Sometimes you have to chose the smart decision over the emotional one. As I sat at the doctor’s office two months after my failed in-vitro, I knew I had a difficult decision ahead. I had already set the minimum number of follicles for another try at in-vitro to seven, but I only had 6 (more than the previous three and five, but it wasn’t seven). Head over heart.
My heart is faced with doctors who are confident that they can get me pregnant with my own egg. But when?! My head knows the answer is when that one good egg decides to show up…
If I had a partner and we got to “try naturally” as many times a month as we wished, of course I would give my eggs another shot. If money was not an issue, of course I would give my eggs another shot. However, when you are single and paying almost ten thousand dollars for one try, you have to truly think about what’s important to you. Having a child or having a child, at any cost, with your own genes. For me, despite being really sad that I was “giving up” on myself due to the fact that I am single, I felt like the responsible decision was to spend less for better odds.
What are those odds? In my case, they are as follow:
- Almost ten thousand dollars, my eggs, 8-20% chance of getting pregnant depending on the quality of the eggs that month.
- Closer to six thousand dollars, great quality embryos from a 28 year old donor, around 45% chance of getting pregnant.
Option #2 is not only more cost efficient, but more efficient point final!
My decision was made. I was making a concession, but I truly felt like it was the right decision. My head knew it, my gut knew it but, most importantly, my heart absolutely knew it! How was my heart so sure? Through all the difficulties this journey had bestowed on me, meeting the biological parents of my future child happened so fluidly, it just felt meant to be!
The Gift Of Life
In my last blog, I told you how I had found an amazing UK couple through a social media group. They were looking to donate 7 embryos. I had reached out and, to my surprised, they wrote back. Sarah told me that they had received quite a few requests, but they had replied to no one yet. She said that my profile “played on her mind” and that she was going to contact me over the weekend, after talking with her husband Matt. I had butterflies when I first read their donor profile, so you can only imagine the flutters in my stomach after receiving that message.
The weekend came and, true to their word, they reached out over messenger. A group message lead by Matt telling me that he understood why his wife had fallen in love with my profile! They had spent the evening reading my blogs and they knew that I was the type of person they wanted to help. Our chat was fluid, funny, heartfelt. Without truly knowing this couple, I felt such a connection to them. There was something about the way they expressed themselves, how we were so comfortable joking about life, how our vision for this process was so similar – it just seemed like higher powers were offering me the gift of life on a silver platter. It just clicked.
I still get goosebumps thinking about the altruistic gesture this couple is making. They see it as giving these embryos a chance for life. I can only imagine the emotions behind making such a decision. They will have biological children somewhere else in the world. They won’t be their children, as they are giving up any parental rights, but there will be children somewhere around the world who will be fully related to their kids. It’s not something easy to explain. It’s not something that everyone will agree with. It’s something that I believe is fantastic. They are opening up a whole new world to potential parents who are having trouble conceiving.
I see it as them giving me the opportunity to adopt a child AND carry that child. Not just any child though. These embryos were created through their love for one another. There is something special about that, almost magical. It wasn’t an anonymous egg meeting anonymous sperm in a Petri dish. These embryos were created out of love and out of the 10, a lucky random 3 were used to create this couple’s forever family. I was now being chosen to see if any of the other 7 were meant to be! They chose me! THAT IS SPECIAL!!
But how does it work?
Do you just adopt the embryos? Do you have to pay? It was such unknown territory and we were both having to look into it.
First off, it is illegal to pay for embryos, so the word adoption is not one used much in the fertility world. It truly is an altruistic donation from the donors. Therefore, it’s an “embryo donation”. As a recipient, I would have to cover expenses occurred by the donors — such as legal fees (if any) and medical fees — as well as cover the expense of shipping the embryos to my clinic here in Canada. An agreement would also have to be drafted and signed. Once again, support groups were a big help in finding out what needed to be agreed on, a lawyer friend helped with the terminology and lucky for me, this couple truly had the same vision as I had about this semi-open donation. Within the month, we had signed an agreement.
I would be the recipient of 7 embryos.They would relinquish parental rights upon transfer and I would become the sole guardian of the embryos and the future children that may result from them. We agreed that our children would know about each other and that we would keep in touch via social media with regular updates. We would be there for each other’s family if anything medically happened to one of the children (need of an organ or plasma, for example). The children would be allowed to contact each other once older, or with the permission of their respective parents. So much went into the agreement, but again, it came easy. It was very emotional on both sides of the ocean!
We’ve added each other on social media and I can’t stop smiling when they post updates! Their son – an absolutely adorable little human & future big brother – gives me a glimpse of what my eventual child may look like. I was excited to hear that Mom Sarah is newly pregnant with their second and I felt so privileged when I received the “we heard a heartbeat today” message. It is such a unique journey that I am embarking on, but I am not sure I could have imagined one, under these circumstances, that would be more exciting, nor more beautiful.
Willie Nelson once said: “There is only one map to the journey of life and it lives within your heart”. Well, a nice family of three (soon-to-be 4) from the UK is now living in my heart and I will be forever be grateful that they chose to join maps in this journey!
(TO BE CONTINUED)