Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Difficult decisions

I got a letter in the mail last week that forced us to make a tough choice.

As many of you know, David and I struggled with infertility for almost two years before we did IVF and got pregnant.

If you aren't familiar with IVF, here is a little information. Doctors typically try to get as many mature eggs as they can, fertilize them with your partner's sperm, and hope that embryos form. Often, you have more embryos than you want to transfer. You can then freeze those embryos to use if your cycle fails, or if you want to try for siblings later.

Our first cycle yielded a beautiful girl, a miscarried twin at 10 weeks, and no frozen embryos.

Our second cycle yielded perfect twin boys and 5 frozen embryos.

We know our family is finished.

I had mastered the art of putting the whole situation out of my mind, until I got this letter. It is from my former IVF clinic. My doctor has actually left the practice to start his own, but my embryos are still frozen at the former clinic. They have started a new embryo donation program. All you have to do is sign a release form, answer a few basic health questions, and have a physical at their office. Then you are reimbursed for any freezing fee you have paid and are free from any further financial burdens.

Great, right? I mean, David and I said all along that we will 'pay it forward' and donate these embryos. God made them in His image, and we believe strongly that they deserve a chance at life. And what a wonderful gift. We make beautiful and healthy children together. How amazing to help a family get the child/children they long for.

This program is brand new. I am told it will be years before families start getting matched and transfers actually happen. We won't know if/when they are matched and if/when they are transfered and if/when that transfer results in a pregnancy/live birth. I'm leaving all of this up to God. He knows the best place for them, and I trust that He won't let anything bad happen. So please don't ask me if I'm worried that I'll be walking in the mall and see some lost kid crying and think it looks like Jack and then spend the rest of my life upset because I'm worried those embryos might not have gone to good homes. I believe God has prepared us for this.

So why, you might ask, is this a tough choice, if it feels so right for us? Well - if you have never done IVF, I'd never expect you to understand. Just as I can't understand what it is like to have sex and get pregnant, you can't understand what it is like to have frozen embryos you can't use. It is hard to part with them, when I see their potential breathing and laughing x 3 every day. It's just...tough.


Lindsey B said...

Hugs my friend. No matter how sure you are, this cannot be easy.

Anonymous said...

I've followed you since we did IVF at the same time for my little one and your beautiful paige. someday may be faced with this same decision (based on how many chances it takes us to get baby #2) and reading this brought tears to my eyes. I feel for you--it's such a unique/weird/scary/special position to be in. best of luck.

Kristi said...

I can only imagine how you felt getting that letter...as my twins are a result from ivf and we have 2 embryos frozen. I often have to remind myself in situations that God has a plan and while it might not always seem like the best plan for us, in the end God always has a way! (((hugs)))