Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Countdown to Atlanta!

Last night, right before bed, I finally got my period. They say it should come 1-2 weeks after starting the Lupron. Well, mine took 2 weeks and 2 days. I'm never quite on schedule when it comes to fertility.

Anyway, I was happy to see it, and happy that everything was quiet on the ultrasound this morning. My blood work also showed a low estradiol number, and I was given the go-ahead to start the estrogen patches tomorrow! 

So, tomorrow is DOC 1 (day of cycle 1). I cut the Lupron in half, and start this crazy complicated pattern of adding and removing new patches. I also will take one baby aspirin a day. Two weeks from tomorrow, we drive down to Atlanta, and the egg thaw is the following morning. B gives his sample, and I meet with my doctor and do a mock transfer. Then we're free for the weekend, B flies home Sunday, and I return on either day 3 or day 5 for transfer. I can drive back home the next morning. In between all this, I'll be staying with a good friend from grad school, and we might take a little trip over the weekend before I'm needed. 

This is getting really real. and it's freaking me out. I'm really going into a procedure that comes with a 60% success rate (85% after two tries). I've never faced odds this good. I'm not sure how to deal with it. I have been pretty good at not dwelling on things these past few weeks, and I still have two weeks to go, but I'm letting myself fall back into the old place of Hope again. I catch myself imagining due dates, and testing out what it would feel like to have an actual baby. Considering that one day soon I could have good news for once, and in less than a year I could have a baby sleeping in the room above my head. It's exciting and terrifying, and I think I should probably quit it. I should try not to think about it, and try to protect my heart and head a little bit more. 

And yet. This is SO EXCITING. I don't even know how the next two weeks are going to be, but they just can't go fast enough. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Update: doctor appointment tomorrow

Good news! I have a 9 am appointment tomorrow morning at my clinic here in town. They'll do an ultrasound and blood work to check for suppression, and if all is well, I can start the estrogen patches on Thursday and count that as cycle day 1. We'll go to Atlanta on cycle day 15.

Crossing my fingers for good news tomorrow. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

My body can't even do this right

Yes, I know that title is totally negative and whiny.

But that's how I feel. One interesting thing about having my blog go from totally secret to being found by at least one friend, shared with a couple of others, and read by other bloggers is that I sometimes feel pressured to write meaningful entries. I used to feel more comfortable just complaining, especially when I had nothing otherwise to say.

Today is one of those days: I have no news. I just feel like whining. This is why: I've completed the whole two weeks of Lupron, and I have not gotten my period. This new clinic made me uncomfortable when they told me to start the shots on day 21 of my cycle, when every other time I've done Lupron my other clinic has asked me to come in for progesterone tests to be sure I'd already ovulated. When I searched online, I found other women saying their clinics also require the blood test first. But, when I asked my nurse, she brushed it off and said just to tell her when I get my period.

Um. No period. Everything I found online, and my nurse, all say you should get it within 1-2 weeks of starting Lupron. It's been two weeks. Nothing. Because, duh, I didn't ovulate. So either I won't get my period till day 40 something (today is day 34) or... what if I don't get it all? Because if I didn't ovulate, I'm confused as to why or how my body would know to shed the uterine lining, and get a period.

My biggest, nagging fear is that this will screw everything up, and I'll have to start all over again. And I KNEW, I KNEW this protocol didn't sound right, but it's a new clinic and a new nurse, and I didn't push it. This clinic has high success rates, and they do this all the time, and I figure that many women have more than a 35 day cycle... right? Right? Did I do something wrong by not being more forceful (annoying) and demanding the blood test before I started the shots? Is everything screwed up now? Will this cycle be cancelled, or really delayed?

I am really feeling bad about this. It sucks that sometimes it feels that everyone else gets pregnant with little to no trouble, but if not, there is Clomid. Or IUI. Or IVF. Or hell, IVF three freaking times. Even amongst fertility challenged folks, most of my friends were successful with IVF #1. And here I am, having failed at everything, and now I can't even have a donor egg cycle go smoothly.

Sigh. Well, I emailed the nurse tonight, and I assume tomorrow morning I will hear a response. Maybe it will be fine. Cause you know, everything else has gone so swimmingly when it comes to my fertility.

