Infertility Issues


***Please note: I have never struggled with infertility, I have never been pregnant, and the comments I make in this blog are based on what I have seen in clinical practices, as well as my personal opinion. As with abortion, there is no right or wrong answers. This is just simply MY experience. NOT for sensitive readers***

Infertility is a topic that is rarely uttered within society. It is not something that is necessarily shunned as barren women were in the past, however it is a topic that most are not familiar nor comfortable with. I will admit that I am not quite familiar yet with all the terms relating to infertility, but with your help, I would like to be – so PLEASE comment about your experiences with infertility!!

I have met a lot of people who are struggling with infertility, and can only offer words of love, support and encouragement. I am so in awe of the steps you take every day to become a parent. I feel that those that try so hard, and thus are the best parents, also because it is so easy to say that “trailer-trash” people who get drunk, or are involved with prostitution, get knocked-up so easily, and then abuse the child, when there are those who are so willing to envelope a child with open arms and offer them so much love, and a fulfilled life.

I suppose that the reason that I am writing this blog post is because when I was working at DISA, there was a lady named Kim, who is studying social work and volunteering there on the weekend by counselling people who undergo procedures or have problems relating to sexual well-being. She was married to her husband up until about 4-5years ago, when they were divorced, As I spoke to her briefly, I don’t have the complete story, but basically she and her husband struggled with infertility for about 2 years. She wanted a baby of her own to hold in her arms so badly… Her husband became increasingly violent towards her…

and she eventually conceived…

But she already knew she was going to leave her husband due to his abuse. He would have continued to abuse her while pregnant.  And thus she went through a terrible decision – for how can she bring up a child in a world with no father, no financial stability, and so forth? And so, she aborted.

Her hopes, her dreams, have now been completely and irreparably shattered. I am saddened to think of how many tears she shed… They say you should never make a woman cry for God counts her tears…

I felt it rather insensitive to ask: You have been trying to conceive for 2 years, and when you eventually did, you aborted the fetus because you knew you were going to leave your husband. Did you not think that this was your opportunity for a child, even if raised by you as a single mom? That by aborting, everything you worked so hard for during the last 2 years was “for nothing”? But she encouraged me to ask this question, and when I did she said that she thinks of this every day, but sometimes a woman has an intuition and just “knows” – that there really is no explanation to this question.

This made me wonder a lot, and I still do not understand – but then again I have not been in that situation. Can anyone provide some clarity for me on this? Does anyone have a similar experience relating to aborting when struggling with infertility, or infertility itself?

My friend Alicia is going to turn 21 in October. She is the one I related to earlier in the blog post titled Pouring My Heart Out (How do I make this blog link to that specific one?? HELP). She had an abortion at 17. About 3 months ago – she was diagnosed with endometriosis. I have offered to be a surrogate for her if ever the need arose, or to donate my eggs to her – anything for a friend, and even to a complete stranger! My love of children makes me want others to experience this gift too! I am hoping to find many more ways in which I am able to assist others…

Another issue that I find very interesting, is those people that use contraceptives such as barrier methods like the condom, and hormonal methods like the pill before they tried to get pregnant. Obviously as a whole it becomes rather expensive. And thus when you do attempt to conceive, and fail to do so – are you angry at yourself for taking these contraceptives in your youth? When in fact you may have had a better opportunity at falling pregnant then? Perhaps I am being rather insensitive, and for this I do apologize. I am simply trying to gather a greater understanding of infertility and the emotions that arise from it – for example: when you are infertile – who are you really angry at, and to what point does religion play a part in this period of your life?

I would also like to know what leads you to decide on your different fertility options, for they are numerous. Why IVF? Why adopt? Why use a donor? and so forth.

I know that most people want a child of their own genes – someone that will come out roughly a 50% copy of you.  However – so many children are being abused. In a way, we always tend to shut the negative aspects of society out, so I am going to take you out of your comfort zone.

***WARNING: NOT FOR SENSITIVE READERS***

Baby Brianna

“The story of Baby Brianna is a hard one, but it is the ugly reality of child abuse.  Violent family members caused her death while others hid what they knew was going on.

“They raped her; they beat her,” said District Attorney Susana Martinez who prosecuted the case.  “She had bite marks on her face, cheek, head, arms, legs, chest, torso, everywhere.

“Literally bruised from head to toe, from the top of her head all throughout her body all the way to the big toe on her right foot.”

