March 23, 2020

The Quality of Embryos Does Not Equal Pregnancy Success

the quality of embryos does not equal pregnancy success

 

On a chilly Friday night, as snowflakes softly fell from the dark sky, I found myself behind the wheel, heading to a local fundraiser to meet my husband. My husband and I had faced the heartache of unsuccessful attempts to start a family for over three years, leaving us with unanswered questions after initial testing. An upcoming meeting with a reproductive endocrinologist loomed, and the uncertainty of our 'next steps' weighed heavily on our hearts. At that time, the concept of embryo adoption remained unknown to us, and the decision between pursuing IVF and adhering to our faith presented a daunting dilemma.

My usual preference for driving in silence was disrupted by a radio program that unexpectedly captured my attention...

As the radio message unfolded, emphasizing the sanctity of human life, especially in its earliest stages, tears welled up in my eyes. A part of me feared that IVF might not be the right path for us. Upon reaching the fundraiser, I spotted my husband, rolled down the window, and informed him I would join him inside. As he walked away, the radio program concluded, and, magically, fireworks illuminated the night sky. The timing couldn't have been better. There they were. Fireworks.

A few weeks later, our RE recommended a workup for me, hinting that IVF might be the next step. We expressed our beliefs about not creating more embryos than we intended to use, which the medical team reluctantly agreed to, cautioning us about reduced chances of conception with these restrictions. Feeling somewhat defeated and more bewildered than ever, we returned for a discussion on recent test results and future plans.

To our shock, the doctor diagnosed me with premature ovarian failure, stating that even with IVF and without our 'restrictions,' our chances of conceiving were less than 5%. I was flooded with emotions—shock, anger, confusion, devastation. The door to IVF was definitively closed.

Amidst the haze of the following months, I discovered the Snowflakes Embryo Adoption Program, and the night of fireworks took on new meaning and hope. Despite the heartbreak of not experiencing the growth of life within me, the joy of childbirth, embryo adoption emerged as the answer to our prayers. Thus, our journey into embryo adoption began.

A year later, following a failed FET and a connection with a second family, we received an embryology report that our clinic strongly suggested sending back. Despite the challenges—an imperfect grading and a power outage during freezing—we remained committed. Two months later, we were surprised to discover two viable embryos ready for transfer and one safely stored for the future. On September 15th, we heard the long-awaited words: "You're pregnant!" On June 2, our beautiful baby girl, Makenna Lee, entered the world.

Not to be forgotten was the little 'C' embryo patiently waiting in the freezer. Against all odds, he survived the thaw beautifully, completing our family with the birth of the sweetest boy ever, Alexander Brooks. While embryo adoption may not be the right choice for everyone, it showered us with blessings beyond our wildest expectations.

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