Last weekend, the most random email popped up. It was someone contacting me through etsy:
My name is Kathy. I currently live on Pepperwood Way. We received a piece of mail for you today (hopefully you are the same Statia it is addressed to).
It actually looks like something important, or else I would not have bother to try and fine you.
Grammatical errors aside, It was so random. About as random as getting another letter from the California State Controller’s office, telling us that they wanted to give us a check for $150 dollars. It’s not Ed McMahon with Publishers Clearning House, or anything, but I’m not going to poo poo it. I thought, well, shit, maybe this other letter was from Ed McMahon. Something tells me, the woman, probably wouldn’t have looked for me if there was a check for a bazillion dollars. Just a hunch.
Equally as surprising, it was a letter from our old fertility clinic. “Hi, we haven’t heard from you since 2006, did you know that you still have frozen embryos?”
You know, having had two kids, one the old fashioned way, the pain of fertility has faded a bit. Whenever I hear someone going through fertility treatments, the flashbacks come back, in some cases, intensely. All of a sudden, I can’t shake that funky black outlook I once had on the life I had pre-children. I guess that pain never truly goes away. So when hearing this unexpected news, I was thrown back into those dark days all over again. It sucks, really, because I’m just coming out of the waters of some other dark days, and I’d like to keep it that way for awhile.
The thing is, I haven’t given those embryos a thought in years. Because I was under the assumption, and I could have sworn, that we had signed paperwork to have them destroyed after a year. I guess that adage about assumption is true, then. Even the most crisp of memories is buried in a blur of other things.
And we’re truly done having kids. Two is all I can handle. My uterus has been set on fire, and I buried that hatchet a year and a half ago. I’ve passed the torch onto my sister, wherein, I’m STILL WAITING for a niece or nephew. Ahem. I cannot be prevented from sniffing baby head forever, you know! BUT! Now, here we are, with these embryos. We can have them destroyed, or we can donate them. Neither of these options for me is desirable. One, they’re my babies. And while I like to think my self as a pro-lifer, who still wonders what came first, the chicken or the egg, I can’t just stomach the thought of destroying those little clusters of cells. Even if they feel no pain. Two, I can’t think of my own genetic makeup, sitting in someone else’s uterus. Or think that somewhere, a part of me could be running around this earth, someday finding out that they’re genetic make-up is different than their parents, and “does cancer run in my biological family?” I would never take a family unit away. They were raised by someone else, who would be their true parents, but, genetically, they’re still a part of me.
And maybe that’s selfish, because I DO know that so many others are going through their own struggles, and I wish I could wave a magic wand. It shouldn’t be that difficult to achieve.
I look at my own two children, who were once just embryos themselves. Mere cells, that have grown into walking, talking people, with big personalities. Even on the days it drives me insane, I’m still amazed by them. I’m proud of what they’re becoming. And I wonder what kind of greatness the others would be destined for. And it makes the decision so hard.