Now that there's a purple croc and a yellow moose, and a sweet cowboy snow leopard, the world is seemingly glutted with adorable newborns. And, perhaps even more to the point, it's an undeniably beautiful sight that every parent should cherish.
But as much joy as this newborn bounty brings many families, most parents are forced to face a less glamorous reality: every newborn brings a set of problems.
These problems include dehydration, low-level respiratory infections, ear infections, vaccine complications, dermatitis and innumerable sicknesses.
So, naturally, some are reaching for one simple solution: freezing the new arrival's embryo.
It started back in the late 90s when Japan, in an effort to hurry up development, began freezing newborn embryos for parentless couples. And, sure enough, the technology is now widely employed in Taiwan, where researchers at the Kuntsan Human Reproduction Laboratory froze the embryo of each man's partner in 2013.
Curious, I decided to follow suit. I was in the window seat of a taxi.
A testicular-less, chubby-cheeked toddler sat in the back seat. He was asleep.
And, despite being stuffed and stuffed in the back of the car, he still demanded my attention.
It took less than five minutes to work the trick — at least, as far as freezing an embryo goes.
I put it into my bag.
Was I jinxing myself? Maybe. But here I was.
Maybe the worst thing I'd ever do for my kids was have frozen embryos instead of another kid? Maybe that was the best thing I could have done.
Will the small toy I had inside my pants get ruined when that baby starts teaching himself to play with it? Probably. But what if I had frozen this embryo for a reason — like the parents who now have a handful of perfect babies?
Happily, the process is relatively simple.
All a father has to do is blow some dry ice on his wife's upper pelvis and — voila! — the embryo lands in dry ice. The cryonic preservation process, which typically uses carbon dioxide rather than dry ice, does not contain any small-waste materials like wipes, deodorant, bottles or anything else that might inadvertently break the ice.
My son was born within five minutes — and the next time I checked in with my wife, we found his frozen embryos intact.
"But I can't tell any of his friends," she said.
"Me neither," I said. "Nobody tells anyone."
And we both breathed a big sigh of relief.
Everything about this process is frightening, yet, when it's done right, it's beautiful. And, these days, the science is pretty advanced — at least, for a newborn. At one university in Taiwan, recent attempts have been made to grow some successfully conceived babies in a lab. Even more promising, scientists in Japan are starting to freeze eggs from women, giving them a head start if fertility dries up at later ages.
But what happens if you run out of dry ice? This is the daunting but compelling world we live in.
If you think these freezing methods are limited to wealthy families, then this article will introduce you to a father from Las Vegas who's giving away $100,000 in prize money on the internet.
Are frozen embryos the answer? We all know they're not, but we also know that even for wealthy families, freezing these embryos will not suffice.
Yet, as each case comes forward, perhaps the idea of embryos freezing will not be so crazy.
Every Tuesday, the ClickHole staff of ClickHole allows itself the luxury of answering the question: What has life taught us this week?