Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

It Got Me Thinking…About Transplants June 20, 2011

By Kathleen Guthrie

If my sister needed a new kidney, I’d be the first one in line to give her one of mine. I also have a pink donor dot on my driver’s license that will allow surgeons to remove and share any viable organs with strangers when my time has come. So when I first saw this article about a 25-year-old woman possibly getting her mother’s uterus so that she could have her own children, my heart cheered for the miracles of modern science.

And then I read more closely, and these little words made my heart stop: “…Sara is so desperate….” Oh, dear God, here we go again.

Described as “completely unproven,” this tricky and experimental procedure involves surgeries and drug therapies for both the recipient and the donor, in this case, Sara’s mother. If the transplant is successful and Sara is able to bear a child, she will later have to endure another surgery to have the uterus removed. These women apparently are willing to go through all of this, even knowing that in a previous attempt, the mother-to-be’s body rejected the transplanted uterus when she was four months pregnant. I find the multitude of tragedies in that scenario horrifying.

I want to believe that miracles are possible. I want to know that there is hope for Sara and for my friends who would make wonderful parents if this is indeed the “cure” they need. But I can’t help but worry that this is just another example of greedy, egotistical doctors preying on the desperation of others.

Kathleen Guthrie is a Northern California–based freelance writer. She loves children, but won’t be having any of her own.