I could have written Frankenstein.
If we’re talking about the story of someone who is overwhelmed by grief, who can’t accept life’s fate, who wants so desperately to defy the limitations of our bodies that the only escape is to create a human composite made of other people’s body parts, then yes, I could have written Frankenstein.
Like the eponymous Victor Frankenstein, I’m doing everything I can to bring an unnaturally conceived person into this world: a brand new life spliced together from other people’s body parts by combining painstakingly selected pieces in order to create my very own monster.
Two centuries ago, this was a horror story. Some argue it was the original tale of science fiction. Today it’s science fact.
There are those who don’t like science facts, however, and many of them strongly oppose egg donor in vitro. They see the procedure as a severe encroachment on the laws of nature and an ungodly experimentation on human life.
They’re not entirely wrong.
I’m aware that donor egg IVF is some freaky shit. I recently got pretty skeeved out myself after reading an article about how donor egg babies are more strongly linked to pre-eclampsia – a condition that was essentially described as the uterus rejecting a foreign body that it doesn’t recognize as its own.
I read “foreign body” as “Frankensteinian monster.”
All of which brings to mind the last time I read Frankenstein during a college course on The Gothic Imagination where the professor drove home an essential question:
In the book, the monster is actually a loving, emotional, and vulnerable being, whereas Victor himself is an arrogant man who ignores the grotesqueness of his scientific interventions because he’s too much of a self-absorbed coward to accept the limitations of the human body’s vulnerabilities. If this is the case, then who is the real monster? The creature or Victor?
Or, since we’re plagiarizing: my baby or me?
But before we demonize me or Vic too quickly, it bears keeping in mind that most medical procedures were once thought creepy and weird. The first organ transplants were over 100 years ago, and I don’t imagine those went over too well. Isn’t it possible that donor egg in vitro won’t always be met with the same cocked heads and scrunched faces that I get today?
Either way, I’m doing it. My donor’s egg retrieval is in 3½ weeks, and my embryo transfer is in four. In 5½ weeks, I’ll have my first pregnancy test, and at that point we’ll know if there’s a little monster in the works.
Copyright laws be damned.