Home » Dumplin' and Mochi » We’re Alive

We’re Alive

Hi friends. It’s been a long while since my last post. I can’t even remember when that was. Anyhow we’re alive, and while we are very sleep-deprived, everyone is thriving. I don’t know how to start catching you up on the past couple of months…. lots has happened, but I’m trying to thumb-type this as fast as I can before our babies wake up from their naps. I guess I’ll just start and then see where it leads.

Dumplin’ turned 1 back in October. He’s a full-blown toddler now, complete with toddler attitude. I decided to extend my maternity leave from work (without pay), and stay off with DW and the kids until next September, so we have no income, but our hearts are full and every day is like a holiday (sorta). 

Christmas was busy, but good. My mom came to visit, which was nice. The babies loved having another person in the house. We spent a week with DW’s family as well over the Christmas holidays. 

Then this month, we took a family vacation (just us four) to Punta Cana. We stayed at an awesome all-inclusive resort that caters to families with infants and toddlers. We were able to take the babies to the a la carte restaurants, and they always had high chairs at the buffets. The babies had a great time at the pool, and had their first experience playing in the sand and being splashed by ocean waves. When we returned, we noticed that Dumplin’s table skills had improved- he no longer throws plates or bowls placed in front of him, and has been working on using utensils to eat. Mochi’s hand-eye coordinate has also improved a lot as well, as he’s mostly (hand) feeding himself now at meals. 

Mochi has been working very hard on crawling lately, and has been pulling up to standing as well. The week after he started crawling (at 8.5 months), his big brother started walking (at 15 months). Poor Mochi- constantly playing catch-up! Dumplin’s been toddling around, and has a pretty nasty scrape on his chin from constantly falling down on it. He walks around a bit bow-legged, with a big smile on his face, so proud of himself. 

Life has been busy, but not a day goes by that I don’t feel extremely blessed to have these two babies in our lives. DW and I spend our pre-sleep bed time reminiscing moments of hilarity or happiness from the day. Now that Mochi is 9 months old and no longer such a little baby, I’m really wishing that we could have a third. Our two boys are so sweet, and have such different personalities that I can’t help but wonder what our remaining 4 embryos might be like if they grew into little people. But when we crunch the numbers and calculate how much it would cost for daycare, a bigger house, paying into another education savings fund, family vacations for 5… it really isn’t in the cards for us to have another child. Not to mention the stress of having to TTC again…. the miscarriage risks, the extra immune-suppressing drugs, all while being back at work and parenting two small kids. I mean, I still believe that I’ve got PTSD from our TTC and RPL journey. Every year, the fertility clinic contacts us to inquire whether we’d like to store our remaining blastocysts for another year. We’ve been paying the annual embryo storage fee without much thought because I haven’t been ready to deal with the big decision of: have more kids/ donate to science/ donate to another person/ destroy. It’s really complicated given our history of infertility and recurrent pregnancy loss. How do you just “destroy” 4 perfectly good embryos that were so hard fought for? Especially when 2 from the same batch ended up being our sweet babies that we love more than anything in the whole world. 

Well we made a decision a few months ago to offer them to a blogger friend that I deeply adore and respect. She and her partner also experienced a lot of heartache throughout their TTC journey, were blessed with a son through adoption, and were contemplating possibly giving him a sibling. After much consideration, they decided that they weren’t in a place where they were ready for a second child, and that they were quite content with their family of three (and dog). 
At the same time, another couple approached us regarding our stored embryos. They have a 4 year old son, and after numerous IVF attempts, haven’t been successful conceiving due to egg quality. They live in the same province as us. We haven’t met them in person, but have been emailing with them back and forth. It’s hard though, because we don’t know much about embryo donation/adoption, and what kinds of difficult things come up in the process-legally, logistically, financially, and emotionally. Right now I’m dealing with the emotional part of it, and it’s kind of sending me down a couple of different rabbit holes. 

Did/do you have embryos remaining- and how did you decide what to do with them?

26 thoughts on “We’re Alive

  1. I have a vial of sperm that is doing the same thing to me. In no way can I afford another alone but I can’t seem to sell it or use it. Just keeping it in storage. It’s emotional all around for sure! Meanwhile I turn 44 next month so my decision may be made for me!!!