(Told you this post would be all just complaining!)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Lupron Melt Down

I started the Lupron shots one week ago today. So as of today, I've had eight doses of the evil substance. I'm not getting any night sweats yet. My belly is a little sore from the needles (I need to be more decisive about the shots- when I don't use enough force, the cheap needles bounce off and nick me). But the worst side effect of Lupron is the mood swings and the emotions.

I thought I was doing fine. I had a really good weekend, full of fun things and seeing friends and cooking good food. Everything was going well. I thought maybe this time would be different than the other times I'd be on Lupron. After all, I don't think this cycle will be as stressful, right? There are no big hormone shots and no every-other-day ultrasounds to check on follicles, and no frustrations over my slow-to-grow follies and my lagging-behind estradiol (we'll see if this is true or not- I have no idea- going out of state brings plenty of its own stresses and of course we still worry about fertilization, donor eggs or not).

Well, I was doing fine, till Sunday evening. By Sunday I'd had six doses of Lupron. According to my memory and this blog, it's right around there that I've always started to feel the effects. Sunday I was doing fine- I had a leisurely morning, went to a great class at the gym, finished a good book, shopped for the week's groceries, and made a delicious dinner for us. Then, very late, B talked on the phone to his friend in NY. This is a friend of his from high school, and for the past two years we have gotten together for an annual weekend visit with him and his wife. I like them very much, but don't know them all that well. Two years ago when we met up in the mountains, I was on my second month of Clomid and still very hopeful. She was very newly pregnant, but very sympathetic about our situation, and shared that she had miscarried her first pregnancy about six months before. We had a great time- we hiked, we went down waterfalls, and it was all very fun and active, just my kind of vacation.

Then last summer, when they invited us to their house for a weekend in NY, I had already failed one IVF and was about to start my second. They had a five month old daughter. Initially, I told B that I didn't want to go, because I thought spending a weekend with a newborn might be hard for me. But when he told them my hesitations, they absolutely insisted they wanted to see me, that it would be fine, and that they totally understand but I'll have a baby soon enough. Reluctantly, I went, and you know what? I had a great time. With a baby that little, you can still mostly do everything. They can eat and sleep anywhere, so we walked around the city, went to museums, and even went winery-hopping on Long Island. It was great. And of course, I was still thinking IVF#2 was going to work.

Fast forward another year, to now. They mentioned the yearly trip... but things are different now. In the past year, I've failed another two IVFs, been told I can probably never have a genetic child, and have spent tens of thousands of dollars on treatments. My last hope for becoming pregnant is donor egg, and I don't even know if this will work.

Also, although in the past they were always up for adventure, things seemed different. A toddler is totally different from a baby, and when B was on the phone on Sunday evening, I could hear all the "can't"s they were listing. They can't fly into an airport very far from the beach, they can't do a house up on stilts because of strollers, they can't get excited about a city or anywhere where there is stuff to do because they have to be home at 7 pm every night for baby's bedtime anyway. Basically, they want to rent a beach house and sit around for an entire weekend. With a toddler. With me, ten days after my next pregnancy test after my donor egg cycle.

Does this sound like torture or what?

So, I told B that I don't want to do it. He and his friend had just spent half an hour throwing out ideas of where we could go, and searching AirBnB, but they hadn't made any progress because of all these new restrictions with a toddler. But when he hung up the phone... I just started to cry. Noisy, loud, dramatic tears. I told him I don't want to sit in a beach house and watch them play with their baby all weekend, and not do anything else, and be in the house by 7 pm every night, and that for all we know she's pregnant again, and then I'd have to deal with that too, and all just about 10 days after a possibly negative pregnancy test.

He got kind of upset with me. He wanted to know why I hadn't shared my hesitations with him when we started talking about a shared vacation, about a month ago. Why we'd had the conversation this far and now I'm backing out.

