The Unexpected Dilemma

When we started our IVF that resulted in Kade, we decided that we would (dependant on the number of eggs retrieved) be fertilizing two eggs with donor sperm as a diagnostic tool. 

Because we were already on our 6th IVF with no real reason as to why it wasn’t working for us, we figured that this way we could compare embryo’s fertilised with Cliff’s sperm vs embryo’s fertilised with a donor and rule out any sperm issues through looking at the embryology as opposed to the normal semen analysis.  

When we went in for our transfer talk, we were pleased to see that whilst our fertilization rate vs donor fertilization rate was lower (for various reasons, my eggs did not like being ICSI’d) our embryo’s were looking just as good, if not better than the donor ones.

We transferred our 3 remaining embryo’s and decided to freeze the donor embryo’s – just in case.

Thankfully we never had to worry about the “just in case” because we were blessed with a BFP at long last.  At the time, with all the bleeding I was experiencing we decided to not make any decisions relating to the donor embies as we were not sure if the pregnancy was going to progress.  Thank God, our son was a survivor and our pregnancy continued healthily.  As we got caught up with the pregnancy, any thought of the frozen donor embies was stored in our memory banks, much like the embies themselves were stored in a freezer at our clinic. 

We got a bill for their storage a little while ago and we were unexpectedly thrown into a bit of a dilemma. 

It’s important to state that we never intended on using the donor embies in the first place.  BUT.  When the bill arrived we were FORCED to now make a concrete decision about them.  And I found myself wondering if we shouldn’t keep them – just in case.

Just.In.Case… Three innocuous little words but words that hold so much impact when put into practical use in one’s life.

Cliff and I chatted and discussed what we should do with these little embryo’s.  They are a part of me after all.  There was so much more that we needed to consider in light of all that has transpired since we froze them.  We needed to factor in that we now know that we *can* achieve a pregnancy out of embryo’s from our own genetics.   We needed to consider that we’re both not getting any younger and needed to seriously consider when (if at all) we would like to try for a second baby.  We needed to explore our hearts and find out if we could ever really use those embryo’s knowing that they were created using half of me and half of another man. 

I am not happy to discard the embryo’s.  

I have always said that I wanted to be an egg donor – but only once I had managed to have a child of my own.  It seems like the best and most practical solution is to put these embryo’s up for adoption.  That way they have the chance at giving someone else the gift of life and parenthood.  And in doing this, I am in a very round about way, fulfilling my dream of being a donor.

I never thought that it would be a decision that I would grapple with the way I did.  I know how much hope these two embryo’s hold and I know that they could potentially change someone’s life in the most amazing and profound way.  But I do feel somewhat sad that we’re letting them go. 

When I look at my son and feel the many ways he has healed me through his very presence I know that we have made the right decision.

I will never forget the darkness that infertility brings.  The sense of hopelessness when faced with a diagnosis you have no idea how to conquer.

So it is with love that we have put our donor embryo’s up for adoption through our awesome clinic. 

I hope that they heal another couple’s hearts and that they are able to bring back the hope and joy that has probably been stolen from the couple that will end up using them. 

Thank you donor embies, for giving us the sense of hope we needed at a time when hope was low.

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14 thoughts on “The Unexpected Dilemma

  1. This post gave me goosies my friend. I know how hard this is for you but I do think that you are making the right decision here. That being said, it’s so not easy to do “the right thing”, we all know this.

    I hope and pray that those embies will make someone a beautiful baby or two, that they too will be healed the way you have by your gift to them.

    I love you my friend Xxx

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  2. Wow, Sam what an awesome, unselfish act on your behalf! I can understand that it was hard to let them go, but now they have a chance at life AND someone else’s dream might come true!

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  3. I think that is really amazing of you. I’m grappling with something similar. If they get more than 20 eggs from this cycle, I’m thinking of maybe letting them freeze those eggs. Then we can later make a decision if we get a pregnancy or not, I’m thinking I might donate them. I don’t have the presence of mind right now to make that decision, and if you had asked me five years ago, I would probably never have considered egg donation. But I now understand the process a bit better, and how much love it can bring to some couple somewhere. Your post has really come at such an interesting time for me, I honestly see it as a bit of a sign! Thanks! And PS – has anyone ever told you that you should just be commenter of the year? Your comments are always just so kind and loving and HELPFUL!

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  4. Beautiful thing you did here Sam. Of course it is was done with a bit of a tug on the heartstrings. Every night from now on when you look at the sky, the brightest two stars are those two embryo’s that you given with love.

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  5. We have a similar dilemna, we have 3 frozen embies still but they are 100% ours. I was very keen to donate them last year but our FS suggested we hang onto them for a bit longer (they will keep them for 5 years and they are from a cycle in 2008) so another 2 years or so. I go through phases where I’m keen to transfer and phases when I’m not. I have a Mirena (put in just over a year ago) and it’s such a mission for me to ovulate as well as the fact that we’re in PE now and the embryos are in CT. Chris feels no attachment to them whatsoever but I still can’t really cope with the thought of Zoe and Ava’s brother/sister growing up in another family. We can afford another child but I am happy with our family as it is now. I am glad the baby days are behind us and I don’t want to go back. We’ll make our decision closer to the time, in the mean time we’ll pay the R600 annual storage but although the embryos aren’t getting any older, we are, so we’ll see. In a way it would be nice if they wer half donor as then I wouldn’t have as much trouble with donating them.

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  6. Great decision Sian !
    Hopefully, your gift will bless a couple with parenthood !

    Does this mean that you would not try another IVF, with yours and your DH’s gametes, to enlarge your family or perhaps you might in the future … ?

    I still have a few embryos in Czech republic (donor eggs + DH’s sperm) and even though I do not want to be pregnant anymore, I find it difficult to give those embryos up for adoption …. I must admit that I postpone the decision because it feels so final. …. Embryos carry such a heavy symbolic value !!

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  7. Pingback: Thinking of Donating? | Communiqué

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