When I first discovered I was pregnant I instinctively knew that I didn’t want to find out the sex of our baby. The planning side of me was curious, wanting to prepare myself, the nursery, and our baby’s closet however the excited new mother side of me couldn’t wait to hear a nurse excitedly exclaim “it’s a boy!!!”
I knew that he was a boy, by the way. I felt it deep in my soul. In the same way that I knew that he was sick, I just knew that he was a he.
Chrissy Teigan and John Legend recently announced that they are expecting a baby girl. The part of the story that created a storm on social media was that they hand selected their girl via IVF. We all know that the Twitterverse is full of opinions and man did people go wild!
Chrissy was quick to defend her decision citing “what year is this!?...” and confirming her openness to discuss infertility.
I have actually found it kind of refreshing to read about her struggle with fertility and am glad that she has been so open about her experiences with IVF. I am very much an open book and always stand in support of another woman who can be honest about something so difficult.
I do not like to get caught up in mommy wars and I try my best not sit in judgment of any mother for the choice that she makes when it comes to her pregnancy or her children.
Yet something about selecting a sex doesn’t sit well with me.
I am almost certain that when Chrissy Teigan and John Legend chose to implant only a female-sexed embryo it was an innocent decision based on their dreams for a family.
How many mothers-to-be hold their breath, cross their fingers, and search that ultra sound screen for some indication of the sex they are hoping for?
What’s the difference right?
What if the reason behind the sex selection were different?
What if a couple entered that doctor’s office and instructed their doctor to implant only male embryos because they did not want a daughter?
Would we all feel differently then?
When I was pregnant with both of my children I lived in a city where hospitals stopped revealing the sex during ultrasounds due to rising concerns of female feticide, the selective abortion of female fetuses.
While the idea of selecting which embryo to implant seems innocent and probably is for most couples, it can lead to trouble. With more and more couples turning to IVF and the way that technology is moving at a faster pace than we can keep up with sex selection could become a bigger issue that prospective parents face.
Where do we draw the line? How do we determine when it’s acceptable and when it isn’t?
While I don’t know what was running through Chrissy Teigan’s mind as she instructed her doctor to implant a female embryo I honestly don’t believe it was a decision she made with anything other than love. I’m sure that these two expecting parents would be just as excited if they found out they were expecting a boy.
However, choosing the sex of your baby can lead to some dangerous consequences and I think we are walking down a very slippery slope.
My heart tells me that this is something that we should just leave to chance not science. While IVF might make it possible for parents to select the sex of their baby we must remember that gender lays not in the hands of the parents but will ultimately be their child's choice.
When I was pregnant the second time around, our ultrasounds took place at a hospital where they would reveal the sex and while I loved the idea of a surprise, my husband was really eager to find out. When the ultrasound technician told us that she was a girl, she was just confirming what my heart already knew.