Category Archives: Donor Egg

November 2 – Conception

I’m dialing this in via my smart phone, so I beg of you tolerance for any wonky editing or grammatical errors sure to come.

November has never been my favorite month. I guess when it comes to not so great things that could happen, I have a one in twelve shot of it happening in November. Take for example my first miscarriage at 16 weeks. And possible my second and fourth…honestly I lost track and I try not to archive-dive unless absolutely necessary.

But today also marks the day Aitch was conceived six years ago. Before anyone prudish gets too squicked out what would be normally considered TMI, I wasn’t even present during conception and was actually 100 miles away. No Shades of Gray action going on here.

If you don’t have time to read the post itself, don’t bother; however read the comments to see if you recognize yourself.

Ambivalence is My Middle Name

It’s funny how I don’t feel like updating here anymore. Every day several times a day I think, “Hey! That would make for a great blog post!” and then? Seriously. I haven’t written a great blog post since never. Speaking of which, I started blogging August 2005.

I have no idea why I brought that up since it’s October somethingorother. Which also reminds me, I won’t be participating in NaBloMo or whatever it’s called.

Did I just hear a collective sigh of relief?

My daughter still hasn’t pooped in the potty but she’s not holding it for five days at a stretch, either. She keeps telling me “next time”. In an uncharactheristic move, she also pissed her pants while sitting on my glider-rocker. As I was stripping her down for a quick belly-button-on-down bath, I asked why she did it.

“It was an accident, Mommy! I’m sorry.” …. dramatic pause … I love you.”

I bought a couple tuttu skirts from Target thinking they’d be a novelty. However, Aitch has become so enamoured with them, I went and bought a couple more. She has worn one at least every day now. When it’s cooler, she’ll succumb to the addition of leggings, but it’s like trying to wrestle a cat into a pillowcase.

I went back for a three-month follow-up appointment with my PA. I need a refill of the paxil and ambien. The thing is is that I didn’t really want a refill of the ambien because I was anticipating my evenings just so I could TAKE the ambien. He said as long as I’m able to get up in the morning and feel rested that I’m taking it as I should. And then we talked more about my depression. Actually he asked why I thought I was depressed. I told him I wasn’t really sure, but that maybe it was the miscarriages and infertility or the pregnancy with Aitch that I was sure was going to end with a dead baby and then the loss of my job after ten years and then the cancer. Oh, and let’s not forget my son’s ADHD which makes him do things that make me so angry at everyone and everything that I’m sure my fury will result in one of those rare cases of spontaneous combustion and the only thing that will be left will be a pair of hopefully fabulous shoes and a singe mark on the ceiling.

I’m sorry. What was the question again?

He suggested, as many of you did, I seek counseling. I told him I would think about it, because you see I am still in denial. Enough so I didn’t pick up my refill of paxil and ambien. At least not yet.

NIAW – Repressed

A high-school friend of Sparring Partner’s and her husband came to visit us over the weekend. We don’t hear from them often as she’s often jet-setting around the globe, but a few weeks ago during a long phone conversation she admitted to SP that they had gone to our very own reproductive endocrinologist for a donor egg cycle as well as an attempt at a subsequent frozen embryo transfer. She did not get pregnant. Dee (let’s call her Dee, shall we?) asked if at a later date she could pick my brain about it, and of course I’m always up for a good brain-picking.

While they were visiting the topic did turn to infertility and going through treatments. We compared notes and swapped horror stories about progesterone in oil (PIO) shots. I shared the time I had hit a vein (or something) with the needle and blood shot out of the hole on my ass; she shared how she had to have an infected subcutaneous mass, which was most likely due to her PIO shots, surgically removed from her ass. She won that “Which Sucks More” contest. We went on to compare costs, the number of eggs retrieved and transferred, protocol, etc., etc. Dee and her husband are now considering adoption and overseas surrogacy.

After they left, Sparring Partner told me that our conversation had brought up a lot of unpleasant memories for him. Things he admits he had forgotten about. Was glad to have forgotten. I can’t say I blame him.

These are not things I think about every day. Not any more, and for that you have no idea how relieved we both are. My life revolved around infertility and miscarriages from November 2004 until July 2008, just a little over four years. For some, a very short time; for others? An unimaginable waste of time and energy. Reading posts from my old blog always brings back very painful memories. Some so painful, I wonder how in the world could I have forgotten them until the moment I read those words again. Forgotten is probably not the best word for it: Repressed is more accurate, don’t you think?

