Chrissy Teigen, John Legend’s wife’s, struggle with infertility was pretty much public fodder for discussion, as she was so open about it. And that gave many people the license to air their opinions about her struggle, and how she got pregnant.
There was even more drama, when it was revealed that that she had selected only the female embryos for transfer. “So, doing IVF was not enough, she now had to select the gender of her babies, these people sha.” Was one of the comments I read on the story. While, I have an opinion on her gender selection, I’m mighty chuffed that she chose to transfer the female embryos, something that I suspect would almost never happen in our clime. We are baby boy-crazy o. And if you think it is only celebs that are doing that, you would be surprised that your neighbour is wishing they could afford IVF, plus PGD screenings, so they can ‘complete’ their family. Note that, I used complete loosely here.
However, this woman moved from the level of wishing to actually doing it, and no, she wasn’t TTC. Even though she was a bit on the other side of 30, all her tests showed she could still have kids. In fact, she started the child bearing business at 30, had her first child at 31, and another at 35, both boys, and now she wants a baby girl, which are very scarce in both her and her husband’s family. She is the only girl in a long line of only girls.
Her husband’s family were just dominated by boys, the last two generations, had seen the birth of only boys. If you find any lady bearing that surname, often times, she married into the family, and was not a biological daughter, so when she had two boys, she knew if she wanted to have a girl, as her heart longed for, then she would have to go assisted.
Broaching the subject with her husband was a touchy matter altogether. He wanted a third child, he had been asking her to have her IUCD removed for over a year now, but he did not mind having another boy. When, she eventually brought up the subject matter, he was pensive, asking for time to think about it. But he looked at her one last time and asked, “Is having a baby girl that important to you, that you would consider IVF?”
When she replied yes, he said there was no need for him to think about it. They were doing it. One would think that it was going to be touch and go. One cycle and viola, she would get pregnant. For wia? She understood, in full detail, the pain of a true TTC mom, who is not looking for a specific gender, but who would be happy with any baby.
She suffered one miscarriage, and implantation failed twice, it was on the fourth cycle that she finally got pregnant, and was so terrified of losing the baby that she resigned her job, to be on full bed rest.
During the journey, there were times she doubted her sanity and quest for a baby girl. When she told her husband, he was the one encouraging her to keep moving, “You have started this journey, you might as well finish it well.” So, she stayed on her self-imposed TTC journey. All the while, they were using emergency birth control, so that she would not fall pregnant with another boy.
For another couple, Chidera and Tony, having a girl has been on their radar since they got married. They wanted a girl first, and then any other sex could follow. Why? Tony’s mother had died a few weeks after they got married, and that had been a big blow for him. But his new wife was there to help him get through it. So, when she found out she was pregnant, a few months later, he’d said, “It is going to be a girl, my mother is coming back to me.” He named her from the womb, Oma, which was his mom’s name, and called her that name, when he spoke to his wife’s bump. As for an ultra sound scan, he rejected it, preferring to hold onto his belief that his wife was having a girl.
Delivery day was a shocker for the duo, when their son came into the world, screaming the whole labour ward down, and flexing his muscles, as he searched for his mom’s boobs. It was an unsure Chidera that held her son, the expression on her face said if she hadn’t seen that baby come out of her, she would have doubted its maternity.
Later, they would both laugh about the hand nature played on them, but not right away. They were shocked at what happened. Their Oma was a long way coming. Second time, another boy. Okay, it was starting to look like a conspiracy to deny him of his Oma, so they waited for seven years and tried again. While waiting, they realised that most of their friends also had two boys and the ones with girls, had them after two boys, so they waited and then it happened again. They had another boy.
When the baby was a year old, Tony shipped his wife and the boys overseas, to meet with a fertility doctor. So they tried IVF, in addition to Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis. It worked! And in another nine months, they got their baby girl; that child that her father had longed for for close to 12 years. He finally had someone to call Oma. At this stage, even Chidera is jealous of the kind of attention her husband pays their daughter. In fact, all the male folks in their house are in love with the little madam, and she knows it.
And yes, Chidera has someone to dress up in those frilly pink dresses she had bought several years ago, when she thought she was going to have a baby girl.
It ended well, but we are back to the question of designer babies and playing God; choosing to have certain sex of embryos transferred into the uterus, rather the other. So, what happens to the other embies? I guess, keep them frozen till thy kingdom come, or donate ( if you can let go), or destroy (if you have the heart?) Tough choices!
But the issue is, as long as the technology is available, even if it was not invented for creating designer babies, people will use it as it suits their condition. Whether, it is now morally right or wrong is another matter altogether.
Food for thought.
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