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.