Posted by: laughs4dads | October 14, 2010

IMPORTANT NEWS: Freezer Burn

In an article that is just loaded with straight lines, PopSci.com reported on Monday that a baby has been born from an embryo that had been frozen since 1990.

This news is the absolute motherlode for someone writing a humorous blog about parenting. I almost don’t know where to begin.

For starters, the embryo did not even originate from the mother who gave birth to the baby. It was among the embryos left over after another couple had a baby via IVF.

Now, I don’t know what kind of leftovers you have in your freezer, but there are certainly a lot of unidentified parcels in ours. “Gee, honey, what do we have in here? A slice of pizza from 2003. A single hot dog. A Weight Watchers frozen dinner that we purchased after another misguided New Year’s resolution. And, oh yes, here’s that embryo we saved two decades ago. I knew it would come in handy someday!”

Then there is the fact that the altruistic couple who donated the embryo did it because they successfully had a baby. Which means that the kid born now has a non-identical twin sibling who is 20 years older. This will make it difficult for them to hang out in bars together, because when one of them finally gets an authentic ID, the other will still be breast-feeding.

And if you have a child that is born from a 20-year-old frozen embryo, do you tell him? And if you do, do you just blurt it out one day (“Hey, John, it’s so cold outside. That reminds me…”)? Do you wait until just the right time (“John, before you take that job in Arizona, there’s something I have to tell you…”)? Or do you build up to it, dropping hints at various points in the child’s development? For instance, at his bar mitzvah, when they do the inevitable photo montage screening, you could slip in a shot of an ice cube. (No, I don’t know that the baby is Jewish. In fact, no one does, since the embryo was donated anonymously. He’s probably a Frozen Catholic. Or maybe a Thawed-Again Christian.)

And, by the way, what should a kid like this call his parents, “mom and popcicle?”

Finally, I must make mention of the scientific journal in which this news originally appeared: Fertility and Sterility. Doesn’t it sound like the unfortunate merger of two previously separate publications? You know, like Seventeen merged with AARP magazine and became The Young and the Rest Home. (Only kidding. As someone who receives many direct mailers offering AARP membership, I have to be kidding.)

Anyway, let me conclude by offering my sincere congratulations to the new mother. I hope your baby is happy and healthy.

And thawed.

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