We had a total of 5 when the whole process began.
What Process and 5 what?
IVF (In Vitro Fertilization ) was the process.
5 is the amount of Embryos.
When we started our process of IVF, after many years of emotions, we were able to get 7 eggs. 5 fertilized and became embryos, 1 would not make it to the freezing stage and 2 were inserted via IVF transfer and I delivered our twins in 2013.
If you were doing the math, that would leave 2 embryos left. Left to sit in a tube.. together for nearly 5 years frozen. During this time of March 2013, the procedure was a slow freezing process which has a success rate of 70%.
When you have embryos frozen, our fertility clinic’s particular procedure was to send out a yearly paper asking what you would like to do with them.
Our 4 options were:
1 – Move Embryos to another Lab
2 – Donate Embryos to Science
3 – Discard Embryos
4 – Keep Embryos Frozen
For the first couple years, I really had no plans of having more children.. I was tired and exhausted, but I wasn’t going to throw them away either, so we would pay the yearly $500 storage fee and select #4- Keep Embryos Frozen.
After year 3 and 4, the twins being older and more independent, and we were getting full nights of sleep, the idea of adding another child to our family wasn’t sounding crazy anymore. So we would think about it and think…
No, we are crazy.. give up sleep?
BUT then that yearly letter would come asking what we would want to do and we would still not want to just throw them out, so we would pay the fee, because to us, we wanted to know what they would become. It took alot of work and money to get those embryos.
We wanted to give them the opportunity to become who they would become.
We didn’t want to become 60 and wonder what our “babies” would have been.
So 5 years after they were frozen, we were ready to find out what these 2 embryos had in store for us. What are they to become was finally going to be answered. We started the process for a frozen transfer.
We needed 3 weeks of a semi free schedule to make this happen. We started it in March of 2018.
Week 1 – Monday and Thursday – travel an hour to get blood drawn, so they could test it that morning and give me results by the afternoon. This would be their guide for how much estrogen I would need to stop my ovaries from producing.
Week 2 – Another blood draw and ultrasound 4 hours away to find out the uterus lining thickness. Thickness needed to be more than 7-8mm. Mine was 12 so we were good. Blood work showed we could start progesterone on Sunday Morning.
Week 3 – Sunday start my progesterone and Friday we would do the transfer. The transfer would take place at the clinic which again was 4 hours away.
Sunday came and I woke up and took my first progesterone tablet. Progesterone tells your body that you ovulated. So after 6 days, the transfer could take place.
After taking the progesterone Sunday morning, I received the call that my Father-in-law passed away. After finding out that the funeral would be Saturday, we knew that a Friday transfer would not work out. It was too much to handle in a week and way to many emotions for us to handle all that was going on, so we chose to cancel the transfer and wait.
After a couple of months, we rescheduled the transfer.
This 3 week session would be the end of May, beginning of June.
We did the 3 routine weeks of blood draws and ultrasounds and made it to the transfer day.
Transfer Day… The Day you hope you do not pee your pants, because you need a full bladder for the transfer. I was nervous and had my husband keep driving around, because I didn’t want to have to just sit in the waiting room.
We had to be there at 10:30 am and they would do the transfer at 11:00 AM.
We walked into the office a few minutes before 10:30 AM. As I was checking in and paying, my cell phone rang.
It was my Dr.
I found it weird she was calling.
I answered and she asked were I was.
I told her in the office.
She told me she had bad news.
Neither of the embryos survived the thawing process.
I was shocked..
We were told that there was a 70% chance of survival rate (in Sept of 2013 they changed to the fast freeze method which is 97% chance of survival).
I really thought one would survive.
We sat in the office with the Dr. and she was very sorry for the loss. She explained that she believed because they were in the same tube, that the freezing process failed. At the time of our Freeze they used the slow freezing method. Currently, they use the fast Freezing method which has a greater success. We are grateful that our Dr. from the very beginnng was there also at the end of this journey.
We were OK. I was just SO THANKFUL they had placed 2 embryos in during our first transfer. What if they had only done one… Would 3 have not survived? This was the first time I was truly thankful I had twins. That night after everyone was asleep, I cried in the hotel room out of Thankfulness to God, that we were given our little boy and little girl.
My husband and I had several conversations on how we wanted to give these embryos a chance. If they survived great, if not, then that was OK too. What was ment to be would be. We just needed to give them an opportunity to become what they were ment to become. Had we been given the opportunity to raise another child, we would have taken it, but we were glad we had closure on what these two little embryos would become. I will always know they were not thrown away, but given a chance.