Monday, August 13, 2007

Soccer Dad: Embryology



A common question wifey and I get asked is "Are you going to have another one?" For us, the answer is quite complicated. Maceo is an angel that we struggled for five years to conceive. After many intrusive treatments, we turned to IVF and lucked out on our first try. So when the question arises, and it does alot, we would be looking at another long round of injections, more disappointments, Clomiphene "rage" and some not-so flattering trips to the donation station (the fertility clinic we went to stocked the room with lots of Asian porn. Whatever). Add to this, Mace has been steadily kicking our asses, especially now that he's turned The Assertive/Terrible Twos. Short answer? Probably not.

Over the past two years, we kept two spare embryos in crystorage (at $500 a year storage fees), yknow, just in case. Last week, we made the decision to donate the embryos to UCSF stem cell research center. It was a very personal decision, not arrived at quickly. When we would discuss the embryos fate, wifey would speak of them as "Maceo's brother or sister." I, on the other hand, felt they were nothing but a cluster of cells. We definitely felt they were a part of us, though. In time, we knew the embryos would do better with scientists searching for cures than lamping in freezing temps. We did a little digging and, along with our President's itchy veto finger on research funding, we found a recent Newsweek article that mentions that 60 percent of fertility patients surveyed would donate their extra embryos to research. Sounded like us.

We signed some papers, got them notarized, did a few interviews with the clinic and they did the rest including handling transportation. Now the embryos are off hopefully helping assist in a cure for Alzheimer's or some other valiant cause. I remember when we implanted the embryos, one of which became the mighty M, the Dr. brought out the huge needle. Before the Dr. implanted, I told him to wait. I came in close, waved at the needle's contents and said, "Hey buddy, see you in nine months. We love you." Now I bid adieu to the other two embryos: Go forth and conquer disease.

SD

7 comments:

R2Dad said...

aweome post. thanks for personalizing and humanizing your decision.

BTW, there is no rational way to justify number two after having endured and survived the first months of number one.
the more we thought about no 2 the less likely it became. now another would kill us outright...

la dra said...

and when they do find the cure for ALzheimer's we'll be thinking of you and your contribution. thank you.

SoulSnax said...

Wonderful wonderful generous decision... To humanity, your contribution is worth more than all the money ever donated to charity.

And I think Maceo is the most fantastic name ever. I wish I'd thought of it!

peachboy said...

I'm just co-signing on this one. Living deeply in alignment with your ethics is worthy of praise. Nice.

angie said...

thank you for sharing this very personal story with us, the internet. in one post you've managed to humanize a topic that is a political hotbed.

thank you.

Anonymous said...

What an incredibly sad decision. If researchers fail to "cure Alzheimer's" with your sacrificed children, I hope you revisit your decision in the years ahead. Sleep peacefully.

Soccer Dad said...

Anonymous,

Thanks for your comment. It's good to get another viewpoint. You're welcome here.

Likewise, should you or someone you love find treatment for an illness due to strides in stem-cell research, I hope you will reconsider your opinion.

SD