I didn't have a real good answer. I guess I've always had fun with them in the past, and I didn't realize how different this year would be until I heard him on the phone, and I heard how what used to a fun, adult weekend would now be totally dominated by the needs of a family with a toddler. I completely understand and respect these new needs of theirs.. I just don't think it sounds fun for us. At all. In fact, it sounds like the opposite of fun, even if we weren't in fertility treatment. And the fact that we are, and that I could have a negative pregnancy test just weeks before, makes it not only very un-fun, but more like torture. This is honestly why people with toddlers hang out with other people with kids. And with our particular situation, it seems really hurtful emotionally to me if we did it.

So, what seems not a huge big deal became a big deal. Because I didn't realize how things were until that phone call, so it had gotten kinda far before I had to pull the plug. And of course, as I started this post: the Lupron. What normally would have been a conversation between me and B became a no-holds-barred weep-a-thon that went on and on. I cried and cried, even as he was being supportive and told me he understands and would tell them the situation and that we'll have to skip this year's trip. But I just kept crying. Sometimes it is so clear to me all that I am missing as I am not a mom and want to be... so many friends have babies and are now having baby #2, and although I care about them, it's so hard for me to really become intimately involved. Especially when I'm starting a new cycle.

The feelings I have are really the feelings I have, but the Lupron makes them seem more dire and more vivid than normal. It's two days later and I'm still feeling so bad about this. Upset at my infertility, upset at missing social and friend events due to this mess, upset at B for even putting me in this position (though it's not his fault, I realize), and upset at myself for being upset at myself! It's just an endless mess of unhappiness, and I have felt really bad for days now.

The one good thing is that yesterday B emailed his friend and told him, and his friend was very understanding. Even better, his wife emailed me this today:

Hi [my name]!! I have been thinking a lot about you. I can only imagine how painful this conception process has been. We 1000% understand that it would be incredibly hard to spend the weekend with [her daughter's name]. I am sad that we won't get to see each other, but absolutely understand and would feel the same way. We love you two and only want the best for you.
Good luck with your next round. My fingers are crossed!!!!
Love, [her name]

That was such a sweet and compassionate email to send, and I wrote back to tell her how appreciated it was. I think it's hard to know what to say, but saying something can be so much, much better than silence to someone who is going through something painful or hard.

And now, back to waiting... 1 week of Lupron down, and (up to) 1 to go! Here's hoping to see my period soon so I can get off this evil drug and move on to the more exciting parts of this process.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

To be positive, or not?

A friend from my Resolve support group just emailed to say she's heading out of state for another IVF. I wrote and told her I am also leaving in about 4 weeks for another cycle out of state, and she sent back:  

My best wishes for you on this new cycle, I admire you so much, you never give up and keep positive all the time.

Keep me posted, I will keep you posted as well.

Best regards and best wishes!!!!

I sat here at my desk and read this message a couple of times, puzzling over her first sentence. It is true that I never give up (8 medicated cycles, one surgery, two painful x-rays/diagnostic procedures, 3 IVFs, and now my first donor egg cycle- all in two years). But "keep positive all the time"?

I do not consider myself a super positive person. In fact, if you asked my husband, he'd say I'm more of a pessimistic, worrying type. I'm not always like that in life, but with my fertility, I've learned that things tend to not go my way. As evidenced by the long string of trials and tribulations I listed above, and the long string of negative pregnancy tests I've chucked in the trash.

Is it necessary to be positive to keep going? I think that's a difficult question. Yes, you have to keep hope in order to put up with all the discomfort, both physical and emotional. I've never given up hope, as my group member wrote. I've given up hope in the short term-like, for a specific procedure or test- but I've always kept my end goal in sight. I have wondered WHY, and I have asked myself over and over, WHAT are you doing, crazy pants??? You love your life the way it is, you have a happy marriage, good friends, love to travel, financial stability for the most part. But something keeps driving me forward. I feel that longing to give love and receive it, in the baby/child department. I am not sure my cat loves me but I think she does, and even when she isn't showing it (she is, after all, a cat), just by the act of me loving her, I get so much enrichment in my life, and my heart and soul feel so good when I can tell she is happy and content.

So, I don't know. I have never taken breaks, which might not be the healthiest thing. I have plunged ahead, from one attempt to the next. I have been careful in researching the best way forward, and checked stats and success rates carefully, but I have always been dead set on finding a way to keep going.

