In 2005 I donated embryos, and nine months later, the fertility clinic kindly informed me that the transfer had taken, and a twin girl and boy were born. I felt grateful for the news. In 2013 I heard from the clinic again, this time informing me of two new updates.
1. A third child was born in 2009. (Theyd forgotten to send the news at the time.)2. The recipient was satisfied that her family was complete, and rather than donating the eggs to stem cell science as is customary, she wanted to know if I wanted my cryogenically preserved embryos back.
Beyond the wondrous surprise of the email, the thoughtfulness of a stranger quietly holding this possibility for me felt like a cosmic miracle. I was touched by the idea of the potential children that might be born of these embryos one unlikely day, but more than that, I was moved by this anonymous persons generosity and grace. I instantly felt a deep connection when we began corresponding through a website for anonymous donors and recipients.
When the mother and I first started emailing each other, I was thrilled by the chance to connect with this person and exchange stories, which she was so utterly generous with. I made a point of taking my cues from her, never pushing for any information, and mostly listening. This woman had been so thoughtful about me, all these years, while I had no idea. Possibly, this is why our communication brought instant honesty. Once the embryos were transferred back to me, the mother wrote kindly about wanting to tell me that, thanks to details revealed in my donor profile and picturesmainly my devotion to writing, my deep gayness, and my look of short messy hair, tortoiseshell glasses, cuffed jeans, and a popped collarshe already had a deep sense of me.
The mother and I entered into a consistent correspondence, and more than once she shared with me her gratitude for what she called this immaculate coupling that has created three perfect beingshealthy, loving, smart, their unborn siblings sure to follow suit. She expressed joy at being able to help another woman (me!) work on her career, unfettered by any biological imperative to raise children within a particular timeline. Then she opened up about the twins, a boy and a girl, and the youngest, a girl, a sibling configuration very similar to my own family.
In another email she shared a story with me about going to a yard sale with the three kids. Her stories gave me the sense that the girl and her twin both were a bit androgynous, and the younger sister was described as a quiet, pensive tomboyjust like my own sister. I laughed to myself, thinking that maybe queerness was genetic and all the cryobabies would be queer. When this problematic idea crossed my mind, I smiled at the intersection of biology and identity and some kind of science fiction-level genetic technology that I dont really understand beyond how it feels to have gone through the donation process, medically and emotionally, and how much wonder I feel in the face of the connection born between us. The mother also recounted a story of the girl twin heading straight to the section of boys clothes, where for $10 she amassed an entire back-to-school wardrobe embodying, the boyish, preppy look of Shiloh Jolie-Pitt crossed with KD Lang, to add a more tasteful flair. The mother wrote about being secretly proud, a feeling I experienced reading her secondhand account.
A few months into our pen-pal relationship, our conversations about turned more precisely to gender, trans identity, and the nuanced fluidity of the child self, uncontainable within ideological notions of gender, imposed through words and systems far too restrictive for a child. I learned the girl twin had started playing around with different pronouns at age three, eventually settling on she, and living out her own exact aesthetic and social selves under the loving watch of her utterly attentive mother.
When the mother asked about my own experiences with gender, I sent her links to Psychology Today blogs I had written about this very topic. Quickly she responded, My first reaction to your literary contributions is that Im proud of you, before going on to marvel that, I never thought in a million years that your writing would become my future child-rearing material.
From all the anecdotes and details she shared with me, I had a clear mental image of all three children, and an automatic, indescribable sense of identification with the one child in particular. Through our communications about this childs gender, the mother and I were able to connect on a level I can only describe as spiritual.
I felt the call of these stories wishing to be told by our genes, and I continue to feel it in every cell in my body, despite having no specific words to share with this child and her siblings. Of all the anecdotes and images shared with me, here is the one that breaks me open every time I remember the early email where I learned details about the girl twin.And here I am, the mother had written, on the cusp of offering to reveal my life and giving a part of myself to someone Ive never met but I have. She is with us every day, her smile, her quirkiness, her drive, her cropped hair and Clark Kent glasses, her confusion, her revelations and rebirths, I have met her.
Reading this, I wiped the tears fogging up my Clark Kent glasses, my reflection glancing back at me in the glow of the screenmy cropped hair, my popped collar, my entire sense of self at once affirmed and exploded.
