Wednesday, August 10, 2011
The New York Times Magazine explores the "stigma" (undeserved? archaic? regrettable?) surrounding the emerging trend of eliminating one fetus when IVF results in twins. This is a very sad paragraph, among many:
Jenny’s decision to reduce twins to a single fetus was never really in doubt. The idea of managing two infants at this point in her life terrified her. She and her husband already had grade-school-age children, and she took pride in being a good mother. She felt that twins would soak up everything she had to give, leaving nothing for her older children. Even the twins would be robbed, because, at best, she could give each one only half of her attention and, she feared, only half of her love. Jenny desperately wanted another child, but not at the risk of becoming a second-rate parent. “This is bad, but it’s not anywhere as bad as neglecting your child or not giving everything you can to the children you have,” she told me, referring to the reduction.
I don't mean to minimize the hardship that can accompany multiple births, but this excerpt reflects an unfortunate (though increasingly common) view of parental love: a limited commodity that, when extended to one child, necessarily reduces its availability to another child. Not to mention the underlying premise that non-existence is preferable to existence in a household with "too many" kids.