Sunday, August 5, 2012

3 years since IVF & embryo donation

Yesterday was 3 years since my embryo transfer, the day where we transferred two blastocysts, just hoping for one baby, and not really imagining we might get two!

It is less poignant this year than it was last year, which was less than the year before. I wonder if the time will come that these dates won't mean anything at all?  My life is so different now, that peace and time for reflection that I had while going through my IVF is not a part of my day at all.

The anniversary of our IVF also brings the bill for maintaining our frozen embryos.  We have 9 of them- 7 of them were frozen the day after fertilization at 2 cells, and 2 of them were frozen as blastocysts after we chose the 2 that became our children.  We have every reason to assume that they are genetically normal, and if our two living children are any indication, might make pretty cute babies.

For a long time, I have hoped that Eric and I would donate any of our unused embryos (anonymously) to another couple. I have known people who have considered embryo adoption, and it is often a very long wait for embryos to come.  The nice part about adopting an embryo, for another couple, is that they have control of the pregnancy and prenatal care.  And that a woman with fertility problems gets to experience pregnancy.

So we are filling out the forms, giving our family medical histories, describing ourselves.  I feel very boring. I have no musical or artistic talent, and nothing that I feel is especially outstanding.  I think I'm a nice person, I think I'm smart, but I know a lot of nice, smart people.  I also have 4 living grandparents, which I think speaks to the strength of my family's health. Then I had to fill out the family medical history- we have a history of Type II diabetes and now Alzheimers.  The Alzheimer's was diagnosed in both of my grandmothers around the age of 86. Is it better to be long-lived with dementia or die younger before all these old-age problems set in?

I wish that we could include pictures of our boys, just so we could sell our product.  "See?  Good DNA. Cute babies." (Yes, I am biased.)  I worry, what if no one wants our embryos?  I will feel rejected... or maybe I will never know what becomes of them.  I guess I can only do so much- by doing what feels right to me and letting others decide the rest.

That is where things lie- it is an experience, to be pregnant again, this time without assistance.  I feel so strongly that my boys are miracles- miracles of science, of medicine; miracles because they are so wonderful and bring me such joy, and because I was able to conceive and carry them after fearing I would not be able to.  And this unborn child is also a miracle- that we were able to conceive through intercourse alone, in the privacy of our own bedroom, for the cost of $0 (that is not including the dinner and wine I had out with the girls earlier in the night, of course).  I am hoping that somehow, we can help another family have their own miracle.


  1. What a wonderful thing that you are doing with the embryo donation. Many clinics have long wait lists for donor embryos, so I think you should have no worries about finding some lucky family who will be thrilled to have the opportunity to accept them.

  2. I think it's awesome that you are willing to donate your embryos to someone. It's such an amazing gift. I don't think they'll mind much about your hobbies either. :) And they will certainly like your education level, so you are all good.

    3 years ago? Wow. That's the third time this week I realized how fast time moves!