Thursday, December 15, 2011

Snowflakes?

File this post in things I know with my brain but never really connected with.  Let's talk IVF.  Families that undergo IVF, harvest eggs, fertilize them and then implant some fertilized eggs...the rest of the fertilized eggs go into the freezer for future IVF attempts or just go in the freezer.  Apparently there are 500,000 frozen embryos in the US.  OK...I am a doctor and that is medicine.

Tonight I was looking around at some adoption stuff for a friend at work who is just starting to consider adoption.  I was perusing Nightlight's webpage because they have acquired the agency in Lexington that we did our homestudy with.  I had never thought about embryo adoption.  Tonight I read the page on it because it might be an option for my friend.  I am reading through it...with the brain of a doctor...then I get to this picture....snowflake #208.  A year ago this was a 48 hour old cluster of cells in a freezer...just sitting in a freezer indefinitely.

I am not critical of anyone doing IVF or leaving frozen embryos sitting in a freezer...but this little baby is somebody's little bundle of joy and a year ago it was stacked up in medical lockdown.

That is messed up. I am not really a writer so I can't really express how profoundly disturbed I am by this situation.  However, let me add how absolutely and completely wonderful it is that there are parents out there who care enough about their frozen embryos to try to find them a literal chance at life and who want to be involved in making a plan so that a frozen ball of cells can grow into a little blessing like snowflake #208.

4 comments:

Tapsalteerie said...

frozen embryos bother me too and it's something that's been done in the animal world for a while. They're doing horse clones now and I get all sorts of weirded out by that too...

Michelle said...

I read that based on the large volume seen in the animal world it has been shown that there isn't an increase in birth defects...I guess there is no freezer burn? I totally obsessed on this for days!

Leigh said...

WOW,great post!!! This is something that has been weighing on my hear recently. We are considering embryo adoption in the near future. It cost 2-6k depending on clinic (our medical insurance has awesome IVF benefits so it could be as little as 1k out of pocket). Ray and I decided to do one round of IVF back in May 2010. We wanted to say we gave it the good ole college try. I was so freaked out about the possibility of having tons of frozen embryos. It really bothered me. On the day they harvested my eggs, the REI dr told me he took 14 and wants to fertilize them all. I about crapped. I told Ray come hell or high water if all those eggs fertilize then we are implanting them if it take me to the age of 99 to do it!! I did not believe in destroying them, but I did not want all these embryos in a frozen abyss. None of our eggs fertilized which we were sad and disappointed but a little relieved. We swore we would never put ourselves into that position again. It really made me think about how God viewed all the fertility treatments that are out there and how the general public is ignorant about alot of it. So taking my IVF experience, I thought why not give one of these embryos a chance? We found a bank here in NYC that has chinese embryos and may go for those since we have a child that is chinese....pray for us as we work through this! Is being pregnant and delivering a baby really all that's its cracked up to be? We have had such a wonderful experience with our older child adoption we do not mind adopting again......

Leigh said...

http://www.handsheartsquiverfull.com/

http://embryodonation.wordpress.com/

Karyn Purvis Insights and Gifts - sharing power