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‘Just Like Rape’: Lesbian Couple Sues Fertility Clinic For Alleged Embryo Mix-Up, Say They Wanted A Girl But Got A Boy
baby boy
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A Buffalo-based lesbian couple is suing CNY fertility clinic in Latham, NY for allegedly giving them the wrong embryo, New York Post reported. Heather Wilhelm-Routenberg and Robin (Robbie) Routenberg-Wilhelm explicitly requested that they have a baby daughter after undergoing fertility treatments. 

However, the couple was devastated to find out they were expecting a son. Now they are responding with legal action against the fertility clinic, claiming Heather “became suicidal” after her son’s birth and entered a “dark depression” upon finding out she was carrying a baby boy. 

Upon first finding out the child was male at her 15 week appointment, Heather said she became convinced the IVF clinic mixed up the embryos and she was actually carrying someone else’s baby. 

“I looked at Robbie and said, ‘What’s if it’s not yours — who is in my body?!’ That’s when I flipped out, that’s when I felt my body was taken hostage,” Heather told Amy Klein at the post. “I assumed it was someone else’s embryo, not the wrong embryo of ours.”

“It scared the s*** out of me. I don’t know how to explain this — it felt like there was an alien living inside of me,” she continued. “I said to Robbie, “If this is someone else’s kid, we will have to give it back.”

Heather went on to say her OB offered to abort the child, but she declined in part because she was, “hoping beyond hope someone would have our baby and we would switch after birth and it would be this happy story.”

“We scheduled an ultrasound for the next day,” Heather said. “That was the worst night of my life. I had this overwhelming sense of immobility. I remember lying in my bedroom, thinking, ‘This can’t be happening!’ Not only was the baby in my body not ours, but the baby in my body was male and he was put there against my will, just like rape.”

Heather explained how she specifically chose CNY fertility clinic because they were willing to ensure the baby was a girl. She had been sexually assaulted on two occasions, making her leery of men in general. Plus, she did not want to raise a boy.

“We didn’t want to have a boy because of the assaults and because of the socialization of boys — there’s constant socialization of what it means to be a ‘real man,’” Heather told Klein. “People say, ‘Oh, he’s a boy, let him hit you,’ and all the camouflage and guns don’t help. It reinforces masculinity, and that’s a reminder of the assaults every time.”

The Buffalo resident went on to describe how she spent seven weeks waiting to find out if the unborn baby was related to Robbie genetically (they had selected to use Robbie’s eggs and have Heather be the carrier).

“During that time, I had no connection to the baby inside — I figured I would be giving it away to its real parents. I tried not to think about being pregnant,” she recalled.

Eventually, the results revealed that the baby was Robbie’s, and he was a boy. Heather was “furious” at the news. She said it was “isolating” being so unhappy and not having friends and family understand her position. 

“That was the most isolating thing — that we had a healthy baby, but I had no emotional connection and now I had to wrap my head around having a child forever that I wasn’t planning on,” Heather told the Post.

“The whole pregnancy, I couldn’t connect to the baby. I hate saying that. It’s painful. It was a terrible experience.”

After the baby boy was born, Heather claimed she was unable to bond with him. 

“I started experiencing extreme anxiety. I would look at the baby and it would contort into the faces of all these grown men that I know,” Heather said. “It was so creepy. Whenever that happened, I had to give the baby to Robbie.”

She continued, “I literally thought I was going insane. There were several incidences of suicidal ideation, some of which were very dangerous. I had complex postpartum depression.”

Now the couple’s son is one and a half. Heather admitted she has grown to appreciate the boy since he was born. “He’s a lovely kid,” she said. “He smiles just like Robbie, he has Robbie’s dimples, and that makes it easier…he’s been an easy baby.”

However, the two moms say they have to work harder raising him because they didn’t get the daughter they requested from the fertility clinic.

“Even though I don’t have Heather’s trauma and re-traumatization, it was also hard for me to connect,” Robbie said of the child. “It’s not only about the in-utero and birth experience, it’s about the socialization that a boy has in the world — even while we fight against these social norms, this repeated narrative of forced masculinity — and we did not sign up for that.”

“We both love our child but we have had to work harder than anyone should have to work to make sure we are all alive,” she added.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  ‘Just Like Rape’: Lesbian Couple Sues Fertility Clinic For Alleged Embryo Mix-Up, Say They Wanted A Girl But Got A Boy