Monday, September 28, 2009

An Interesting Week

The day came and passed when I had my opportunity to do my Day 3 testing again. I decided that it really wasn't going to tell me what I needed to know. We really won't know what is going on with me until we commit to IVF with my own eggs and until I go through estrogen priming. I rationalized that I should just save my money, but the other side of me told me I was chickening out. I didn't want to run the risk of my FSH being higher and Dr. BloSun telling me IVF was out with my eggs.

After an informative chat with BigShotClinic's embryologist, we found out that we do have enough frozen sperm to do a cycle with my own eggs and one with donor eggs. Unfortunately, my lottery ticket that I bought did not provide the money to make this a reality. We are back to looking at what we would do if we only had enough money for one cycle. I also found out today that BigShotClinic now has three potential financing options to fund IVF! Back in May, they did not have any options. We'll see what my research on this will reveal and what kind of debt we are willing to take on.

I was sweating out attending my good friend's baby shower this past weekend. I was ok with it, until I found out kids were going to be there. I went because I really wanted to support my friend, who was kind enough to give me an out if I did not want to attend, and because I knew this would not be any ordinary baby shower. The shower was a friggin' romper-room of babies and young children. Every time the door opened with even more babies and toddlers, I wanted to run screaming from the room. I stuck it out because I wanted to observe these parents their children from the many different ways to build a family. There was the single mom with twins from donor sperm via IUI. Another single mom was there with her adopted three year old from Vietnam. There was the best friend who had two young daughters from donor eggs and a husband that had a reverse vasectomy. And then there was my friend at 51 very pregnant with twins from donor eggs. As far as I could tell, they didn't act any differently than the other DIY parents.

I talked at length with the mother of the two daughters from donor eggs. She told me that she thinks about her children not looking like her, but that mostly, she is grateful that she has two healthy children. She said the decision for her to use donor eggs was fairly quick. She and her husband had been trying for a few years on their own after a successful reverse vasectomy. At about my age back then, she was at a place in her life that she could not take on any more stress than life was giving her, and she just wanted something that would work. I wish she had talked about how much she loved her children, but I have noticed that people have a hard time talking about love to strangers in our society, even if it is their kids. They say things like, "I wouldn't have it any other way," or "I'm very grateful."

I was also in a panic on Tuesday night when I realized how tight our money was and how it was going to affect our ability to fund any kind of cycle. I made the decision to quit enlightenment training so that I could use the money I had been spending on that to fund our future cycle. We had a five day retreat starting the next day. I was torn. Part of me has been very angry at the lack of support I have gotten from my enlightenment training around the whole baby making thing, and part of me loved all the wonderful teachings and experiences I have had over the last 10 years. I was very busy on Wednesday morning before the retreat, and did not have a chance to talk with my teacher about it. I decided I would talk to her in person at the retreat at the first break possible. I was prepared to tell her that I couldn't afford enlightenment training anymore and that I was leaving. To my surprise, I found that I did want to stay and that my teacher was going to work with me to be able to afford the retreat. It was probably the first time in a year that I really enjoyed enlightenment training.

The material in the retreat also challenged a lot of what I have been holding on to with using my own eggs. I know that if we make the decision to use donor eggs that I will have to grieve the loss of my own eggs and genetics. I have been able to love my stepsons as they are my own, who have no genetic link to me, so I'm not quite sure why I have had such a hard time with this issue. My husband has been struggling too, but the fact that he is even willing to consider donor eggs is huge. Pride is one of the factors getting in the way. I think that I am doing this and that I can make it happen. I have had that attitude for the past four years. While it served me well, the fact is that I'm 43 now and I may not be able to fight my genetics anymore. I don't want my ego to make us go bankrupt trying to pay for more IVF cycles we can't afford. What I did learn from my last IVF cycle is that it really is all out of our hands what happens.

Magic and I have been having some great discussions about donor eggs and having a child. Because I have been having such a hard time with the idea of donor eggs, I honor his difficult process with it as well. We need to decide soon what we are going to do, in the next two weeks. I have a new list of things to do. I did not forget about the whole polar body testing issue from my last action list, but I will save that for another post.

1) Make an appointment with a therapist to discuss donor eggs with Magic and I.
2) Call family members to find out if they are willing to donate their eggs to us.
3) Follow up on financing options.

