This morning, on the way home after driving Lokes to work, a radio ad on IVF treatments was on, starting with a woman talking about how when we were young, we tried everything to avoid getting pregnant, and when we are ready, we try everything we can to conceive.

She then said something about IVF treatments and how she was now happily a mom of a six-month old.

I’ve never been a fan of expensive fertility treatments. Lokes and I agreed a long time ago that if we were unable to have children, the furthest we would go is oral medication. If that didn’t work, we would just leave it to nature since we did not have the money for it anyway.

Of course, that’s all moot now since we have two beautiful girls. So yes, we count ourselves extremely fortunate. Which, of course, makes me the least deserving person to talk about people who aren’t as lucky.

But I must. Because this IS for OUR own good.

I remember once discussing the necessity of expensive fertility treatments with a friend of mine (also a parent), and she, being more understanding than me, said that at least people now have a choice. And the freedom to choose.

My answer?

Yes, but people should make better choices. They make crappy decisions all the time, and that should stop. Like paying half a mil to have a baby they will eventually stick to their parents to care for, or a maid.

Fact: The world is now officially overpopulated. So unless you’re are under some government mandate to make like rabbits because your country’s population is dwindling (which is still a little ridiculous), or thinking of colonising Mars, please do not indulge in the delusion of thinking you’re doing the world, God, or even worse, your freakin’ Clan a favour by having kids.

Have you ever thought that perhaps the rise of fertility problems (which may be brought on by a more polluted environment, the food we eat, bad genes) is the universe’s way of telling us to STOP TRYING TOO HARD TO HAVE BABIES?

I know this isn’t really FULLY our decision and that God has a part to play, in that he’s the one putting souls in them babies. However, if I spent years and the family fortune trying to have one, I would get His drift and think before bruteforcing my way through.

And if you’re religious, ponder this: If God forbids abortion, what would he think of you insisting on forcing His hand on the whole baby issue? I haven’t read the bible in a while but I’m sure if cloning is iffy, then manipulating your hormones and growing babies in test tubes may be on the fence as well. He says be fruitful and multiply. So if you’re NOT fruitful, DON’T multiply!

Fact: Fertility, or rather infertility treatments, are expensive. More than ever, we have now got better options to get pregnant, but what does that really mean? We can go to the moon now but can we all afford to? No!  

Fact: You can get married and NOT have kids. People do it all the time! 50 years ago if you didn’t want a child or couldn’t, you would be subjected to ridicule by old-fashioned mother-in-laws and an oppressive, archaic society (at least that’s how it was where I come from). These days, this choice is more or less, yours. So why do people still think it’s an obligation to propogate the earth?  

Are we just kids ourselves, wanting what we can’t have?

Most of the time, parents who want to have kids don’t even know what they will be in for. We get told how wonderful it is and what a noble job being a mom or dad is and then we get it into our heads that that’s what couples who are in love do and should go towards as a sign of maturity and progress. But you know what? It takes more than that. Way more. And no amount of books or parenting classes or advice will prepare you for what the job entails.

Of course, in Malaysia, we won’t know that, since we have grandparents and maids and daycare centres to do our dirty jobs for us. I still remember what a friend of mine said.

“My mother-in-law wanted the child. Let her take care of him.”

We are fortunate to live in a time where medical science has advanced to a point where we are afforded choices – even if some aren’t really choices since they cost so damn much. But now, more than ever, we need to make better, choices. More selfless, educated choices.

The choice to adopt a kid whose reluctant parent has no means to care for him or her.

The choice to use the money you’ve saved up, to give some other kid a chance.

The choice to enrich your life as a couple in other more meaningful ways.

Like joining the Amazing Race. Or climbing Mt Kinabalu. Or helping to eradicate poverty.

Why aren’t we making THESE choices?

My post will not make a dent in the world of fertility treatments and desperate parents. I will never understand that desire to conceive that’s so strong and intense it can create divorce and heartache.

But when the time comes for my two girls to have kids, I will for damn sure tell them to choose better.

At least, better than I did.