The ones that weren't chosen. If the doctors had chosen differently, Rhys or Quin could be neatly preserved in a medical freezer in Boston right now, instead of playing happily on our living room floor.
At first I was thrilled with our four frozen embryos. I felt so lucky - to suddenly be pregnant with twins AND have four more embryos sitting quietly in wait should we need them.
And now the thought sickens me. Haunts me.
My four little embryos. Waiting. With uncertain futures.
I am a card holding member of the National Organization for Women. I will always stand up for, support, and believe in a woman's right to choose. I hate the way pro-lifers make the right to choose about something other than a most basic human right. They make it about "when life begins" and the "rights" of a fetus. Or an embryo.
It's not the pro-lifers who have gotten to me. I don't care what they think about infertility or infertility treatments or frozen embryos. But I have gotten to me. The mother that I have become has gotten to me.
When we chose to freeze them - or back this up even more - when we chose to create them or maybe have them created for us, I understood what we were doing. What I didn't understand was how it feels to be a mother, or the painful pull of the love I would feel for my children.
I feel that painful pull for our embryos.
I let my mind go all of the places that logic tells me not to go. I wonder about the children they might be. Would they coo like Quin? Give big open mouthed kisses like Rhys? Or have their own endearing traits to make me fall helplessly in love? Do they have souls yet? When does that happen, that an embryo, a fetus, a baby grows a soul? Why do I sound like I should be standing outside of an abortion clinic thumping my bible?
We don't know if we want any more children.
And if we do want more children, maybe we would want to see if it could happen without medical intervention this time.
But what about our embryos?
I consider donating them to "the right" couple. And believe almost immediately that I love them too much to chance that. To chance that they wouldn't be loved enough, or that I couldn't live knowing they were out there, mine but not mine.
I consider how selfish it would be to try and have a baby "naturally" when we have four we already started just sitting there waiting for us. I consider what that would say to Rhys and Quin about how they came into this world.
I watch Rhys and Quin play. I listen to them babble together. I look into their big blue eyes and am awed by their simple innocence. Behind the love is a layer of guilt.
Four embryos, waiting.