When to stop? What to do with 4 embryos?


My DH & I have been tcc since we got married in 2000. After years of heartbreak, we conceived through IVF the first time, and had 12 high-quality blastocysts frozen. We have a miracle of a 6yo DD, and I feel so blessed. Subsequent FET’s to produce a very much wanted sibling have failed and were devastating after the easy success of our first. The last FET to use the final 4 embryos was interrupted before transfer because of fluid in the uterus (a first). I am now 42, the embryos are 7 years old, and I feel stuck. My DH is exhausted from 13 years of struggle in this department. He’s done with the stress & expense. Though we are very happy and good partners, this is the one issue we have a hard time even talking because I just start crying and he feels helpless. Infertility has been the heartbreak of my life, and while I know how fortunate I am to have my DD, I also feel very stuck with what to do now. Do I stop fighting for the dream, which could be achieved in one last FET, or live forever not knowing whether it might have worked? I cannot throw those 4 little lives away, nor do I feel entirely comfortable with the alternatives, except for FET. I have fought hard all my life for my dreams and have achieved some of them, and I am so afraid I would regret not seeing this through to the end, regardless of outcome. Anyone else out there with words of wisdom? I have been in this stagnant spot for over a year, and am just now opening myself up to the possibility of giving up because maybe, just maybe the universe is trying to send me a message that we will only have 1 DD. And then my heart breaks all over again. Feeling very alone in this particular struggle. Help.


The pain comes through in your words. It clearly hurts you to give up. If you do not want to donate them, then I would do the FET. I wouldn’t want to dispose of them. Then you leave it to God/ fate. It may work, it may not, but either way your struggle with this would be over.


I hope you will find strength and renewed hope to keep trying. With 4 frozen embryos that is at least one good try at FET. Take a short break and do something nice for yourself and then try coming at this with the outlook that you are going to give it a try with the acceptance that if it doesn’t work you are no worse off than you are right now. I understand that the waiting and roadblocks are SO frustrating. I had 4 years of Murphy’s Law moments in my struggle and I now have 4 embies and decided I’d try for one more and just see how it goes. Everything was going great and then my LAST test was a HYS and they found a stupid uterine polyp. URGH! So now I have to have surgery before I can start…simple right? Well, no. Because they can’t do the surgery until after AF shows, so of course, my normally like clockwork cycle decides to be late and so now I have to postpone surgery until AF comes… delays upon delays.

As a recipient of donated embryos I can also highly recommend donating them as an option if you do decide that you will be content to stop trying (though I don’t get that impression from what you’ve said). If you just don’t want to ride the infertility roller coaster anymore that is totally understandable. You might consider an open identity donation too. My donor family and I have open identity donation and it really is amazing. We now have an extended family and my children have other bio-siblings they can know growing up and be connected with long after us olds are gone from this world.


it doesn’t sound like you are ready to be done just yet. I know that when we go through these things and roadblocks come up, we question if that’s meant to direct us away from our dreams… i have come to see roadblocks as just little tests to see how badly we want something. I say give it some weeks to recoup, then if you still have the desire, then try again… i agree with the others, try again and leave it up to how it’s suppose to be - but either way you will know you tried one more time and it was up to fate on what the outcome is.


Understanding …

I can so relate to where you are. My Dh and I have been in disagreement over which way to go with our 4 remaining embies. We decided to wait 2 years (in March 2011) before making a decision about what to do. It has been a matter of donating or FETing. My Dh can be so logical and finance minded where I am more emotional and have my heat strings attached to the hope of babies those embies represent. TTC can be so hard on a marriage. Dh and I chose to have a meeting of the minds and I chose to try and be more practical while he tried to see my emotional connection to those embies and have a sane conversation. Well, we heard each other and gave our selves time to make a decision and now we are about to embark on our 2nd FET. His main concerns were financial and our age. I didn’t think he would consider attempting. I had surrendered to whatever choice we came to together. If my Dh was not on board and us moving forward together as a couple we would not be moving forward and I would be okay with that. I even emailed the embryo adoption organization to inquire on specifics. It sounds complicated but to give another couple a child is something precious and worth the effort. We may still donate the other two, we will see how the thaw goes and if we get that BFP. The rollercoaster has not stopped yet. I pray that you and your Dh will have wisdom in making the best decision for your family. (((hugs)))


As a recipient of donated embryos I can say it is the most precious of gifts. Be careful with embryo “adoption” agencies. Many have hidden agendas. I was blessed to find a family on my own and have an open donation. It is the best thing for me and my children. We stay in contact, share photos and try to meet up once a year. They are like part of the family. My children never have to wonder where they came from or what their biological roots are. Being given the gift of my children and the chance to carry them and give birth cannot be measured with words. Being able to rest easy knowing that my babies have access to their biological roots is priceless. It is certainly difficult because these are relatively unchartered waters, but the extra effort is worth it.


First, let me say that I really feel for you.

There is a book that might be helpful - Navigating the Land of IF. Maybe you know of it already… But there is a section in the book that deals with making decisions that brings together the more emotional and practical sides of the conversation. You go through a series of questions and chart your answers, then share your answers with each other.

I found it helpful when my husband and I were trying to sort through decisions. Typical of a lot of relationships, he is more pragmatic and I tend to just feel things more. I helped us communicate when we felt we couldn’t.

However this goes, I hope that both you and your husband are able to find peace in your decision.