Thursday, July 30, 2009

Confession Time

I am feeling guilty for something I know was not under my control. But I can't help it.

Five embryos were donated to us. A mom and dad loved those embryos and agonized for 5 years after their own twins were born over whether or not to donate the remaining embryos. Yes, they were frozen in a cylinder for 6 years (frozen at the time of the donor's fresh cycle). I'm sure those parents thought of their embies often.

After so long, they found it in their hearts to donate their embryos. We were the lucky recipients. Four of the five survived the thaw. I have a photo the RE gave us of our 4 surviving embies. One looked too frazzled. It was not in good shape. But the other 3 were so pretty, full of beautiful cells and almost no fragmentation.

Those 3 beautiful embies were transferred to me. Only 1 survived and implanted.

I feel badly that the others did not make it. That we were given this gift of five embryos and my body accepted only one. My generous donors - their gift - it was so amazing and took them so long to feel comfortable donating their children's future siblings. And I only managed to save one of them.

Logically I know that I did my best. This was not in my control. But I am almost ashamed that I "lost" their other embies. I know that at age 43, carrying multiples would have presented additional risks. I just feel that I failed my donors in some way.

Don't get me wrong. I am so, so grateful and honored and joyful for the one little one inside me. I will do everything I can to preserve this baby and help it to grow strong. I love it so much and know it is already the sunshine of my life.

I'm just a bit sad that it's siblings won't be coming along too.


stillhopeful said...

Maybe you could also look at it that you saved one of the embies and are actually giving life to perhaps the only one that was viable?

Lorraine said...

This little one will be so loved, and that is the most important part of this story. I imagine that couple would be so happy to find out that one of their embryos made such a difference to someone. After all, they went through it, too - they of all people must know how crazy the odds are!

As I so hate to point out even to myself, we are "older", and while that doesn't mean much now, at the end of a pregnancy it can mean much more serious complications. Better to take the best possible care with one than risk long-term problems with twins - it would be really heartbreaking to be given the gift of embryos and end up with terrible complications.

I am so glad that they donated their embryos, that you got them, and that one actually stuck! It's an amazing process.

Mad Hatter said...

What a beautiful gift this couple has given to your family, and you to them. I can understand your guilt, but I would like to gently remind you that the two embryos likely didn't implant because of uncontrollable, unseen reasons - not because of you. It's clear that your body is a welcoming and healthy place to stay because the strongest embryo nestled in for the long haul. And I'm soooooooo happy for you, and for this couple, that she/he did!

just me, dawn said...

Your body did not fail the other two embies, your body has done what nature does, given life to a healthy embie. I know you know logically, that every FET does not result in a pregnancy, every one that does is a miracle. You are carrying one of those miracles. I am so happy that you are doing well. ((hugs))

Alex P said...

I agree with justdawn. Stay positive. Stop reading here, because the following is written by someone who hasnt been in your place and Im sure youve heard it all before. Its delicious that you share your sadness, because its honest andlets you process it. But below is some attempt at looking on the bright side, which may be obtuse and inappropriate for me to expand on. (K. Really stop).

Despite the fact that these little buddies were fertilized and harvested for the express purpose of potentially becoming little people, the fact that some didn't make the end journey is not something to be mourned. If you believe in miracles, in fate, in destiny, then you hopefully think that each person, place, thing has a purpose and journey. That some of these eggs were not meant to make the journey was just their path. Every month millions of women 'drop an egg' without intending it to turn into a hatchling. Some do, even if thats not the plan, and many don't, even if some are hoping for it. Our lives would be riddled with grief if people pined over each and every one of these occurrences as something that could have been. Your road is definitely harder than most, You got to see them embark on their path at the doc appointment. But you deserve to focus on the upside: Your miracle is in progress! Additionally, guilt implies you made this happen- but you actually only gave them an opportunity to thrive, you didn't cause any of the loss, so no guilt should be! You gave some parents the ability to let go of their remaining embys without guilt, they were able to give you an amazing chance at parenthood. Love live and follow your path!

Holly said...

I can relate, we had 10 embryos,4 survived the thaw(s), 3 were viable and transferred and out of those, our beautiful son came to be...and he was frozen for over 15 years. We believe he is here for a reason. He is a precious miracle and a gift from God. We have an open adoption agreement and not once has his biological Mother asked about the others, she is so happy that he exists and survived.

I mourned his lost siblings, but celebrate his life, as delivering him right before my 44th birthday, he will be my only one!

Alex, I love what you wrot, even though you haven't been in my place, it was comforting to me :)

looking4#3 said...

Complete agree with all of the PP!!! Also, complete hear where you are coming from as well. It is so easy to say, "Stay focused on what you have, what is coming, yadda yadda" Sometimes, just sometimes it is easier to look back on the "What could have beens or the What ifs!!" I also think it is easier to blame ourselves rather than accepting "it just wasn't meant to be"
Not for ONE second have I ever thought or had the impression you are not completely and totally grateful and overwhelmed at the gift you have received and will continue to.

BB said...

Well, you know me. I believe in miracles and fate. I believe this little baby inside of you was meant to be yours. I understand your feelings but agree with others that you could look at is as giving the gift of life to this one baby. What if you were not the recipient, what it they went to someone else and none of them took? For whatever reason, you were matched at the right time, right place and this baby took to you, to be your family. That is how it is to be!! I'm so so happy that this worked for you!!!

ErinJean said...

I can understand what you mean. I think I can see myself feeling that way a little, too. However, had the donors decided to ultimately use them for themselves again, there is no promises that the same result (or worse, failed FET) would happen. I am sure they knew that going into the process.

I understand your feeling, though. The best thing you can do is be a wonderful mommy to the one surviving baby! :)

Fran said...

Hello my dear, I'm back and couldn't be here quick enough to leave you a big hug. I know how you feel, but I'm more enclined to think it was the two embryos that didn't make it to have maybe some little reason to do so rather than you not being able to "safe" them. You gave them the chance, a big one and only the strongest (your baby) survived. I'm sure the donors are at peace with their choice, and would be delighted to know than a fantastic person like you will become a mother. Love, Fran