Embryo donation, although still relatively new to the scientific world, has become quite a controversial topic. Many believe that everyone who wants to be a parent should be able to be one, while others think that there comes a point when we should leave nature well enough alone. Right or wrong, for one woman, embryo donation made her dream of experiencing the ups and downs of pregnancy and delivery a reality.
Crystal and Rich Colbert tried for five years to conceive naturally before learning they were unable to have children. Through the foster care program, they ended up adopting two children but Crystal knew that as much as she wanted it to be enough, it wasn't. It was then that Crystal and Rich turned towards the controversial embryo donation to try and fill that void.
"All my life I wanted to be a mom, and it just did not come easy to me", Crystal told WFLA.
It was when she heard of embryo donation that her hope had returned. Dr. Sandy Goodman who works with the Reproductive Medicine Group in Tampa, Florida told WFLA, that "there are around 500,000, give or take, embryos frozen in the United States".
She further explains that it is because of in vitro fertilization that these embryos exist, as sometimes there are more embryos created (as a failsafe) than a family wishes to pursue. Often times, families will put their embryos up for donation to give them a chance at life or they are donated to science.
Examining over 50 profiles, Crystal and Rich selected two biologically related embryos.
"Our daughters were frozen for 11 and 13 years," Crystal explained. "They were created in 2003 and so they were just like frozen and waiting!"
Doctors inserted the embryos a couple of years apart into Crystal's uterus via a catheter. After many years of heartbreak, Crystal and Rich finally heard their baby's heartbeat on the ultrasound screen. Nora, now three-years-old, was born first, followed by Evyn a few years later.
Crystal, realizing the controversy surrounding her daughters, says that she just wants to live life not looking back with any regrets. Although some don't agree with the process, she is thankful that she was able to carry two beautiful daughters regardless if they were conceived naturally or with the help of science.