May 24 is a bit of a sad day for me. On May 24, 2018, we transferred the last of our adopted embryos. They had been frozen about a decade, and we were ready to give them their chances to live out their lives.
Getting the Timing Right
Just as with Mr Wigglesworth, we missed the right timing a few times. The clinic where the babies were frozen is where we wanted to transfer them; for some reason thawing frozen embryos at the same place they were frozen increases the chances of survival somewhat. This clinic works to time transfer to a woman’s cycle, instead of adjusting her cycle to match a transfer time. There are advantages to either method, and really just depends on what clinic a woman is working with.
I had asked several friends about traveling with me, knowing it would last minute travel so I needed several options. A wonderful friend that we know through the Philosophy Department at Baylor was able to travel with me. She drove us up to DFW on May 23, and we got to NYC, found our hotel, got food and just enjoyed the time there. It was very different from the first time I’d been to NYC, in Dec 2015. It was warmer, there were more tourists, the streets didn’t feel dead. Over the course of the few days, we saw China Town, Little Italy, and the High Line. It was fun. And I got to meet Mr Wigglesworth’s genetic mom and genetic brother. We’d been hoping for that kind of openness and it was wonderful to speak to her face to face.
At the Transfer
I’d done this one time before, so I knew some of what was going to happen. The clinic works to make it as smooth and pleasant a process as possible.
The transfer itself took 15 minutes or less. Most of that was the doctor chatting with me. He was a generally nice guy with good bedside manners. In the midst of a somewhat high stress time, that is super nice. The full check-in to check-out was closer to 45 min or an hour.
The clinic is very careful to only refer to them as ’embryos’, not ‘babies’. But one reason we chose to go the route of adopting these embryos, rather than find a set of unwanted embryos via a clinic, was that we wanted to treat these babies as the persons they are.
They don’t look very human yet, but they would have within a couple of weeks if they had survived. Given several more months and they would be able to survive outside a womb. Alas, God chose to not give them to us to raise. We had thought through what all would be involved if all 3 stuck… triplets! The odds said expect at least one to stick. But this was not to be. In early June, I got a series of negative pregnancy tests.
I have cried many times over the past year as I think of the babies I’ve lost. I cry a bit harder when I remember that my mom is getting to hold them in Heaven. Even now, I want to hold them, cuddle them, talk to them, teach them, discipline them, be frustrated by them. So, I grieve. Sure, I didn’t have them for very long, but I loved them. My love doesn’t make them persons, they were persons before I knew them. I love them because they are the persons God gave us the opportunity to offer them life. I love them because they are persons. I love them because they are my children.
But, our lives are a bit simpler now. We have a pretty good idea of how many children God is giving us to raise (the 2 boys) and its not likely we will have any more children via embryo adoption or natural pregnancy. We can look to what life will likely be like in 5 or 10 years without the big unknown of “how many kids will we have?” I accept this because this is what God has given to me. And I will rest in it because I trust him. I don’t like it, but its not about what I like or what I want. Its about more than that.
These days around May 24 are sad, but we grieve with hope.