Lots of patients are quite ambivalent about doing IVF. Many with strong religious beliefs feel that if they are destined to have a baby, then God will make it happen, no matter what their medical diagnosis is ; and if a baby is not in their destiny, then doing IVF will not change anything at all, so why bother ? It can be very hard to have a scientific conversation with them, because of their preconceived notions.
I can understand their fatalism. After all, IVF doesn't have 100% success rate, and whether an IVF cycle will work or not for an individual patient does to a large extent upon a random element of luck, which you could attribute to nature or to God, depending on your personal beliefs.
However, I remind my patients that God helps those who help themselves, and it's easier for some of these miracles to occur if you give God a chance to help you.
It's true that every baby is a miracle - whether that baby is born because you had sex in your bedroom, or whether you did IVF. However, the more you help yourself, the better your odds are of achieving your own miracle.
I get a little upset when patients take a passive attitude and trust that God will do everything for them - that all they need to do is to pray and have faith. While this always helps, it's never sufficient !
There are lots of uncertainties in the IVF process , and we can never be sure about the outcome. A belief in God or a higher power helps patients cope with the uncertainty and stress inherent in an IVF cycle. It can also perhaps help to increase success rates , especially when you believe that there is a higher power who's looking after you , and who has your best interests at heart.
However, you still do need to take action !
This reminds me of a story I think you'll enjoy. A young man was having a terrible year. He had lost his job, been forced to take out a second mortgage on his home, and seemed to be spiraling further and further into credit card debt. His terrible financial situation drove him into a deep depression, and it wasn’t long before his social life was in shambles as well. At such a young age, the man felt that his future was hopeless and that he would truly need a miracle to help him climb out of this hole.
With nowhere else to turn, the young man finally decided to do the one thing he hadn’t yet tried – he prayed. He drove his car to his childhood church and found a pew in the back rows of the quiet chapel. He got down on his knees and he prayed.
“Dear God, please help me win the lottery. I really need the money, so please help me win.”
The young man waited several days and nothing happened. He returned to the church.
“Dear God, I’m not sure if you received my last prayer, but I really need your help to win the lottery. Please help me out here.”
Again, the young man waited several days with no results. He returned to the church once again.
“Alright, God, I’ve asked you twice, but it really seems like you aren’t listening to me. I asked you to help me win the lottery, but I still haven’t won. Are you even listening to me?”
What happened next truly shocked the young man. He heard a voice. The clouds parted and God spoke from above - “BUY A LOTTERY TICKET!”
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