The life changing decisions you make as an IVF parent

My IVF baby just turned three yesterday. It was an amazing birthday spent with Thomas the train, family and friends. I would like to share my infertility journey and the decision to do IVF, but I can’t; not yet. Despite having a happy ending to years of infertility, I’m just not ready to revisit that dark time period of my life. They say time heals all wounds but this wound still needs a little more time.

This post is about the life changing decisions you make as an IVF parent.

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is when you extract an egg from a women, inseminate it in a lab and then implant the fertilized egg into the women’s womb. Simple, right? Wrong! What if something is wrong with the egg? The sperm? Or the egg doesn’t attach to the womb? This is why when you decide to do IVF, you, as the mother will inject yourself with medication that will stimulate your ovaries to make multiple eggs. You are monitored weekly to see how well your eggs are developing and then you go in for a day procedure to remove the eggs and inseminate them. You see, it’s not just one fertilized egg.

We had THREE perfect fertilized eggs as a result of the IVF procedure.

But what do you do with these fertilized eggs. Do you implant all three? Maybe. Most doctors recommend implanting two eggs in the womb for successful IVF. Why two? Two is a safe number because you increase your chances to have one of the fertile eggs to successfully implant and if by chance they both implant, the result is twins.

Wait.

What?

TWINS?

Yes, twins.

If you decide to implant two embryos, you are also taking a risk of having twins.  A life changing decision needed to be made; implant one and take the chance of having to go through the procedure again or implant two and take the chance of having twins. All I could think about was the overwhelming responsibility to care for  two children’s needs simultaneously. We decided to take a chance and only have one fertilized egg transferred and we lucked out because he attached to the uterine wall and we celebrated his third birthday yesterday!

So what about the other fertilized eggs?

This is the difficult, life changing decision that this post is about. What happens to the other fertilized eggs? We decided to freeze our other two eggs just in case we wanted to have another baby. And two years later, we did have another baby, but he was not IVF. We were blessed to become pregnant naturally. We are a happy family of four.

So once again, what about the other fertilized eggs?

My husband and I needed to make a decision about our fertilized eggs. We had the option to dispose of them or donate them. I am pro-choice, so my decision to donate them was not based on being condemned to hell for the rest of my life. No, I decided to donate my two fertilized eggs because I wanted to pay it forward. I wanted some other couple who could not do IVF due to same sex marriage, illness, heredity or some other factors that lead you to infertility to be able to experience parenthood. I wanted another couple to be able to see the first ultrasound, hear the first heartbeat, feel the first kick, and live out the rest of their lives with new purpose; being a parent.

Some argue that this was an irresponsible choice; to give my fertilized eggs away, not knowing who their parents will be or how they will be treated. That my decision was reckless because it’s ultimately my responsibility to ensure that they are safe. I hear the counter argument but I can’t live my life thinking the worst of humanity. I want to be the person that changes someones life for the better and I think giving my fertilized eggs to someone in need was one of the most selfless decisions I have ever made in my entire life.

What would you do if you were in my position? Please comment and share your thoughts with us.