What would you do in someone else’s shoes? How would you handle certain situations? Sometimes, real people just need real, unbiased opinions to help them weigh out their options. I decided to open up space on my blog for those people. So, I ask “What Would You Do?”.
The first situation is from a reader that wishes to remain anonymous. Her situation has to do with fertility issues, IVF and staying true to your beliefs. (Please keep in mind that there is a real person with real feelings behind these questions.)
After struggling with primary infertility as well as secondary infertility for close to a decade and spending literally thousands and thousands of dollars on every single procedure, test, pill, tea, and gadget that I could think of, my husband and I finally decided we had spent enough money and time on trying to find out what could be wrong and finally decided to go forth with IVF. As someone who has always maintained a healthy diet and lifestyle I just thought it would eventually happen; I would eventually have the family I wanted since I could remember. I had several doctors tell me they would no longer see me and even had doctors ask me what was wrong with me?! A doctor told me there are literally women wanting IVF if they aren’t pregnant in 3 months, and here I was almost 10 years later still holding onto the hope that it would happen naturally.
I wish someone had prepared me for what I was about to go through. The shots and medications were an absolute cakewalk. I had almost no side effects just a little acne and a few hot flashes. The day of the egg retrieval I was anxiously optimistic. After weeks of medications I had gone from only producing six eggs to over twenty so I thought I might have a good chance at a viable pregnancy after the genetic testing on the embryos. The retrieval was a success and they were able to harvest twenty-one eggs to be fertilized. My recover however, was a different story. I have never been in so much pain in my life. I couldn’t stand up straight, walk or take care of my daughter in any way. After your retrieval you are given daily updates regarding viability your embryos. In the end we were left with only four embryos with the proper amount of chromosomes. After all of the time and money spent, I felt like the past decade I had spent trying to find out what was wrong with me or my husband was for nothing. The reason I was not having successful pregnancies had really nothing to do with my body necessarily or my husbands, it was that the embryos never had the proper amount of chromosomes which I why I kept having miscarriages even though my husband and I went through extensive genetic testing.
So now here I am, a few days post embryo transfer. The wait after transfer is almost unbearable. You have to wait 10-14 days post transfer for beta HCG test to see if the embryo took. They warned me not to take any pregnancy tests because you can get a false positive, negative etc. I don’t want to get my hopes up so here I wait. Waiting has forced me to face the fact that this transfer may or may not be successful but it has also forced me to think about the remaining embryos I have left. If this transfer is successful and does result in a successful pregnancy what do I do with the remaining embryos? We started with four embryos, three female and one male. My husband and I decided if this pregnancy is successful to try for a boy, which still leaves two embryos. What do I do with the remaining embryos? I am not getting younger and the thought of having five children at my age scares the hell out of me. We have the choice to donate the embryos to science or destroy them. Being anti-abortion, I am really struggling with what to do. I feel like either option would be destroying a possible life, which makes me sick to think about.
So here I sit, optimistic about my current pregnancy but sick to my stomach to at some point have to figure out what to do with any remaining embryos. I came across an article on embryo adoption, which is a very new thing within the world of infertility. As someone who struggled with infertility for as long as I did it was almost a no brainer to donate them to someone else. Until it hit me, that this embryo if it lived, would be a full sibling to my child. Not just an egg or sperm, a full sibling. I know I am putting the cart before the horse but I feel like the three options I am left with are all ones that I don’t think I could live with. So what do I do?
Please feel free to share any advice and/or unbiased opinions that you may have. These are real people looking for real opinions on their situations.