I tried to post this yesterday, but it didn’t seem to show up in my feed, so I’m trying again!
Last week, a “Mr. Oliver” from our fertility clinic left me a vague voicemail message while I was at work requesting a call back. I returned his call immediately.
First off, let me just say that this dude’s voice is creepy. Actually, I really want you to hear how creepy his voice is so I just figured out how to export the file.
When I called, that voice answered the phone. “This is Mr. Oliver.” I cheerfully told him who I was and that I was returning his call. “Ahh yes, Molly.”
First off… if you’re not going to use your first name, why the hell are you using mine? Does that strike you as rude? It really rubbed me the wrong way.
Anyway, he launches into a spiel about how he’s calling to collect a total of something like $2,000 that we owe them before we’re sent to collections.
I was confused. We paid up front for everything we did with them. I asked him what it was for, and was told that we haven’t paid our embryo storage fees since 2014. And actually, 2017 is due soon, so he’ll just add that on now as well.
Um… backup. You are trying to collect three years’ worth of storage fees right this second? Huh? I’ve never even seen a bill! Not one single bill!
So, upon further (creepy) investigation, we discover that the clinic has our old address on file. Apparently, they have been sending invoices to our old address, so we never received them, therefor they were never paid.
Wait… that’s THREE YEARS of unpaid invoices. I am quite certain that at some point, someone returned a piece of mail to them. Not to mention that we had our mail forwarded from our old address for MONTHS after we moved, and we didn’t move until I was almost 8 months pregnant, so it’s not like we just finished with the services and took off. Also, they have 4 valid phone numbers and two valid email addresses for us. Heck, the guy called and I returned his call within minutes. We have even exchanged holiday cards with our doctor and she mailed me—to our NEW ADDRESS—a nice note after I sent her our birth announcement. Do not even attempt to tell me that you couldn’t find us for three damn years. That is a load of crap.
I am BEYOND pissed off.
I hung up on him. I shouldn’t have done that, but he caught me totally off guard and I was seeing red… not to mention that this subject is a bit emotional and, well… I just couldn’t. Especially with Mr. Creepy.
Naturally, I called Catch immediately after I got off the phone with the dude. She was angry too, and she said something to the effect of, “I’ll call them and pay the outstanding balance and we’ll just tell them to discard the rest of the embryos.”
Guys, we are solidly one and done. I am happy with one child. I did not particularly enjoy pregnancy, my birth experience was kind of scary, recovery sucked, breastfeeding was awful, and postpartum overall was just a barrel of shit. Not to mention that having a second child means walking back into that fertility clinic and going through that all over again and I have less than zero desire to do that.
Even better, I really love having one kid. I love that I don’t have to try to juggle my very limited available hours to stretch between two kids who both need me. I love that someday, when daycare/preschool are done, we’ll have our disposable income back. I love that we’ll be able to afford to enjoy our lives if we only have one kid. I love that we’ll be able to give her opportunities that she wouldn’t have if she had a sibling. I really just love my kid. I feel complete. Any hesitation I have is simply that sometimes, I think she’d love having a sibling. But we can’t have another child for Charlotte. We have to do it for us. And frankly, “us” is really enjoying parenting an only.
So why is it that I can’t just agree that it’s time to let go of our embryos? Why does the thought of that render me totally incapable of speech?
I am going to be honest with you guys, and it’s a bit dark, but I’ve spent the last week tossing this around in my head. Maybe I’m the only person to ever have this thought, but I doubt it.
I’m afraid to discard our embryos because I am terrified of losing Charlotte and not being able to have another child. I hated all of that early stuff, but I love being a mom. I worship that kid. She is the most amazing gift. If anything ever happened to her, I would never recover… but I would still want to have the opportunity to actively mother another child. Especially a child who shares the same genes as my baby girl.
I know that’s all ass backwards and totally wrong, but feelings aren’t exactly logical or politically correct sometimes. Those frozen embryos are like a lifeline to my Charlotte.
Also, those embryos were hard fought. They were literally blood, sweat, tears and so, so much money. They are—quite literally—a part of me. It’s sort of hard for me to just check a box and decide I don’t want them anymore.
So what do we do now?
I realize that I can’t live in fear of losing my daughter. It’s not healthy. I don’t want to think about those embryos and feel like they’re some sort of insurance policy for motherhood. They’re not.
Logically, I know that if Catch and I decide later that we would like another child, we have options. We can foster. We can adopt. We will figure it out.
I think we’ve agreed to pay for one more year of storage. Just in case. Will we change our minds about having a second child? Doubtful. I guess I’d just rather regret wasting money on storage fees than regret not having those embryos.