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End of Reproductive Years

  • “Ma’am, this could affect your fertility.” “It’s fine – I don’t plan on having any more kids.”
  • “Will you all have another?” “Heck no! We are so done.”
  • “Are you going to try for a boy?” “No way, we are happy with two girls. We are done having kids.”

My oldest is 3.5 and my youngest is 11 months. Both pregnancies and labors were complicated. And because of a genetic mutation my husband and I share, I endured a litany of tests during both pregnancies. On top of it all, our youngest is a product of IVF and God – and for so many reasons – I don’t want to go through that again.

No more babies. I am sure of it. Or am I?

One of the things many IVF families do is freeze embryos. The mama – and partner by proxy – endure SO MUCH financial and psychological and physical strain during the IVF process. And freezing embryos gives each family a way of having healthy “backups” so to speak.

For example, early in 2015 we decided to start the IVF process. And when it came time to implant the embryo into my uterus, it didn’t take. So a few months later we pulled from our frozen stash and tried again.

And, praise God, here she is now. My belleza.

Fast forward to last week. I received an invoice in the mail from our embryo bank. The amount of time we pre-paid had expired. It was time to resign or to discard the embryos.

Of course it was time to discard. Of course. I casually mentioned it to my husband.

The thoughts going through my mind were, I don’t want to be pregnant again. My girls are more than enough.  I don’t want to give my body away again. My body has literally been dedicated to growing and feeding babies since November 2013. I’m tired.

Layered on top of the embryo question, was my weaning from pumping/nursing – which is sending my hormones ALL SORTS OF CRAZY DIRECTIONS.

And for fun, thrown in Postpartum Depression! Basically the space between my ears has been a circus for the last week.

So I went back and asked my husband to procrastinate confirm, “We are discarding the embryos, right?” “Right.”

We got in the car and went to the notary. It’s all very official. And after a few minutes of signatures and stamps I held in my hand the paper that stated, discard embryos.

And then something strange happened. I left the very official, notarized form in the car – and ignored it. I didn’t forget about it. I ignored it. Just thinking about sending the paper into the embryo bank made me queasy.

Then on Sunday, after a few days of avoidance, while my girls were taking their afternoon naps, I sent the very official, notarized paper to the embryo bank.

DISCARD EMBRYOS.

My heart started beating quickly, my palms got sweaty and I felt nauseated. Reconciling ending my reproductive years has really thrown me for a loop. I kind of feel like I just got started. I know there are always other options should we want to bring another life into our home. Adoption is something we have always held close to our hearts. I’m not sure I’ve even totally worked out all the feelings yet. I just know this is a big time in my life. The road just turned and there’s a little grieving to be done.

If you’re a mama and having to make this decision. I feel you. I understand you. I am with you.


Image: Sincerely Sarah Photography

Post Author
Catia Holm
Catia Hernandez Holm inspires audiences through her candid and poignant motivational writings, videos, and her signature movement, the “Confidence Revolution.” She teaches women how to experience peace and joy, and how to make the most of their days. Through her writing and speaking, she pours energy into encouraging women to RISE and BECOME their most authentic selves and claim their power, peace and joy. Her debut book, The Courage to Become, will be released fall 2017. Catia is a proud wife and mama to two beautiful girls.

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