Anyone else have opinions on the Egyptian Septuplets?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by susiestar, Aug 29, 2008.

  1. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I found this article interesting. Especially where the mom is scared because they have a 2 room mud home and her husband only works a few days a week.

    I think this would be a very very scary position to be in. The mom hasn't even gotten to SEE some of the babies since the birth.

    I know every country/group has its own culture and traditions, but it seems to me that this woudl be a hard thing to head into.

    What do you all think?
  2. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    In a more Western country, the family would get sponsorships to help them through financially. But again, this could prompt more massively multiple pregnancies as others try to jump on that bandwagon (or as one more deterrent to multiple pregnancy is removed).

    My new GP is Egyptian. I haven't checked her certificates (as to where she got her first degree) but she's got what it takes to practice medicine in Australia. In fact, she is brilliant. And cautious.

    If the Egyptian doctors, under those conditions, have managed to get the babies to such a good birth weight without damaging the mother's health and also without complications with the babies, then they have certainly demonstrated their capability. As for what they have done in administering fertility treatment - the dosages are undoubtedly designed for patients with fertility problems because in most cases, that is why they would be administered. The doctors may not have had any guidelines as to reducing the dose in a case like this, when social pressure is the reason for requesting fertility treatment.

    Unless you live in a society that thinks this way, yo cannot fully comprehend what is it like. I have memories of growing up in a very patriarchal time (perhaps not as patriarchal as this). People asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up - I told tham I wanted to be "a scientist's helper" because I knew, even as a very small child, that as a girl I would NEVER be permitted to be the scientist in charge. I think at some point I must have said I wanted to be a scientist, and someone told me I couldn't because I was a girl. AND I ACCEPTED THIS.

    I remember watching an episode of "Dr Kildare" where doctors were debating the ethics of telling a patient tat they were going to die. Or the decision doctors had to make, when having to choose from fifteen kidney failure patients, which five would be permitted to have dialysis. Or the episode where a young girl had to have surgery for a brain tumour, but to get the tumour they also had to take the girl's visual cortex and she woke up blind. They knew these risks before the surgery, but to tell her first would have been too cruel, it was reasoned.
    I remember reading a "Reader's Digest" article about Rex Harrison's wife, Kay Kendall, who had leukemia. Rex told doctors to not tell her, because she was such a vital person, full of life, he wanted her to be happy. So the fiction was maintained. The article did hint at the possibility that towards the end Kay knew, but hid her knowledge from Rex because she wanted him to believe he had been successful in 'protecting' her. These 'lies' would all have been told for lofty reasons, but the end result becomes an inability to let people fully deal with and share a situation that can be an intolerable burden. If only Rex Harrison could have heard Kay say, "I accept my death - it's OK to let me go," it might have saved them both a lot of pain and anxiety.

    I do feel for this poor woman in Egypt - she has had these babies, hasn't yet been able to meet some of them (this happens in our society too, in similar cases) but she hasn't been fully respected in any of this. Her husband named the babies without her, for example. Chances are, he was both under pressure from media and relatives, and just not thinking. But it is indicative of perhaps the lack of informed consultation that the woman especially may have had.
    But this could be more common than you think - the woman is only the vessel, after all. Would you tell a jug whether it will be filled with milk, or wine? That is how a lot of the world thinks. They still value that jug and look after it but at the end of the day it is still only a jug.

    In the Western world we live with marriage for love, with marriage as a partnership, with informed consent, with all our basic needs provided for (mostly) by a combination of government and welfare agencies, with the commercial drive to find other ways to "make a buck". We live under circumstances where our countries produce more calories per day than we could ever eat. Those calories are all within easy reach.

    But it's scary - for the majority of the world, life is not like this.

    I worry for this family - how can they survive? Will they feel pressured to 'sell' a child or more?

    But however they manage, IF they manage - too much success could prompt more to follow the same dream. For a guaranteed son.

    I was just talking about this with difficult child 1. He is incensed by anything like this, where people are not given equal respect.

    Another thread was discussing (without any political value judgements) how far we have come when the US can have a black man allowed to run for President, and a few people have discussed the scope of changes we've seen for the better.

    Yes, we have come a long way. But we're not there yet.

