Saturday, May 30, 2009

Surgery and egg donor issues

Sitting at my desk Friday morning juggling ten different things I get a call from a woman telling me that she is calling me about my surgery. What surgery? The one that is scheduled for Monday! Oh really, that one? I told my doc THE PREVIOUS DAY that I could come in any time for surgery and I guess he took me at my word. The rest of the day I scrambled to reschedule my Monday duties ( including planning to go into work on Sunday), kept on juggling other work stuff, dealt with the many calls about insurance, tried to find people to give me rides to and from the center so S can go to work and not worry that she might get canned for taking one more day off ( she was just off for a week for an intensive course for her MDiv.) She totally would have done it for me, but I prefer her to keep her job and I am a big girl. So my sis and her sister in law are taking me and bringing me back. Thanks guys! You rock!
The surgery center told me all the details about what not to eat or drink before hand,to wear no jewelry or valuables and to bring my advance directives if I have any!!!YIKES!!! I am having a general anesthetic and of course I need to be prepared... I know I talked about this in my last post, but it feels a bit creepy that they brought it up to me.
So I am sitting on the couch, ready to search for a website that can help me do a will and advance directives so I can get them witnessed tomorrow.
Sorry it's not very pithy or funny, but I am pre-occupied.
And then after having dinner with a friend last night and talking about the whole egg donor thing and showing her the info, we discovered that the egg donor we picked wants to remain anonymous to the child. We had not given it much thought really - but had believed we had picked a known donor. We agonized over the decision to pick an unknown sperm donor when we were doing IUIs- it boiled down to money in the end - and then when we started IVF we picked another guy who was willing to be known because our clinic didn't like the first sperm bank and the second had known donors available and IVF only takes one vial so it's cheaper than endless vials for IUIs- but he wasn't our renaissance man that we just love, who is with a company that does not supply any known donors. I have this fantasy that if he had been given the choice he would have said yes - just from reading his answers to the essay questions I got the impression he was very interested in how it would all turn out. So this whole egg donor thing has been kind of a whirlwind and we never really considered the whole known donor question too seriously. I am not even sure if many egg donors consent to be known. So we decided that we really do want to give our child some chance to find out who donated the eggs and sperm to bring him or her into the world. So now we have to pick another egg donor and we are thinking about going back to the guy who is not so interesting but is willing to be known so we can give the kid the chance to meet or talk to both donors if he/ she wants to. It's a bummer because we really liked the donor we had picked!
Any thoughts on the subject would be most welcome!
Please send positive vibes to me on Monday at 12.30pm central time - when I will be having my little fibroid removed. I told my tennis pal today that I had to have a fibroid removed and she said she thought I said I have to have a vibrator removed!!!! Funny!
Okay - off to do my will, etc etc.
Ta ta for now!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Slight hiccup

I have been missing in words for over a week but I have been busy in deeds.
Busy shooting myself up with Lupron, taking Estrace, DHA and multi-vitamins, picking an egg donor, getting blood-work done, having ultra-sounds up the wazoo! Planning the intricacies of this trial "GEEP"cycle and figuring out how to get it all done and still go on vacation at the end of June.
We picked an egg donor that is new to the egg donor program ( which makes it cheaper )is very young and already has a child. She is from a part of the former Yugoslavia ( as is one side of Susan's family) She has coloring similar to mine ( the sperm donor has Susan's coloring). All very exciting and the idea that we are so close to the prize is tantalizing. We breezed through our interview with the psychologist ( who turned out to be an old friend of my extended family!) and she informed us that it's really hard to flunk a GEEP cycle, which put my mind at ease. I have become more comfortable at the new clinic and I like the nurse who I am working with. Even the phlebotomists have figured out how to get blood out of my veins, which is not a small accomplishment. All is well!
So where's the hiccup? It's called a fibroid and it's in the cavity of my uterus. I knew I had fibroids, but I had always heard that they were in the wall of my uterus, and would not interfere with implantation. Today at my saline sonogram the doctor spotted one a bit smaller than an inch around that was hanging in there and that he said would act like an IUD and prevent implantation. The word surgery was mentioned. I imagined the myomectomy that one of my favorite blogger friends had that sounded really painful and with a long recovery. It turns out I am lucky in that this surgery is minimally invasive. They give me general anasthesia, go in through my hoo hoo cha cha, snip the fibroid, go out again and in a day I am up and about. The really really sad part of this is that when I heard about the idea of surgery I was hoping that I would get a bit of extra sick time out of it. All that tells you is that my job is so ridiculously stressful that I am looking for any excuse for a day off - with some good drugs of course!
I told Susan optimistically that we better get our wills written before I go under! It is something we have been procrastinating about and now we have a reason to get our butts in gear. I know, I am morbid. I take after my mum. What can I say?
At first when I heard about the fibroid and the surgery I was so bummed out. Not another delay! I need to get pregnant and have this baby quick while I have my insurance and have my ridiculously stressful job and while I can still stick it out.
I still don't know what this means for the GEEP cycle, but the nurse is supposed to call me tomorrow and tell me what to do. For now I am continuing the meds. I told them I can come ANY DAY for the surgery - just get me in soon!!! I have decided that even if the cycle screws with my vacation I am still going on vacation. I need one goddammit and after all, sometimes life has to come before babies.
So that's how things are going in my neck of the woods, how about you?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The story so far - welcome intrepid visitors of ICLW!

