Then There Were…28?!
So my husband and I felt led or compelled to choose IVF. That was an easier choice to make than I thought. The journey was much more difficult than I thought.
1. We knew we would give any embryo created a chance at life outside the petri dish. That meant NO CONTROL, over how many children we would have. Wait a second, isn’t that how it is naturally anyway?! Oh, that was a bunny trail. God was teaching me AGAIN that I don’t have control even though I think I do.
2. We knew that we may have multiples. Secretly, I was pretty excited about this possibility. Mostly because I am a twin. I longed to carry more than one child. I am not sure I ever told anyone, but I do know my husband was fearful of multiples because of my health.
3. I had “decided” to reduce the risk of high order multiples that we would NEVER transfer more than two embryos at a time. So, you know how I said I would “never” use fertility treatments. This never went about as well as that one. I’ll give you details later.
So Dan and I prayed that God would not give us more than we could handle. We talked with our MD and said we don’t want too many embryos because we were planning on giving them all a chance at life. We asked about having me put on lower dose hormones to reduce the risk of too many embryos. He told us that most people don’t have enough embryos and encouraged us to do the “regular” amount of meds.
So the day of my egg retrieval came and they were estimating 12 eggs would be harvested. Imagine my shock and disbelief when after the procedure they retrieved 28 eggs. My heart skipped a few beats, my head began to swim (or was that the anesthesia), and my eyes BULGED. I told my sweet husband that certainly not all of those eggs would fertilize.
The next day I spent in breathless anticipation and soreness (from the retrieval), waiting for the fert. report (the call you get when they tell you how many eggs fertilized). Now mind you this is the number of my babies. I believe life happens at conception. God knows us before we are knit together in our mothers’ wombs. So breathless and with fear and trepidation, I answer my phone. 21 eggs have fertilized. The room started spinning. No panic attack. I just kept praying that God knew how many I could handle. God knew what was best. God HELP me and my husband. However, there was that same tug on my heart, the one I had when my pregnancy test was positive. I had 21 babies. I may never get to hold them in my arms, but I would hold them in my heart. They were my husband’s and mine.
The next day I got another phone call. This call was to tell me how many embryos were still alive and when my doctor planned to transfer the first two. Sometimes they do day three transfers and other times they do day five transfers. This depends on the quantity and quality of your embryos and your doctor’s preference. I got the call in church and quickly ran out the back of the balcony, with my husband trailing behind, so I could hear the report. ALL 21 were still alive and we were to have a day five transfer. Once again, my heart skipped a beat, but a wave of assurance came over me. God had a plan. God knew what was going on. God would not give us more than we could handle.
I didn’t hear from my doctor again until the day of the transfer of my embryos. That was when I heard the news. Only nine of my precious twenty-one were still alive. My heart sank. I truly mourned the loss of those babies, even though my logical brain said, I would go crazy with that many children.
I had two precious ones transferred to my womb and went home. God blessed us with a pregnancy. The other seven embryos were left in a freezer at my doctor’s office, two and a half hours from my home. I soon realized that part of my heart was in that freezer with those babes. My little tot-sicles (like popsicles only babies), were on my heart, if not my mind constantly. My prayer became, “God how many can my heart handle to lose and my nerves handle to survive?” God knew. His plan never changed, but He changed me.
Thank you God for not leaving me the way I was, but making me more like Christ!