How much is too much

When I first read about the woman who had eight babies, and I immediately assumed via in-vitro fertilization, my first reaction was that was insane. But when I stepped back, I tried to be sympathetic, thinking perhaps she cried herself to sleep for years wanting a baby so much. I know women who were in that situation, and I support their wanting to have a baby by whatever methods they chose.

But my feelings of understanding lasted probably five minutes. Why have eight embryos implanted? As I understand it, IVF is expensive (around 10k?), so I get not wanting to implant only one or two embryos and then risk having to go through it all over again. But what normal person could afford to take care of that many babies at once, both financially and mentally (John and Kate do seem to have it together)? You have to assume that all embryos could be implanted and therefore turn into real, live babies that you will now have to take care of. And having that many babies in one pregnancy is harder on the mother and the babies, so if you are against terminating any of them, as some doctors suggested (and clearly I would be), it just seems plain irresponsible.

But what makes this appalling to me is this single woman apparently already has six kids (this per her mother), all through in-vitro.

What kind of doctor would allow her to go through another IVF pregnancy, particularly with that many embryos, knowing this? Who is going to be paying for the medical care these preemies will undoubtedly need? And who paid for the all IVF treatments to begin with? Brian's health insurance is so crappy that I have to pay every time I take Jordan to the doctor's for anything other than a once-a-year well visit; just the thought of her having insurance that would pay for this makes me mad.

I would like to feel sorry for this woman, who clearly must have some mental issues, but the financial implications clearly are keeping me from doing so. Sure, money was only part of the reason I chose not to have a second child (well, I am 99 percent there), and it was not even the biggest reason, but especially in today's economy, I don't want to have to worry about feeding, clothing, and supporting a larger family than I can afford if Brian or I lose a job. And here is this woman who, unless she is Oprah, Melinda Gates, or a few dozen other people, can probably ill afford to take care of this many children at one time. So who pays for them? We do (or at least the taxpayers of California).

C'mon, we already have a gazillion dollar "stimulus" we are going to be on the hook for, for a long time. Do we now need this too? When will people learn that you cannot have everything you want.

If it turns out that I am wrong, and this woman is able to pay for the medical and general care of her children all on her own, as well as give these kids the love, attention, and stability they deserve, then you will read my apology here. Stay tuned.

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