  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It


    You have such perspective. I know my first reaction was that it was horrible to undergo the treatment when they couldn't afford the family they already had. BUT I realized, almost as soon as I thought it, that MY perspective is based on an entirely different world-view. EVERYTHING in my life, except a mother's love for her children, is different than this mother's life. To not name your kids??? My husband's HEAD would COME OFF if he named a child with-o my OK. (Mostly because he comes up with such horrid names for kids). To not be able to inherit just because you are female??

    I just have NO way to process this families choices, other than to impose MY life experiences on them. And my experiences are NOT typical for most of the world.

    That is why I asked about this. To me, this is a way to help understand what people (not just women) in other parts of the world are living.
  4. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    She didn't have a say in naming the babies? Aaaaarrgh.
    I cannot imagine that in a prosperous, enlightened country or city. But in her world, OMG, what a shock and burden.

    I showed the photo to difficult child, thinking he would find it interesting, and trying to give him a better perspective on sex and reproduction, since he was so into porn a few wks ago. He said, "Oh, she took fertility drugs. That means she didn't have to 'do it.' " LOL!
    Uh, no, actually, she did, I said, it's just that humans only release one, teeny tiny egg ea mo., and this woman was given drugs so she had lots of eggs, like a chicken. But she still had to do it.
  5. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    I remember watching Oprah years ago and something she said has always stuck in my mind, 'If you were born in the US (or any other industrialized country, Australia, Western Europe) you are already one of the luckiest girls in the world" This article only too well shows how true her observation was.

    Middle eastern countries still live, for the most part, in the middle ages. This woman's situation demonstrates just how difficult it is for women in that part, and many other parts, of the world. Like Marg wrote, they're vessels, nothing more. If a women doesn't give birth to a son, she's not a complete woman because her value is in producing a son. Girls are burdens until they birth out a boy.

    I was thinking when reading Marg's response about Dr. Kildare. I remember in the movie, Love Story, how Ryan O'Neals character made the decision not to "burden" Jenny with the knowledge that she had leukemia. When I saw that movie I remember the anger I felt at that. As if she were a toddler who wouldn't understand.

    Now this woman is going to have to care for seven babies in a two room mud hut with a spouse who I am sure isn't going to lift a finger to help her.
    Lasted edited by : Aug 31, 2008
  6. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Ladies, we need to keep to politics and religion out of the discussion.
  7. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    You mean "lady". ;)

    Well, I regret you found it necessary to remove my last comment. I unequivocally stand by it.

    To have a discussion about the conditions women in the middle east live, and not bring in religion and politics, well, it's like talking about difficult children but not being allowed to discuss mental health. It's impossible and puts situations such as the one this poor women finds herself in context.

    I get your point of view, though I do not agree, so please know you need not explain further. :peaceful:
  8. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    That's a good point about "Love Story". I'd forgotten that. So think about it - that was 1971, I think, maybe '72, and the attitude then STILL was, "is it better to tell them, or not?"

    It's not that long ago.

    The differences between various ideologies around the world are not so much religious as cultural. I think it goes beyond religion - there are a number of cultures where we see this sort of inequality. But within religions we can always find places where there IS equality.

    It takes time to bring about change anywhere. Sometimes in this world we experience a great deal of change on one area and we expect the same degree of change everywhere. But for many reasons, it takes longer.

    The more information is freely available, the faster change can happen. But sometimes this brings problems too, if change happens too quickly. We lose the delightful individuality that we have been taught to value about a place or culture. But that individuality often has its price, its downside.

    There are some countries in this world currently going through a great deal of change. India, for example - as the country embraces technology and sells its services to the world, it is experiencing a great deal of change. There are still places in India where things happen that horrify us, but increasingly, as India becomes important to the Western world (and vice versa) the spotlight is shining on the problems and people are learning that there are other ways of thinking.

    You can't force sudden change. Even with China and the recent world attention, it will still take more time and long-term pressure from the world in general, for more good changes to happen. To make it happen overnight - it just can't be done. Hey, if it could, then the whole problem of our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan wouldn't exist! We'd have been able to have all our armies home long ago...

    This is cultural on a broad level.

    As for this family - let's just hope that they get some help and that the government can find a positive way to address this cultural issue, perhaps by changing the laws to be more equitable to women.