Saturday, February 23, 2008

The ethics of eggs.

Came across this article, "Trading on the Female Body," in the newsletter of the Center for Bioethics and Culture Network. It covers a panel of speakers last November that called "for a moratorium on the exploitation of women through the trading of human eggs." They want "to raise awareness and promote safe research and regulation of this industry."

The issues the panel raised were real, and a little scary. I still don't know how I feel about egg donation. Even though I strongly believe that being a mom or dad is ultimately about parenting rather than DNA...I seem to have this primal instinct to want to bear my "own" children (even though now I'm apparently too old to bear more than one). My thinking is somewhat influenced by this article, "Your Gamete, Myself," by Peggy Orenstein, which appeared in the New York Times last year.

Of course, if I didn't have my son, I'd probably be giving egg donation much more serious consideration. I would want to have the experience of pregnancy (but is that only because I've been pregnant?).

This is much too much to think about on a Saturday morning, before coffee. Which, of course, I'm not supposed to be drinking, if I want to get pregnant again.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Brenda Strong rocks. (Family Matters conference report, Part I.)

If I were a real reporter, I would have been fired by now, because I'm just now getting to talking about the American Fertility Association's Family Matters conference, which happened a week ago in San Francisco. Even by blogosphere standards, my sense of "news" seems to, well, suck. Just keep in mind that I'm the person who bought a book on procrastination, but finally had to sell it on Amazon because I never got around to reading it.

So anyway.

Let me just start by saying that Brenda Strong (a.k.a. Mary-Alice Young, the narrator of "Desperate Housewives") is my new hero. At Family Matters, she led a session on "Yoga for Fertility." (That's also the name of her DVD, which I did regularly before getting pregnant with my son. I'm not saying there's a connection...I'm just saying.) Anyway, she actually got a room full of men and women dressed in street clothes doing yoga. I did feel much better afterwards (no word yet on whether I got pregnant). I guess that's why the AFA made her their national spokesperson.

Why is she my new hero? Basically, she's the grown-up version of the girl I would have been afraid to talk to in high school. She's very tall, slender(without being anorexic), beautiful, poised, smart, and really, really nice. She was down to earth and funny about her secondary infertility problems. When I stopped her after her session to tell her I had her DVD, I thought she was going to hug me. She has incredible blue eyes and looks directly at you, talking to you as though she's known you forever. And her story--what little of it she was able to share with me--was remarkably similar to mine. Infertility, it seems, is an equal opportunity condition.

Later, in the conference exhibit hall, I saw her sitting at a table, talking to anyone who approached. This being San Francisco, people were too cool to swarm her. I was going to ask to take a picture with her for this blog, but I chickened out. No idea why. I've asked to have my picture taken with other celebrities (Harry Belafonte, Peta Wilson, Alec Baldwin), but with Brenda, I lost my nerve. Given the setting, it just didn't seem right, I guess.

So Brenda, if you're out there, thanks for coming to San Francisco, and thanks for talking to us (and to me). And thanks for being the spokesperson for the AFA. We need someone like you.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

When toddlers get hold of your credit cards.

My son sent me a bouquet of roses yesterday (with a little help from Dad).

I really am lucky to have two such thoughtful males in my life, even if one of them doesn't quite get the concept of Valentine's Day yet. However, he did seem to like (for about 3 minutes) his Valentine's Day card, which featured a picture of Thomas the Tank Engine and made a very annoying "peep peep" noise when he opened it again and again and again.

In blog-related matters, yes, I'm really behind in my posting. I sent to the American Fertility Association's Family Matters conference on Sunday. Lots of news from that. Most notably, I found myself on all fours in a room with Brenda Strong. (Calm down. We were doing yoga.) Story to come, but let me just say that she is my new girl-crush.