Tuesday 24 December 2013

Warm Wishes

Just wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, or whatever you celebrate.

I hope your holidays are filled with peace and joy.

See you all in the new year. :)

Friday 20 December 2013

A little hope and gratefulness

I actually let myself look at a list of baby names last night. There's a teeny tiny little bit of hope is seeping in to my heart.  I'm scared to let it in, but it feels good.

Thank you for all of your words of support.  Your words fill the emptiness that that my friends and family leave behind.  I am so truly grateful for you, and your words.

This article really struck a cord with me recently on the topic of friendship and childlessness.  It's worth the read.


Wishing you all a good weekend during this busy time.

Tuesday 17 December 2013

News and First Support Group Meeting

Straight away to our news! We selected another donor!  This time we chose a donor with 15 vitrified eggs from CCRM.

I feel good about the fact that she already has been through the stimulation process and we know what we've got in terms of the number of eggs.  We have eliminated the emotional and financial risks of being side-swiped with news that our donor didn't pass her work up (again) or worse, that she passed and then didn't produce a good number of eggs.

The donor's childhood pictures are really cute.  I like her medical history and the information she's written about herself.   She's 21 which is fan-freaking-tastic.  She's identity released donor too, which is important to me.  This means that when our child (please, please, please let this work this time!) is 18 years old, they may seek out the identity of the donor.   They will be given at minimum a name and social security number if the donor continues to be willing to do so.

This is different from what I was hoping for in terms of openness but I'm trying to come to grips with it.   I'm feeling desperate to end this IF misery.  I'm also feeling like I need to accept that things might not always be how I'd imagined them to be, and that can still be good too.  I'm hoping that if we were so lucky to have a child from these eggs that our child(ren) (please, please, please! One or gasp - more than one is such a dream) won't hate me for this decision, because they desire a more open relationship with their donor.

In a way,  no contact until 18 years old takes a big weight off us.  There's no pressure for us to maintain a relationship.  We've been in an open embryo adoption arrangement and it takes a lot of work and thought to do it well.  This time around, I was only hoping for a minimum level of contact from the donor, to express our thanks, to obtain relevant medical information, and to keep in contact with them so they may be available to answer the questions that the child may have one day.

I'm still trying to make peace with this decision.  In a way it feels like the first time that I've let my kid down.   I think that I would be the person who would want this kind of information if my parents used a donor for conception.  I hope my kid doesn't care, but want to be prepared if they do.  I don't know if I've done enough by choosing this limited level of openness.   I hope I'm not making a mistake and rushing into things.  If we waited we could have likely found another agency donor who was willing to be more open.  Gosh, I just don't know.  I think how I'm going to feel will depend on the how the child reacts to the information that they are donor conceived.  There's so much to process.

I'm so pumped that there are 15 eggs.  Sure, some of the donors we looked at had 20+ eggs, but I think this is perfect for us.

We've been given some odds from Dr. Schoolcraft and we've done the math.

With 15 eggs:

Updated April 2014 with actual results.  

How many will thaw?  14 actually did. 

93% are expected to fertilize with ICSI and PICSI (even with D's wonky sperm)
= 13.95 embryos.  We had 13 fertilize.

80% of those are expected to get to blast
= 11.16 embryos.  We ended up with 10 embryos in the freezer. 

60% of those are expected to make it to freeze or transfer
= 6.7 embryos.  We don't know yet how many will survive thaw.  So far we used our fresh 5AA. 

The doctor expects a 78-80% chance of pregnancy with a viable embryo. 

So for our purposes, I'm saying that we might have a shot with 6 embryos total.  If all 6 were transferred that would mean the doctor expects that 5 of those would result in a pregnancy.  Nope - this is incorrect.  My calculations were missing how many of the surviving embryos would be normal.  This brings our chances down even further.   I now estimate we may have a shot with 3 or 4 embryos. 

I'm not sure what the miscarriage rate would be after a positive pregnancy test with donor egg? Do any of you know?  Updated: 20% chance of miscarriage with a 20 year old donor according to Dr. S. 

Gosh, these seem like really great numbers.  We could actually have more than one child! Oh my, I really, really hope so.   I especially think it would be great for a donor conceived person to have a genetic sibling.

