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July 11: A Day Of Joy And Of Sorrow

Editor's note: My wife, Julie, surprised me this week with this guest post she wrote -- equal parts beautiful and heartbreaking --  to commemorate the anniversary of our embryo transfer. I should say her embryo transfer because she carried our amazing little girl for nine months. Thank you, sweetheart, for memorializing three precious lives and our experience. You are amazing. -Nate

Exactly one year ago today, after many shots, pills and privacy probing doctor’s appointments, we had finally arrived at embryo transfer day. I was so nervous on this day and hormonal! We had planned to have the embryologist thaw out two of the three embryos we had adopted for transfer. After I had gotten changed in the prep room into a hospital gown for the transfer, our coordinator brought us back a photo of the embryo that was ready to transfer. I remember looking at Nate in awe at the little ball of cells that would become a baby. Then the questions started forming in mind: What about the other one? What had happened?

When our coordinator returned, we asked and she offhandedly replied that the other embryo hadn’t survive the thaw. While she said it so commonly, it hit me hard. Later, we would talk to the embryologist and find out that in all, two of the embryos thawed did not survive. There were no other embryos remaining. While we had prepared ourselves mentally that they might not all survive the thaw process, I had inwardly hoped that our little babies would all defy the statistics and get a chance to grow into three little babies.

When we found out that we had been matched with three embryos, Nate and I had many conversations about how we would handle three more kids. He even priced conversion vans to haul all of them around. You see, we believe that every embryo is a person, and we were actively planning, physically and mentally, to have each of those three precious babies join our family.

I still think of those two babies daily who did not get the chance to be tickled by three little brothers. They never got the chance to laugh and giggle with their daddy. They never got the chance to snuggle with me through late-night nursing sessions. I might not have had the opportunity to grow them or shelter them in my body, but I still love them dearly.

While the adoption process was filled with sadness of lost embryos, physical pain and emotional turmoil, I would do it again in an instant. Having that peace that all was made well and that none of these three souls are sitting frozen in a liquid nitrogen tank makes it worth every sacrifice. The smiles and laughter of our sweet daughter, Phoebe, are just an additional joy that cements my belief that every baby (or embryo) is an unique and important life to be protected and cherished.


Anonymous said…

So very glad that there are big hearted and strong people like you and Nate in this crazy world. You are such loving folks and your clan will grow up knowing that they are cherished and well cared for. The bottom line is that parents try, to the best of their knowledge, to shower those wonderful little people with enough love to give them a firm foundation and to prepare them to grow into godly productive adults. But, dear young parents , there are many very strong influences that your beloved children will meet along the way. We old folks look back, every one of us and see, with hindsight, where we would do things differently. All you can do, right now, day by day, is what you together decide is the best way, Be strong in Gods' way, work together and communicate and those darlings will thank you when they look back and see how blessed they have been.
Nate said…
Thanks so much for the comment! Yes, parenting isn't easy, and it's impossible to maintain control over every aspect of our children's lives. But as you note, trusting God and following his plan, collaborating and communicating, is essential. And of course, lots of prayer!

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