Our First Attempt
I’ll never forget the day a dear friend called to tell me that she saw a television segment on embryo donation.  My jaw dropped to the floor, I couldn’t believe it.  My husband and I had recently been told we would never have a biological child, and of course, we were devastated.  We were never told that embryo donation was an option… we had never even heard of it!  We were intrigued, to say the least.  This sounded like the perfect choice for us.  Now this was early 2003, mind you, and when you surfed the internet on embryo donation, you might have gotten about one page of hits, whereas today, there are well over 75 pages of website hits on the topic.  So, I posted a simple question on a bulletin board asking if anyone knew of any clinics in the Houston area that offered embryo donation.  Luckily, a wonderful woman in the U.S. military stationed in Italy, replied that many clinics offer it, and I should just call around.  She had 8 embryos that she was trying to donate, but was having a difficult time because none of the clinics or organizations wanted to ship internationally.  We struck up a friendship via email, sent each other photographs, and just really enjoyed talking to each other.  About one month later, out of the blue, she offered her embryos to us!  Needless to say, we were thrilled, shocked, excited, and amazed with her generous offer.  It was an answered prayer.  Of course we said, “YES!”  

Then an incredible journey took place.  We couldn’t find anyone to ship the embryos, and the clinic in Europe was emphatic that we should come and get them ourselves.  Many months on the phone and email with the clinics, the airlines, the airports, the TSA (airport security), the CDC (need to file a form to carry embryos into the country), you name it, we called or emailed them.  We brought a dry-shipper from our clinic fully charged on the plane with us.  That was a feat in and of itself!!!  Even after all the emails (and we brought printouts with us to the airport as proof that we had permission to carry the shipper on the plane with us), we were still almost denied access.  You can’t imagine all the stares we received lugging this bulky shipper around with us.  We even overheard one woman say,
“I think they have their little babies in there.”   Finally, we made it to London.  But still, we had to travel several hours on a train, a subway, and a cab to get to the clinic there.  Once we had the precious cargo in hand, the traveling got a little scarier.  Our parental instincts kicked into high gear...  Protect the embryos at all cost!  Getting on an underground subway with a bulky dry-shipper during rush hour was not our idea of fun, but we finally made it back safe and sound!

After several false starts… our contract wasn’t completed, insufficient endometrial lining, hysteroscopy to remove a small fibroid on the lining… we finally started the cycle that would be our first attempt.  However, a week before the scheduled transfer date, my dear grandmother was very ill in the hospital in Georgia.  I had to be there.  They knew she was going to pass away at any moment, and I wanted to say my last goodbyes.  The day my grandmother passed away, the embryos were being thawed.  It was surreal.  Seven of the eight embryos made the thaw!  Each day, we were given a report on the embryos, how well they were growing, and the grade.  We had some beautiful embryos.  I flew home after the funeral, one day before my transfer.  We still had seven beautiful embryos, and 2 were grade-A blasts.  We transferred those two, and the rest were going to be frozen again if they made it to blast.  A week later, we received a letter from the lab director stating that none of the embryos made it.  We lost our dreams of a second attempt for possible siblings if our first attempt was successful.  We were very distraught over the news.  We anxiously awaited our first pregnancy test… Negative.  How could this be?  We have this wonderful story of how we met our donors, our interesting and exciting trip to London to pick up the embryos… this couldn’t be!  These embryos were meant to be with us, we were meant to be parents, it wasn’t supposed to happen this way…

What can we say?  We were blessed.  We met a wonderful family that we still maintain in contact with, whom we will forever be grateful to.  We learned so much from our first experience with donor embryos… transfer cycles, medication protocols, clinic requirements, contract negotiations, etc.  And yes, we had heartbreak and disappointment too.  BUT… we had faith and grace to get us through it all, AND our love for each other grew stronger too.  We ARE blessed.

About embryo donation stories: This story and the other stories you will find at the Miracles Waiting website are contributed by the authors, and we do not verify the details or content for accuracy. They are offered on this site for informational and entertainment purposes only. They are not a substitute for medical or legal consultation.

The Miracles Waiting, Inc. Team