Thursday, May 12, 2016

A time for decisions

It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone to hear that our family is complete. We have two boys and a girl. We're a family of FIVE! I always teetered on the edge of wanting either two or three children. Then of course...along came infertility, and I just wanted to have one. Please, God...give me one.

My prayers were answered in the most unbelievable way. We're content with our family. Our lives are crazy hectic. We barely sleep. There is always someone that wakes up night after night. There is little down time. And that's okay. I wouldn't have it any other way.

But...at almost 39 years old. We don't see trying again in our future. My husband is a little more clear on that point. Don't get me wrong. I'm also clear. But I have the tug of how much I love these little nuggets that it's hard to be so final.

But it is. My husband had a vasectomy in late March. Something I would have laughed hysterically about just a short time ago. It wasn't a big deal. He went in on a Friday afternoon, was in the office less than 15 minutes getting it done (yes, I watched). And by Sunday was back to normal. I'd say even on Saturday he was up and around and lifting babies.

But still...that was the final end of our family. There are still three to consider. The three remaining embryos that are in storage at CCRM. Three high quality blasts. What do we do with them?

Do we save them? Just in case? Knowing the answer to that already. We don't even believe it's fair to our current children to have more. They deserve every bit of the attention they can get from us!

Do we donate them to science? Destroy them? I can barely type that word without cringing. I just can't imagine it.

Unfortunately, CCRM doesn't have the best options for what my preference would be. They do have an option to donate anonymously. Unlike our egg donor whose information is available to our boys when they turn 18...any children that come from these embryos would not have that benefit. CCRM would never give them any information about us at all. They would never know they have two full siblings. One half sibling through their egg donor. That makes me sad for those babies.

CCRM refuses to do known donations, which would be our preference. So there isn't an easy way to gift our embryos to someone to use. The only way this is allowed is for the embryos to be moved to another clinic.

But doesn't the chance of life still outweigh the unfortunate guidelines that CCRM imposes?

It's a long process. A year actually for it to be a done deal. So right now, we're just considering it. Trying to decide if we are ready to wish them well, hope they can help another family have truly amazing babies that Casey and Britton are to us, and let them go.

13 comments:

  1. I'm so glad you've completed your family after all you've been through. I couldn't imagine being your shoes and having to face the decision you have. Each one has its pros and cons. I don't know if there's a CCRM board where couples or children can connect later or what. I hope whatever decision you make you have peace with it. *hugs*

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  2. I've read your blog for a long time now and never commented. I'm so excited that your family has ended up being what you always dreamed of. I had to comment because my sister is currently pregnant through embryo adoption! Our family is absolutely over joyed after their long journey to have a baby. It's been a fun experience enlightening people on what it is exactly because to the general public it's a newer concept. Sending positive thoughts your way as you decide what to do in the future!

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  3. Isn't it shocking that for how advanced ccrm is that they do this? I was surprised by that too. Even after being the recipient of two different couples' donor embies, the decision to donate isn't one I take lightly. I also know though that I could never personally destroy them. We've got 4 high quality DE blasts, and we may very well face the same decision. Good luck as you navigate through this. It's not easy! Ps- I've been a terrible commenter but still an avid reader of all of ypur posts. I love, love, love how your story turned out. I look forward to hearing about this next chapter in your fertility journey too. Pss) when we adopted embryos it was through nightlight christian adoptions, the snowflake program. You don't have to be christian to work with them. They do most of the work and the recipent couple pays for everything. You get to pick the recipient couple and have contact if you want. Just an idea.

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  4. I totally get this. I have always dreamed of having 2 or 3 but obviously circumstances changed that. Now I feel so blessed to have 2 on their way. But it would still be difficult to do something so... final after all the struggle. I know you guys will make the right decision for yourselves regarding the frozen embryos.

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  5. I've been following your journey for a long time and I'm so happy you have your family. I'm a mom because of Embryo Adoption and it has totally transformed my life. Sending prayers as you and your husband decide what is best for you. We adopted through the National Embryo Donation Center in Knoxville, TN. Their program allows open adoptions - which is what we chose, so our son will know about his very special genetic family. All the very best to you!

