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:)


Lisa said...

I am thrilled at the idea of you ttc again. Not that reading your posts about adoption wasn't exciting so I hope that didn't come out wrong. When I first read TPR, I thought of the same thing (termination of parental rights) so I had to laugh when you wrote it as well. I read this RE's blog and he recently posted an entry about day 3 and day 5 transfers. here's the link for some fun reading:

Anonymous said...

oh, there is so much hope and happiness in this post, it makes me giddy for you!! i cant wait to follow you on these next steps - i will be wishing you SO much luck!! :)

Anonymous said...

I am just so excited for you! Everything sounds great!

cindyhoo2 said...

I really enjoyed this post... so filled with hope.. and little social work easter eggs for me also. My first thought as you described hearing through the door, "Hello. HIPAA violation!" And I had the same thoughts about TPR-- gotta avoid that acronym.

I am so hopeful for you about the donor eggs and it is so fun to watch someone else have the same sorts of mental gymnastics that I am having.

Best When Used By said...

I am so excited for you guys! Even though there is a lot to consider and even more to's fun, isn't it?! The feeling of "It's our turn up to bat" is thrilling!

I'm looking forward to following you as you guys pick an egg donor. I see what you mean about wanting to find physical traits you each have, plus trying to "arrange" a person with comprehensive traits like humor and musicality and intelligence, etc.

Because we are doing embryo donation, we too have egg and sperm donor in our "reproduction party" but we also have the donating parents. So there are 6 of us (including my husband and I) in this gala! Wild, when I stop to think about it!

And what a sweet tribute to your Dad. :) I'm sure he's going to be thrilled.

Lizzie said...

You sound so excited! It is great, great, great to read! Yay!

Kimi723 said...

Wow! It is really great to hear the enthusiasm in your postings again! While the thought of adoption sounds great, the reality is that it is such of a difficult process. Seems worse than this TTC process. Crazy, huh!!??!! At least this way you are the ones deciding to pick and choose, instead of the other way around!

Pufferfish said...

Glad to hear the meeting went well and things are moving right along. It's humbling to know you cannot have your 'own' baby, I know that well. But, isn't it great to have the options, resources and finances to make that dream come true in V2.0?
Good luck with the donor egg profiles...that would be harder than the sperm donor I think.

What stats did they give you? Ours are 50-60% success with 40% chance of twins with 2 Day 5 Blasts...But my donor is older than yours will be so your stats may well be higher.

BTW--the link Lisa posted? That's my RE and he does write a great blog!

Anonymous said...

Wow! Sounds very exciting. I hope everything goes well for you.

K said...

Such wonderful things on your horizon! I hope this will be the cycle you finally get your long-overdue BFP. Oh, and the PIO shots truly weren't a big deal. In fact, I voluntarily extended mine! You'll be just fine.

Can't wait to watch this part of your journey unfold!

Celia said...

I am excited for you too!

Anonymous said...

Hi - found you on Best when used by's blog, and I've only read a few posts so far but wow! Good luck with all the decisions you have to make right now - I'm on my 3rd DE-IVF cycle so if you have any questions about non-medical things I might know...probably not though as I am still not pg! Best of luck to you, I look forward to following your journey.

Jaymee said...

i am new here, but this is all very exciting. hope things move smoothly from this point forward. i am also excited about following your story!!