I haven't been positive. I worry, I complain, I question myself and others all the time. But I have been positive, somewhere deep inside me, that this is what I need to do. I mourned my loss of a genetic child, but deep down inside, I've known for awhile that this is where I'd end up. My embryos have never been good, and I've never responded well to medications. In some ways, it's depressing beyond anything else. But in others, if I can have a child via donor egg, I've achieved my end goal: to love and be loved by a little one.

I think my support group friend is a little bit right and a little bit wrong. I'm not positive. I'm realistic. For me, that's helped me to not give up. I keep my end goal as the ultimate goal, even if the actualization of how I'll get there has changed a bit. I've learned a lot about myself through infertility, but I also think it's made me more determined. Not more positive, but more positive about what I want, and that in the end, somehow I'm going to get there.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Lupron: Day 1 (CD 21)

This morning, at 8:15 am, I opened a vial of Lupron, grabbed a diabetic needle, and poked it into my belly. And so it begins.

This is the third time I have been on Lupron. I was on it in March 2012 for the cycle of IVF that I never got to do (had surgery for my endometriosis instead), June 2012 (IVF cycle #1), and September 2012 (IVF cycle #2). For IVF cycle #3, we didn't use Lupron. This time, I'm using it to suppress my menstrual cycle in preparation for a donor egg cycle. Hopefully the one and only cycle I'll need to do to finally have a baby.

Lupron is a small needle, and painless. Whereas I had B do my big shots for IVF, this one I prefer to do myself. Pop my breakfast into the toaster, pop a needle in my tummy. What a way to start the day.

In actuality, I'm happy to be doing this. It means I'm beginning my donor egg cycle and moving ever closer to  transfer and perhaps a pregnancy. It's only been two months since I failed my third IVF so in many ways I am moving very quickly, but time also seems to be dragging. It's still 4-5 weeks till I will go down to Atlanta, and another 2 weeks till I will get results. One of the many unfair things about using ART to get pregnant is that normal women have 12 chances a year to try. With IVF and other ART, everything takes so long. I mean, I haven't had a chance to have a positive since early March, and it will be late June before I have another, assuming this cycle goes okay. Using assistance just takes forever, and patience has never been my strong suite.

BTW, I spoke with my doctor on Friday and he agreed that it's not necessary for me to get the scratch biopsy. Since I haven't had implantation failures before (just crappy embryos), I'm not really the population that has been studied and seen an improvement in. So, I'll reconsider if this cycle fails, but for now, that is one less thing to stress about.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Protocol, Schedule, and Scary Medical Procedure Doubts

I'm happy to report that we spoke with the genetic counselor yesterday, and she said there is no real concern about the donor's abnormal gene variant. B has already had one test that shows he does not have the same abnormal gene variant, and we're getting him tested again to be sure, but since the chances are near zero, we're moving ahead as planned.

On Tuesday, I start Lupron shots in the morning. Lupron is a drug that prevents ovulation. It basically shuts down the reproductive cycle. The first time I was on it, I became very irritable, tired, and had hot flashes. I did not experience these so much the second time, so I think it can vary (and who's to say what is stress-induced and/or psychosomatic, and what is real?).

I stay on Lupron for two weeks or until I get my period, and then I let the nurse know. If it doesn't come in 14 days (which it might not, with my wacky long cycles), then I'll need bloodwork and an ultrasound to make sure I am suppressed.

Once I've gotten my period, I will start the Vivelle estrogen patches. I'll stay on the Lupron, but at a half dose. I'll start taking baby aspirin. I'll continue these three medications for 14 days, and I'll have an ultrasound to check my lining.

On day 15, I'll start doxycycline pills, to reduce any chance of infections, and Medrol pills, a steroid which is supposed to help prevent the body from rejecting the embryo. We'll travel to Atlanta this day.

On day 16, B will give his sperm and also the eggs are thawed, and the fertilization magic will hopefully happen. I'll start Crinone, which is progesterone. I'll continue the other medications. He goes home and I just hang out in Atlanta.

On day 19 or 21, I'll have the transfer! Then we hope and pray that the embryo decides to stick around.

