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September 05, 2012 - Image 15

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2012-09-05

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8B Wednesday, September 52012 The Statement
From Page 6B
parents offering to pay for half the cost of egg freezing of their soon-to-
be-35-year-old daughters.
Those who have already gone through with egg freezing laud the
benefits of their decision.
"It's shocking how often I find myself at some social function with
a captive audience as I discuss the sixteen little eggs I have sitting in a
freezer in Denver," wrote Jennifer Hayes in her blog Retrieve Freeze
Relax, who was interviewed for the New York Times article. "Very few
people know this option exists."
Even those deemed too young to think about babies are looking
toward egg freezing as an option. LSA sophomore Lisa Schlosberg said
she was considering freezing her eggs after a painful cyst removal in
her senior year of high school left her with one ovary and half a Fal-
lopian tube.
"It's so hard to be like, 'What is my life going to be like? When am
I going to need my eggs? When am I going to have kids?' " Schlosberg
said. "The more I thinkabout it, the more it makes sense (to freeze my
The emergentechnology of vitrification can offer a temporary san-
tuary, allowing women who aren't quite ready to have children but are
reaching the age of infertility to "put time on hold," as Mersol-Barg
calls it.
"Men have been able to do that for years," Mersol-Barg said. "Why
can't that be for women?"
Go forth and multiply cOrder Online
But perhaps the most convincing argument for the technology of co ttag einn co m
egg freezing lies right in front of our eyes: the desperation of infertil-
Julie and Bill VanDerworp had been trying to conceive a baby for 13 & Recive F ree
years before ent was born.
For 13 years they watched as friends posted Facebook pictures of InnSticks
bouncing babies and strangers pushed strollers with toddlers in Santa Enter Coupon
hats. 13 years of pee sticks and insensitive comments like "Well, it must
be fun trying all the time," injecting hormone after hormone and sub-C de"Students"-
jectingthemselves to any amount of gynecological probing in the hope Code"Students"
of producing a child. All the while, the pregnancy tests remained a
stubborn negative.
"You don't think13 years sounds like alongtime, but it's every month
during those 13 years," Bill VanDerworp said. "Every month you're not
pregnant, it's a slap in the face."
The first IVF baby, Louise Brown, was born in Great Britain on
July 25, 1978, at the deft hands of Patrick Steptoe, a surgeon, and
Robert Edwards, a scientist. At the time, the process was immedi-
ately demonized as irregular and unethical. "All hell will break loose,
politically and morally, all over the world," decried Nobel laureate
James Watson at a Washington conference on biomedical ethics in
But when society saw the scores of babies delivered into the a
hands of hundreds of desperate couples, their hearts - like the
Grinch's - grew many times in size, and the process started to
gain widespread acceptance. Today, more than 5 million babies
have been conceived through IVF, with few objections in regard
to its ethical resonance.
Perhaps oocyte vitrification will eventually follow the same path.
Infertility is an affliction as ancient as mankind itself. Artifacts of
big-breasted fertility goddesses dug up in the dirt recall generations of
people rubbing totems and herbs on their bellies to hasten the birthing
process - all to no avail.
And now, technology has offered a tentative treatment.
To know how hard these couples have fought to have their babies
- the money and time spent, the drugs, the tears, the uncomfortable
questions - how can we not allow this technology to exist?
"I'wouldn't wish infertility on my worst enemies," Julie VanDer-A A , 4
worp said. "It's the worst thing emotionally."
The VanDerworps have spent more than $200,000 to conceive Kent.
But it's been worth it, they say.
"Most people our age have a retirement plan,".Bill VanDerworp said.
"We have a baby."


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