Hi folks or whoever is still out there. I know I've been away a long time. Having a baby, then a toddler, and now a 5-year-old does that to a person. It's hard to believe Reese is already 5 years old and starting kindergarten in August! August - that's next month! Momma isn't ready for this.
So the reason for what may be the final blog of this my "infertility" blog is we have decided to donate our remaining embryos to an organization so they can be "adopted" by another couple. I knew this day was coming. The biggest factor was we were paying our fertility clinic annually to care for our eggs. It's been $250 a year since 2011. They had told us previously that at year 5 the price increases to $500 because at that point, in their experience anyway, if a couple hasn't done IVF again, they probably won't. So I was expecting that as we passed Reese's fifth birthday in April and even last October when we were in Hawaii (back to this in a bit). I played with the thought of paying for the first year (technically 6th year) and re-evaluating in the summer of 2018. That abruptly came to a halt when we got the bill and instead of $500, it was for $1,000. Guess it's time to figure this out!
Let me first say that I was also holding on to these embryos with the thought that if someday Reese needed something, maybe science and technology had progressed enough that the embryos could assist her (in my head like stem cells). I asked my doctor friends and the response I got was that we'd have to grow a person from the embryos in order to have them help us in any way. Ok, question answered. Although I did just see something about a womb that sits in your living room and grows a baby with your "stuff"...nah, we're good.
The initial letter was just a bill and a letter about the next steps if we were ready to discard our embryos (we still have 7 in the freezer). So I emailed Holly at Dr. H's office and asked for assistance, after of course updating her on Reese and sending photos. She oohed-and-ahhed like she always does when I email her, and then answered my questions. The "donation" process has changed a lot in the last 5 years, so it's a little bit more involved. Dr. H's office (to my best recollection) would simply take the eggs off our hands, stop billing us and when they came upon a couple in need, would offer ours among the others they had. Not so much anymore since the State of Arizona says that isn't ok. So we have another agency to go through - the National Embryo Donation Center.
I filled out their extensive forms online (eye color, hair color, medical background for parents, so many questions) and submitted, then about a week later received an email back with a huge packet to also fill out. Still have that sitting here. The email also indicated that blood work would be needed and the center would pay for that or reimburse us. For those of you who don't remember, J is not thrilled about needles. I'm not either per se, but he is REALLY adverse to them. So when I brought this up to him, he was not excited. I'd already told him about the bill and my other thoughts. He would throw the towel in just over a vial of blood work. This is where Momma puts her foot down and says, "Man up, we are not simply discarding these embryos that I (technically we) grew because you are afraid of a little needle prick!"
So there you have it. We have officially started this process - notarized the forms yesterday and in the mail they went. We have taken IVF off the table and our infertility story is seemingly over. Now there's always the possibility that God will surprise us down the road and bless us with a baby, that we'd be over the moon happy about. But since it hasn't happened for the last 5 years and we haven't been "preventing" it, I'm guessing we will just have one kiddo in our lives and that is just fine. And at 38 the window on that is rapidly closing anyway.
Now back to the Hawaii thing - 2 Christmases ago my folks gifted us with a trip to Hawaii to go with them. Wonderful present! Reese was a trooper on the plane and would have stayed in Hawaii if we'd let her. She loved the beach and the pool and just being on vacation in a new place. J and I had plenty of us time because the Gma and Pappy were seemingly always happy to entertain her, feed her, swim with her, and put her to bed. If we weren't in a room that was connected, we could probably have gone most of the trip without seeing each other! So knowing the above issue was coming, I deemed Hawaii a good time to discuss with J the situation and get his thoughts. I was completely on the fence - didn't have my hopes up for another baby, but could have gone that way too. As I suspected, he was (and continues to be happy) with just one bambino. My feelings weren't hurt as I simply opened it up for discussion. But we were away from the stresses of work and "real adult life" so that helped get a true discussion.
Oh, one possibility I forgot to mention that is on the forms I have yet to fill out is do we want an open adoption of our embryos or a closed one. First we discussed donating embryos to friends who are struggling to get pregnant and have lost one child to a genetic disorder. While that would be amazing....we both agreed that we probably couldn't handle watching dear friends raise what literally is our child. Even if they did everything how we would of, something would be off. And God-forbid they did something we didn't agree with, things could really go south. So that went away. I think we'll probably go with closed for the same reason as above, however the option is still there to know that someone used the embryos. Have to read a little further to see if it stops there or if they tell me that it worked or not in the process. But the journey is ending...not really sad about it because I got my miracle. She's at dance camp right now in a hula skirt...and a couple weeks ago was there as a troll...and below was Vacation Bible School as a super hero. Couldn't be happier about this little crazy girl!