- Judge Says FDA Can Stop Clinic from Selling Stem Cell ... - May 21st, 2020
- Saad Z. Usmani, on the Approval of Daratumumab and Hyaluronidase-fihj - Cancer Network - May 19th, 2020
- R3 Stem Cell International Now Offering Enhanced Autism Stem Cell Program in Mexico - PR Web - May 19th, 2020
- Stem Cell Concentration System Market Report 2020: Rising Impressive Business - News by aeresearch - May 19th, 2020
- Precision therapy approach secures small biotech $42M haul to combat disease that inspired the Ice Bucket Challenge - Endpoints News - May 19th, 2020
- QurAlis raises $42 Million Series A Financing to Develop New Therapies for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) - Business Wire - May 17th, 2020
- Coronavirus Outbreak: Cancer Stem Cell Therapy Market Overview and Competitive Landscape 2020 to 2025 - Cole of Duty - May 15th, 2020
- Intellia Therapeutics Reports Progress on CRISPR/Cas9 AML Cancer Therapy Using Proprietary Cell Engineering Process at the 23rd Annual Meeting of the... - May 12th, 2020
- Vasomune Therapeutics Announces Clinical and Scientific Advisory Board - BioSpace - May 12th, 2020
- Orgenesis sees 1Q revenue rocket driven by its Cell and Gene Therapy Biotech platform - Proactive Investors USA & Canada - May 12th, 2020
- Orgenesis First Quarter 2020 Revenue Increases 348% to $1.9 Million Reflecting Success of CGT Biotech Platform - GlobeNewswire - May 12th, 2020
- Meat the Future - documentary Channel - CBC.ca - May 10th, 2020
- Researchers discover stem cells' 'death-defying' quality that aids healing - ETHealthworld.com - May 10th, 2020
- On the Road As a Stem Cell Courier - CSRwire.com - May 3rd, 2020
- You could be someones only hope: A stem cell donor campaigning to beat blood cancer - Evening Standard - May 3rd, 2020
- David C. Karli is Offering a New Ray of Hope Through Regenerative Medicine - RESPECT. - May 3rd, 2020
- FDA Expediting Accelerated Development of Novel Therapies for COVID-19 - PR Newswire UK - May 3rd, 2020
- What to do if you think you have COVID-19: a step by step guide - The Dickinson Press - April 21st, 2020
- Stem cells in the clinic: how are they regulated? - European Pharmaceutical Review - April 20th, 2020
- NHS's oldest IVF clinic at risk of closure amid increasing privatisations - The Guardian - April 20th, 2020
- Here are the drugs that could treat coronavirus. But don't expect a silver bullet. - The Philadelphia Inquirer - April 18th, 2020
- Analyzing the Outcomes With Different Treatment Techniques in Myeloma - Targeted Oncology - April 18th, 2020
- Team to Advance Stem Cell Therapies in New Space Station Lab - Lab Manager Magazine - April 11th, 2020
- Hackensack Meridian Health Studying the Blood of COVID-19 Survivors - P&T Community - April 11th, 2020
- UC San Diego to Advance Stem Cell Therapies in New Space Station Lab - UC San Diego Health - April 9th, 2020
- Orgenesis partners with Belgium"s RevaTis to develop stem cells for therapeutic use - Proactive Investors USA & Canada - April 9th, 2020
- AgeX Therapeutics Reports Fourth Quarter and Annual 2019 Financial Results and Provides Business Update - Yahoo Finance - March 31st, 2020
- Larkhall mum was walked down the aisle by stem cell donor who saved her life - Daily Record - March 31st, 2020
- Q&A: Covid-19 and impact on people with cancer - The Irish Times - March 30th, 2020
- COVID-19 and Cancer: What You Need to Know - Everyday Health - March 30th, 2020
- Cancer Stem Cell Therapy Value Projected to Expand by 2019-2025 - Monroe Scoop - March 27th, 2020
- Unlocking the Potential of a Widely Used Drug - Technology Networks - March 25th, 2020
- Cancer Care and COVID-19 in Seattle, the First US Epicenter - Medscape - March 24th, 2020
- Immatics and Molmed become the subjects of very different deals - Vantage - March 21st, 2020
- Claudia Rodrigues is removed from the clinic where she was hospitalized because of the coronavirus - Crypto Dictation - March 21st, 2020
- Stem cells can reverse damage caused by heart attack; repair mechanism discovered: Study - International Business Times, Singapore Edition - March 16th, 2020
- Newly Discovered Memory in Our Bones: Keeping a Record of Previous Infections to Boost Immunity - SciTechDaily - March 16th, 2020
- The race to find a coronavirus treatment: One strategy might be just weeks away, scientists say - USA TODAY - March 16th, 2020
- Cancer Stem Cell Therapy Market Global Size, Demand-sales, Suppliers by Key Applications 2019 Detailed Analysis and Growth Aspects on Manufacturing... - March 15th, 2020
- Woman meets stranger who saved her life and allowed her to become a mum - Mirror Online - March 15th, 2020