I feel great today. I don't know if that is because I am beginning to let go and that I feel that I have viable options for a baby, or that I just am appreciating life for what it is, or that I ovulated and that the hormones from that always make me feel good. For today, I feel great, and I'll take that any day.

8 comments:

NoodleGirl said...

You and I are in such similar places right now. I'm wrestling with the idea of DE myself and the acceptance of giving up the genetic link. However, I'm at the point where I'm almost afraid to get a BFP with my own eggs so I think I'm pretty close to acceptance with DE.

The big difference with us is that we're lucky enough to have insurance that covers IVF. So it's less about money for us and more about my health, as fertility stims are possibly causing other health issues for me. So, it's just the question of knowing when to stop with my own eggs.

As far as finances go for a last attempt with your own eggs, have you ever looked into Mini IVF? New Hope in NYC offers it if your clinic does not. It's about $5000 for a cycle, where they aim to recruit your 3-5 best eggs, which is a great option for low responders who wouldn't likely produce more than 5 eggs anyway. Even if your clinic doesn't offer it, a phone consult with New Hope might be worthwhile as a flight to NYC is way cheaper (and more fun) than a traditional IVF at a local clinic. http://www.newhopefertility.com/mini-ivf.shtml

Also, I'm sure you're aware, but maybe you can make DE more affordable with a shared cycle with another recipient. It's a risk in case the donor doesn't produce as hoped, but maybe an option to reduce prices.

GL with all of your decisions, I totally know where you're at right now. I'll be following you closely!

Infertile In the City said...

Acceptance of surrogacy for me came about this way (do I want to be a mother or do I want to be pregnant?). The answer was a mother, so we are in the world of surrogacy.

You have big choices to make, none of them easy, but, I am glad that you are doing the hard thinking.

DAVs said...

As always, so so much to consider. I really like that you were watching those other mothers, all with their different ways of becoming mothers, and learning. I do believe there are myriad ways to become a mother, and I completely appreciate being torn over losing the genetic connection. No real words of wisdom here (ha!) just thinking of you.

Lost in Space said...

Love your last sentence! That alone puts a smile on my face.

I don't have any useful advice, but I don't think that it's helpful here anyway. This is all such a process and you are finding great ways to move through to a resolution you can be happy with. For what it's worth, I think you're working through this beautifully.

I love that you had the chance to meet and talk to so many parents who have used alternate solutions to build their families. Invaluable.

Sweet Georgia said...

I'm glad that your enlightenment retreat went so well and that you enjoyed it. I think women with high fsh all struggle with this question - do I go it with my own, or go the donor egg route. It's such a difficult decision to make because by the time you are really ready to ask yourself this question, you've put so much time & effort into get pregnant with your own eggs. It is a very difficult concept to walk away from. I'm glad that you and Magic have a plan to deal with this question. Seeing a psychologist is a great idea. I read a post on a message board the other day talking about donor eggs and the lack of genetic link. A woman wrote that she considered her baby through DE half her husband's, a quarter donor and a quarter her. I don't know why, but I found comfort in this comment.

niobe said...

Can I say that I love the term "DIY parents" ?

And, I don't know if I've said this before, but one thing you might want to think about is that it seems pretty clear to me that, if you did decide to use donor eggs, that the development of the baby would be strongly influenced by the fact that *you* would be the one who was pregnant.

In other words, if you took the exact same embyro and gestated it in two different women, you'd get two very different children. Yes, genetics counts for something, but the prenatal environment has a huge impact.

I look at my son (born with the help of a surrogate) and it's evident to me that, although our surrogate shares no genetic connection with the baby, those 9 months prior to birth were very important.

Just one minor example: based on his genetics, my son should be on the small side. Instead, he was over nine pounds at birth and continues to be extremely large, as well as learning to sit up and crawl much sooner than any other baby in the family.

Mad Hatter said...

I'm so glad you're feeling great and at peace - you have been so thorough in your search for what is right for you and the way you are feeling shows you have found the best plan to move forward with and help you consider all your options - keep up the good work!
Love,
Maddy

Me said...

DIY parents. Ha! I haven't heard that one before but I sure do like it!