Parenting, Pregnancy

If you could conceive naturally but had frozen embryos, what would you do?

Brooke by Brooke
September 18th, 2016

If I had a dollar for how many times I’d been asked in the last six months when I was going to push out baby number two, I’d be a rich woman. I have a two year old babe who rocks my world, and for now, she’s keeping me busy enough. But, it’s definitely got me thinking about what’s to come, and there is something I’m wrestling with…

You see, I had trouble falling pregnant with my daughter, Edie, and we went down the IVF path. My body didn’t want to play ball, more specifically, my ovaries were selfish and didn’t feel the need to ovulate, I also hadn’t had a period for many years. But after having my daughter Edie, all my bits and pieces appear to be working again and I have a period for the first time in ten years. I don’t even know how that’s possible, but it is. She may have given me sleepless nights and worry like nothing else, but she also gave my body parts a good kick in the right direction. What a kid.


Edie on day one of her life, making every bit of the IVF worth it.

I have no idea at this point if I am actually ovulating, but if I am, this means I could fall pregnant naturally, and while that would be somewhat of a miracle and I would be so grateful, here lies my dilemma.

I am lucky enough to still have some eggs on ice from my IVF process with Edie. But these are not just ‘eggs’. Not to me. I may have had eggs removed, but then they were fertilised and put through a process to see if they would last the distance, and once they did, they became embyros.  Scientifically, they are called embyros and emotionally that’s exactly what they feel like, my potential babies.

I feel like I would be cheating on these ‘babies’ by trying to have conceive naturally. I know that may sound a little bonkers, but  my little girl was once one of those eggs which turned into an embryo. So you can see, it’s hard not to see them as my future children, too. How can I leave them there sitting on the shelf while I go and try for ‘other’ babies?

Then on the other hand, I’d have to be mad to put myself through the gruelling and financially taxing IVF process if I was able to conceive naturally, right? I mean, who would do that , RIGHT? I don’t want to put myself and my family through IVF again if I have a choice. But part of me feels like I should use the embryos I already have, the ones that came along first and have been waiting patiently for years.

Janine Allis and I had a chat about this very topic in our recent Up Close chat;

I know for some people this is a no brainer, if you can conceive naturally then that’s your answer.  I am not quite there yet. I’m sure I will be, just not yet.

Which path would you take?

The very brave and beautiful Sally Obermeder spoke to us about her experience with IVF and surrogacy and that chat is ready for your earlobes in pod version below. Have a listen and then come on over and join our podcast posse here.

  • Rachael

    To me it was a no brainer to use my embryo – I didn’t even try naturally. I felt a moral obligation to use an embryo I was responsible for creating. NO JUDGEMENT TO ANYONE ELSE- my personal feeling. It’s actually so much easier than the first bub- no hormones, just tracking and nothing really riding on it. And it resulted in Nina.

  • Dimity

    We had the exact same situation with nine embryos on ice but while preparing to go back to IVF for our second I fell naturally which I did feel finally my body did something right. After paying for 10 years of storage cause we also couldn’t destroy them we finally made the decision to donate.

  • Mez

    It’s such a bizarre situation. Either way, you can’t win. You’re either infertile or not. Work it out for yourself.

  • Gee

    Having just been through the rigours of IVF I would definitely favour natural conception. I found the process extraordinarily stressful and difficult.
    Of course, there are no guarantees of a successful pregnancy with either route.

    Before we commenced IVF we had to reconcile ourselves to the possibility we might have embryos left over (after this pregnancy our family will be complete). We have one left in the freezer but I have forced myself to view it as a combination of cells that may produce a pregnancy (ie the embryo itself does not equate to another baby). I admire those who can donate embryos but I personally could not do it.

    Good luck with your decision, do what is right for your family.

  • Sonia

    I had my first three babies through IVF (one and then twins) and I had one embryo left. Then I fell pregnant naturally …. After having number 4, I knew I couldn’t leave the embryo (which we always called Egg) so decided to have it implanted. Egg didn’t survive the thawing process and I was devastated! After much thought I decided that I really wanted another baby and number 5 was conceived naturally. Our bodies are amazing and unpredictable things!

  • Emily

    You could as a mid-way point do a natural thaw cycle – ie they track your ovulation and then five days later they transfer an embryo (assuming your frosties are day five blastocysts). If your natural hormones looked good you’d probably only need progesterone supplementation (and far less than if you did a medicated cycle).

  • Monty

    Wow that is so incredible. Our bodies really are amazing. Lots of Love. xxx