It’s time to say goodbye to my frozen embryos, by Sara

by Sara Marshall-Page

I’ve spoken before about my fertility journey;  it was a decade ago and things were very different back then

There weren’t any online fertility magazines like this one, or social media accounts dedicated to those TTC. Without this incredible community I felt hugely scared and isolated. I had no one to turn to, no one to lean on. But 10 years on, and now I finally get to turn to you, to share with you a very emotional decision I’m struggling to make. A decision that to this day I can’t quite believe i have to make, because I never ever thought I’d get here.

It took me four years of agonising emotional and physical pain to finally create my 6 beautiful embryos

When it came to transfer, 10 long years ago, I put two back and said to the remaining four that I would come back for them soon, (well, in my head I did).

I was blessed, my two embryos settled in perfectly and despite an awful case of severe OHSS, I received the incredible news that I was pregnant. I was swept up in a hazy bubble of disbelief and sheer joy. I still am. I still pinch myself that I did it. I actually did it!!!. My IVF finally worked.

A few months after my twins were born I was already thinking about when I could transfer another embryo

My doctor told me it was just the hormones surging through my body that were making me jump to this rash decision, however, I think it was that I was just so blown away by the fact that my IVF had actually worked. I kept thinking about my other embryos waiting for me to come and get them!!

But, all of a sudden, I look up and 10 years have passed by in a flash and the reality is I am 45. The reality is that I’m nearly 50. My daughters are fast approaching puberty. Could I, would I ever really consider having another child? The answer is no.

Even if I did transfer another embryo, I would still be left in the same position – sad and confused and devastated at the thought of saying goodbye to the rest of my babies. Because that is how I see my frozen embryos – as my babies. My husband keeps telling me that they aren’t human life until my womb accepts them, but I just can’t see it that way. I see them as little Lola and Darcys, just waiting for me to come and get them, and it breaks my heart to think that I won’t ever bring them home.

The letter from my clinic is cold and harsh and far from sensitive, but real

My embryos will be discarded in February. Fact … it’s the UK law. The word ‘discard’ is actually used, like they are vegetables that are past their expiry date and need disposing of, not the precious lives they could develop in to.

The thought of them being thrown away, deserted by me, makes my heart hurt

Last week we published an article about the options available to people who have frozen embryos that are about to expire. It explained that I could donate my embryos to research or offer them up for adoption. Embryo adoption isn’t an option for me. I would forever be wondering if they did become little humans and where in the world did they end up? Did they know how they came to be?

Of the two options, research is the one I am thinking about, but still, it hurts. I hate the thought of my embryos, MY embryos that I worked so hard for, being dissected and prodded and eventually destroyed. However, I know the research would help with the evolution of this incredible science and go towards helping others in the future. I know this is the right thing to do, so why can’t I call the clinic and tell them?

I’ve been putting off the phone call for weeks now

I’m in complete denial. I don’t want to give them my decision. I don’t have a decision. I have until February 2020, ten years after making them, to decide.

I know I will never transfer them, but I wish I could keep them..in a little box maybe, in my drawer in my bedroom. I know that they wouldn’t survive, but part of me loves the idea that I kept my promise … I went back for them like I said I would, and I brought them home.

 

Has anyone else had this decision to make? Will you tell me what you decided to do? Drop me an email at sara@ivfbabble.com

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