    • Oh my goodness- so did I and then I didn’t respond to their mails- too overwhelmed and it has been destroyed. Really guy wrenching and so just avoided it because I couldn’t afford to store it and couldn’t bear to tell them to get rid of it.

    • It’s so hard, and the “what if’s” compound the difficulty making a decision too. It’s nice that your bank doesn’t charge for storage. Ours does for sperm and it’s not cheap!

  2. So nice to read what you and your beautiful family are up to. Sounds like a lovely vacation you had. Can’t believe how grown up the little guys are! It goes way too fast.

    • Thank you! Things have been busy busy busy, but also filled with so many wonderful opportunities. They do grow so fast and I’m already sad that I’ll miss so much once I’m back at work.

  3. So glad to hear from you! Those boys are just THE BEST! Look at those faces!!! ❤️❤️❤️

    We also have 4 embryos and storage. Lately, we have been talking about baby #5, and have decide that…Why the hell not!?! It won’t be happening for another year AT LEAST, but that leaves us with 3. We’ve talked about donating them to my best friend Nikki now that her and her wife are TTC, and since she had a pretty serious history of fibroids and thyroid issues (she had her thyroid removed last summer and at her first RE visit, it was something like 400+ I think) we wanted to be be able to help them. But we aren’t really sure how we feel about seeing “our kids” with our kids all the time and not really saying anything. Even though we are in contact with Diblings, our kids have now clue WHO they are…just that they’re our good friends… So ultimately, we’ve decided that we’re going to donate them sort of anonymously, or to people that we don’t know personally but have been connected with. Sort of a Dibling/donor situation. We are able to help someone and sorta pay it forward in a weird way, so why not? We can’t have 9 kids (Callie says)…or….can we? Hmmmm?!

    • You two are amazing. How do you manage having 4 kids and still stay sane? I really need to know your secret. It’s awesome that you’re gonna have another eventually. I wish that we could have more- I’m amazed by our two every day and can only imagine that adding another would just increase our happiness. It’s just so darn expensive to live where we do, and our quality of life would suffer a lot if we had another child. It’s wonderful that you might donate your embryos too. We struggle with that closeness issue too. We do want to know and have a relationship with the diblings but at some point does it hurt too much or feel weird if you’re too close? I’d totally love to have 6 kids if we had the resources to support that. I LOVE big families!

  4. I looove this update. Happy Lunar Year btw! I love the faces in the first photo lol so much personality!!! & your family pictures…. Ahhh I’m in love!!!! That’s amazing that you were able to extend your time off. Money comes and goes but your babies will only be babies for so long. How was Punta Cana? We’re planning a vacation for October and we’re leaning at Playa Del Carmen (again) but I would like to visit a new place! Costa Rica & Dominican Republic are both on the list! I can’t even imagine having to make that decision on what to do with your embryos! Isn’t it crazy to have to make such a decision after trying sooo hard to get this far?! Personally I would probably continue to store them… Who knows what the future holds. What if you come across some sort of fortune and you’re able to provide for addtl children?! & if not then adoption/donation could be an option. But I would wait. Just look at those faces 😍😍😍 anyway, so glad to see you all are doing well. 💜

    • Thank you! Yes, we’re so lucky to be off together too, so we can both savour these early years. Punta Cana was great! They love kids there, so it was a great atmosphere anywhere we went. No harsh looks when the babies were melting down in a restaurant or anything. The Dominican people are really nice. I would definitely recommend it! Yeah- I thought about storing them for another year, but it’s really expensive ($500) and I kinda feel like if someone else could use them now…. but I struggle with it so much because I agree, if we came into some kind of small fortune, I would for sure want more kids.

  5. Those boys are too cute!! I can’t stand how much fun they look like they have together! I’m also pretty envious of your hand-me-down system…you probably don’t even have to store clothes before they move on to little brother to wear!