One thing that I am currently agonizing over is whether or not to do a scratch biopsy, or endometrial biopsy. This is something the doctor recommends but does not require, and which I am absolutely terrified of having done. I had really bad experiences with both the HSG and the saline hydrosonogram, almost passing out both times from the pain. Not everyone has pain this extreme, but many women do, judging from my conversations with other patients and from some online forums (of course not from the doctors and nurses- they say, oh just take an Advil, you'll have some slight discomfort- LIARS). The reason it is recommended is because studies (like this one) have shown it to increase implantation rates among women with previous implantation failure. However, an important caveat is that there is only evidence to show this is significant in women WITH previous implantation failure. Although I have had 3 IVFs, I have never put a good quality embryo in. So, I would not characterize myself as a previous implantation failure case. Why go through a painful procedure (and not cheap, I'm sure) when we don't know that I have any problem with implantation at all? On the other hand, going down to Atlanta is not a casual thing, and if this could help, I would do it. Sigh. I'm just not sure, but the doctor is calling me today or tomorrow to talk about it.

I wish I could just be happy, but there's always something new to agonize over. On the whole, this just seems really unfair. Other people have sex- yes! they really do just get pregnant from SEX- and ta-dah, they make a baby. I have to pay tens of thousands of dollars and maybe undergo ANOTHER super painful procedure??? Life is so unfair sometimes.

Monday, May 6, 2013

And... We Have a Winner!

Well, it's official: we have a donor!

I submitted my top two choices on Saturday, and this morning I heard back that donor #2 is no longer available, but donor #1 is! So we sent back the official acknowledgement letter and she is ours! Ha ha. I guess I should say, 6 or 8 of her frozen eggs are soon to be ours.

I feel really, really happy. I know we have no guarantee of success, but I really like our choice of donor, and I feel really good about everything so far. Right now we're just waiting to see if B needs to be re-tested for a genetic chromosome thing that she might be a carrier for (he's already tested negative but they may want a more official test done, whatever). I'm hoping I can begin Lupron on cycle day 21 (next week) and go down to Atlanta in early to mid June.

This is all happening really fast. But it feels right.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

The beauty of this

I don't really want to post any more specifics about the donors I have selected, but I wanted to share a different donor's responses to the three questions I looked most carefully at in their profiles. This donor is not the one for us for other reasons, but her responses to the questions are worth sharing. To me, they point to the pure beauty of the gift of egg donation.

What is/are your reasons for wanting to donate eggs?
 I have 3 beautiful incredibaly healthy children, my sister in-law can't conceive and seeing the pain of that has made me want to
be able to give the gift of pregnancy to a deserving family

If you could pass on a message to the recipient(s) of your eggs, what would that message be?
 I can't imagine the hurt that you must have had to go through up till this point. I hope you soon learn the joys of a baby growing
inside you. I want to give you that gift. This egg is not mine, it is yours, I want you to consider it that was well!

If you could write a message to the child born through your participation as an egg donor for when he/she turns 18 years old, what
would you tell him/her?
 A mother is the person that holds you when you cry, rocks you as a baby, and loves you unconditionally. Genetics do not
"make" you, the only make your existence possible. I gave my genetics to a family that wanted to help a baby grow

Selecting a donor (warning: very long post)

On Friday afternoon, I finally received access to the donor database. I'd been anxiously awaiting this moment, yet once I received the log-in code, I froze. This suddenly felt very serious. And then when I did log in, the rows and rows of childhood photos made me freeze up again. These are actual women, and I was really about to choose one to be the genetic building blocks of my future son or daughter. This is one of those decisions that I will carry the rest of my life, as will my children. I have rarely ever had such a surreal moment in my life.

But my curiosity won out, and eventually I started to look and to read. I suppose I could have delayed it till I could get home and sit down with my husband, but I just couldn't wait. Also, throughout all of this fertility stuff, it's been me driving the process. Although he is 100% on board and wants a child as much as I do, he leaves the major decisions up to me. So I planned to narrow it down to a few choices, and then get his input, rather than just presenting him with a log-in and password (more on this later- it didn't really work out this way in the end, as he did want to scroll through them on his own too).

