A phrase (not so jokingly) said to my wife as we admire our daughter doing something so cute that it makes our ovaries hurt and also our brain hurt because we subconsciously wonder how the universe could have given us such a perfect child.
Over the past few months this phrase has taken on new meaning, because it is something we are now seriously discussing happening in the coming year. So in response to the phrase, “Wanna make a baby?” The answer is “Yes! But, how?”
Our first child was conceived via reciprocal IVF (meaning we used Krystal’s egg with donor sperm and I carried Amelia). Now the question becomes how do we want to grow our family with the addition of baby #2. We have options, which is no doubt a privilege, but doesn’t make the decisions any less complicated. Given that at this point, Krystal does not want to carry, we have two options.
We have 9 embryos remaining that are Krystal’s egg with the donor’s sperm. This would involve an IVF Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) cycle and has a 41% success rate and is the ‘cheaper’ part of IVF. This would genetically be considered a full sibling to Amelia and genetically related to Krystal with no genetic ties to me other than I grew them in my body (so weird).
We have three remaining vials of sperm (the same donor sperm used for Amelia) that we could use for IUI which has a 19% success rate and would (hopefully) result in my egg being fertilized and a viable pregnancy. This would genetically be considered a ½ sibling to Amelia and be genetically related to me with no genetic ties to Krystal.
A true nature and nurture conundrum if there ever was one.
Understandably, we both have our own insecurities and questions with both of these options. How will each of us connect to a baby that we may or may not be genetically related to? Will or does this genetic connection impact the bond between mothers and child? How will our families accept and interact with a baby that is either genetically or not genetically related to them? Will we be resentful? What impact will our choice have on Amelia’s perspective and feelings about herself, her mothers, sibling, and her family? Will people compare our children’s looks, intelligence, personalities based on who they are genetically related to?
These questions always end with the hardest question of all, How do we move forward and make the best decision for our family? Right now the answer to that is to ask for help. Thankfully our fertility clinic is willing to help us along the way and even refer us to a therapist who has a personal experience with this journey.