Friday, November 25, 2011

What do you think of this???

Last week Murray and I received an email from a married couple.  We don't know these people personally but have friends in common with them.  Anyway they emailed us basically enquiring about whether we would be interested in donating our excess IVF embryos to them.

Talk about not the sort of thing you expect to pop into your inbox when you're at work!!!

We were floored and haven't yet replied.

I know that ethically speaking for us the only options are to either have the babies ourselves (there are 3 embryos) or to donate them to another Christian couple.  I can not imagine having another baby.  Or three. I just really don't think I could put my body through that again - let alone the emotional toll of post natal craziness that seems to last for years afterwards.

However I also cannot imagine giving the embryos away.  I have to be honest and say the reason we have been hanging on to them is partly because I have always viewed them as my 'insurance policy'.  I have always thought that 'if anything happens to Ashlea'....I might want to have another baby.  Now that I am 40 I really don't think that even if something did happen to Ashlea I would want to have another baby - but it is nice to have that option.  If we DID decide we wanted another baby the embryos are there - ready to go.

I think for the time being we are just going to keep paying for the storage of the embryos and deal with the question of what to do with them at a later date.  I don't feel comfortable giving them away just yet - and the idea of giving them to someone that we might run into occasionally is a little disturbing.  My girls all look so alike - I can't imagine bumping into the family and seeing them with children the spitting image of my own.  In some ways I think it would be easier to donate to a complete stranger - in another country - then we wouldn't have to see the children.  Our genetic children - being parented by someone else.

I don't know.  It's a tricky one.  On the one hand I am very strongly against anything that would involve the destruction of the embryos, but on the other hand I just can't seem to commit to doing what I think is ethically the better option.  Not yet anyway.

I think I'm going to file it in the 'can't deal with that right now - got too much else going on' category.  In the future we will be forced to make a decision, but for now I am going to stick my head back in the sand.  I do feel very sorry for the couple making the request - I can understand their desperation to have a child.  I'm just not yet sure if I'm comfortable with the idea of them having my child.


Molly said...

This IS a tricky one. We have 6 frozen, but ironically, I would be more comfortable knowing where they are and seeing them daily should we choose to donate them. I would always wonder what happened to them, are they fed, are they happy.... Not ready to deal with that neither. So we continue to pay for the storage as well. Other option is to transfer them during the non-fertile period and let the nature take its course. But then again, that's what octomom did (she says)... I would also not want to deal with the couple that asked directly I'd prefer if they asked a third party to ask. It would be so much easier for me to tell no, not yet, to the friends, not to the couple directly.... Good luck with your decision!

Missy said...

We are in the same position as well, four embryos in storage with no idea what to do with them. Me personally I love having a baby in the house and would keep having them!!! But the reality is I just can't bake them long enough, already have a child with special needs and have enough children. My body couldn't cope, my husband certainly couldn't cope with another drama filled pregnancy. And crazily our last baby happened all on his own. I just don't think I can donate my embryos as much as I appreciate the hardship of infertility, I just can't.
I think I have held onto ours for "emergency" as well.
Guess we will both be holding onto our embryos for a while...

Sarah said...

I can't believe they are asking at this moment in time especially! You have far more important things on your mind.

I think your decision to hold off is wise. I don't think I could cope with it...your girls look so alike as you said.

My sister in law who lost their son last year decided to have another child at 40, so I think you are wise to keep your embryos. None of us no what is around the corner for any of us.


Big brother, Little sister. said...

Thankyou Alison for sharing such a srtong topic/experience/opinion.
I can't really comment as I have never had IVF but I imagine I would be more open to donating eggs as such but not an embryo.

Martina said...

Wow that really is a little out of left field. I cant imagine "cold calling" with a question like that. Having done one cycle of AC (didnt end up getting to the IVF path) I have considered egg donation and I would feel comfortable donating my egg for a friend to use. Embryo donation on the other hand is so different...That is a full blooded sibling to my children...Very tricky question...

ferfischer said...

Wow. That is a lot. First of all, I didn't realize that you used IVF! I guess I didn't pay attention! Anyway - I would file this in the "to deal with later" category too - you have a highly emotional thing going on with kidney issues, and one more would probably push me over the edge. Good luck with that. I have a feeling you'll know the right decision when it feels right - "try on" your decisions and see?