Essay

MAKING A BABY

MY BROTHER is making a baby. If my parents had made us in the same way, we wouldn’t exist.

I understand his reasons. He doesn’t want his child to suffer the same things we have. Doesn’t want to put his partner through the pain and heartbreak our mum went through.

A genetic disease runs in our family. The process he’s about to undertake – the incredibly expensive, invasive, long and complicated process – aims to stop it in its tracks (but it might not). The baby could still be born with a host of other ills, genetic or otherwise, like those that knock you down later in life. God forbid.

But the baby won’t have what we have.

​​ I’m so excited to be an auntie. I adore my brother in every way and I completely support his decision. But I keep coming back to that one thought – he and I wouldn’t be here.

In this process, the sperm and egg that made him and me would have been tested for our ‘faulty’ gene in vitro and then thrown away. Swept into the bin.

He says that’s not the case, that we would be here just without the disease that’s caused us a lifetime of pain, fear and challenges. But we all know that’s not true. Two other completely different babies would have been born. It doesn’t matter to me how difficult how lives have been – I’m still glad we’re here, living them.

So yeah, my brother is making a baby.

The author writes under a nom de plume.

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