Videnskab

En kunstig livmoder i stuen

Tænk hvis man kunne gro en baby i et hjørne af stuen i stedet for at gå og slæbe rundt på den i ni måneder. Med et nyt forskningsresultat, der blev udgivet i det prestigefyldte videnskabelige tidsskrift Nature Communcations i sidste uge, er denne mulighed måske slet ikke så langt ude i fremtiden. En gruppe amerikanske forskere fra et børnehospital i Philadelphia har nemlig opfundet det hidtil mest lovende eksemplar af en kunstig livmoder.

De har afprøvet den på lam, der er blevet fjernet fra mor-fåret ca. halvvejs i drægtighedsperioden, på et stadie der minder om et menneskefoster i uge 22-23. Lammene blev placeret i den kunstige livmoder, hvor det lykkedes forskerne at gennemføre de efterfølgende ca. 28 dage af drægtighedsperioden og lammene blev ”født” levedygtige og uden skavanker.

Selve opfindelsen ser dog ikke synderlig nyskabende og moderne-forskeragtig ud. Den kunstige livmoder består meget simpelt af en gennemsigtig plasticpose fyldt med kunstigt fostervand, der løbende bliver udskiftet. Plasticposen er forseglet for at undgå infektioner og så den kan vedligeholde tryk og temperatur. Lammenes navlestreng er desuden forbundet med en maskine, der ilter blodet og tilfører næringsstoffer – det job som moderkagen normalt udfører. På billedet ovenfor ses et lam, der har været i posen i 4 dage og det samme lam er vist på billedet til højre efter 28 dage i plasticposen, umiddelbart inden det skal ”fødes”.

Resultatet er blevet kaldt banebrydende og overgår klart, hvad man tidligere har set af forsøg på kunstige livmodere. Samtidig rejser det dog nye og store etiske dilemmaer.

For ret præcist et år siden udkom en anden opsigtsvækkende artikel i Nature, hvor et hold engelske forskere slog rekord i at holde et menneske embryo i live i laboratoriet. 13 dage blev det til og med den nuværende lovgivning er 14 dage det maksimalt tilladte i de fleste lande. Det skyldes at embryoet efter dag 14 ikke længere kan dele sig og blive til tvillinger og det derfor kan opfattes som et individ.

Forskningen på dette område udvikler sig altså med rivende hast og flere kloge hoveder gætter på, at det teknisk set vil være muligt at gro en baby i et laboratorium inden for de næste årtier. Og med den forholdsvis simple opsætning på billedet ovenfor, kunne det vel lige så godt foregå i et hjørne af stuen.

Så er det slut med at være gravid

Efter selv at have været igennem to graviditeter, fødsler og ikke mindst månederne efter fødslen, kan jeg uden problemer pege på en række fordele ved at gro en baby i et hjørne af stuen frem for i maven.

Helt åbenlyst kunne man jo slippe for alle de fysiske gener, der unægtelig er ved en graviditet og fødsel. Ingen morgenkvalme, ingen uforklarlige humørsvingninger (hvilket nok især mange mænd, kan se en fordel i), ingen afbrudt nattesøvn pga. tissetrang, lægkramper, sure opstød eller mangel på behagelige måder at ligge på. Man kunne helt slippe for bækkensmerter og en stor, tung og besværlig mave at slæbe rundt på. Og så selvfølgelig selve fødslen med den ulidelige smerte og efterfølgende måneders genoptræning for at kunne holde på vandet og nærme sig noget, der ligner den krop man havde før graviditeten. Alt dette kunne man være foruden.

Hvis bebsen stod der, i en gennemsigtig plasticpose i et hjørne af stuen, ville man meget nemmere kunne følge med i udviklingen. Man ville rent faktisk kunne se babyen vokse og udvikle sig og ikke blot læse om det på de utallige ”gravid-uge-for-uge” hjemmesider. Man kunne stolt vise vidunderet frem, når familie eller venner kom på besøg og slap dermed for de mere eller mindre ufrivillige kommentarer om og hænder på maven.

Desuden ville det i den grad, være et slag for ligestillingen. Folk med fysiske handicap, der umuliggør en graviditet og mandlige homoseksuelle par ville kunne få et barn på lige fod med alle andre. Også i ”almindelige” parforhold ville der opstå en ny grad af ligestilling. Visuelle, som det fleste mænd jo er, ville en baby i en gennemsigtig plasticpose i stuehjørnet formegentlig gøre det nemmere for dem, at forberede sig på den kommende faderrolle. Dermed kunne man højst sandsynligt undgå situationer, hvor man som højgravid og letter hysterisk forsøger at forklare manden, at 4 uger før termin ABSOLUT ikke er for tidligt at begynde og indrette børneværelse, købe barnevogn og andre nødvendigheder, som man gerne vil have, at han tager del i.

Når alt kommer til alt

Men så alligevel…

Hvis jeg selv kunne vælge, er jeg ikke sikker på, at jeg ville være foruden mine graviditeter og fødsler. På trods af diverse gener og ubehag, har jeg alligevel flere gode end dårlige minder fra mine graviditeter.

Det starter jo allerede, når man sidder derude alene på toilettet og lige har tisset på pinden. Spændingen mens man venter og så den helt ubeskrivelige lykkefølelse, når den endelig er positiv (muligvis efterfulgt af et lettere panikanfald, som dog formegentlig også ville opstå, første gang man så en kunstig livmoder i stuehjørnet). Forventningen og forundringen hver gang man ser den lille på en ultralydsskanning og det hele bliver en smule mere virkeligt. Glæden første gang man mærker babys små spark og den endnu større glæde det er, første gang man kan dele det med faderen. Forbløffelsen over hvor ofte og voldsomt en lille baby efterfølgende kan tumle rundt (og hikke for den sags skyld) derinde i maven.  Stoltheden når et helt fremmed menneske for første gang siger tillykke og man dermed er helt sikker på, at man ikke længere bare ser tyk ud, men nu rent faktisk ligner en gravid. Og ikke mindst lettelsen de sidste par uger, når folk rejser sig op for en i bussen eller myldretidstoget og man med god samvittighed kan få en siddeplads.

Jeg har i den grad også nydt, at kunne trække gravidkortet og nok også udnyttet det lige rigeligt en gang i mellem. F.eks. når jeg med (næsten) god samvittighed kunne sende manden ud for at købe is sent om aftenen, fordi man jo som gravid har cravings, der død og pine skal opfyldes. Eller da vi skulle hjælpe min søster med at flytte og jeg kunne nøjes med at bære sofapuderne og derefter sætte mig behageligt til rette og nøjes med at dirigere alle de andre rundt.

Også selve fødslerne har været nogle gode oplevelser, jeg helst ikke ville være foruden. Jeg har heldigvis haft to ukomplicerede af slagsen og husker derfor meget tydligt de helt særlige første timer lige efter. Når man ligger der, med en lille, nøgen og trygt sovende baby på sin mave og tænker jeg gjorde det sku. Selvom utallige kvinder har gjort det før mig, så var det alligevel noget, der gav selvtilliden og lykkefølelsen et gevaldigt nyk opad.

Så på trods af fordelene ville jeg vælge en graviditet au naturel og blot glæde mig over, at hensigten med den kunstige livmoder er, at den på sigt skal kunne afhjælpe den høje dødelighed og alvorlige konsekvenser, der desværre ofte ses hos for tidligt fødte børn.

62 thoughts on “En kunstig livmoder i stuen

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