She was beaten and raped by her own family.

“Massive bruising on the head, and then her little fingers were lacerated, toes,” said Detective Lindell Wright who was the first officer on the scene.

Brianna died on July 19, 2002.  When Wright saw her body at a hospital, he remembers one thought going through his mind:  “I’ve got a lot to do.”

Later, when he had time to look back, “I cried my eyes out.  It will stay with me for the rest of my life.”

Investigators said Brianna’s mother and father, Stephanie Lopez and Andy Walters, and her uncle Steven Lopez were responsible.

The night before, Steven and Andy threw Brianna to the ceiling, then let her slam to the ground.  And they had raped her time and time again.

Brianna’s mother had bitten her child.  The source of the other bruises remains a mystery.

“Bite marks throughout her body; there were old and new,” Wright said.  “She had skull fractures that were old and new.

“She had bleeding on the brain both old and new which means she had been abused physically her entire life.”

And while all the abuse was going on another uncle and a grandmother knew but never reported it or tried to stop it.

Martinez won convictions and maximum sentences for the three abusers.

“It tests you to the point you’re not sure you can speak,” Martinez said.  “You’re afraid that the emotion will take over.”

For some Martinez’s successful prosecution only highlighted shortcomings in the law.

When Baby Brianna was killed a person who committed intentional child abuse resulting in death faced a maximum of 18 years in prison.  Her case brought on a major change.

“Eighteen years for the life of a child?” State Sen. Mary Jane Garcia of Doña Ana said.  “I thought it was absurd.”

It took Garcia three years of trying, but she changed the law to make the crime punishable by a life sentence.

“If the judges continue to sentence to the maximum under the new law, the law is sufficient,” Martinez said.  “But if a judge doesn’t sentence them to the maximum to try to give some sort of deterrent effect to the rest of the community we’ve lost.”

Both Martinez and Garcia said more needs to be done to punish people like Brianna’s grandmother and uncle who fail to report abuse.

“Those two individuals knew she was being abused,” Martinez said.  “She was full of bruises that were old: green, brown, yellow-colored.

“Had they reported it early, had they and insisted on that child not being abused maybe we would have never had her death take place.”

For failing to report the abuse the three were sentenced to 30 days in jail.  The maximum is one year.

“I think perhaps we ought to try to make it five years at least,” Garcia said.  “I would go for something like that, and I would certainly try it.”

However Wright said it’s not just the law that needs to change.

“I think a lot of proactive still needs to happen as far as young parents need to have proper education, proper support systems,” Wright said.  “I feel a lot of young parents are struggling by themselves.

“They don’t have anywhere to turn, and it is the chemistry of child abuse.”

Brianna’s story still brings much pain to the people in Doña Ana County who came together after her death, paid for her casket and burial and claimed her body when no one else would.

“The community felt that Baby Brianna could be their child, their granddaughter, their daughter, their niece,” Las Cruces resident Edgar Lopez said.

Baby Brianna is now locked up in a cage built around her grave by her family to keep the community who loved her so much out.  It is a mess, unkempt and full of trash.

“They were asked, and they said they just wanted to be left alone and they wanted Brianna to be left alone,” Martinez said.

Inside is a cherub with a finger raised to her lips. Some believe it’s a message. ”

Baby P

When the infant known in court only as Baby P was brought home from hospital days after his birth in March 2006, it was as a bubbly, blue-eyed boy with the first signs of curly blond hair. He was, according to those who came into contact with him, a lively child with a ready smile.

After 17 months enduring abuse of an almost unimaginable cruelty, the boy had been reduced to a nervous wreck, his hair shaved to the scalp and his body covered in bruises and scabs. Physical injuries included eight broken ribs, a broken back and the missing top of a finger, while the emotional damage was almost incalculable. Despite it all, Baby P was said to have still attempted a smile.

The jury was told that details of the intervening months, leading to the baby’s death last August, would “fill [them] with revulsion”. But even this could not prepare jurors — one of whom could not hold back tears — for one of the worst cases of sadistic brutality and sordid child neglect to come before a British court.

Baby P’s life in a council flat in Haringey, North London, began with gradual and growing neglect at the hands of his mother, who would leave him unattended for hours in his cot. The overweight woman, who had never had a full-time job and spent hours trawling the internet for pornography, split from the boy’s natural father when he was 3 months old after affairs with two men.

