Thursday, November 03, 2005

ONE life on BBC 1

On Monday evening I caught a documentary on BBC1 about IVF following infertility, and the story of one particular family who worked together to produce a baby.

Alex was 28 when her smear test showed a tumour on her cervix. Although she survived the cancer, the radiotherapy treatment left her infertile.

Determined to still have a child, Alex came up with a plan: she asked her twin sister Charlotte to provide her with an egg, and her older sister Helen to carry the pregnancy. This would mean the child would be the closest genetic match possible, and Charlotte wouldn't have to go through the whole procedure alone - something she wasn't keen on doing given she had not particularly enjoyed her previous pregnancies.

The long and short of it is that Helen gave birth to a baby boy, Charlie (apparently no reference to sister Charlotte), and Alex undertook the appropriate legal proceedings in order to adopt the child from her.

There was a definite air of wistful sadness on Helen's part when the child was taken directly to Alex upon birth, and when Charlie returns to London with Alex. However, the ability of two sisters to provide the ultimate gift for their sibling was so touching and kind, and made for good documentary material.

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