVF treatment is a teeny tiny drop in the bucket in comparison to the cost putting five or six (or really even three or four) babies through a NICU stay. Granted, most high order multiples come from IUI's, which is much cheaper than an IVF treatment. After all this publicity, WHY haven't there been some better medical guidelines put into place for IUI's? Why are these people still putting this out there when it makes infertile people look desperate and greedy? It's a huge peeve of mine. I'm not saying the people are desperate and greedy, it just appears that way when they willingly do the procedure and then go on television and complain about their money issues.
Having twins truly terrified me. I was scared that the babies would be in the NICU because they were multiples. The reason it was so hard for me to think of is because it would have been my fault completely (in my mind). Ocean and Ever were born at term and did not require a NICU stay, but it was just sheer luck that it happened like that. The guilt would have completely overwhelmed me. I felt the desperation myself. My RE said that these were excellent embryos and I really needed to think about it. My other RE said I also had a 75% chance of success with my three IUI's but he was wrong. I just didn't believe it, so I completely understand that none of these couples truly thought this would happen to them although they were willing participants. Unfortunately, the public just doesn't see it that way and the general public is a big reason why we don't have that coverage. Obviously another reason is because the insurance companies have no problem bringing this up and how costly it is or could be to other insured individuals.
I would love for us to have infertility coverage. Now that I know how beautiful parenthood is, I wish everyone that wants it can have it. I hate reading on my infertility message boards that people have been tapped out and can no longer try to be parents or afford to adopt (which is super expensive as well). It breaks my heart for them and it wouldn't be so hard if we had coverage for this. It also wouldn't be as big of a decision to not go through with dangerous treatments like unmonitored cycles, IUI's when many follicles are present, or even deciding to transfer just one instead of two embryos. Shows like the TLC shows are what many fertile or child-free people think about when they think of fertility treatments and it is definitely prohibitive when it comes to creating an understanding of what infertile people go through and why they do it.
If you are a long time reader, you know that I LOVE reality TV and it provides me with tons of entertainment. When I think about the message these shows are sending, it makes me kind of sad and they are far less entertaining.
What do you think about these shows?