My husband and I have some medical issues, and we are concerned about how that might impact our baby if I got pregnant. Is that something you’ve had to think about?
Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: Yes, my husband and I are both little people, and we both carry those genes. My husband and I would both be completely happy whether we have an average-sized child or a little person. We have spoken with a geneticist, and we know that we have about a 25 percent chance of having an average-size child and about a 50 percent chance of having a little person, but we also have about a 25 percent chance that if we both give our little person genes to the baby, the condition would most likely be lethal. That’s a scary option.
My husband and I wouldn’t want to put a surrogate—or ourselves—through a pregnancy that we know would result in a baby who couldn’t survive. To minimize this risk, our embryos are tested before they’re implanted. I’ve been taking medication to stimulate my ovaries to produce lots of eggs. My husband has the easier job and the better end of the deal. Once the embryos are developed, they’re sent to a lab for genetic testing before they’re implanted into the surrogate. And then you hope that you get a baby!
—Jennifer Arnold, MD, MSc, FAAP, an assistant professor of pediatrics in the Division of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine, an attending neonatologist, and the medical director of the Pediatric Simulation Center, at Texas Children’s Hospital and the Baylor College of Medicine, in Houston, TX