‘To My 12 Remaining Embryos: I have been thinking about you a lot lately. You have been frozen now for over 3 years.’

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To My 12 Remaining Embryos,

The day we learned there were 14 of you, we instantly knew our story of hope wasn’t just for us. You have been frozen now for over 3 years. Sometimes my infertility feels like a distant memory, and other times the pain and anguish of an empty womb floods my heart like it was yesterday. My body went through a lot in hopes that God would give me one of you. So when the doctor called to tell us there were 14 of you, we were in shock.

I have been thinking about you a lot lately.

I don’t really know if we will be going back for another round of IVF.  Your siblings are triplets and it is kind of a lot right now. We wouldn’t go back for another round of IVF for a couple more years; and if we do go back, we could only take one of you. There really is such a struggle. My desire is to go back for another round IVF because I know you are there waiting for your chance at life. I wish we could take all of you, but I know deep in my heart that God didn’t make you so I could keep all of you just for myself. Your father and I have always agreed that we needed to let you have the opportunity to have life here on this earth, even if it means we cannot take you, keep you, and watch you grow. We know the time is coming soon for us to start this process of letting you go.

Husband injects fertility treatment into his wife's stomach as they battle infertility and pursue IVF

For us, donating you to research or discarding, was just not something we felt God wanted for us, or for you. It would be easy to keep you frozen forever because then you are still mine. But I also know keeping you frozen forever doesn’t bring hope to anyone, not even myself, and it certainly won’t allow you the opportunity to experience life.

However, the thought of losing you to someone else breaks my being.

It saddens me because I honestly can’t bear the thought of someone else raising you. And truthfully, it is hard for me to accept that someone else will be your mom. She will feel you grow in her womb and share in your first moments.  She will be the one to hold you when you are sad, help you when you are sick, keep you safe when you are scared.  She will be the one you depend on, the one you cry for, the one you make all your memories with.  She will love you with a special kind of love a mother has for her child. She will know you.  She will watch you take your first steps, hear your first words. She will be the one to watch you grow up, graduate from school, and one day get married and have children of your own. I can feel the jealousy in my heart just thinking about her sharing those moments with you. I grieve not knowing you like she will know you. I grieve not being able to look deep into those beautiful eyes of yours and tell you how much I love you. I grieve giving you to her. You won’t be mine anymore.

Woman battling infertility gives a thumbs up in the hospital before surgery

However, the truth is, as much as I call you mine, or even one day hers,  you are God’s perfectly made little snowflakes. And I have to trust in what God told me in the very beginning: “You are hope, hope for many.” Deep in my heart I know your Mama will love you like I love you.  She will give you an amazing life filled with the many things I hoped for you. And even though it is hard for me to fully comprehend that right now, I know, one day, He will prepare my heart for her to be your mom, but I will always be connected to you. I will be apart of you. I will always be loving you.

Choosing embryo adoption for you doesn’t mean I never wanted you. It doesn’t mean I don’t love you. It doesn’t mean I am abandoning you. It means I have to give you the opportunity to have life, to have a family. And while I know it is possible to have a relationship with you, even though I won’t be your mom anymore, I have to believe that God is at work. I have to believe that even as much as I call you mine, he is molding and preparing your mom for you and He is preparing me to give you to her.


Your first mom.

Couple experiencing infertility take a photo together during an outdoor photoshoot, she in a yellow sweater and him in a green long-sleeved shirt

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Desiree Fortin of California. You can follow her journey as a mom of triplets on Instagram.

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