Perspective on IVF remaining embryos

My partner and I are at a standstill over what to do with our remaining IVF embryos - this was after many years of trying and multiple attempts at IVF. He says he is done building our family (2 kids, one from IVF and one spontaneous post-IVF, which totally totally confounded us). I am not sure if I am done with growing our family and in all honesty, would like one more (we have several remaining embryos). This has caused some strain on our marriage, and both of us acknowledge that it could cause greater rifts if we don't find resolution. Having a sense for how large our family would be wasn't something we talked about before having kids because there was a stage in our lives where even having one child was a distant dream. I would love to know any personal stories about whether anyone had encountered this same dilemma, how (if) you resolved it, as well as perspectives on embryo donation vs. discarding them. I am very open to thoughts for anyone who has been touched by infertility. Also, if you have any therapist recommendations who have specific experience in helping people (individual or couple) with this kind of dilemma (can be growing family and even more specifically, remaining embryos), please let me know the name. While I prefer to keep my own username anonymous, if you are comfortable providing yours so that I can reach out with more questions, that would be most appreciated but understand that this is also a sensitive topic. Thank you so much!

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Hi - we are an IVF family too... i did work with a therapist while pregnant from IVF with some issues i had. happy to give you her name (and even lend an ear too... we're discussing our next steps as well).

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I had one child using IVF. My partner didn't want more children (he didn't one the first one to begin with). I decided that I was OK just having one. I donated my embryos to a family I found using We wrote an agreement stating what we expected out of our relationship. I wanted my son to potentially have a relationship with his blood sibling. A few years later, now my son is 5 and his "blood sibling" is 2. We communicate at least once a month,  we send family photos. We were supposed to meet this summer by everything got cancelled because of COVID. The family that I donated to had 4 miscarries before having this kid. They are very grateful. 

Good luck with your choices!

We were in your EXACT situation, down to the surprise second natural conception after years of infertility and IVF, and the divided opinions. When I was around 40 I decided “now or never” and my husband wasn’t on board, so we destroyed our frozen embryos. I thought I needed to close that door and move on. A few years later, as our kids got older (and life got easier!) he was more receptive to the idea of a third child, and I’ve often regretted our hastiness. My advice is to hold onto them; things change. 

Hello there, 

that sounds like A LOT. and i am familiar with it. After infertility on my partner's side and then possibly due to my age, we had IVF twice (once unsuccessfully and then successfully) and had extra embryos. We both knew that we didn't want any additional children but after all of the effort (physical and mental) to create those embryos, it felt unsettling to discard them. My partner was patient and I gave myself time to get use to the idea of donating the embryos to science. Since the cost of storage was about $30/month, I decided that the piece of mind to be able to sit on this decision was worth it. I had a friend in a similar situation and we would chat periodically about what we were going to do. even with both of us knowing that we didn't want additional children, we still wanted to hold onto them. after two years for me, i donated mine to science and feel good about it. in some ways, it's a relief because i don't need to think about it. i'm not sure what my friend has done but her son is now over 3 so perhaps she's made a similar decision. that being said, maybe not. I think the most important thing is that she feels good about her choice regardless of whether she holds onto them. 

i'm sorry to hear that this is source of tension for you in your relationship. it sounds good that you are open to seeing a counselor as it would certainly be helpful. In my own situation, the idea of children (more or less) identified underlying issues in our relationship. my partner and i are no longer together and i wish that we didn't sweep so many things under the rug but i am pleased that i made choices based on what felt right for me (which also felt right for him). 

Hi - I'd be interested in chatting about this privately if you'd send me a message.