Oh, and something else.  In the big scheme of things is not important.  But, it's bugging me so I'm going to write it.  The donor has different coloured eyes than me.  Hers are hazel/brown.   D has green eyes and I have blue/green eyes.  I didn't need to have many physical criteria that are to be similar to me (height, weight, bust, face shape, etc) except I wanted her to be Caucasian (I didn't want strange people wondering/ questioning if I cheated on D when a non-Caucasian baby came out of my body, because we both are).  I really was hoping for a blue or green eyes because my family is known for their blue/green eye colour.  It's something that people comment on and often even say that they can tell we're related because of the shape and colour of our eyes.

When we adopted embryos we knew that they would likely have brown eyes based on their family tree.  For some reason, it didn't bug me as much then.  I don't know why it's bugging me know.

Overall, I know in my heart that when I look at my child it's not going to matter.  I just wish the feeling would stop nagging me though.   I suppose it's because I'm still mourning the loss of my genetics.

When I think of the adoption journey it helps me put this in perspective.  Things in the adoption world are so much more scary in my mind because of the exposures that many of the children have had while in utero.  Our social worker's words to us were, it's not IF the baby has been exposed to alcohol, but how much.  That freaks me out.  I've never been a parent, and sometimes I don't know how good I'm going to be at it.  Could parent a special needs child in a way that they deserve?  I don't know if that makes any sense at all, but it helps me calm my feelings on something so silly as eye colour.


We also recently went to our first support group meeting.  It was a bit of a bust.  We traveled 1.5 hours (it should take under an hour to get there usually) in poor weather and fighting busy traffic to arrive just in time for the 7pm meeting.

Except there was no one there!

We had RSVPed to attend, and received a confirmation that others would be there too, so it caught us a bit by surprise.   We decided to wait awhile due to the weather, and hoped someone else would show up.   A few minutes later, the coordinator showed up apologizing for her tardiness.

She was very kind and we ended up talking with her for a couple of hours!  I kept trying to find a way to end the conversation and leave because it felt awkward to be the only ones there.  We learned about her experience with egg donation and her infertility history.   We shared ours.

I didn't feel any relief from attending.  But surprisingly, I think D did.  I forget that he doesn't talk about this stuff with anyone.  He said it was good to talk about it.  The next time we go, I hope he'll do most of the talking for this reason.

We will give it another shot in the new year.   We know that we won't be able to attend the next meeting,  but I haven't given up hope yet.

I'm not sure if the support group is going to touch on the things that are top of mind to me these days.  Which are:

1. Managing my depression associated with infertility
2.  Having some type of emotional plan for handling a negative pregnancy test after transfer (God - I hope I don't need one! But it scares the shit out of me to think of not having a plan.  D wants to live in the positive and feel the hope right now.  I'm too scared to make that jump.
3.  Making peace with our decision for a less open donor relationship.

Thursday 5 December 2013


It's gone from really wanting this to be infertility journey to be over to NEEDING it to be over.  My tolerance for dealing with loss and grief gotten thinner and thinner.  I think because the wounds keep piling on top of each other that there hasn't been time to heal from one thing before the next thing happens.  The grief of infertility (for me anyways) just seems to compound.  

I need to get out of this spiral and move on to more positive things.

Tuesday 3 December 2013


Oh man.

Last night we got a call from the donor agency and they told us that our donor tested positive for an FDA regulated test, and would not be allowed to proceed with a cycle.   CCRM helped fill in the blanks today, and told us more specifically that she tested positive for syphilis.

We didn't see this coming.  She has already donated two times.

The donor agency will not charge us a fee for this, however we've burned the cost of the one day work up for the donor.  I don't know the exact cost of this, but I think it was around $4000.

I really loved everything about the donor we selected.  She was smart, musical, beautiful, had a resemblance to me and I loved what she wrote in the profile.  And, she was eager and willing to have contact with us in the future.

I'm feeling so thankful for the testing done, protecting me and our child from this.  I'm also feeling bad for the donor.  I bet that wasn't the news she was hoping for either.   But more so, I'm feeling bad for us.  More months wasted, more money down the drain.   Seriously.

Monday 2 December 2013

Support Group

I rsvped... I'm going this week.  Thanks for your comments.  I guess I've got nothing to lose.