We'd already talked a bit about our selection criteria. We definitely wanted some physical resemblance. I have dark brown hair and dark brown eyes, but everyone on my mom's side of the family has green or blue eyes. Although I like my eye color, I always wanted green as a child, and B also happens to have green. So as long as we get to pick what we can have in a child (or at least try to- genetics are a funny and not totally predictable thing), we thought it'd be nice to have a dark haired, green eyed kid. A little bit of each of us. For other physical characteristics, I'd like someone with a medium to darker skin tone, like me, and someone at least roughly height-weight proportional. As in, no blondes who are 6 feet tall. More like a 5'3"-5'6" tall person, with medium skin, dark hair, green or brown eyes, somewhere around my weight of 130 pounds.

Beyond the physical, we obviously want someone healthy, with a good family medical history. But this is not too much of an issue, since the egg bank screens their donors so carefully. However, I have been closely touched by a relative (non-blood related) and close friends with serious mental illness, and B's mom has a history of manic-depression and attempted suicide. I also am bothered by my own mild OCD habits (that my father has as well) that I don't want to get into here except to say that I hate them and life would be simpler without, and so I'd rather avoid any history of OCD or anxiety disorders. So of all health conditions, I most want to avoid any mental health issues, especially since there is some on the paternal grandmother side already.

Okay, so that's the physical and health aspects. What else? Well, frankly I don't care that much about what the donor likes to do in her spare time, or her favorite color or food (yes, they really list those). We did want to see some intelligence or ambition, and some family history of education and success. However, this is an area in which I am pretty torn. I do not believe intelligence or ambition is passed on through genes. I think there is some level of inheritance of problems, and some larger aspect of it is affected by the prenatal environment, and there might be some potential aptitude that is in there. We know that drinking and substance use can affect a child in negative ways. Age of the mother's eggs can play a role in certain problems (some of which can be screened for, such as Down's). But test scores and GPA in high school or college? I just think this is probably way more a reflection of the family values and the environment. I cannot imagine that the two of us wouldn't raise a child who loves to read and learn. So I don't put too much stock in this part of the donor profile, though I did look. I looked at overall family achievements and careers, but I didn't make it a big deal.

What I paid more attention to is the free-text responses each donor filled out. First off, many of the profiles in the database did not include very detailed information. These seemed to be the older profiles, though I am not sure what year they switched from the brief profiles to the very in-depth ones for recent additions. The older profiles have really basic info: age, education, what is your life ambition? There is family history, but not very detailed. So although some of these donors had appealing photos (and one even had my religious background which would be great), I decided to discount these immediately. I just want to know more. I want an anonymous donor but I want more info rather than less. Partially for me, and partially because I want to be able to tell a little bit to my future child if they want to know. I personally feel like having some information is a gift I can give my son or daughter. When my child is old enough, I want to share the profile if they care to see it. I especially want them to be able to read the answers to:

  • What is/are your reasons for wanting to donate eggs?
  • If you could pass on a message to the recipient(s) of your eggs, what would that message be?
  • If you could write a message to the child born through your participation as an egg donor for when he/she turns 18 years old, what would you tell him/her?

So, this is one way I immediately narrowed down the profiles. Other ways: I initially limited it to green eyed donors. Of the seven currently available, a few had older profiles so I didn't look at those. A couple were really, really blond. Nope, not a good match. Hmm. Then, as I kept scrolling down the list, the last picture caught my eye. It looked a lot like my own childhood photos, actually: a little girl with shiny dark hair in a ponytail, and a similar face shape to mine. I quickly read her profile and discovered she doesn't identify as strictly Caucasian, but as mixed (she has Native American and Hispanic mixed with Irish heritage). This appealed to me, as B and I both speak Spanish and have spent time in the country which her grandmother comes from, and I'm often taken for Latina, especially when I was younger. As I read her profile, I was not turned off the way I had been for several of the others I had already read. She has an excellent family health history, she is young, but she has some fun quirks about her and seems to just be a really happy person. She also happens to have won beauty contests as a child, which is silly, but kinda nice. She does not test well or do very well in school, but not terrible either, and she is in college. Her family is not particularly educated, but  she has a strong passion for something else, which helps mitigate the grades/test scores. And I liked her simple but sincere answers to the three questions above.

