NY Times Magazine–Meet the Twiblings [How four women (and one man) conspired to make two babies]

Plan A ”” making babies with the tools you have around the house, as they say, the fun, free tools ”” faded into the background, and Plan B became foreground. I can count the ways Plan B is a less-desirable way to have children ”” the route seems to take you off the edge of the world and into the land of scrolly dragons. But when you actually go there, the map shifts. The brain’s ability to rewrite ”” to destinize, as it were ”” the birth story and turn a barn into a manger is so powerful that Plan B, all its unsexiness notwithstanding, became the best plan, because Plan B created the children that we have and are convinced we had to have. There had to be a soft spot in the top of Kieran’s head that seems to have been put there to make a perfect hollow for your lips to rest in a kiss. And Violet had to twirl her hair and press her tongue against her lips when she was thinking, in a pose that we call Philosophical Violet ”” you’d have to see it to see how it looks philosophical, but it does.

Third-party reproduction hardly seems a romantic beginning, but it became romantic to us when it became our story: “Baby’s Own Story,” as the vintage baby books I am filling out for each of them declare. It’s one I am always composing and that, one day, I will tell to our children, and it will take shape and grow in each of their minds, as they write the stories of their lives that become their lives.

Read it all.


Posted in * Culture-Watch, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Life Ethics, Marriage & Family, Psychology, Science & Technology, Theology

5 comments on “NY Times Magazine–Meet the Twiblings [How four women (and one man) conspired to make two babies]

  1. Larry Morse says:

    Why do I object so strongly to this? Surely its goal is understandable and should engage our sympathies. And yet, I find the whole process repugnant. Larry

  2. Hursley says:

    Perhaps, Larry, it has something to do with what I experienced when reading it. I kept sensing a person who is working very hard to say that “it’s all good,” when it would be far better to admit the pain and loss that is there. I cannot help but feel that all of this denial will ultimately prove ineffective.

    This story crystallized, for me, the toxic broth of post-modernity: denial at any cost of the full range of spiritual and emotional issues involved, extraordinarily expensive technical complexity as an unquestioned good, an angry insistence that no one judge anyone else (while judging and anathematizing any other point of view), and an unceasing need for yet more control over everything. The children are not the issue: it is our insatiable need to “have it all” and what it does to us individuals, families, and societies that strikes me here. Our collective “will to power” is leading us ever more into an unsustainable delusion.

    I remember what a longtime mentor (who was unable to have children, for which her husband divorced her) once said to me when I complained about something I had suffered by saying: “why me?” She instantly responded: “why not you?” That was the beginning of my journey into learning the mysterious and positive (if painful) dimensions of finitude. There is a freedom here no amount of expensive treatments or moral equivocation will ever provide.

  3. TomRightmyer says:

    I wonder what all this cost? A million dollars? Half that? Was any paid by insurance?

  4. Larry Morse says:

    An excellent answer Hursley, but I find there is more than that here to repel me. To bear another woman’s child for money seems like – well – a kind of prostitution, rather worse than the common sort. Moreover, what of the surrogate’s husband? How can he be satisfied that his wife is doing this, how can he calmly accept this? And finding an egg donor thus! This is how we breed cows. There is a cold-bloodedness in all of this that makes me shiver. “Have it all” indeed, as you have said, which tells us that there are no limits to the search for gratification.
    What does it cost? If you have the money, there is no limit, apparently. Larry

  5. Hursley says:

    Yes, Larry, you are right. The willingness of all involved in this article to submit to a clinical and industrialized process of breeding was terrible to me. In this article, and in many like it, I find that secular people are gradually putting aside all natural affection in favor of satisfying the individual will. The sorrow to which this leads, as in the case of all forms of idolatry, we shall see mount higher and higher. Once we renounce God and his plan for our redemption, we are driven to substitute more and more of our own short-sighted solutions for his wisdom and love. Fallen nature is asserting itself through the worship of technology apart from wisdom. I pray the tyranny of the individual will come to an end before it destroys us.