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June 23, 2016

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Grace

Hey! I'm not sure which clinic you are using in Seattle (I used one there) and it is the law in Washington state that a child conceived through egg donor/sperm donor/donor embryo has the right to their genetic information when they turn 18. This means that she will have access to know both genetic father and egg donor identities. Just FYI. I'm not sure if it's been tested yet, but I know my clinic is keeping the information and informing all egg donors that they will not be 100% anonymous and they have to be ok with that.

Don't Count Your Eggs

Thanks for all your comments friends-- I do have some of those books you recommended Beth and honestly am not a fan but you're right in that that is kind of all that's out there. There needs to be better stories out there for kids...I'm going to work on something for Momo when I have a hot minute! D, let's see if I can answer your questions, you're right, it's one embryo. That was my typo. I wanted to know how many children share Momo's genetics, because I just do even though it kind of doesn't really matter I suppose. The clinic was fuzzy about it but clarified that Momo has one sibling created from the same batch of embryos(full) and that couple had a child before and did not use an egg donor (half) and the clinic wouldn't say anything about other half sibs as it is (unfortunately) all anonymous. Paying for storage, par for the course. Thanks for all the love y'all and know I'm always sending it right back.

D

That all sounds really hard. I can see how just getting back in touch with the clinic to make sure you're in good shape to be able to try again with that second embryo can be re-traumatizing as it puts you back into the position of a patient, someone who has to take tests, pay money, and worry about bureaucracy while others just have to worry about timing to making a baby. The thought that the clinic might not have held your embryo is terrifying, even though you're not ready to do anything with him/her/it yet. I'm so glad that they did reserve it.

It's a very confusing situation, and I'm a little confused about the details… not that it really matters, since you convey the emotions involved very clearly and the details aren't any of my business. But since I'm following your story closely, as a fellow DORer, I'm curious. You write:

"when I asked her how many genetic siblings and half siblings Momo has her response was two genetic siblings."

Does the full genetic siblings mean children that are already born, and/or are there more full genetic embryos beyond the one(s) you've reserved at the clinic? And did the coordinator answer your question about how many half siblings there are?

The second thing I'm confused about is that you write:

"So finding out there are actually two sibs threw me off and so did the clinic saying they now wanted us to pay for storage for the embryos."

Why embryos plural? I thought there was only one embryo at the clinic with your name on it. But are there more than one?

It does sound like a really tricky situation, and one that's very confusing. You write, "I don't know what I have the right to know or ask." I am really getting a sense of the vulnerability and confusion you feel.

Although it's a shame that you now have to pay to reserve the embryo(s), putting some pressure on you, where having an embryo should mean there's no hurry at all (and after your traumatic birth experience with Momo, I'd think more time would be better than less, both physically and emotionally), I would say that it would probably feel really good to pay for the embryo(s) storage in that it takes away the uncertainty about whether they're holding the embroy(s) for you.

It sounds like knowing as much as possible and then deciding how much and when to tell Momo is what would make you and her feel best. The vulnerability seems to come from the not-knowing and the lack of control.

I feel for you, and am, as always, so very grateful that your eloquence and honesty allow me and others like me insight into a process that people tend not to discuss. It makes us feel less alone.

C

Yes, paying for the storage is common and will hopefully make things more clear at your clinic that seems to muddle things up generally! You are not the only couple wanting to know more. These clinics are probably going to have to disclose, if not now, when the children that were born come back looking for answers. I'm glad we chose open donation but there are still lots of questions around that, lots of uncertainty. Embryo adoption is not easy, open or closed. I do feel more like my embryo donation baby is adopted; it feels like he was waiting for me, whereas with my daughter it was that we created her (natural). Adoption is a very special feeling. I find myself singing to him, "you were meant for me..." That old Jewel song! Would never have sung that to my daughter. And yet it's really I who created him, from an embryo! It's incredible. We don't tell people though- they don't usually make the effort to understand. Sometimes I wish I were on Facebook to find and embryo adoption support group....your feelings are all to be accepted with such an incredible and new process

yasmara

I think paying for embryo storage is really, really common. We had to do that before a FET. I don't know if that helps or not. For us, once we used all of our stored embryos, neither of us had the mental or physical capacity to go back into the fertility treatment world - it was just too hard.

Beth

In February we discovered, after 5.5 years of infertility, that I had now crossed over the threshold from unexplained infertility to diminished ovarian reserve. We went back and forth between donor egg and embryo adoption/donation for about two months before deciding on donor egg for which we will cycle at the end of July.

Your story and your gift for storytelling has been a blessing to us during this time for which I am forever grateful.

There are several children's titles already on the market that helps young children begin to understand embryo adoption/donation that you may be able to use as a inspiration for your own story for Momo:

The Pea that was Me
A Very Special Lady
Hope & Will Have a Baby
Before You Were Born...Our Wish for a Baby

Jojo

So many complex emotions to navigate I imagine. But- I think you are right in saying that how wanted and loved your little Momo is will far exceed any other factor. She is going to be so proud of her Mom and Dad and so happy you brought her to this world and to your family. Xo

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