A Place At The Table

In vitro fertilization wasn’t for me. Until it was.

August 2012

Time is a gift. It has softened the edges of our torment, even blurred the pain to the point of forgetfulness. I don’t want to forget. I want Georgia to know how hard we fought for her. I want Ella to know that when she took us by the knees and pleaded with us to give her a brother or sister that we were listening—and desperately trying. I never want to forget our miracle.

We have more miracles, of course. There are five more waiting in a freezer. What to do with the embryos haunts us. We viscerally understand the potential in those cell clusters. There’s a universe waiting in each. But our family is complete. We will hold onto them for awhile, but when the time comes, we’ll donate our embryos to research. It’s science that got us here—that granted us the ever-expanding life that is Georgia—and we want to further that science for someone else.

Watching Ella hold her sister for the first time caught me at the throat. The image was framed by relief, pride, and euphoria. But the first time I truly grasped our new family dynamic was six days after Georgia was born. It was dinnertime and Ella, who was a month shy of turning four, bounced to the dinner table. She stopped short of sitting down and wheeled around. “Where’s Georgia’s seat?” she asked. “I want to sit next to Georgia.” Ella’s request twinkled through the air with a bell-like ring. It sounded bright and clear—and complete.