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Sunday, June 23, 2013

I Am an In-Vitro Baby

I’m lying in a Jenny Lind crib, all covered up with soft blankets. Mommy and Daddy are so happy! I am pinkish and chubby, and my hair sticks out all over my head. I cry a lot and sleep at funny hours of the day. I try not to sleep at night. (It would ruin my image.)

I began like all babies, two cells. One from Daddy, and one from Mommy.

I have five siblings. At least, I had five siblings.

Let me back up a little bit.

My Mommy and Daddy are both successful business people. Mommy wanted to have her career first and then have babies, so she waited a long time for me. She was 38 when she decided now was the time. But nothing happened. After two years, Mommy and Daddy decided to try something else.

They went to a specialist who told them about the process. But he left out a few things. I will explain as I go.

Daddy and Mommy harvested cells. In little glass dishes, the cells were put together—actually, injected together—to make tiny two-celled babies. Daddy and Mommy were very lucky. Their cells did very well, and soon there were six of us!

Two days later, they told Daddy and Mommy that it looked like four of us were viable. That means it looked like four of us would do well. (It’s funny; they didn’t tell Daddy and Mommy about the other two. . . . I wonder where my brothers or sisters went.)

The doctor explained to Mommy that she would be implanted with not more than two babies at a time—only he called us embryos. He was willing to freeze the other two for later. (He called it a big name: cryopreservation.) So, two of my brothers and sisters are over in that freezer. I wonder when “later” will be. (Mommy worries about the power going off in this funny, white room. I don’t understand.)

So, Mommy gets us two placed into her womb. She is told to take it easy and not to move much. I am happy here, and I snuggle in for a long wait. My brother (or is it my sister?) has a harder time making himself/herself at home in Mommy’s womb.

Mommy gets very sick. I hear her say she “lost” one of the embryos. How could she lose one of us? I don’t understand.

She cries a lot.

Except for Mommy’s crying and not having company in here, I am happy. I continue to grow and grow and grow.

Mommy is happy now, too. She has been painting a room for me and buying baby furniture and little clothes. She is so excited.

So am I! It’s hard to be patient and wait to be born. I kick and squirm and float around. I’m getting bigger every day.

Mommy is patting her tummy and wearing bigger clothes. She is glowing. And, so is Daddy. He is happy when Mommy’s happy. I think he is glad I’m coming, too.

It’s almost time to make my grand appearance. I am getting my hair fixed. I want Mommy and Daddy to think I’m pretty. They’ve waited so long to see me.

Mommy’s labor is long and hard. (I don’t understand this, of course. I only know I’m getting squeezed something fierce.) When I emerge, I look like a cone head. They think I’m beautiful anyway. Everyone oohs and aahs at me. They talk funny to me. I close my eyes and enjoy it all.

It’s great being the center of attention.

Now, I’m two years old. I am into everything and starting to talk in sentences. I have big brown eyes, and my hair no longer sticks out all over my head. I am a happy little girl named Maddie. (Actually, I’m Madison, but everybody calls me Maddie.) I love to run outside and pick wildflowers and laugh. My Mommy and Daddy are delighted with me.

Mommy and Daddy are talking with sad voices. They are saying something about never being able to have another child. They’re talking about the babies that got frozen. When my brother and sister got thawed, they were no longer alive. Mommy got very quiet. Daddy is not happy. He paid $1200 for that freezing process. He says it was their last chance.

Yes, it was their last chance; my brother and sister are dead.

All five of my brothers and sisters are dead.

Psalm 139:13-16; Exodus 20:16; Psalm 127:3

(This a totally imaginative piece, based on medical facts. It is not about anyone in particular, though I do know people who have undergone IVF with varying outcomes—none of their scenarios being represented in this post. My intention is to comment on the process of IVF. Every life is precious, and I firmly believe that a human embryo, be it four cells or several months old, is a baby. My heart goes out to anyone who has ever lost a child under any circumstances. Your pain is real. If this blog post can help another Christian couple avoid going through this awful loss and any tiny babies dying, I will be thankful.)


  1. Me gustó, es imaginativo, y representa lo que en verdad pasa.

  2. That's my biggest objection to this process - the extra embryos and what happens to them. It breaks my heart to read of people wanting to "harvest" unused frozen embryos for their stem cells.

    1. Thank you, Barbara. I sincerely believe they are babies. I rejoice with those who have babies and mourn for all the lost babies.


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