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  6. I could have typed this myself. When we did PGS testing we had 3 normal. With Noah and BEckom already, we did not want 5. I hate all the options honestly. I hate the idea of destroying them, but selfishlessly I don't think I could donate out of fear of if the family was loving enough/if I regretted it/ran into a kid that looks like mine. Sigh. When you are desperate to get pregnant these decisions aren't really thought about. We will we in your boat too. On a happier note, It's so beautiful reading that your family is "complete" LOVE

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  7. Ughhhhhh. I hadn't even thought about the sibling issue and they donor issue for any children out of those three. This breaks my heart. Today, I do not like CCRM. Tomorrow, maybe, but not today. Grrrr.

    I love reading about your completed family though and the AMAZING way God fulfilled your wildest dreams.

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  8. i have a similar story to yours, only a couple years ahead :)

    CCRM CCS embryos, carried one and had a surrogate carry one- our family is complete but we had 3 embryos remaining... what to do?

    we were too old at the time our embryos were made at CCRM to donate thru their anon program anyway.

    we did not want to destroy, or donate to research.

    i knew that at some point i would find the right match for donation.

    i did, (on my own, no organization or agency involved) and it was very easy to ship our embryos to the recipients clinic. make sure it is a top clinic in the region that uses vitrification to warm for FETs.

    get a good lawyer that has experience in donor embryo contracts, for both parties. recipients typically fund.

    our recipient did an eSET and had a healthy baby earlier this year- full genetic siblings to my 2 kids. hurray! beautiful!

    the contract ensures the siblings will know of one another by age 18, if not sooner, which was the key for me. also, it was important to us to have the best match possible so we knew our embryo would have the best start going forward.

    i have seen pictures, and i can say that although their baby does indeed have undeniable resemblance to my kids and me, my husband, etc... it is not at all a maternal issue. there is NO sense of loss. there is only a deep sense of joy for those parents, and gratefulness that the embryo has come to its fruition in the right home!

    i really encourage you to open your heart to find your way to the right woman/man/family/couple to match with. there are so many perfect recipients out there! it is incredibly fulfilling and brings another aspect of full-circle-ness to the story.

    there is no hurry. pay CCRM their storage fee until you are ready to move forward... they are safe there and i believe you have 5 years before you have to move/use remaining embryos. i waited until my final child turned one and then really started moving toward finding a recipient couple.

    also, CCRM was very open, willing, and encouraging & supportive of our plan to ship out to another couple at another clinic. FLC staff were amazing and took many calls and questions happily. i got the sense that it is not very common, but they are happy when it happens. no judgement. they totally rock.

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  9. Are those embryos from the donor eggs or your eggs? Could you transfer them somewhere else that does embryo adoption? This is a big decision, just take your time.

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  10. Look into Embryo Adoption Services of Cedar Park? They are so wonderful! Love, Kj

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  11. It's good to read your reflection on this, Suzanne (not to mention how good it is that you now have a complete family and need to donate your embryos!) I toss the question around in my head incessantly about what to do with our one frozen blast. I'll look forward to reading what you decide to do. I'll surely draw inspiration from your process. THank you for writing about it.

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  12. It is such a hard decision to make. I had 1 frozen embryo that I knew I would never be able to use. I have a healthy and happy almost 2 year old that was frozen with that embryo. Looking at him and thinking of my frozen embryo broke my heart. My clinic did not even offer the option of embryo donation (your options were to use it, destroy it, or donate it to science and to me none of these were an option). When I reached out to the only adoption agency in Canada that would facilitate an embryo adoption, they told me that there was a slim to none chance that my 1 embryo would be adopted. I felt defeated. I wrote multiple times about it on my blog and my last post that I wrote before I felt I had no choice but to sign consent forms to destroy the enmbryo. But the next day, I was checking on my blog and a family had reached out to me. It took a few months for all the legalities, but Finn (a name the family came up with) was shipped to their clinic and he or she is now hopefully going to settle in for the next 9 months (they just did the FET)...there's more details on my blog...but this is one of my favourite stories and I am staying so positive. Don't give up on your embabies. If your heart is saying no to the options your clinic gives you, than those options probably aren't right for you. But there is no rush to make the decision.

    Enjoy your family :) Your story always puts a smile on my face...you have such a beautiful family!

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  13. Absolutely no need to rush your decision! Wait till everyone turns three. You may find that at the ripe old age of 43, that there is room for more. I have a two year old sleeping on half my face as I type this and I had him at 44.

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