The idea of being able to chose the gender of your child was something I thought came wrapped up as part of the IVF package. Let’s first be clear: today, I honestly have no preference on gender. There are so many reasons why I would want a boy and so many other ones why I would want another girl.
With that said though, when we first started this journey, my heart was set on boy. Yay! Let’s do IVF and get a boy!I thought. So simple, right?
Clearly this is NOT how it works. Sure, if you're lucky enough to have multiple, healthy, normal embryos after all is said and done, only then will you have the "luxury" of choice. However, if you're like me, and only seem to get one, maybe two healthy embryos after each egg retrieval, then having choices is not a reality. (Side note: this choice you make also has to actually give you a positive pregnancy test, but we can talk about that waiting game another time).
I was always a little hesitant to have to choose what embryo to transfer. I think the idea of choosing the sex of your baby is incredible and I could not thank science enough for allowing me to have babies. But at the same time, I can't help but wonder if we truly ever have a choice? I (still) go back and forth with wanting to know the gender of the embryos. Of course we thought at one point that we should go for a boy since we have two girls. But after ALL of our embryos were female (and I literally mean every single one from every retrieval), we realized that this was not in our hands. The Universe, God, whatever you believe in, definitely has a plan for each and every one of us and ultimately the sex of our future baby will not be up to us. Once I came to terms with this it was actually kind of freeing. ONE less thing I have to control, one less thing that I get to let go of (as hard as it is for me to not want to control this).
So I've decided to stick to this. For the past three transfers we have not asked what the sex of the embryo was. We would let the doctor decide. It was kind of exciting each time to not know the sex and I think it also made it a tiny bit easier each time that we didn't have a successful transfer. I definitely think as hard as the miscarriage was, it would have been way harder had we known what the baby was. (We later asked – it was a girl). I think it has become a way for me to be less attached to this little embryo.
With that said I DO ask the nurses what the gender was after every failed attempt (after I've had some time to regroup). That's how I knew that every single one had been female. My husband and I laughed because here we thought we could come in and choose what we wanted to put in the oven, but we had only made girls! Of course we both know another girl would be such a blessing, but still kind of funny and ironic.
This last transfer was different though. I asked what the gender was once a couple weeks passed (in order to get my head back on straight after dealing with the reality that we had another failed attempt).
"Do you really want to know?" the nurse asked. “It was a boy."
This one seemed to hurt a little more. Maybe it's because I was not expecting that answer (even though I still honestly don't care what gender we are some day blessed with) or maybe this made that little guy more real since it has been the only HE in a pool full of SHES. Regardless of why, like most phases of this beautiful blunder, it stung. My mind was all over the place… I went back to thinking I actually could control the outcome, wondering if there were more frozen males in our tiny little clan, wondering if I should have asked before the transfer just so that I could have been prepared for this feeling rushing through my body.
I let myself shed a tear and then remembered that I actually don't get to choose. I don't get to have control over this and I will be the luckiest mom of whoever chooses me! I’m not saying it still doesn't hurt when I think about it, so don't beat yourself up about feeling whatever you need to feel. I know I'm not a bad mom for feeling more this time and I do let myself grieve, but I try to always find the silver lining because how else do you keep going, how else do you build back the hope? Now we found out that we clearly CAN make healthy boys! Yay, go US! I suppose I should give the credit to Nick here. That’s fair..Go Nick!!
I left the room and called Nick and told him. It didn't seem to phase him (or maybe it did but he was trying to cheer me up). "Oh wow! We can make boys!" he exclaimed. I think he felt proud.
I felt at ease, and I know we will end up with whatever the universe thinks we can handle.