In the past week, a few people have asked me about when we are, if we are, planning on going back for that second embryo. Remember Momo was one of two embryos donated by a couple-- she was created by the husband of that couple and an egg donor. So there is one more full genetic match in a freezer in Seattle.
So Noah and I are no where near ready to saddle up and try this again. We aren't ready to to be pregnant or to have a newborn, and we aren't ready to find out that our one shot at a genetic sib didn't work. Those are the only two options in the given scenario. But the inquiries I got this past week made me think about contacting the clinic to make sure the embryo is still there. Not that it would have walked away, but...
After we found out the transfer worked, I immediately asked that the clinic hold the sibling embryo for us. I asked if they needed anything and the response was that our name would be on it! Great! But I guess having no contact with the clinic for over a year made me start to worry a bit, so I wrote an email to to donor coordinator today and for some reason getting an email back from her made my anxiety spike. I've spent the better part of today feeling uneasy and I've been trying to figure out why.
I think one of the first things that made my chest suddenly feel tight is that when I asked her how many genetic siblings and half siblings Momo has her response was two genetic siblings. (I know the egg donor had kids too so there are a handful of half sibs too). At the time of our transfer we were told there was one boy. My heart started to race. Did the original couple come back for their embryo? Is it their embryo still? Is it ours? Why does the fact that I didn't know there were two genetic sibs suddenly make me feel so...vulnerable? Excited at the possibility of Momo knowing these people one day? Sad? Confused as to why we didn't know? I looked up the one page of info we have on the sperm provider and under children it says one male child, in good health. So does that mean someone else also used one of their donated embryos? The feeling I had was really strange and I keep coming back to the fact that I don't know what I have the right to know or ask. This whole situation is anonymous. Not my preference, but the way it is. And I've always felt afraid that if I ask too many questions or piss someone off at the clinic that they can deny me my potential child. But I also want to know these things and feel like Momo has the right to know. This is now her story and I feel like it's my obligation or my duty to inform her of her... I don't know the word I'm looking for here, her heritage? Her...background? And the fact that it feels confusing makes me uneasy. I never want Momo to feel confused.
So finding out there are actually two sibs threw me off and so did the clinic saying they now wanted us to pay for storage for the embryos. They never asked for that before but suddenly they are? Perhaps that guarantees our name is on it. But it felt kinda yucky.
And I think the third piece of all of this is maybe a little bit of being thrown back into the trauma of the whole experience. Seeing the fertility clinic in my email header, having a nurse then call me to tell me what I'm required to do (updated blood tests, an x-ray of my uterus, some other fun stuff) for the next transfer. And the thought of gearing up, of doing progesterone shots, of flying to Seattle with Momo in tow-- I think I felt overwhelmed. Perhaps a little sadness. Sometimes it just doesn't feel good when other people, strangers, nurses, coordinators, whoever, are telling you what you are required to do to get "clearance" to try and have a baby. I bet that is really what people who adopt might feel like.
Perhaps a fourth aspect of my day of anxious spinning is seeing my child, knowing my baby and not knowing how she will feel about her very unique origin story. I'm determined to help her feel nothing but proud and special and amazing-- that's how Noah and I feel, but she might have other thoughts and feelings and that's okay. At the end of the day she will know and feel the most important things--that she is loved and she truly is my soulmate. I will have to walk this line with her one day at a time.
For now, I've been working on trying to make a book for her. I've been working on it since she was a 10 week old fetus (I really don't like that word). It's harder than I thought to break it all down in a simplistic and clear way that would be appropriate for a toddler to read, but I'm trying, and I'll get there. And the end will reiterate something Noah always says-- that this baby is so loved and so wanted that other people came together to help her come to be. That's what matters, to us at least. And perhaps how many siblings or where they are or will we ever find them won't ever matter. We will just have to wait and see.