I read very few infertility blogs now. When my friend Serenity wrote about an anonymous commenter suggesting she should be happy with what she’s already got (paraphrased in regards to secondary infertility (SIF)), I got my rage on. I remember tackling that topic so many times and reading her words once again brought out all those feelings I had repressed. I dug again in my archives and stumbled into one of my posts that actually was never published on my blog, but through a blog that no longer exists, created by Dawn Friedman. To create the link, I have now published it on my old blog (which if you still have in your reader, you’ve already seen). I would really love for you to go read it as I think it’s one of my better posts when it comes to SIF.

Dee’s visit coincided with this week being National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW), April 24 – 30, 2011. I don’t advocate myself as much as I use to when it comes to infertility, and in many ways I regret that because the camaraderie and support from my fellow IF bloggers was (and still is!) second to none. However, at some point, I’ve both consciously and subconsciously made decisions that distance myself in order to protect what is left of my sanity. New worries and concerns (a son with ADHD and possibly ODD) (cancer) (eventually a child who needs to know her donor story) replace what has been archived. But I will always – ALWAYS – make myself available for questions, conversations, and debate when it comes to infertility and miscarriage issues.

I am grateful that I don’t have to deal with infertility issues every day like I did in the “good ole’ days”, but I am more grateful that when they do come up, I can offer a shoulder, words of encouragement, and most importantly when it comes to infertility – an ear to just listen.

True Blue

There are only two reproductive endocrinology (RE) clinics in the state we live in. Even with that kind of severe limitation in number, I never thought for one moment that we had limited choices in seeking quality care and treatments. We could have traveled outside the state if we had felt it was necessary, though it wouldn’t have been easy or convenient. Before we decided to go with donor egg, we did consider going to that Mile High Clinic that seems to be so popular, but their success rates didn’t justify the risk in starting over.

Through blogging and research, I didn’t find much difference in our clinic’s protocols when it came to IUIs and IVFs, but their donor program was very different, especially in regards to the egg donor. Based on the numerous donor blogs I’ve read in the past few years, almost all share how they poured over donor profiles and stared at pictures – if available – all in an earnest and well-thought out desire seek a donor of similar temperament, physical characteristics, or both. I can only imagine how exhausting that kind of decision must be. I say imagine because with our RE, the idea of choosing an egg donor was nonexistent.

In short, the patient indicated their desire to try donor eggs. The staff put their name on a waiting list and when that name reached the top of the list, a potential donor was contacted for availability and if they were, cycles were coordinated and that was that. The only “matching” done was by the staff themselves by race and if requested, blood by the patient.

With everything else being completely left to fate (eye color, hair color, build, heritage, intelligence, etc.), any resulting offspring truly was like a box of chocolates. It’s all by sheer luck that Aitch was my favorite kind of chocolate in the whole of the group. Her blond, fine, straight hair leaves my mother, who doesn’t know about the donor egg, bemoaning the fact that she was “cursed” with hair just like mine. Her personality, which facilitates between painfully shy around strangers to bossy chatterbox among her peers and family, also seems to reflect mine (except it’s cute on a toddler; not so much on a rapidly approaching middle-aged woman). The only trait she seems to have that’s unexpected is the blue of her eyes.

I’ve wondered over the past couple of years what would have happened if our clinic was one of those that have their patients review dozens of profiles and make educated choices for their donors. I have to admit that if that had been our situation, I might have felt Aitch was less of me and more of our donor’s. I also admit I worry about how easily it actually would be to completely disregard the donor’s existence the older Aitch gets. What I think will keep me honest is the very trait that makes her exceptional to our family: those blue eyes. I have to believe that she will always look at me with trust, love…unconditionally.

#3 – Perspective in Time

mbI never would have – nor could I have – imagined…no, DREAMED…that exactly two years ago the news I received from my clinic would result in Aitch. Only four eggs retrieved – only three fertilized normally – only our last cycle before walking away.

The news was disappointing, to say the least. Sparring Partner went out of town until the transfer so I was shooting up progesterone via an inch and a half, large gauge needle poked painfully  into my backside. I never had felt more alone, and it all seemed like such a lost cause.

THIS? This was no lost cause:

0 18 funny hat

Shelli

One (of many) reasons I decided to take up blogging again was so I can be a better blogger. No, not “better” as in improved literary skills, because that would just end up being a comical waste of not only my time, but yours; but better as in not being so self-absorbed.

In that vein, would you please make sure to stop over and see my friend Shelli over at Bag Momma to wish her a pinchless frozen donor-egg transfer coming up on Tuesday.

Every time I read about someone doing a FET, I think of meat-on-a-stick. No link, but if you know OvaGirl, you know Meat-on-a-Stick.

(Good luck, Shelli. Much love, my Lady-in-Waiting!)