Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Fifth Choice

Hello. My name is Shelly and I am a Blog Addict. "Hi Shelly..."

It's true. I feel like I should join Bloggers Anonymous. I have become obsessed with all things "blog", although to look at my own, I guess you wouldn't know it.

Thing is, I've vowed to reserve this blog for the purpose which it was intended. I mean, I could come on here and blog incessantly about how overwhelmed I am with school work, how exhausting a teething one year old is, how I'm suffering from tremendous feelings of guilt as a result of all of the obligations that keep me away from my family, and on and on....

But I won't do that. ;)

So I came across a blog not so long ago (in complete honesty, I don't remember which one), and read something that did not sit well with me. At all.

The topic was receipt of "the letter" following an IVF procedure resulting in remaining frozen embryos. "The letter", which I've mentioned countless times here, and that you've undoubtedly heard mentioned many times elsewhere, asking for a decision regarding the fate of your remaining frozen embryos.

Now we're all aware of the "big four". And prior to discovering this blog, I thought that's all there were ~ four choices. Disposal, continued preservation, research, or donation. None of which are obviously as simple as they sound. But now I hear there's a fifth choice. Transferring the remaining embryos at a particular point in a woman's cycle during which they have no chance of resulting in a viable pregnancy.

I believe there was a name for this procedure, although I can't recall what it was. Although several thoughts come to mind....

This is such a difficult concept for me to grasp. And in no way do I want to diminish anyone's personal experience. But WHY? HOW?

If you read back on my blog, you'll see that the option of donation for stem cell research was a very brief consideration of mine. But I just couldn't do it. In the end, for me, there was no other choice but one.

We entered the process of IVF wanting a baby. A living, breathing baby. We followed our protocol, held tight to our faith, and were blessed with seven beautiful blastocysts. ALL of whome we LOVED. ALL of whom deserved a chance at LIFE.

As for my family, we were only able to bring home one. But that left six little embies still in need of a family. And mercifully, God led us to them.

So I'm sorry, but I just don't buy this whole claim of "disposing of them mercifully"! By transferring them at a time that they have zero chance of viability is, in my eyes, a death sentence. Yes, I said it.

Was making the choice to donate them to another couple an easy one? HECK NO! Did we question ourselves and then question ourselves AGAIN? HECK YES!

Has this undeniably been one of the most life altering, amazing experiences of my life? No question.

If I offend anyone, I apologize. But you know what? I went into the IVF process thinking I couldn't possibly have a greater appreciation for life, or stand more firmly in my beliefs.

I was wrong.

Those remaining five tiny little frozen embryos, not to mention the precious miracle currently growing at 13 weeks strong in his/her mama's belly, have taught me a greater lesson than any person I know.

And for that, I am grateful.