Friday, June 23, 2006

Artificial Insemination

Let me begin by saying that this particular posting and future postings are not related to the religious debate of whether or not this should be morally acceptable nor is it a posting related to my own "AI"! Instead, I will discussing it from a "second/third person" perspective.

One of my best friend's has been wanting a baby for years. This has been her goal. This morning, after months and months of preparation and research, she will undergo the insemination process. I am very happy that she is allowing me to follow this step by step.

I must say this whole process has been quite fascinating to watch over the last several months. I was familiar with AI but not to this level of detail. She must have scanned at least 100 profiles looking for the "right" donor. When I say "right" I mean, at least 5'10" tall, over 190 pounds, athletic and the right educational level. Each profile also offered an essay - a little perspective or restrospective from each of the men, tons of medical history on them, their parents, grandparents, siblings, etc. It almost seemed like they went as far back as their 3rd cousin removed! Phew! I remarked to her at one point while we were reviewing the profiles "does this seem to be a little Dr. Frankenstein-ish to you?" Looking at pictures and trying to choose which one will be the best match with her own physical traits and features is a bit wild and "lab-like" as well. All highly detailed profiles into lives of men that she will never meet in order to conceive. Their "donation" is frozen in a test tube in the lab waiting for her arrival this morning.

Apparently the actual "AI" takes less than 20 minutes. A brief minute or two to inseminate and then a resting period before she can leave to ensure that the sperm are swimming towards their target.
She is a healthy woman so my prediction is that conception will be on the first attempt. Many women often have to try two or three times to become pregnant. This, of course, comes at a great cost to them each time they are inseminated.

It has been an educational process for me and if fate would have it.........nine months from today could be celebration time for my friend!

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