Thursday, November 18, 2010


I have thought to myself... FINALLY. Well I haven't forgotten about my embryo story. not a day goes by that I dont think about it.
This post was extremely hard, mentally to explain things but emotionally. Everytime I would start to write I would cry.
I know it seems weird I can say that this was hard to write before actually writing anything.... well technically I have written roughly 5 or 6 posts and deleted all of them on this topic. Why do I have such a hard time, its because when dealing with invitro to begin with people are EXTREMELY opinionated and embryos well that is even bigger opinionated topic. With that being said I welcome all comments, good or bad. I have come to terms with my decision and dont really care what others think, nothing anyone says will change my actions right now. -Sorry if that seems harsh.
Ok before I get into my process I know most know what an Embryo is, well let me say you know the technical definition of an embryo. Here is what it really is..... YOUR LIVING CHILD. Not just a fertilized egg. My embryos are my children. my egg fertilized by Craig's sperm and at 7 day gestation.
So why am I talking about embryos, no I am not thinking of getting pregnant, but in May of 2009 I had my egg retrieval and on May 13th I had my Embryo transfer of 2 embryos, leaving 4 embryos to freeze. The fertility clinic I went to give you a year of free storage. After that year you begin to pay 45 bucks a month for storage. Well this past June I got my first bill. The dollar amount was not a big deal its what the bill represented.... making a decision. I had not thought about my embryos since they told me four were frozen, so for this to be the way it comes back up was tough. Literally how do you put a price on love... well they did it for me 45 bucks a month.
For most IVF is not something you are super familar with but, before you begin the process you have to sign a TON of paperwork, they ask you questions like; in the event of a divorce who gets control of embryos? As a spouse do you allow the other to take your sperm/egg to produce a child, if they are not able to do so on their own, etc. When it comes to the embryos they give you options on what you would like to do. Well there is so much paperwork, they once we signed it all I never looked at it again, there was no question in my mind that we would be together, so not concerned. But they also had questions asking about once we were done with IVF our choices for the future of the frozen embryos. The choices were 1. allow transfer of all embryos at an inopportune time. (in a nutshell that means pay money to have them put the embryos in you during your period to cause you to essentially miscarry) -that was a HECK NO! 2. embryo donation, we give them to the clinic to allow a couple to donate the embryos. 3. donate to embryo research. 4. ask fertility clinic to dispose of them. (they would thaw them out and not do anything with them).
I know everyone is different but I think its pretty obvious that option 1 and 4 are out. I cannot imagine killing embryos. Even before going through any of this those would have never been options.
So my battle came between donate for adoption or for research. I know people feel that embryo research is killing a child, and to some extent I do agree, but for me I would rather my unborn children help benefit children in the future. With embryo adoption, the reason I had a hard time with this is that I have no problems carrying children and the only reason we would not have them would be because of money, and to give them to someone else and fast forward 18 years when they could contact us, I would not have a good answer on why I gave them up for adoption. The chances of that happening are slim to none, but it still haunts me.  Now the costs of the two choices. donating for adoption, free, we just have to go to OKC to sign a form and give a vial of blood for testing. cost for embryo research minimum 750. that is for the costs of shipping the embryos to the research facilities-I know what some are thinking, if they want the embryos they should pay... nope not nearly enough funding for that. But 750 isn't that bad when you consider 45 bucks a month for a minimum of 5 years. I say 5 years because that is when my dr office would want me to make a decision to do something with them. and keeping them in storage is an option, but most are past their "baby making" time frame so thats not a typical option taken. Well even with the 750 costs I was willing to donate to research, well thats when it became really hard. Although they offer it as an option the fertility clinic does not have any research facilities to refer me to or help with contacting. And I know most have not tried researching embryo research facilities, and even if you have finding out if they will take embryos or who to contact to donate embryos is next to impossible. So since this has been so hard I have started looking into the idea of the only option for us is donating to embryo adoption. My problem with this is, I have looked into embryo adoption and for couples wanting to adopt, not only do you have to go through 5 hundred screenings, test, etc. but it will cost roughly 25k just to purchase the embryos. To me this seems like a huge scam. Fertility clinics are making a killing on embryos because you cannot get paid to donate embryos but yet they can charge nearly 25k for someone to have the embryos and even then, thats only for the frozen, the chances of a successful thaw are close to 1 in 3.
So I have been dealing with all of this for a few months now and when I talked to my doctor they recommended that I just pay the storage fees for atleast another 7 months (basically they said 2 years from when I did the transfer) they really said 2 years after the kids were born so I would have another year, but they said minimum 2 years from transfer, because my hormones are sitll all out of wack.
When I was told this I just kind of stopped trying every day to find facilities to donate too, but i still occasionally look around.
What I have decided to start looking at doing is trying to find a couple in need of embryos that cannot afford to go through the adoption process. I know that sounds crazy but you have to keep in mind that most couples who have reached the point of embryo adoption have tried and been unsuccessful in IVF, which for most will cost anywhere from 7k-18k a round.
So the final verdict as it stands today is I will keep the embryos until May 2011, and will reevaulate the situation at time.
***I know what you are thinking, why do this if you are going ot have more kids.... well that is the part I decided to leave out of the post, in a nutshell we do not want anymore kids, there are several reasons for this decision, which I may get to a post at some point in time***

Monday, November 15, 2010

To all the Mother's out there.

I know I need to catch up on my posts, but this couldn't wait.

*Invisible Mom*

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?'Obviously not; no one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible..
The invisible Mom. Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more! Can you fix this? Can you tie
this? Can you open this?? Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a
clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide to answer,'What number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.'Some days I'm a crystal ball; 'Where's my other sock?, Where's my
phone?, What's for dinner?'I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the
eyes that studied history, music and literature -but now, they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going, she's going, she's gone!? One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England . She had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when she turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.' It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe .
I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription:
'With admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.'
In the days ahead I would read - no, devoured - the book. And I would discover what would become for  me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: 1) No one can say who built the great
cathedrals - we have no record of their names. 2) These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. 3) They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. 4) The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.
A story of legend in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof, No one will ever see it And the workman replied, 'Because God sees.'
I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, no Cub Scout meeting, no last minute errand is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.
I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree. When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend
he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for 3 hours and presses all the linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, he'd say, 'You're gonna love it there...'
As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible mothers.