The difficult decision of what to do with the unused embryos after a cycle of IVF has been solved by an innovative Australian company.
After a six-year IVF journey to receive miracles Lachlan, 4, and 21-month-old twins Charlotte and William, Belinda and Shaun Stafford didn’t know what to do with their remaining embryos. Their babies.
Donation wasn’t an option, the annual storage fee was an added financial strain, and disposing of them unimaginable.
So when the NSW couple heard about Baby Bee Hummingbirds, an Australian company turning embryos into keepsake jewelley, they jumped at the chance.
Now Ms Stafford has all of her babies with her every day – including seven embryos in her heart-shaped pendant worn close to her heart, always.
Belinda and Shaun’s embryos were turned into a beautiful necklace. Source: Supplied
Belinda and Shaun had a difficult time with their IVF. Source: supplied
The couple looked into donation of their embryos but found the emotional toll too much
“Shaun and I started thinking of having kids fairly early and realised quite quickly something was a miss, so we went to see doctors and had genetics testing to find we couldn’t have children without IVF,” the 31-year-old told Kidspot.
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“Our journey took a lot longer than most, but after seven cycles we had our first son Lachlan.
“Then we started trying for a second, it took another seven cycles only to be surprised with two little miracles, Charlotte and William.
“After completing our family, we looked into the donation of our remaining embryos.
“I wanted to keep having more babies but the emotional toll, plus financially it was too much.
“Donating our embryos wasn’t an option for us and I couldn’t justify the yearly storage fee.
“I’d heard others had planted them in the garden but we move a lot, so I couldn’t do this.
“I needed them with me.”
The keepsakes are created through ‘embryo straws’. Source: supplied.
Families say the jewellery gives them comfort and joy. Source: Supplied
She now carries her babies with her everywhere she goes
Ms Stafford chose a heart pendant through Baby Bee Hummingbirds, so she could carry her babies close to her heart, where they should be.
“We had been on a six-year journey of IVF,” she said.
“It was painful, tormenting, a strain on our marriage and just plain hard.
“Finding this has brought me so much comfort and joy.
“I finally at peace and my journey complete.
“My embryos were my babies – frozen in time.
“When we completed our family, it wasn’t in my heart to destroy them.
“Now they are forever with me in a beautiful keepsake.”
The company create jewellery from many different things. Source: supplied.
The company use breastmilk, placenta, ashes or embryos to make their designs
Amy McGlade, founder of Baby Bee Hummingbird, said since starting in 2014, they have crafted over 4000 pieces of jewellery using breastmilk, placenta, hair, ashes, or cord stumps – including 50 made with embryos.
They cost anywhere from $80 to $600, depending on the piece, and can be sent worldwide.
“I don’t believe there is any other business in the world that creates jewellery from human embryos, and I firmly believe that we are pioneering the way in this sacred art, and opening the possibilities to families around the world.”
Ms McGlade, who has been a midwife for 10 years, said families send them ‘embryo straws’ which the company expertly preserves and cremates, creating a type of ‘embryo ash’.
“We are experts in preserving DNA so that it can be set in a jeweller’s grade resin,” she said.
“We knew the costs of storage are huge, and donation isn’t always possible or wanted solution.
“The families we craft for are very educated, loving people who are aware of the options.
“We are giving them another option.
“It’s special because the embryos often signifying the end of a journey, and we are providing a beautiful and meaningful way to gently close the door.
“Reactions from families who understand the journey are amazing and heartfelt. “They are so grateful for our service.
“What a better way to celebrate your most treasured gift, your child, than through jewellery?
“It’s about the everlasting tangible keepsake of a loved one that you can have forever.”
Belinda and Shaun Stafford’s twins. Source: supplied
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