Our one frozen embryo

Earlier this week at dinner Chris and I were talking and the topic of ‘we haven’t talked about timings for #2 baby yet’ came up.  I talked about the minimum suggested time between giving birth and getting pregnant again according to doctors is after 12 months.  I am not sure I would want to get pregnant sooner than that anyway!  And so I said to Chris,

“well we can get ready for a frozen embryo transfer with our one left in the freezer after a year”.

Chris then said, “But I would like to try and conceive naturally first before doing a transfer”.

I paused, looked at him for a moment and just burst into tears.

I couldn’t explain to him exactly why I was crying, but I had a gazillion emotions running through me at that moment.  It was difficult to process, but here are some of the things running around in my head before I could even get a word out between the tears….

  1.  A reminder that we were not able to conceive naturally in the first place.
  2. It’s so so so unfair.
  3. But what about our embryo in the freezer? How can we leave that behind?
  4. I would LOVE to conceive naturally and believe that our infertility can be resolved and that pregnancy ‘resets’ my hormones (somehow).
  5. We haven’t got to take home #1 yet, I can’t imagine #2!
  6. Aghhhhhh this stuff is just scary to think about right now.
  7. HORMONES HORMONES RAGING HORMONES can’t stop crying, why can i not stop crying???!!!

So Chris consoled me and asked me to talk to him.  Once I gave my nose a good old blow, I started thinking all these things out loud.  We had a long talk about it all, our thoughts, opinions and differences.  But for me the most important thing I wanted to explore was the fact that we have one embryo in the freezer still.  I was unsure what I felt about that, and how we should be involving that into our decision making.  It lead to some general questions about the existence of life and ethics.  Our journey to conceive and the stages we have faced along the way.  We talked about attachment to our embryos and changes over time.

Every month I receive a bill of $60 from my fertility clinic for embryo storage costs. A monthly reminder of what we are lucky to have.  This little embryo was frozen from our first IVF cycle and is the only embryo out of our three IVF cycles that made it to the freezer.  So our frozen embryo is now over a year old already.

Each of the subsequent IVF cycles after our first I have often questioned the logic of pursing another round of IVF when we have one embryo ready to go.  But it was all about an assessment of risk.  Risk that we would prepare for a Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) for our one and only embryo not to survive the thaw and have nothing.  So the idea was to get at least another one to the freezer so we could de-risk the chances of preparing for a FET and not having anything to transfer.  It was all about numbers.  But the longer I think about it and further we got into IVF, our embryo is not just a number.  It’s a life we created. Although many argue it’s not really a life as some people consider a life to be.  It’s kind of mind boggling, and I wish I could articulate it in words.

So part of my response to Chris was my wrapped up with my convoluted feelings about our frozen embryo.  Maybe it’s guilt or maybe I’m thinking why the hell are we paying $60 a month if we don’t plan on using it!

It’s complicated and we have lots of time to decide what to do if we decide to try for #2 baby.  But I don’t ever forget about our frozen embryo, it’s existence and it’s strength to survive out of all our others 23 embryos (not including Rocky of course!).  May be it’s a future brother or sister for Rocky.  May be it will never survive the thaw.  But it’s definitely not forgotten about.



9 thoughts on “Our one frozen embryo

  1. Anonymous says:

    Wow I was only thinking about the exact same thing today. As soon as you have one everyone starts asking whether you are planning a second. Sometimes I just want to shout out ‘it’s not that easy’ and I know it does happen a lot but if one more person tells me they are sure it will happen naturally next time I think I might actually scream. Firstly I am not even sure I want a second, i feel so lucky to have one. I certainly don’t want one yet, I want to enjoy every second I have with baby number one. Secondly if we do decide on number two like you I am torn. We are really lucky to have 4 little frozen embryos. If we try to conceive naturally then how long do we try, when do we start etc etc and what becomes of our beautiful embryos. I look at the perfect baby we created the first time and can’t help but wish for another just like her and maybe just maybe that chilled out little dude or dudette already exists, maybe they are waiting patiently for their chance. But of course their are no guarantees in this cruel game we have been forced into playing and can i really roll that dice again, can I put my body and my mind through it all again? But equally can I live without trying? I guess only time will tell. I wait patiently for the letter asking us if we want to keep the Fab Four and I know for now I can’t let go x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. EmilyMaine says:

    We had one in the freezer as well and I just donated it to research. The decision was easier to make for me though as I am pretty certain it was abnormal. It was from before I had my endo removed and when we did PGD on it it came back inconclusive. Every other embryo ever created either didn’t survive or came back from PGD as abnormal. Knowing now that I had endo is what makes me pretty certain that one poor little sucker was never going to make it. You will know what to do when the time comes…and there are less hormones raging!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Amy M. says:

    I often wonder what is going to happen with our 2 frosties we have. Obviously we want another child. But what if when we’re ready, we transfer 1, and that one takes? What will we do with the one left? I don’t THINK we want to try for 3, but I guess I can’t say that right now. I also wonder if what if we transfer both, and neither takes…then we are back at square 1. Aside from all this…we DID manage to get pregnant once on our own, thought it was lost at 8 weeks. Could we do it again ourselves? If we had been patient and kept trying, would it have happened again WITHOUT treatments? There’s so, so, SOOOOO much to think about with all of this, it’s hard to figure out where to even start sometimes. I guess having the time to think about things is good, since there are so many aspects of the situation to consider. I hope you guys come to a decision that you’re both happy with…when the time comes! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. dinksbydefault says:

    yep, feeling the same way. I think we are done having babies now but we still have two in the freezer. its a discussion my hubby and I are consciously putting off until a year from now (our IVF fee included a year of storage then we will pay to store them for one more year then decide what to do). no easy answers here.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Nara says:

    This is so interesting to me. We aren’t in that position as we have no frosties, and never have managed more than one fresh transfer. Also I am super grateful and happy just to have a chance of one child, so I am not even thinking of trying to have another. I think it would be different if we had a frozen embryo waiting for us but we don’t. I am with you… I would wonder what would happen to it if we left it and I think we’d want to try… But then I have found IVF so gruelling. Although I think part of that is emotional so if I had one child I feel like I would be less worried almost, if that makes sense. Like maybe I would feel less pressure. I don’t know. I hope that you manage to reach a decision.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. thegreatpuddingclubhunt says:

    Thank you everyone for sharing your stories, it is incredible the journeys we have been on, how uncertain our futures remain and how infertility doesn’t leave us completely – you continue to make me think of things from different perspective and inspire me in many ways X


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