Tuesday, February 9, 2010

TV Land: A Different Look At Infertility & Surrogacy

Good Evening Humble Readers...

So I have a confession to make. I watch a lot of unscripted family drama on TLC. I cannot call it reality tv, because it's just not reality. I am curious about the lives of people dealing with different family situations and how they are living their day to day lives. I was intrigued by the idea of what it would be like to watch a family with sextuplets handle things, and the logistics of raising a family of 19 kids.

My most recent addiction is the Li.ttle Cou.ple. If you aren't familiar, pop over here to learn a little bit about Bill & Jen.

They are going through a lot of life changes right now. Job challenges, building a house that will meet their physical needs, and most recently, investigating what it will take for them to build a family. Jen's anatomy is such that carrying a baby will put her life at risk, so they are currently looking at surrogacy and what that process would look like for them.

I have to say that, with the exception of one instance when Jen referred to the RE 'implanting' and embryo in their surrogate, I have been very impressed with how they are showing the process.

In every episode, they are portrayed as taking their time, weighing their options, and trying to make decisions with as much information as possible. In looking at surrogacy, they are faced with all the usual fertility issues, plus the genetic issues brought with both of them being dwarfs.

In last week's episode, a psychologist at the surrogacy center they are considering working with asked them what I thought was a very important question... why would a surrogate take them on as intended parents? Knowing that they have a one in four chance of having a child that will not live past the first year, the psychologist talked about the impact that would have on the surrogate and her family (spouse, parents, children).

It is the first time I have experienced a 'Hollywood' representation of surrogacy as anything remotely resembling real life. I was cheering as they talked about the implications, the costs, and the realities (will they even be able to retrieve any eggs?) of family building when you can't do it the traditional way. Tonight's episode had them in an RE's office, and actually talked about vaginal ultrasounds, egg retrieval and semen analysis. All the 'messy' stuff that you never hear about when it comes to infertility and tv.

I look forward to following their journey, and I hope (and pray, seriously) that they have a positive end to this road, and not wind up the way other TLC families have (the infamous Gosse.lins, the Rol.offs, and the Teu.tuls).


  1. I watched this episode tonight too and had so many of the same thoughts as you!

  2. I am addicted to this show.

    I did not catch the "implantation" slip up.

    I believe they are planning on doing PGD to somewhat ensure they don't have a double-dominant baby. That should cut down on the risk of losing the baby within the first year of life.

    I too hope they will not let the lights an cameras change who they are as a couple. They seem very well grounded and the are the most adorable couple.

  3. Wow! I love watching TLC myself, but our program schedule and feed is different than American/Canadian audiences.

    So, Jon&Kate are not news for me, but I have never managed to catch Little Couple on the channel.

    I am glad to know that it is close to actual life.

  4. that is very cool! Thanks for making me aware of the show.
    I try to be wuite 'out' about the fact we did IVF, we need to remove the stigma!

  5. I am definitely going to have to add this to me TV schedule. Thank God for DVRs.

  6. I like that show. I don't catch it on often though. I think her sensibility has a small part with the fact that she is a doctor and not some celebrity.

  7. We don't get that here in Cairo but I know about it. I think it would be cool to follow their journey, i bet i can online huh? I would like to see all the RE stuff but from what you say they are portraying it pretty well, cool.

  8. Sadly, we'll probably never get this in Australia, but this sounds really interesting! I like how you described the 'real', 'messy' parts. I'm missing out!!

  9. I have discovered this show since being on bedrest, I love it!! What a great couple. They have such a good attitude about life, true role models. They don't take anything for granted, and don't let being "different" make them feel lesser. I can't wait to follow their journey.

  10. Left you an award over on my blog! Be sure to stop by.

  11. I used to watch that show all the time, but stopped before the surrogacy discussions. Sounds very interesting, I'll have to catch some reruns.

    Also, I too am very addicted to TLC and Discovery Health reality shows!

    Happy ICLW!


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