Hello again, ICLWers. This is my second month doing it and I am looking forward to it! I hope I get some work done this time in between commenting on your wonderful blogs.!
The short story is this: (borrowed from Ira Glass' "This American Life").

act i. ambivalence, therapy, soul searching, envisioning, money worries and woes, family drama, baby postponed till a later date ( 5 years)

act ii. decision making, temping, IUIs, clomid, anovulation, low ovarian reserve, age, more family and life drama, IVF attempt number one aborted after no response to heavy meds ( 1.5yrs)

(Heavy servings of gingersnap lattes, carbohydrates, shoe throwing, anger, misery, therapy, blaming, acceptance, adoption research)

act iii. donor eggs on the table, bcps, starting Lupron tonight for trial cycle, picking donor, baseline u/s and b/w on Friday ( 1 month)

Credits and acknowledgements :
my honey Susan, therapist, dogs, cats, supportive friends and bloggers.

Watch out for the next installment.
Leg going to sleep, tireegal going to sleep!
night night!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

ho-hum musings

Nothing earth shattering to report here, except that I have the most uncomfortable case of indigestion. It occurred to me after about 4 days of suffering that it might be the BCPs and then I dug back into the swamp that is my memory and remembered that this happened last time I took them. So far I have not been a homicidal harpy like last time, but I have had a loss of sleep due to horrible reflux at night, which is exacerbated by eating normal sized meals, and reflux all day which is exacerbated by eating and not-eating.
I guess this might be one way to lose weight that does not involve points.
I am looking forward to having my wife back in my life. It will happen by about June 1st I think! My dear S has one more week of school left and two papers that she is gamely slogging away at. Then one week off plus another week of an intensive course and then FREEDOM for the summer! Have I got a chore list for her! Of course these are chores that work best with two people- and I have been waiting to share them with her. They involved going to storage, tidying out our back storage area, making our apartment welcoming for visitors, organizing our office / baby space and a plethora of exciting tasks that I won't bore the blog world with for now.
But the evening is upon us, which means din dins, a dvd and hopefully blissful, reflux free sleep. I know I know - the excitement is killing you!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Day two of BCPs

It's official - I am on the way back to popping pills, poking myself with needles and getting my va jay jay wanded with the ultra-sound stick!!!
The doc emailed me that my blood work showed I could start the BCPs yesterday ( no numbers of course - I never get numbers!!!) It probably means my ovaries are in sleep mode and nothing is happening there anyway so lets really lock em down.
I go in for an U/S and consult on May 15th. We are doing a trial cycle.
I have no idea what to do to prepare for the real one. I called the nurse at the BBBF today and left her a message but did not get any more info. I know I need to pick a donor and get this show on the road. I think the doc is supposed to give me more info when I have the ultra-sound and he sees what is really going on in the velvety depths of my uterus. No idea if it is velvety in there - but I know I am supposed to be growing a lovely thick cushiony lining at some point so the embie can bed down there and get snuggled in.
Anyway, I will call the egg place soon and try to figure out what the next step is.
So that's my exciting news. Oh and I joined Weight Watchers today and went to my first meeting. It was like a cross between an AA meeting and a Tupperware party.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