When the second lover moved in, Baby P’s suffering increased dramatically. The court heard that while his mother gossiped with friends in online chat rooms, her boyfriend took to beating the boy, swinging him around by the neck or legs and pinching him.

The Times has been told that the man, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, forced Baby P to follow commands like a dog. At the click of a finger he would have to sit with his head bent between his legs; 20 minutes later a second click would be the signal that he could sit upright again.

A second man, Jason Owen, also subjected the boy to similar abuse. Owen, who stayed at the house for five weeks with his 15-year-old girlfriend, was found guilty with the boyfriend of causing or allowing the death of a child. The mother admitted her guilt at an earlier hearing.

Police were told that the boyfriend, a 32-year-old collector of Nazi memorabilia, wanted to “toughen him up”. Other routines included placing the baby on a stool and spinning it around until he fell off.

The authorities had first voiced concerns about possible abuse by October 2006, when a GP noticed marks on the boy. But his mother, in the first of many episodes of deception and false reassurances, insisted she had found that his skin “bruised easily”.

Two months later the GP sent the pair to the Whittington Hospital, North London, after inspecting a head injury. Insisting that her child was “a head-banger” fond of “rough and tumble play”, the mother claimed that fingermarks were merely the result of when he was caught after being lovingly held and thrown into the air.

Social services were informed and visited the flat, which was found to be dirty, untidy and smelling of urine. They learnt that it was shared with the boy’s grandmother and three dogs, including a rottweiler, but remained unaware that it also harboured a violent boyfriend. They decided to let the child stay with a family friend while police inquiries continued.

A month later, in January 2007, with no decision made on any charge against either woman, the boy was allowed back home. As he grew too old for milk and jars of baby food, Baby P scavenged bits of broken biscuits from older children and was even seen eating dirt in the garden. Detectives found that after the boyfriend moved in there was not one piece of the boy’s clothing that was not spattered with blood.

The court heard that the mother, 27, had been taught at a boarding school where she gained GCSEs including English and IT. She had sought treatment for postnatal depression in the past. But, from the outset, she had appeared more devoted to her dogs, a German shepherd called Lady and a Staffordshire bull terrier called Lucky.

Sources involved in the case said that when officers went into the house they found dead mice and chicks lying around — food for a snake that the boyfriend kept in his bedroom. The man was also said to enjoy torturing animals and would skin frogs alive before breaking their legs.

Social workers tried to keep the family together, assuaged by the mother’s excuses. They were rehoused and allocated a social worker and health visitor. Yet the violence worsened, with A&E attendances for black eyes, swellings and bruises, “scalp rash” and “ear discharge”. One episode resulted in the mother’s rearrest.

Maria Ward, the case worker, said that she visited the house four days before Baby P’s death for a prearranged meeting. She found the boy in his pushchair, his bruises covered up with chocolate. “He had eaten a chocolate biscuit and there was chocolate over his face,” she told the court. “He had chocolate on his hands and face.” She said that she asked the mother to wipe his face before they went out and the mother started cleaning him. Miss Ward noted that the boy had an infected scalp, which was covered in white cream, and an ear infection.

But she added: “He appeared well. He smiled when I spoke to him.” The case worker said that she had been content to leave the boy with his mother because she appeared to be co-operative and properly supported.

Days later — and 48 hours before his death — Baby P was taken to St Ann’s Hospital amid further concerns for his wellbeing. During an examination by Dr Sabah Al-Zayyat, a paediatrician, his mother and her friend supported the child. Despite Baby P’s repeated cries of pain, the consultant missed both his broken back and ribs.

The next day his mother was called to the social services office. She was told by police that she would not be prosecuted after consideration by the Crown Prosecution Service.

On the very same evening, back at the family home, Baby P received a fatal blow to his mouth, knocking a tooth out. After 17 months of agony, the tiny child finally succumbed. The next day he was found dead in his cot.

______________________________________________________

In a way, I think my message is to maybe try save the babies that are already born – those who are unwanted, neglected, or abused. The world’s population has increased so much that the planet cannot sustain us, and we in turn are causing environmental degradation. The advancement of technology = able to access land’s resources better = environmental degradation = discovery of more technology to fix this = vicious cycle.

The above stories horrified me when I read about them a few years ago – I don’t believe that they are stories that we should easily forget, however we are all too aware of society’s need to keep unpleasant aspects at arms length.

This is a subject very close to my heart…

Please, lets ensure that the world will be a safe child’s playground…

Love.Cybelle

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