Confession – I have frozen embryos. In fact I have four frozen embryos. I have had these on ice since 2008. They were my insurance policy – I kept telling myself I’m saving them for a rainy day. Well, I got super lucky and went back to the well a few times, started fresh IVF cycles and birthed my two healthy and happy boys. For those out there still struggling to have a child, trust me, I know I’m lucky to have my kids and have frozen embryos. I know if I were still in your shoes, I’d be cursing someone like me.
Back to the current situation … One day, I opened up this insurance policy I created consisting of my frozen stuff – We decided we were going for the third!! So, we transferred a frozen embryo, got pregnant (YAY!) and then miscarried (BOO!). This was my 4th miscarriage and it was by far the hardest – physically and emotionally. I was a mess for a while but like all wounds, I eventually healed. Fast forward a month and we moved to the burbs, decided against building a 3rd kids bedroom and submerged ourselves into our new happy life – as a happy family of four … our perfect square.
All that time, the embryo storage bills would continue to come in. They’d arrive, I’d review and I’d pay (preservation ain’t cheap). And I kept on doing that for two years. I mean I still keep on doing it. Since that last miscarriage in 2015, my husband and I have decided we are not going to ride the baby train anymore. We checked in our ticket for a diaper/gear/schlepping crap free life in for one filled with soccer games, elementary school, dinner with friends and lots of drinking and eating. We know we are done. We have repeated to each other and aloud. And yet, I can’t destroy these embryos.
If I’m being honest (and why wouldn’t I be in my own blog post?) for the first year post miscarriage I definitely thought about another baby. I’d see people who went for the third and I had those moments filled with jealousy. Often, their two older children were the same sex and the baby would be the opposite and I’d think … see it worked for them. If only, I just tried, again. But the time passed and passed. Now that we’re coming up on two years since that miscarriage, I can honestly say I’m truly, really, really done with baby making. Just recently someone I know announced she was pregnant and for the first time ever in my life, I was like “oh my god … can you imagine? That sounds awful”. I mean, not awful for them, right? What I meant was “That sounds NOT AT ALL WHAT I WANT RIGHT NOW”. I mean, I finally felt that emotion that caught up to what my brain was spewing. I was done having babies and I was ok with that.
So while this is all solidifying in my brain and heart, I was cleaning out a file cabinet and what do I find? Paperwork from my fertility clinic dated July 6, 2016 reminding me that I have embryos stored at their facility. It goes on to give more information about my options should I discontinue maintenance of my frozen embryos. For those of you looking for more information, you should know that you have the following options:
- Donate to an anonymous embryo adoption program
- Donate for research and training of embryologists
- Dispose of all frozen embryos
- Keep your embryos in storage for future use
See it’s letters like this – staring at me in black and white – that makes my struggle worsen. If you were reading above I just informed you that I’m done babymaking. But when they say DISPOSE OF ALL FROZEN EMBRYOS … yikes, that is harsh!
Well I’m writing this very long overdue post to say that I think the struggle is very real. If you know anything about my blog and me, I’m no stranger to struggling and infertility. And yes, I’ve made it to the other side, but people should talk about this side too … whether to dispose, donate, or store of frozen embryos is a gut-wrenching decision and has to be worked out. Believe me, I’m grateful to be in this position – nine years ago I could only have prayed for something like this. While this is an extremely personal decision –- and one in which everyone is entitled to have their own opinion — it is nonetheless part of the process for making babies when medical assistance is needed and I just wanted to acknowledge it. There I said it …