"third party reproduction"

Apparently that's what it's called when you use a donor's eggs or uterus. Not sure if donor sperm is considered third party although it should be I guess.
The appointment at BBBF went well, apart from waiting in the hall outside the doc's office and hearing most of the conversation of the woman ahead of us who had her husband on speaker-phone and a toddler running around while she was trying to discuss being a "poor responder" with the Doc. I kept wanting to go over and whisper "HIPAA" round the door-frame at them all.
Mr. Silver Hair and Tanned Doc was very nice, a little deaf ( but I do tend to swallow my words) and explained the whole thing to me. It wasn't much that I didn't already know but it was great to feel like I might be on my way to the next step.
I had a blood test to see where I am in my cycle, he gave me some BCPs to start when he tells me and sent me on my way with instructions to call their psychologist and set up and appointment (it's mandatory but FREE!!!).
The clinic has a special nurse coordinator that deals with the "third party reproduction" - ooh the acronym is TPR - not sure if I will be using that. In child welfare circles that stands for termination of parental rights.
I have to make sure I have all the standard pre-IVF tests - I have had them all - perhaps an ultrasound and he might do a trial "cycle" first to make sure my uterus responds properly to the estrogen and progesterone.
We can transfer the sperm that is sitting at the other clinic and get one more vial for back up. Don't want to have those precious eggs sitting there meeting a bum sample of sperm! The good news is that maybe we can go back to our "Renaissance Man" - from Midwest Sperm Bank for this one. He was our number one choice but we couldn't use him for various logistical reasons for the last few tries.
And then there is the whole picking the egg-donor thing! Now, we are experts at picking sperm donors so it doesn't really phase us that much except for the fact that we are basically trying to figure out how to choose an egg donor that complements the sperm donor and has the potential to be an interesting, nice and hopefully pleasant looking human being! Hopefully she / he won't be so gorgeous and talented that it will hate us for being its parents! It's like planning a sort of blind date for two people who will never meet, but whose "donations" will hopefully make up the genetics of our child. Freaky!!!
Psychologically and practically weird.
For example - S has brown hair and hazel green eyes and is a mix between Slavic and Irish looks. I have blonde hair and green eyes and look Anglo-Nordic. I have always had this idea that we would have blonde kids because that's what my nieces look like ( my sister's kids). But we want to honor S in this whole process too. We are both drawn to donors that are creative and like music - maybe if we were more savvy we would be drawn to donors that have brilliant business acumen so the kids could make enough to support us in our fast approaching dotage. I also like people who are athletic. It feels odd, but having always known we were going to use a sperm donor it's not completely out of our comfort zone.
So for all of you that have been following me on this journey, you might be wondering what happened to the adoption idea? I have been researching it and reading about it for the last two months; I attended three open houses / seminars and while I don't think it would have been impossible, I came to the conclusion that I needed to explore the whole egg donation option before we made any decisions to go for adoption. And once I realized that we could afford donor eggs and that my insurance would pay for the procedure (BIG YAY!!!) I realized that I had already made up my mind.
Most of the fear of doing more medical interventions has dissipated after the initial horrible disappointment of my own egg failure. The process of being a recipient of an embryo that has been created in the lab is actually much less difficult and risky than that of over-stimulating the ovaries to produce lots of good eggs (which is what the egg donor will be doing and is what I am unable to do). I will have to give myself those horrible IM progesterone shots, but hey, many of you have done that and survived. I figure I can do that.
So the idea that I won't ever carry a baby or give birth to one has now faded a little; the possibility that I will be able to do this is feeling more real.
According to the doc, the risk of multiples is high. I am not sure if it is more than for IVF with my own eggs or not. With a three day transfer they usually put back three embryos and a five day transfer they put back two. Hmmmm.....
And any remaining embryos can be frozen for future use - by me or someone else.
So that's the story.
Mind boggling!
Oh and we have to get a lawyer too.
And talk to the egg donation company to figure out about donors.
Lots to do.
Lots to think about.
We keep moving forward... it's a good feeling:)
And I owe a lot of this to my Dad, Harry, who thought about his children enough to provide for them in his will and who died just over a year ago. Without my little inheritance this would be out of reach. I hope he gets to see his grandchildren from heaven some day soon:)