Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Where do all of the Embryos Go?

The surplus ones; the ones that didn't get chosen to be transferred so now they wait, forlornly in the freezer. I must admit, I really didn't think this particular scenario through. In all of my Ivfs-R-Us literature, there's NOTHING that talks about different options for all of the .... spare babies. I'm guessing there's three.

1) Donate them to science for research
2) Give them up for adoption
3) Destroy them

I cannot bear the thought of destroying them. Isn't that, ummm, kind of like having a termination, except the only difference being they're not actually in your body? How slippery is this dangerous territory that I'm on, talking about such things?

Thing is, due to recents events aka "The Hope that this pregnancy won't all end tits up", well, I have been thinking. This baby is definitely it for us - Mr Topcat is MOST definitely done. We have eight frozen embryos. Eight genetic variations on Mr TC and myself. Eight potential children, frozen in time. The thought of people doing stem cell research on them makes me feel a bit weird. I don't know that much about it. How long do they grow them for? Past a beating heart? I don't know that I would agree to that.

Which leads me to embryo adoption. The only thing I know about it is watching an American documentary on it last year at my sisters house .... and every single woman who gave up her embryos had regret. I remember remarking on how they all seem to have made a mistake in giving them up. But - I read so many heartbreaking blogs. So many whose struggle to reproduce have led to them looking at different avenues. Sometimes, I'll be reading one and just think "If they don't get pregnant soon, I might offer them one of my embies." Then I realise that those children would be full-blood relatives of my .... children. That's a big call.

What if one of the frozen embies is a red haired girl, the spitting image of me and I get sent a photo of her and see myself, and regret that decision forever? But what's the alternative? Mr TC thinks to adopt them to infertile couples who have no eggs/sperm. Of course he does - everything is black and white in Mr TC world. Quite simple, really.

I just don't know. I came across a blog the other day of a Christian woman who urged people to remember that a fertilised egg is a human being, that she made the choice to transfer ALL of any embryos she and her husband made. They made 10. The first 2 didn't end in pregnancy, but the 3rd did. The next four didn't - the last time, she had 3 embryos transferred. One of them split into twins, and she had quads. She believes that this was Gods plan. I'm not saying it wasn't - or was. It was her choice, though. And she definitely had courage in her convictions.

I don't think there's anything Divine in me making 9 good quality embies, and another person making none. Some things you can't blame on God - just luck, or nature, I don't know. I would love to know what other people think about this, and I really hope I haven't offended anyone.

Now, as for the amnio aftermath ... well, let's just say that this blog is in danger. Of turning into a sickening, mind-numbing display of positivity and true happiness. (But no babydust - I promise.) I'm just so grateful that I get to still be pregnant. So glad that everything is ok. I feel like I've turned a corner - physically and emotionally. I feel like I have 'earnt' this pregnancy now .... I have abandoned most of my worry and fear. Fuck it feels good. My belly is growing - because there's a thriving baby in there, who I swear I felt kick yesterday. I'm still quite pissed, that the whole test was unnecessary. I was willing to not have the nuchal test, but got talked into it by a midwife "because of my age". But again, the whole thing has shifted something in me to finally enjoy, believe, and have faith in being pregnant. Just like a normal woman. HA.

A cockroach just CRAWLED OUT OF MY KEYBOARD, THEN DARTED BACK IN AGAIN. I freakin HATE bugs. I need to stop writing now.

Thanks for your support recently - I needed it so bad. I love (bug-free) blogging. xoxo


Fertilize Me said...

SO much to think about. Good luckmaking your decision and I am super glad that your amnio only had good news for you and I cannot wait for this blog to turn into stores filled with butterflies and rainbows!

ultimatejourney said...

I'm glad the test results were good.

As for the other stuff, that's a tough call. Even as someone who has used donor sperm, I'm not sure I'd be selfless enough donate my eggs to anyone other than a relative or close (but distant in geography) friend. I'm sure that sounds strange, but it's true. Good luck with your decision. I'm sure someone would be thrilled to receive your embies if you decide to share them.

Geohde said...

As you know, I hate bugs. Eek!

With regards to the embryos thing, I wonder about what to do with mine if the thaws keep going tits-up I just want to do fresh cycles. That's a LOT of freezer babies....



Gemini Girl said...

I often think about the 6 ehmbryos that I have that are as you say "frozen in time"... I wish I could have all of them... I def would.

Who knows if they will take or not (when I am ready to do IVF again), but I refuse to destroy them because they are still my children.
These beautiful girls who I am in LOVE with were embryos themselves and were the best "grade" to be transfered.

Good luck with your decision... you and your son are adorable! and by the way- why is being happy a bad thing to read about? My blog went from sad to happy to scared to all about babies!

Chas said...

This is a very tough call. I have thought about this very situation many, many times. I personally could never destroy my embryos. I could also not adopt them out. It sounds great in theory...all those poor people (like I was at one time) struggling to have a baby...just give another infertile couple a chance at a baby. But that's my baby, at least in my eyes, and I couldn't just give it to a person I don't know. What if they turned out to be terrible parents?? I'd never know, and that would probably drive me to the point of insanity. I'd rather just do as many FETs as it takes and give them all a chance at life with me as their mom. I have been in your spot...8 embryos in the freezer. It doesn't always pan out to be another bun in the oven...I'm living proof of that.

Nearlydawn said...

Congrats on the great test results!!! YAY!

Just my 2c on the embryos thing... My hubby and I decided, before doing IVF, that in the event we had embies we couldn't use we would donate them. We decided that once we gave life to the embies we would rather have our biological children given a chance to thrive rather than choose to make them non-existent. After our IF struggle, we decided we wouldn't begrudge someone else having the joy of raising a child just because it carried our DNA.

We had very strong reservations about the destruction options, and it so adoption plans were the ONLY way we could move forward with IVF. Due to other IF circumstances that would have left us with either adoption or childless as our only other options.

Just thought you'd like a diff perspective.

OHN said...

We thought about his scenario years ago and for me, donating would not work. I would look around every corner for a little girl that looked like me and it would drive me crazy. I couldn't imagine destroying them either after all we went through to get to that point. That left science. I have seen the ravages of so many diseases that should be cured by now but for lack of research these diseases are still destroying families. I would have donated to research ONLY after making sure it was for the proper use of them by an honorable institution that was truly trying to do good for mankind. Whew..that was alot longer than I thought it would be, No matter what, it is something YOU need to decide because you are the one that will either be happy with your choice or regret it forever. Man, I sure am not full of happy juice am I ??!