Thursday, February 4, 2010

An Awesome Offer

A few days ago I was presented with an amazing offer.

A friend of mine asked me if there would be a "market" for her left over embryos. She has 5 on ice and is currently 30 weeks pregnant with triplets.

Lordy! As you might guess, she is DONE with procreating and is thinking of what to do with her healthy strapping young blastocysts now.

The other interesting point of this story is that this woman also used the same sperm donor that I had to create my family--and that was a huge draw for me.

I've been offered embryos before...heck, hasn't everybody??
But after a short pause, I always decline. I like my life the way it is--even if T has asked more than once for a brother or sister to live with us. (I had tried when T was 14 months old to conceive with the left over embryos I had, but it didn't work.) I seriously thought about adopting last year. But never took any real steps toward that process. I think I'm just too content. I also think that expanding my family is mostly for other people (T, mainly) and if it were up to me, given the same situation of being the sole parent, I'd rather not change things or rock my boat with such a great unknown.

But the same donor?? Gosh. I had to put my thinking cap on for that one. Actually, her wording left the question open for speculation on what she really might have meant. But I wanted to flatter myself that I might be young enough to consider having another baby. It's exciting!

It came down to three things:

1. I'm old(er). Even though there are women out there my age that carry pregnancies without a hiccup (donor eggs, no doubt!). But this gets riskier as we age (see how I included you all with me??) Is this a risk I'm ready to take, being the sole parent in my little family?

2. The disparity in the new baby's age and my son's age. They would be 7 years apart and wouldn't be on the same level for many things. My mom is a middle child with one sister 5 years older and one sister 7 years younger. She didn't have much of a connection growing up with them (although she is emotionally very close to her younger sister now). And he has many half sibs dotted around the States--he can connect with them later, if he chooses.

3. My mother is my usual default babysitter and she's growing older too. She'd love to help care for any baby I had, but realistically she can't do what she'd like due to arthritis. I could hire help, but it would frustrate her that someone else had to be hired because she was unable to help. Family dynamics--it's convoluted.

Plus, who knows how things might change between my friend and I, once I had a full sibling in my house to the 3 babes in her home (she lives thousands of miles away). Too many variables and potential problems.

Anyway, I decided that it was a risk I wasn't willing to take.

I asked for clarification to her "offer" and she said I was top on her list! Isn't that sweet??! That made my heart swell.

But I think she was steering more towards research applications or stem cell line creation needs.

I will advise her to keep her little ones frozen for a few years. Once her babies are born and thriving for the next few years, THEN she can consider releasing them to a worthy cause. I'm not trying to sound pessimistic that something bad might happen, but, you know...shit does happen. I always like having a back-up plan.
Gosh, I feel lucky that I even got to contemplate an offer like that.



Well, how sweet of her to offer! That would definitely take a lot of thinking...whether to accept. I think it's also REALLY difficult to even think about giving your embryos to someone else since those babies would be FULL siblings to her three...then raised with a half-sibling in another household. Boy, does that get difficult to explain later in life! But, what an honor. I think you're right, though. She should hold onto them until she's 100% sure she really wants to do something with them.

Laraf123 said...

That is a wonderful, flattering offer. Your friend obviously admires your parenting skills (so do I). You really listened to and organized your thoughts before coming to your decision.

Keep us posted on your friend's triplets!

Billy said...

What an amazing offer!

Jo said...

Wow! That's such a testament to your mommy skills and the way you are raising your little boy! I can totally follow your thought process. I think the sibling age difference is particularly compelling from what you say (hmmm... with adoption you might have more control over that...just sayin')...sounds like you've def made the right decision. And what a decision to be confronted with on your run-of-the-mill February day!

Demeter said...

Wow! How flattering of your friend to think of you to consider giving her little embryos to you. I think you are thinking responsibly though. Your son's age difference, your age, your mom's age, etc. If you are happy and content with your son, you know what is good in your heart and that is the answer! But then again, what an offer!