We're preparing for our first Frozen Embryo Transfer, which will be completed, Lord willing, in the next 6 months.
Our next step is to complete the paperwork with instructions about thawing, transferring and discarding embryos. Fertility clinics are, as a rule, very statistics and results oriented, and the life of each individual embryo is of little consequence to them as attempt to accomplish their goals.
The contract is currently worded with lots of provisions for destruction and selective reduction, as well as an overarching disclaimer of "when in doubt, the clinic decides." We have the right to change the contract, but the process of doing so is very stressful both because it puts us in conflict with the Embryologist's general policies and because we want to make sure that we leave no stone unturned in delineating every possible scenario, leaving no room for loopholes--a difficult process when the language is so scientifically technical and complex. We are committed to giving all 12 of these embryos the chance at being born, regardless of the Embryologist's opinion of their condition or chance for pregnancy. Under no circumstances do we want any of them discarded, nor will we consider selective reduction for any reason.
Despite these wishes, I have heard many stories from IVF and Snowflake Mommies, including our own Genetic Mother, about doctors trying to change those instructions even up to and on the day of the transfer, including while the woman is already medicated and on the table! Suffice it to say, this leaves us feeling very nervous, especially because we differ so fundamentally with our clinic's general policies concerning the value of life. I fear being accidentally persuaded to something we would never do, or leaving the power to for someone else to do something we would never do, out of sheer ignorance to all the ins and outs.
Would you please pray for us that we would have the wisdom to spell out an exacting, precise contract that leaves no room for question or error? Would you pray that we would clearly outline our expectations and that the Embryologist would clearly understand, respect and abide by them? Would you pray that our babies will be honored and protected and that we will do right by them? We know that their lives (and eventual deaths) are in the Hand and Heart of God, but we want to also make sure we are being responsible as we make decisions about them and their care. Above all, may God be glorified in this and all things.
Todd and Jen + 12 (and Lewis!)