Human life is so very precious, and if you look at it scientifically, it’s a miracle any of us are here at all. Everything has to be perfect: the timing has to be perfect as well as the good health of the mother. Just a few decades ago, there wasn’t much hope for an infertile couple dreaming of parenthood. Science has come a long way, and now there are so many new options, new hope for growing families. Technology today has made it possible to freeze human life at the very beginning. When I learned about this option, I was in absolute awe and was given new hope. This means that a woman wanting desperately to carry a child in her womb, with all the wonders and joy that brings, can. What a true miracle! What an amazing gift!
One million. That’s the number of frozen embryos that are in storage in the U.S. Human life, in the form of 32-120 cells which are suspended in cryoprotectant and locked in a freezer at negative 196 degrees celsius. So, what will happen to all of these precious embryos? Will they be frozen for eternity, or will they be given the chance at life? This is where our plea comes in. After years of research and agonizing over what our next step should be, we are now ready to move forward with embryo adoption. We have a new hope and are so excited to be a family for one of these precious children in the very beginning stages of their life.
Anyone familiar with infertility and IVF knows that it can be a financially and emotionally draining process. Oftentimes, couples need to undergo more than one IVF cycle to achieve a successful pregnancy. We’ve had five. With reproductive technology advancing throughout recent years and success rates for IVF rising, many couples store their unused embryos at facilities for future use. Some are stored as couples gather the strength to attempt another IVF cycle after a failed one. Others have completed their families and store the embryos because they don’t know what else to do with them.
When a couple is in the middle of their IVF cycle obsessing over hormone shots, ultrasounds, and Googling every possible early-pregnancy symptom, the last thing that’s on their minds is what they are going to do with their remaining embryos. Unused embryos can be frozen and saved for a future cycle, which is far less expensive than a fresh cycle. These “snowflakes” as they are called in the community, represent another chance at becoming parents. So what can couples do with their unused frozen embryos? They often have three options: have the embryos destroyed, donate them to research, or donate them to another couple struggling with infertility.
Embryo donation provides couples with the ability to help others in the infertility community. It offers the potential for life. If you think about it, there is no greater gift that someone can give.
We went through three “fresh” cycles of IVF and were able to freeze some embryos of our own. But after two additional frozen cycles and an IUI, we have used all of ours. Embryo donation would give us the potential for a child… a sibling for Hudson. This is our goal. We’ve used donor sperm and donor embryos before, so we understand that he or she wouldn’t have our DNA. But when it comes down to it, that would be an afterthought. We would be the ones getting up at night to comfort her, feed her, change her. We would be the ones gazing into those innocent eyes. We would be the ones saving for college education or teaching her how to ride a bike. We want this with all of our hearts.
Infertility is sad, frustrating, and a huge financial burden. Donating embryos may be able to end heartache and give a family, like ours, the child they’ve wanted for so long. You can feel secure in knowing that if you’re reading this and considering donating embryos, that we, and any couple going through infertility for that matter, is going to put as much effort into being a parent as we did into trying to get pregnant. When you work so hard for something as precious as a family, it is never taken for granted. If you or someone you know have unused frozen embryo’s and are not sure what to do with them next, we hope you’ll consider reaching out to us as a family for that precious child. Thank you so much.