They took their embryos on all kinds of adventures
Not many parents can say they have photos of themselves holding their babies before they were even born, but Samantha and Mickey Clark had a special opportunity and ran with it.
The Clarks underwent IVF in order to get pregnant, and as part of the process, they were given a large cardboard box containing a metal tank with their cryopreserved embryos to transport to a new clinic when they moved. Samantha tells Scary Mommy, “They were going to mail our embryos via FedEx to a clinic closer to us. We had just watched several viral videos of FedEx drivers throwing packages over fences… so I said NO WAY!”
Instead, the Clarks got an idea. “Our embryologist said most couples take them themselves, so that’s what we chose.” And instead of just driving their embryos to the new clinic, the couple decided to stage a fun photo op. “We were driving to pick them up and we started talking about how we should take photos with the embryos. We were laughing so hard we were crying. So when we picked them up, we just said okay let’s do it!”
And they did.
It was partly on a lark, and partly a sentimental attachment to what the Clarks already saw as their children. “It’s just one of those things where you think… we may never get a chance to do this again. These embryos really were and are our kids. They were just as alive to us as if they’d already been born,” Samantha tells us.
Their adventure included a trip to the playground and a visit to pick out a puppy.
Mickey “taught” his embryos to hit a baseball.
And there was a quick visit to meet the grandparents.
“We knew I was going to have problems getting pregnant before we were married,” Samantha shares. “I was diagnosed with PCOS, endometriosis and had a few other health issues. So we chose not to have an expensive wedding ceremony and started actively pursuing adoption, foster care and infertility treatments.”
And for anyone clutching their pearls about the safety of their fun photoshoot, the couple did clear the idea with their embryologist, who told them the tank was safe for two days. They got them to their new clinic in about four hours. Just enough time to hunt for baby’s first Christmas tree, take a relaxing stroller walk, and plenty of other parenting milestones.
For anyone still clutching their pearls, the Clarks welcomed triplets last August, which their embryologist said they only had a one percent chance of having. Shepherd Thomas, Eleni Lynn, and Ayla Sue are gorgeous six-month-old babies now, but they’ll always have photos from when they were but wee embryos inside a metal container inside a cardboard box, going on adventures with their parents. You can follow them on the page they maintain documenting life with their sweet trio.
As far as what the new parents plan on telling their kids about these photos once they’re older? Samantha says, “Aside from telling them how truly wanted and loved they were, I will tell them to use these photos for their Throw Back Thursday posts one day!”