- Stem Cell Manufacturing Market Analysis By Recent Trends, Developments In Top Manufacturing Technology And Regional Growth Overview And Forecast To... - March 11th, 2020
- Kuur Therapeutics Launches to Develop and Commercialize Off-the-shelf CAR-NKT Cell Therapies Targeting Hematological and Solid Tumors | DNA RNA and... - March 11th, 2020
- The London Patient, Cured of H.I.V., Reveals His Identity - The New York Times - March 11th, 2020
- Cancer Stem Cell Therapy Market 2019- Emerging Economies Expected to Influence Growth by 2025 with Major Players-AVIVA BioSciences, AdnaGen, Advanced... - March 10th, 2020
- Maryland Booms in the BioCapital Hotbed - BioSpace - March 10th, 2020
- Gilead to Acquire Immuno-Oncology Company Forty Seven for $4.9 Billion - PharmaLive - March 5th, 2020
- THC Could Be First-of-its-Kind Treatment for Women With Endometriosis, Says New Study - Good News Network - March 5th, 2020
- Autolus Therapeutics Plc (AUTL) QEarnings Call Transcript - Motley Fool - March 5th, 2020
- CytoDyn Treats First Patient with Leronlimab in Phase 2 Trial for GvHD under Modified Trial Protocol - Yahoo Finance - March 5th, 2020
- Magenta Therapeutics Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2019 Financial Results and Recent Business Highlights - Yahoo Finance - March 4th, 2020
- Omeros Corporation Reports Fourth Quarter and Year-End 2019 Financial Results - Business Wire - March 4th, 2020
- Animal Stem Cell Therapy Market by Segmentation Based on Product, Application and Region, 2019-2025 - Jewish Life News - February 29th, 2020
- Indiana Regenerative Medicine Institute Offers Innovative Approaches in Regenerative Medicine, Hormone Replacement and Pain Management - Zionsville... - February 29th, 2020
- Hyperbaric chamber therapy: Im under a lot of pressure and I love it! - The Guardian - February 25th, 2020
- DDP and Austin Aries Reportedly Pitching Stem Cell Venture to AEW | 411MANIA - 411mania.com - February 25th, 2020
- Why Austin Aries and Raven Were At AEW Dynamite - PWMania - February 25th, 2020
- Austin Aries Confirms Why He Was At AEW Dynamite This Week - 411mania.com - February 24th, 2020
- BrainStorm Announces Operational Highlights and Financial Results for the Year Ended December 31, 2019 Conference Call and Webcast @ 8:00 am Eastern... - February 18th, 2020
- Animal Stem Cell Therapy Market Projected to Witness Vigorous Expansion by 2017 2025 - Instant Tech News - February 18th, 2020
- 6 Healthcare Stocks That Could Make You Filthy Rich - The Motley Fool - February 18th, 2020
- Mixed ethnic backgrounds make it that much harder to find a bone marrow transplant - MLive.com - February 17th, 2020
- 48% of Couples Are Making This Financial Mistake - Nasdaq - February 17th, 2020
- 'Loving life': 4-year-old not letting heart condition slow him down - Port Clinton News Herald - February 15th, 2020
- Cancer Stem Cell Therapy Market Trends, Key Players, Overview, Competitive Breakdown and Regional Forecast by 2025 Mathematics Market Methods - Keep... - February 15th, 2020
- Regenexx, First to Use Stem Cells in Orthopedic Therapy, Marks 15th Anniversary - Yahoo Finance - February 12th, 2020
- What Drives the Domino Effect in Cancer Drug Resistance? - Technology Networks - February 12th, 2020
- CRISPR, CAR-T, Consolidation: Top Advanced Therapy Milestones of 2019 - Xconomy - February 12th, 2020
- Science team designs a new CAR they say may work much better than BCMAs in fighting multiple myeloma - Endpoints News - February 12th, 2020
- Omeros: 2 Major Catalysts On The Horizon - Seeking Alpha - February 10th, 2020
- Blood In The Joint - Economic Times - February 10th, 2020
- PRACTICALLY ACTIVE: Screening is a smart way to start a healthier life - NWAOnline - February 10th, 2020
- Anemia: Causes, symptoms and treatment - Livescience.com - February 6th, 2020
- Here's Why CRISPR Stocks Fell in January - The Motley Fool - February 6th, 2020
- Victoria Beckham says this product is the best product you will ever use - Marie Claire UK - February 6th, 2020
- Korzan: On World Cancer day, pledge to be relentless - AberdeenNews.com - February 5th, 2020
- Global Radiation Therapy Market to Reach US$ 8.6 bn by 2026, Product Approvals to Drive Growth: Transparency Market Research - PRNewswire - February 5th, 2020
- SASpine to offer Stem Cell Therapy - Yahoo Finance - February 4th, 2020
- Dr. Kenneth Pettine Announces Verification of Clinical Safety Trial - Yahoo Finance - February 4th, 2020
- The Marsh Presents Welcome to The Cancer Caf - Patch.com - February 4th, 2020
- Freeport stem cell therapy provider Okyanos in wind-up petition battle - EyeWitness News - February 4th, 2020