I got a bill yesterday for a $100 storage fee for our last embryo.
When we started the IVF roller-coaster we were so hopeful for enough embryos to make freeze that we could have two children. When 27 eggs were retrieved we were CERTAIN of this fate. And then only 6 made it to blastocyst.
My first FET (frozen embryo transfer) was with one embryo and resulted in a pregnancy. JOY! There is hope for two children!
Three weeks after the first positive pee stick I was wheeled back to have the “products of conception” stripped from my uterus.
And then there were five.
In September we thawed two more embryos. Only one was thriving so we did another single transfer. Negative.
In October we thawed two more. Desperate for a child, we transferred both on Oct. 10, my 32 birthday.
One of these guys took and today I’m so thankful to say I’m 28 weeks pregnant. I never thought I’d get this far.
But what to do with the remaining embryo? Of the five that were thawed, only one resulted in what we can tell is a viable pregnancy. That is not boding well for the remaining embryo. Also, it seems tremendously foolish to undergo an FET with only one maybe-baby in the bank. What if it does not survive thaw? Then you are just out the money and go home with an empty uterus.
I’ve considered saving this embryo just in case. Maybe in a few years I’ll feel emotionally ready to take a gamble with one? Maybe, but didn’t we agree over the holidays that we were done? Am I not ready to reclaim my body and my mind? Fertility drugs were HARD on me. “I’ve paid my dues and will be happy with one child,” I say with resolve.
That one remaining clump of cells might have the chance to give Chicken the same bond I have with my brother, Hermano.
There is also the financial aspect of storing one embryo. Currently, storage costs $100 every three months, which is $400 a year. I won’t be ready to even consider another pregnancy for at least a year, probably two. That’s $400 to $800, which is pocket change to many, but when you are moving to one of the most expensive cities in the country, living off of one income and adding a third family member, well, $400 to $800 becomes a whole hell of a lot. Add in the cost of transferring the embryo to another clinic, and then undergoing a final FET and the expense is just too much for us.
I’m not a religious person. I don’t believe that “life begins at conception.” I don’t believe that the six day old clump of cells suspended in liquid nitrogen is a real person. I do believe that that cell clump was fiercely wanted and fought for. I do believe that I love that embryo, as I love the baby kicking inside me, and as I love the first baby who had just started to put down roots back in May 2012.
So how do you make the call? How do you pull the plug?