Confused about next steps.... Donate embryos? — The Bump
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Confused about next steps.... Donate embryos?

Hello ladies.
It has been quite a while since I've been on these message boards ... I could use some advice.

Little backstory in a nutshell - Husband has severe Azoospermia and after exhausting all treatment options, we resorted to using a donor.  After 7 years of battling IF we gave birth to our son (now 4yo) who was born with a severe heart defect and palate defect (he was a fresh IVF cycle).  He has had 2 surgeries and is doing well.  Nearly 2 years later, we gave birth to our daughter (now 2yo).  She was born at 28 weeks and it was a rough start, but she's doing very well now.  So, as you can see, it has been a really tough journey.  ---  We still have 2 frozen embryos.  Husband has had a really tough tough time going the donor route from the get go.  He loves our kids to death and wouldn't trade them for anything, but he says he suffers everyday knowing that they are not his biological children.  This is not something that would truly bother me, but it really bothers him.  Anyway, for this reason, compiled with health concerns of the unknown and daycare costs, he doesn't want any more children.  I do.  I really do.  Back when we started this journey, we were unsure about going through IVF due to our religious beliefs that life starts at conception and we did agree that we'd give all the embryos a chance at life. We didn't know we'd be faced with not one, but 2 children with health issues, and of course we're scared to try for a third, even fourth pregnancy. 

So, I'm torn.  I want to give those 2 embryos a chance at life.  I want to get pregnant again.  He absolutely does not.  Because of our history of birth defects, my clinic will not donate the embryos.  The only option is private donation.  But, I'll be honest, I really struggle with the idea of donating the embryos.  My husband feels not connection to the embryos, so he eager to donate them and he doesn't really care who they get donated to.  I'm not so sure I want to donate them.  I know it may sound selfish, especially since I was once at a point where we were considering adopting and embryo, but I don't want a full sibling to my children out there with another family.  I'd want it to be an open adoption so I can still know about the child and see photos and stuff, but I think that would be torturous for me since I'd want that child in our family. I don't want them to ask me one day, why didn't you choose to have me?  you know?  I guess that is a little irrational of me... but that's how I'm feeling. I'm going to be 40 next year and I'd want to get pregnant before then.... and I can't see my husband changing his mind anytime soon. UGH I'm so torn.  This haunts me and consumes my thoughts. 

None of my friends can even begin to understand my struggle.  Anyone here have any words of advice or have been in the same boat or suggestions?
And just in case I change my mind, do you know of any embryo adoption agencies that could help me to donate my embryos?  Even if we have a history of heart/palate defects?

Thanks ladies.

Me: 36 (Endo) DH: 39 (Azoo)
IVF#1 - BFP - AJ 7/12
FET#1 - BFP Due 7/24/14
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Re: Confused about next steps.... Donate embryos?

  • Hello! I just read your story.  I'm so glad your babies are doing well and that you are committed to giving all your embryos a chance.  There is an embryo donation center in Knoxville, TN run by Dr. Keenan.  They have open adoption programs and they accept special needs embryos.  You should look into it as an option.  Also, I would highly recommend some type of counseling so that you and hubs can get the support you need as you make your decision.
    Married Jan. 2014
    Me:36 DH: 39
    TTC since August 2014, Mild PCOS + uterine fibroids
    Myomectomy June 2015- 18 fibroids removed
    IVF #1, May 2016 = 32 eggs retrieved, 12 fertilized, 7 frozen, 3 PGS normal
    FET#2, July 2016 = one embryo transferred 
    BFP! Beta = 617
    Due date = 4/9/17
    Delivery date = 3/20/17
  • So I'm never on the boards anymore, and I have no idea if you will check back since you posted a month ago. We had similar commitments about giving every embryo a chance. However, with IVF2 we ended up with four embryos and a successful pregnancy (with a 3yo DD from IVF1). 

    Im 37 and not up for FOUR more pregnancies. We ended up thawing and doing a PGS biopsy an refreezing. It was $4k, but 100% worth the money since we had 1 of 4 normal embryos. 

    If if it was financially viable, can you have your embryos tested? If they come back abnormal, you have your answer. If the results are normal, you can revisit pregnancy or donation. You may also have an easier time finding them a family knowing they are tested. 
    TTC Since 3/2010
    Me-36, Unexplained Infertility, DH-35, all clear
    Clomid 50mg 12/2011 = BFN
    Clomid 100mg 1/2012 = BFN, with Cyst
    IVF #1 Lupron/Menopur/Gonal-f/HCG Trigger
    ER 4/19/12 = 11 retrieved, 6 fertilized,
    ET 4/22/12 = 2 transfered (day 3), remaining 3 weren't good enough to freeze
    Beta 5/3 = BFP, 87 Beta #2 5/7 560.9 Beta #3 5/9 1376.5 First u/s One Baby, 125bpm!
    Second u/s, 176bmp! Kicked over to the OB by the RE at 8w. Team Green!! 
    Baby girl J arrived two weeks early! Born into water, med-free. Hooray for Team Pink!

    TTC #2 - back to the RE, treatment started 12/2014. 

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  • I would suggest seeing an infertility counsellor, and/or importantly someone who can spiritual mentor you and pray, and help you navigate what might be best for your family. 
    My husband and I are religious too, and also had a similar agreement. I can tell what you have been through through has obviously affected your husband, and maybe he could do with some help for his fears and have his opinion voiced with another party. Hubby and I are so close, but we still found it helpful to both discuss some issues with a counsellor and a church pastor. 
    PGS as above mentioned is a good idea too, if possible. 
    Pregnancy Ticker Anniversary
  • Thanks ladies.  I just checked back after posting this.  I appreciate the views. 

    We had to have a PGS for one of the embryos (for reasons I'm not allowed to say) and the clinic offered to do the same for the other embryo but I refused.  Maybe I should have.  I don't know.  Anyway, the one was abnormal and was discarded.  the best quality of the two is still in limbo.  I have 4 years of free freezing left... so I have a little more time. 

    Thank you.

    Me: 36 (Endo) DH: 39 (Azoo)
    5 DIUI - BFN
    IVF#1 - BFP - AJ 7/12
    FET#1 - BFP Due 7/24/14
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
    Lilypie Premature Baby tickers
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