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Friday, July 9, 2010

Celine Dion pregnant with twins

I have sort of been following the Celine Dion stories about her struggles with infertility. The 42-year-old Canadian singer has apparently been trying for six years to get pregnant, and sadly suffered a miscarriage after one IVF attempt. She recently went public with her infertility problems on Oprah.

I was happy, of course, to hear that she's expecting and I hope everything goes well for Celine, who is due in November. But I think back to an article I read and one thing stuck out: she basically said she would keep trying , at any cost, to get pregnant.

Of course, when you're a celebrity, you can afford to do that. Apparently Angelina Jolie conceived her twins , Knox and Vivienne, with IVF not because she'd had trouble getting pregnant, but because she didn't have time to do it the old fashioned way. The procedure reportedly cost $12,000.

We can estimate that, if Celine Dion went through six IVF procedures, that it cost around $72,000, using Angelina as a baseline. It could have cost Dion more or less; who knows.

Thankfully, I've never had problems with infertility . Tons of other crap while pregnant, yes; but I've always been able to get pregnant easily. But I can't imagine the heartache, the worry, the financial stresses of the average working-class couple who is struggling with getting pregnant - the average married couple deals with many of these things as it is, minus the infertility. Both men and women can suffer depression as a result, not to mention the draining of savings in order to fund the procedure. Multiple failures or miscarriages can cause even more stress on a marriage or relationship, as well as the inevitable feeling of wondering when it's just time to give up and accept it.

Psychologically it can make both men and women feel like a failure, like it's something they're doing wrong that is causing it. It can also cause immense stress on a couple's sexual relationship when sex becomes a "chore" because timing is so important. Strangely enough, in one study of infertile couples it found that their rate of divorce was much lower than in the general population.

One couple I know chose to forego IVF altogether because of the possible stress it would put on her, and decided instead to adopt (which has its own challenges, including loss and financial pressure). I can't help but wonder to myself if they would have gotten pregnant from undergoing in vitro, but can understand their situation and just not wanting to put themselves through that physical, emotional and financial strain.

I wonder what other infertile women think about Celine's trials and her ultimate success - perhaps wishing they, too, could keep trying until they finally got pregnant, but knowing there was just no way that was going to happen. I can't imagine the heartache of knowing that, among other possible factors, money was keeping a much sought-after pregnancy from happening. Financial help is available for some, but not for all.

Back in November, Dion's husband, Rene Angelil, said they were "living the reality of the majority of couples who face these procreation techniques."

No, unfortunately for some, it's not even close.


Erin in TX said...

Thank you for your post. While I am happy for her, it makes me sad for me, a middle-class infertile who will likely remain childless because IVF and adoption are so out of our budget. Infertility is a challenge I never expected to face, and the lack of understanding from the general population leaves me astonished. Let me add that the Angelina situation appalls me. I cannot imagine how IVF was a "more convenient" option than natural conception with Brad Pitt. What a slap in the face!

The Deranged Housewife said...

I'm glad my post wasn't taken the wrong way, simply because I had never been through these particular struggles. But that is the first thing that struck me - that it ultimately, in a lot of cases, unfortunately comes down to money. Or lack thereof.

So many people mention adoption to couples who can't conceive, as if it's just as easy as going out and practically 'buying' a kid. For some reason, in my tiny little community I know at least four adoptive families. Each had their personal struggles - one with an illness that can be exacerbated by pregnancy; another suffered multiple miscarriages, and the couple I mentioned in my post. After knowing them and another couple for several years now and the struggles they've gone through with fostering and adoption situations that have fallen through, etc. I can't even imagine the strain it puts on a relationship.

As far as Angelina, from what I understand the info came from a 'source' so 'm not sure that it's been confirmed. But I guess it's considered common knowledge. I think it almost tries to put a price on human life, in a sense, and is a slap in the face even to those who aren't struggling with fertility. Like, if you're *that* busy, then do you have time to be a good parent in the first place?

Heather Griffith Brewer said...

I know of a couple who spent about 100 Grand on IVF treatments, and then finally adopted. They're one of the Ha-Ha couples who ended up getting pregnant numerous times afterwards (with live happy babies). The friends mother finally asked me one day "How do we turn it off?"
At this point in time, my only luck would be with IVF, but having had 2 successful pregnancies already, my chances of success improve. It still makes me a little queasy to think of "gambling" that kind of money know, with my "advanced maternal age" and all...hahaha! Totally kidding.

The Deranged Housewife said...

I think sometimes your body just needs that one pregnancy to "prime" itself and then some people manage to get pregnant easily. Others, not so much. It really gets me, though, when people assume that adoption is just so easy peasy and cheap, which it's not. There are an equal number of heartaches and broken hearts in those situations, too, so all those people who say "Why don't people who want lots of kids stop overpopulating the planet and adopt!" can just kiss my butt.


Frederico said...

I've heard about couples who adopt a child and then get pregnant afterwards. Something about the lack of stress and it just happens naturally.