I wrote down her donor number as a definite possibility, and then I looked at blue eyed donors.  Too many of them were blonde, or just didn't appeal to me in their profiles. Again, I was looking for something about them to catch my eye, especially in the answers to the three questions I listed above. Some sort of passion or dedication to something in their lives, and a maturity about why their were donating their genetic material to another woman or family.

So, next I started on the much longer list of brown eyed donors and hazel eyed donors. One photo really jumped out at me in the hazel list. I read more about her, and was immediately drawn in. Although she does not have the green eyes I initially wanted, and is 8 years older than the first donor, she seemed like a really cool person in her profile. Very mature, and very interesting. She has a 4 year college degree, a good job, and wants to get a master's. Her family has education and advanced degrees. She does not plan to have children of her own, as she recently married a man who already has some. She has similar interests as us, and I liked the answers to the three questions. A few drawbacks, though: her older age than donor #1 (which doubles the risks of certain things such as Down's), one of her brothers does have an anxiety/panic disorder, she doesn't have my ideal eye color, and she doesn't look nearly as much like me as donor #1. But, as a person, I think I liked her a bit more.

I jotted down a few other profile numbers, and later, at home, B and I sat down together with the database. I showed him these two donors and he thought they were both totally adorable in their photos (which they both really, really are). He agreed me with me about the relative positives and negatives of each. He also wanted to look for himself, and he scrolled through for a bit, and we read several more profiles together. No one really could compete with our two favorites, though.

On the whole, I am slightly leaning towards donor #1, and he is slightly favoring donor #2. We went out with friends shortly after this (whom I am not telling yet or maybe at all), and my mind kept coming back to our donors. The next morning, yesterday, I thought more and more on it, and then read an internet friend's blog where she mentions that donors can be claimed really quickly. I decided that we really like both of our options, and after discussing it with B, we went ahead and submitted them using the online form, with #1 being our top choice. The next step is that sometime on Monday the egg bank will contact me to confirm whether our donors are indeed still available (not having been nabbed by someone else already- please no!), and we send back the signed forms if one of them is still available and we are still interested. We also have a required consult with a genetic counselor scheduled for Wednesday, though I may try to bump it up to Tuesday (there is one issue with donor #1, but luckily B is not a carrier so it should not be a problem but we want to talk about it just in case he should be re-tested).

So, about 24 hours after getting access, we picked our top two donors! It all does seem fast, and I have questioned whether we should slow down. B feels strongly that there is no reason to. We have been struggling with infertility for two and a half years, watching our friends get pregnant one after another, and feeling that it will never be us. Donor egg changes this completely. We're ready. We like the two donors, and I would feel comfortable with either one. I have grieved not having my own genetic child, but for me, the most important thing is to have a child. We're ready, and I feel good about our choice. This is the most peace I have felt in a long time.

Friday, May 3, 2013

And the search begins

This afternoon I received access to the donor database.

It's hard to describe how I am feeling. I have been so anxious all week, and now it's really happening. I immediately logged in to the database.. and then stopped. I couldn't bring myself to actually do anything.

When you log in, there are rows of photos along the left hand side, and donor stats on the right (height, weight, hair/eye color, ethnicity). Then there are links to genetic analysis and a long document with important questions (health info) and not so important questions (what is your favorite food?).  At the end, there is a question where they ask the donor what she would tell her recipient, and the child. That part choked me up, and I haven't been able to continue reading them quite yet. The handful that I looked at had sweet, touching, meaningful messages.

I will continue reading them, and I will report back. But for now, it's all just too much. I am so lucky that this is an option, and so thankful that these women have donated their eggs and their genetic material.

More info soon, but for now, I am just have to think about all of this and how to begin.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

YouTube Video: Donor Egg Child

Here is a link to a video interview of a 16 year old girl who was conceived from donor egg. I found it really amazing. I can only hope my future child will be so well-adjusted and mature:

Best News in Weeks

Email that just came in from the nurse:

Your chart has been submitted to the egg bank so you should hear from them within the next 48 hours with an username and password to the donor database.

I am so excited, I can't even describe it!

Also, on a side note, my nurse is super sweet. I sent a thank you email to her just now, and she wrote back:
I am excited for you  :)