    • Thank you! They have so much fun together. They’re starting to fight now too, which is interesting to watch as well. Yeah, the hand-me-down system is pretty perfect. They’re actually almost in the same size now too- Dumplin’s really leaned out and Mochi is still chunky so it’ll be neat to see what happens next with their sizes!

  6. So nice to have an update from you guys. Your vacation looks amazing! We’re in a similar predicament with our remaining embryos. We have 5 in storage. Ultimately, we will donate them for scientific research but I haven’t been able to pull the trigger.

    • Thanks Molly! We had a wonderful time, and I was really inspired by the trip you guys took with Charlotte a couple of months ago. I had visions of hiding in the bathroom while they slept lol.

      It’s such a hard decision- what to do with the remaining embryos. How did you come to your decision?

      • The “what to do” was easy for me. I won’t donate them to anyone else for medical reasons related to my genes, and I don’t want to just destroy them. I feel good about offering them to science. I just have to wait until we’re truly certain we’re done. We think we are. We’ll probably give it another year or two before we pull the plug on storage.

  7. What a great update. I am glad you’re so busy with life and happiness. The option of you both being home for such an extended time is such a gift to the boys and you as parents.

    We had one leftover embryo that was destroyed while I was still pregnant. We didn’t want more than one baby and still don’t. Stem cell research is limited to a small number of registered embryo lines, so no scientific facility would have taken them. I would have liked to donate to science if it were possible. Seems the most useful way out. Adoption would have been open ID, and I honestly didn’t want to deal with such a thing as potential adopted embryo siblings on top of the sperm donor/ two mom situation in our family. (People wouldn’t be much interested in a single embryo anyway I guess.)
    Would another IVF cycle be an option in case the financial situation changed and you decide to have another baby or are these the final chance?

    • Interesting about stem cell research and registered embryo lines. If we decided to have another later on and had already donated all of the embryos, then we would probably just do IUI’s again and hope that the donor sperm was still available to purchase. I’m still young (ish), at 35 years old, so there’s still time. I guess that’s what makes it harder too- if I were older, then that decision would be made for us already. But I don’t know how I will feel in 4 years when these two are in school and there’s no baby or toddler around.

  8. I was just thinking about you, so glad to see the update and hear that everyone is really doing great!

    Your boys are just so cute it’s ridiculous. And awesome that you took an extended leave though times are tight. I bet it’s so worth it 🙂

    We have one embryo left and I can understand your concern for sure. Maybe hold onto them for a while in case you guys do change your mind when the boys are older. That doesn’t really help with the stress of trying again but it might be easier on your mind to know they’re there.

    We cannot donate it due to how the egg was fertilized (needle instead of survival of the fittest). I don’t know how I’d feel knowing or not that I may have a kid out there. That would be hard on me personally but I absolutely admire ppl who do that. It’s so selfless.

    Because my husband now has 3 kids, oldest being 15, he’s very steadfast in no more. We actually looked into compassionate termination (I think it’s called). Putting embryos in when you are least fertile. I’m at peace I think with doing it that way. But a very big part of me just wants to do no hormones or monitoring but put it in when I’m fertile and let fate decide. I have yet to sell him on this idea…
    Who knows. This probably didn’t help you lol

    Good to hear from you! We missed you guys

  9. Aw that’s a beautiful thing, to donate your embryos. We’re still sitting on ours, not sure what we will do, but we are far from being done having kids, so we won’t make a decision for a while. I had heard that you can’t donate embryos if you’ve used donor sperm… not sure if that’s true or not. Have you looked much into it?

  10. How in the world did I miss this post?!
    First I have to comment on how adorable and how toddlerish both boys are looking! It’s amazing how adorable they are! I imagine they are so much fun, most of the time!! 😉
    I won’t lie, reading about your embryos brought tears to my eyes. I’m thrilled you have your two little boys, yet I wish you could try for a third if that’s something you’d like to do! I hate that we all have to factor in our past infertility struggles into decoding if we can have another! And of course money, clearly another factor we all have to consider.
    And even more, I cannot imagine how hard the decision must be for you and your wife to decide what to do with your remaining embryos. Honestly, I respect and admire your courage to consider all options and I hope whatever you choose it’s right for your family. Sending all my love!

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