I am not really sure how to feel right now... definitely not as upset as I was when we had the final bloodwork experience needed to release our embryos, but not super hunky-dory, either.
I am sad, to be perfectly honest. I'd say it surprises me but after the deluge with the bloodwork, I sort of expected it.
As I type this, our notarized release form to send our little embryos off from the cryobank associated with Snowflakes to the clinic where they'll hopefully be transferred to the couple in the Midwest, who will hopefully have way more success with the embryos than we ever did.
It's amazing, how many times we've had to have things notarized on this journey. Almost worth coercing a neighbor into becoming a notary on our behalf, because of all the calling to the bank to see when the notary is in which branch and making sure we're both around during banking hours, which can be surprisingly difficult to finagle. I am glad that this is the last time that we will have to explain exactly what all this stuff about embryos means, when they do due diligence and ask us what we're signing and if we understand it. We have notarized information for what to do with embryos in case we die or divorce, to transfer embryos to another clinic, to transfer embryos to Snowflake's cryobank, and I'm pretty sure there was some notarized stuff related to donor gametes along the way. I feel like we've had to take a trip to the notary at least three times just for Snowflakes alone.
And now it's done, and the embryos are no longer "our embryos" and should ship within the week to the couple they officially belong to--the lovely couple we said yes to and who inexplicably said yes to us in return, even given the risks of embryos with no successful cohorts.
It's a weird sort of goodbye. I told the contracts coordinator in my email that I felt like I should do a balloon release or something, because it feels momentous. I mean, I won't actually do that, because sea turtles will die, but it would be nice if there was some sort of ceremonial thing to do to acknowledge that these tiny potential humans that were ours are now going off to a new life, without us.
Why is it that all ceremonial things are technically littering? Balloon releases, those fire lantern things (one actually landed in our street once from a wedding or funeral or something like that...pretty little fire hazards those are!), releasing some super confused doves into an area they're not familiar with (and are they factory farmed, these doves?), butterfly releases...although I guess butterflies are the least damaging. Everyone needs more butterflies and they're pretty adaptable, right? Maybe I could somehow trap the ones that go to my garden and then let them go again. Seems unnecessary trauma, though.
I guess I just feel at a loss in this moment. Or a loss. Or 8 tiny losses, that are actually tiny hopes that maybe our decision to go through the Snowflakes Embryo Adoption program will really and truly give them the chance I never could. That's a bittersweet thought right there.
I feel like I just keep saying goodbye -- to all the 27 embryos that came before these lucky 8 that get some other uterus to hopefully survive and thrive in. To every piece of the original family building dream that I had once upon a time, where Bryce and I could have (in theory), with some technological help, conceive a baby that looked like either one of us and have a typical experience, as typical as a catheter and sperm washing would make it. My definition of "typical experience" just keeps shifting.
I really just want the experience, the ultimate experience of parenting, which is what we have to hold on to since we've let go of genetics bit by bit and pregnancy altogether. And I want this other couple to have their experience, to get pregnant with these embryos and give the embryos themselves a shot at the experience of being parented and existing as people, a victory made possible because we created these embryos out of love and hope and dreams and science.
And when that outcome happens I'll say goodbye again, to the uncertainty around why we just never could get this whole babymaking thing together, and know for sure that it was my uterus. That will be a tougher day than today, even though it will be pain and promise all wrapped up together again. Pain for me, promise for the embryos. Peace that the decision ended the way we'd hoped. I don't even want to think about the alternative outcome.
So byebye, little guys and gals...I hope you find a home in the Midwest and you stick around for that couple whose profile book I keep open in a tab so I can see their faces and personalities and remind myself that our embryos aren't going into a void, they're going to real people. Really nice people that seem to be very similar to ourselves in many regards.
Goodbye, so many goodbyes. I hope you know that somehow you are still part of the dream that we had, that we wish all the best things for you in life, and wish so badly that we could have been the ones to provide them...but know that you will have a great home with the people who hopefully will give you the chance to be. That is the hope.