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Don't know what to do with remaining frozen embies?(children men't)

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#1 bussbee

Posted 05 April 2012 - 10:04 PM


Just wondering if anyone can help me with a decision that is keeping me awake at night and I agonise over and over during the day.
We have two beautiful boys from IVF and ICSI.
From the last cycle we have 3 frozen embryos. My youngest DS was a frozen embryo out of this cycle. I'm tormented by what to do with the remaining ones as I worry there is the potential for another beautiful child.
I had him at 42 and I'm now 44.
We feel our family is complete and we are so blessed but I can't bear letting the other frozen embies go. I'm scared I'm too old to be pregnant again and I risk taking time away from my existing boys with possible illness. I was quite sick during my last pregnancy and missed precious time with my first DS.
I can't make up my mind whether to try the embies or not.
Anyone been feeling the same or have advice?

#2 Lokum

Posted 05 April 2012 - 10:22 PM

No advice to give. Just my best wishes in dealing with a very difficult issue.

I know and understand the emotional attachment to embryos. Good luck.

Edited by Lokum, 22 April 2012 - 08:32 PM.

#3 mez70

Posted 05 April 2012 - 10:51 PM

I think you are facing a really hard decision and I have been there. I am lucky to have 3 children DD and DS1 are twins and took 9 fully stim IVF /ICSI cycles to achieve. Although I used to get good numbers sadly I never ended up with any left to freeze except once, when they were about 3 we tried again and had no luck. Years later DH and I decide to give it one last crack and decided we would try another Stim IVF/ ICSI, this time around due to my age it was suggested we try another medication in the cocktail which while it was expensive (no sh*t $900.00 for 7 needles) it was supposed to improve egg quality so we figured why not. Well that cycle resulted in 6 embies, I transferred which sadly didn't stick leaving 5 of those we were able to freeze 4 for the first time ever. We had only ever frozen 1 before on one cycle. So time comes for FET and voila that embie stuck and is now 2.5 yrs old. When he was born we knew our family was complete we had 3 kids and as I don't do pregnancy well even with just 1 we knew that there would be no more.

There was however 3 embies on ice so the decision of what to do cropped up. After talking to DH we thought about donating them and I made the calls etc however on our records it showed we had done some PGD cycles and they asked why... Anyway these PGD cycles were done in the earlier days to try and find a reason for us not being able to get PREG eg was there an abnormality etc, however since the birth of my older2 we had since found about about a genetic abnormality which we choose not to screen the 3 embies for as we knew that if they were girls they would be the same as DD and we were happy to take that risk. However this abnormality then made them unsuitable for donation as most people if honest would not want to take the risk. That really bummed me out as it was a huge challenge to get to the point where I felt I could give away my potential children for 18 years and then perhaps have them come back and want info or to meet bio siblings etc.

In the end we donated to science as they were doing work on PGD at the time. This felt better to me than just disposing and felt that as they possibly had genetic markers they could look for it was worthwile and that they counted for something if that makes sense.  I never in my wildest dreams would have thought I would ever be in the position of having to choose their fate .

I still mourn them though and sometimes wish I still had them on ice so I could try a FET, yet my head knows that our family is complete. I feel guilty as well that I let them be donated to science. If I had my time again I would talk to the counsellors more as with my clinic the process in donating them to science was as simple as DH and I signing a piece if paper and posting it back. Looking back I almost wish that the decision to destroy or donate to science was accompanied by a must attend counselling session  that counsellor had to sign off on as well. Good luck with what is a hard decision and if you do destroy or donate to science remember it is ok to mourn their loss and those potential children just as we mourn all those that never "stuck"

#4 bmax

Posted 05 April 2012 - 11:29 PM

Hi, I haven't posted in an age but felt compelled to respond to your question. You're not alone in this dilemma and like your previous poster when going through IVF & ICSI I never envisioned this possibility. Does anyone? Like you I also have 3 frosties. Re advice as to whether to go again I don't know. I think only you and your partner can make that decision. Like you I mulled over it for a long time, my husband was definite but it took me a while to identify what I really felt. And think through all the reasons for and against.

We have two beautiful girls, 2 & 4 for which I'm very grateful. I am 42 and my husband 51 and he was sure that we had completed our family. I sometimes thought about a third (very hard not to when you keep getting bills every 6 months asking if you want to keep your embryos) but pregnancy was very hard on me and after much thought I made the decision to accept and embrace the family we have. If we were younger I would probably try and talk my husband around but as it is I'm happy with our decision.

So then I had to make a decision as to what to do with our frozen embryos. I obsessed with it for a while, looking up the internet for other views/experiences. Initially I thought, like others, that I couldn't bear to have a biological child born and not be able to love him/her.
I was surprised that my husband's instant response was that of course we should donate. I thought about it for a long time, the implications, my feelings, what was really holding me back. I was very inspired by one woman's explanation to her imagined child that I read and it really came down to - life or no life. As the "Mother" of these embryos I want them to have life.

So to cut to the chase we are donating. We have been through the counseling etc and will soon be donating our embryo. As part of the information share we had to fill out details about us, families genetic history etc and had the option of writing a letter to the future child. It was a very emotional experience for me. I actually feel honoured to be in this extraordinary position of potentially creating life and of helping a couple realise their passion to have a child. And I am filled with excitement that I may one day meet a biological child of mine and that my lovely girls will have a sibling and perhaps form a special relationship.

By the sounds of it you are not fully decided, as to whether you want to try for more children or not. One thing that may be of interest. I was surprised when my IVF doctor told me that there were no increased risks because of my age, 42/43 as my embryo was created when I was 38, so there were the same risks of abnormalities as with my daughters.

I wish you luck with your decision. It feels amazing I should see your post now as the clinic only called me today to put in place the final steps to donation. I think I have a pretty clear head about the whole thing and we have opted for an open donation, so we will meet the parents. I look forward to it.

#5 ms flib

Posted 06 April 2012 - 10:25 AM

It's a difficult decision but I would consider donation.

#6 bussbee

Posted 06 April 2012 - 10:05 PM

Thank you all for replying to my post.
As mentioned, it is an incredibly difficult decision and like 'mez70' says there is a very intense sense of loss at the thought of letting them succumb or donating them to science.  
However, I think your reasoning 'mez70' was very logical to donate to science and it does especially make sense with the possibility of genetic markers. I also totally understand how you continue to feel such mixed emotions towards your decision.

That is really generous of you 'bmax' to be donating to another couple.  I hope it all goes really well for you. It is such an incredible thing to do for another couple. I think I would really struggle imagining my embryos going to someone else, so I really admire you for being able to do that. Even if we were comfortable with this approach we are unable to do so, as our clinic says the embryos must have been created before the age of 35 which was not our case.

I feel so confused on a daily basis with this decision making. It is almost like a torture. We would love to have closure on it, but just aren't convinced on what would be the right decision.

My doctors have told me the embryos are only cell clusters but when you see some of them at that level before transfer and then they grow into a special child, it just creates a different perception of them which is creating this terrible dilemma.

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