Friday, November 14, 2014

Frozen Embryos

I used to joke that I had embryos all over the state. We have 5 here locally in Syracuse with Dr. K and then we have 2 that are currently residing in Manhattan at Dr. B's clinic. 

When we first started with Dr. K we bought a package IVF deal. For $7500 we purchased 3 fresh IVF cycles with unlimited frozen cycles. We signed a contract that all of these cycles had to be completed within a certain timeframe. 

After our second fresh cycle with Dr. K resulted in my third early miscarriage I met with one of the doctors. He told me I just needed to keep trying and that it was a numbers game. He didn't think my history warranted recurrent pregnant loss testing despite me practically begging for it. He was willing to treat me as if I had problems without actually testing for them (using intralipids, lovenox. etc). That didn't sit well with me so that's when we first scheduled a consult with Dr. B. At that point I had completed 2 of the 3 cycles we had paid for. 

Dr. B had different ideas for medications, protocols, etc for me. The thing was, I didn't want to jump in to that with a cycle already paid for. So, I got Dr. B to manage my last cycle with Dr. K. We did a freeze all since I used a Lupron trigger. We froze 7 embryos. The next month we transferred 2. Although I had faint positives on tests my HCG came back at below 5, so negative. At that point I was exhausted and so discouraged with treatments. I wrote Dr. B an email and he told me I needed to give it one more try before I decided the treatment didn't work. 

We thought about it for a while. Since I had transferred 12 embryos with that clinic without a take-home baby we decided if we were going to give it one more try we were going to go all in. We decided to do our last cycle with Dr. B at his clinic. I got pregnant with twins and we froze 2 embryos. 

Last year around this time I got a bill to continue to store our 5 embryos here in Syracuse. I called to speak with an embryologist because we were supposed to pay $600. I thought about keeping half of them so we didn't have to pay the full amount. When I spoke with them they told me they could put them all into one spot and only charge us $300. So, we paid it. 

The thing is, another year has passed. We once again got our $300 bill and W said, "I just can't picture paying it." 

If we decided to try for more children we would definitely use our 2 embryos in Manhattan first. As much as I'm not thinking any of those 5 embryos could be my future child/children, I hate the idea of just giving up on them. I went through so much to get them. I don't think I'd be comfortable donating them to another couple. Although it's not set in stone, both W and I have said we wouldn't want to go through another fresh cycle. 

So, we have to make some decisions soon. I'm hoping that W will agree to continue to pay to store our 5 little frosties here in Syracuse but we will see. I'll likely just put it off until they send me a final notice like last year. 

I know it's not a bad problem to have, but it really is difficult to make these decisions. 


  1. This is a really difficult part of IVF. We only have three frosties, and know we want to try again, but the thought of having any left when we feel like our family is complete is daunting. I have a weird peace that it will all turn out ok in the end, but I think about those frozen embryos often.

  2. That would be so hard! While I fully support embryo donation, I myself wouldn't be comfortable donating my own. I also wouldn't want to just give up on them either! What if one or more would be a successful transfer and be your babies? That would be super tough. I know I'm not very helpful, but I understand why you are having a hard time with this.

  3. Greetings from Australia - from a long term follower also with twins through IVF (plus surrogacy), we found it a lot easier to decide when we knew the grade of each embryo as had a "freeze everything" cycle. Turned out only 1 out of 4 would have been frozen if they hadn't put them all in as the others were considered too low in quality. Made the decision a lot easier with this extra knowledge.

  4. I have a 21m old boy from my fresh ivf cycle and am pregnant with twins from my frozen cycle and I'm dreading the day that I have to decide what to do with our remaining 5 embryos. I personally think it's as tough of a decision as the whole ivf process is. Goodluck, I'm sure you'll make peace with whatever you decide.

  5. We are going through the same thing!!

  6. That is a tough decision. I totally get not feeling comfortable donating. I'm not sure what I would do. It's not something I've had to really consider since I never had any to freeze. I think I would continue to pay for storage until I knew for sure that we were done having kids. Can you test the Syracuse ones to see if it's worth it?