Posts Tagged ‘eggshare’

How do I feel about children who are biologically related to me, yet not mine?

September 4, 2012

Awhile back, the lovely Lyssie asked about how I felt regarding eggsharing. You know, that little sidenote of IVF that led to an anonymous recipient having a baby last time around – and the same woman is getting my eggs this time as well. (Though they become her eggs, in my mind, the instant they leave my body.)

You know, before I thought about the mechanics of lesbians having children, I was pretty against sharing my DNA with a stranger. I had a selfish this-is-mine attitude that I think is totally normal and probably the more prevalent attitude in society. I also think there is more stigma, emotions, etc attached to donating eggs because it is about a million times more demanding than donating sperm. (Not that I don’t appreciate sperm donors. Holla!)

Years ago we went to a presentation by our clinic aimed at couples who were considering using reproductive technology to expand their families. And it was during this presentation that my eyes filled with tears and my heart with longing and I knew I would do whatever it took to have children. Anything and everything, and that was before I knew how incredible (and fucking exhausting) parenthood was.

Not to  mention the success rates. If we did IUI (intrauterine insemination, when washed sperm is placed directly into the uterus), the success rate at our prestigious and worldwide reputed clinic was 23 percent over THREE cycles (and that’s back when I was fucking young). The success rate quoted to me for IVF, at that time, was 55 percent.

WELL. I liked the maths, and the only way we could afford IVF was to eggshare. (A note on eggsharing – at age 16, the children in Country B who were conceived using donor eggs or sperm can get confirmation that someone they are dating is not related to them. At 18, their donor’s name and contact information is released to them, should they want it. I hope this other family does reach out to us one day, but that is perhaps the subject of another entry…if you remind me.)

When the head nurse called to say she had a match for me, and the match was super excited and grateful, something flared in my chest. Like a big firework of happiness and love for this random woman I’d never met.

You guys, women who need eggs have probably been trying to have a child for years. Trying conventional ways,  having testing, more invasive ways, multiple cycles of IVF, and then facing a two to three year wait for an egg donor – and this is at a private clinic, where things move more quickly. Can you fucking imagine that, all the agony and money and time and dashed hopes? I can’t.

I’m lucky because I can’t.

So we did it. And we got a card from her, and I plan to write HER a card this time – and I know that I feel better about this decision BECAUSE it is this same woman. I don’t know why, I know it’s illogical, but there it is. I didn’t think much about it during my pregnancy, but once my children were born I’d be lying if I said it didn’t bother me. A lot.

I looked at the gorgeousness of Snort and Coconut and couldn’t help wondering about that third child. Did they have the same birthday? Were they smiling yet? Had I made an awful mistake?

But you know, the bottom line is that I can’t regret anything I did that led to the successful pregnancy and birth of my most beloved twins. Not one thing. And the joy they bring to me….knowing I helped another family have that makes me feel good. Just plain old ordinary good. Warm and steady and happy.

And of course, my children were created with the assistance of a generous anonymous man who gave us his sperm. It doesn’t make those kids any less ours, just as I hope the woman who birthed that other child loves him or her fiercely and amazingly. Like I know she must, because that baby was so wanted. And she felt that baby kick at her ribs, she birthed that baby, she bonded with her child. And I hope she gets to do it again, just as I hope to see my wife’s belly swell with our much wanted child, this third baby wonder my children will embrace, her breasts will feed, my body will comfort as she or he is wrapped close to my heart.

What a world where our children are so wanted and valued and we have to work so damn hard to get them. And it’s a community of people standing shoulder to shoulder with us. That man as he donates sperm, and a second man who gives us new sperm to create this new life. Me as I give eggs to that woman who longs for a baby, a sibling for her baby. We’re all connected together, and the bottom line is that this is a path of love and selflessness and hope. We may do what we do for different reasons, but our goal is the same:

to hear that new baby cry as they enter the world, to draw them close, to expand our families and hearts.

 

 

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Holding pattern. (and lots of parentheses!)

April 24, 2012

We are waiting. Waiting for the flat sale to be complete, for a car, for bikes, for a baby.

‘The baby’ is often talked about (rather carefully if little ears are around) – or maybe it just seems like that because I think about it constantly. The hospital bag we will use, TMD in labour, the wrap we’ll use in the early days.

How we will need to save the bikes (you know, the ones I have yet to order. I think Coconut is too short for even the smallest ones!) as the baby will use them one day.

When we will pick up the baby gear we let some family borrow. About how Snort and Coconut will finally get some more booby milk (in cups, as I suspect they’d never be able to latch).

Ideally I wanted all the kids (!) to be much closer in age, but feel like that’s impossible with twins. Most people I know have a singleton and then twins. I know next to no one who expands their family again once twins hit the scene.

I suspect we have interesting conversations ahead of us. I would love another set, but realities mean that would be so difficult (TMD is tiny; could she go full term? Financially she would need maternity leave earlier even if full term, and if early and needing a stay in special care, with two three year olds already? Ugh. Etc…) 

So the aim is one baby.

For now. Muhahaha! (I made reference to a third pregnancy/fourth baby the other day and she was not keen.)

Where are we at, TTC wise? TMD has had her AMH bloods done – a new policy by the clinic. When I did ivf I had my hormones tested individually, but I guess this is different? Either way, it checks fertility and suitability for egg sharing. If she is eligible, then all the millions of further tests are now free (they weren’t when I did it! Bastards!).

Chromosomal analysis, every disease known to man (some repeated throughout process), etc.

She’s got all the paperwork already for us to fill in, which we will bring along to the consultation, which we haven’t booked yet. We decided to go with her eggs this time if possible. I’ll still be young enough to share eggs in a couple of years if we do go for that fourth pregnancy, which would be her again – I want desperately to be pregnant but don’t think my body could take it.

So that’s where we are. Edging slowly forward. I think the plan would be to move forward with the actual ivf process once we are back from Country A this summer. Cross your fingers for our two three year olds and one baby vision!

Shit my wife probably doesn’t want me to blog about, but she doesn’t ever read this anyway.

March 7, 2012

Y’all, I just got off the phone with a fertility clinic in the city we are moving to. Apparently fertility clinic lingo is permanently imprinted in my brain – unlike names of past classmates, what I had for breakfast, or most anything else. I was all, ‘Yeah, send me out an information pack on IVF, ICSI, IUI, price lists, tests needed in advance….just everything you’ve got, really.’ They seem like a really nice clinic – and one of the top ten in our country, apparently – but they don’t do eggsharing.

Motherchucker.

Eggsharing is how we AFFORD IVF. I don’t think we can get free treatment as lesbians, so we need to fund it ourselves. And when you share eggs, you save moolah. (And enrich someone else’s life, of course!)

So. I’m on the hunt for a local clinic that accepts private patients and has an eggshare programme in full swing. This first clinic I’ve just got off the phone with is apparently planning to start eggsharing in the summer, so I am definately keeping them in mind. At least once I’ve seen the prices.

And, no, it’s not going to be me. If all goes well – and no reason it shouldn’t – my lovely wife is going to be the pregnant one this time. I read a number of lesbian babymaking blogs, and most of my friends are now on baby number two (or more), using the non-birth mother of their first kid. So…welcome us to that club.

We need to get moving on this whole thing, because eggsharing stops at 36. And TMD turns 35 in a month. I also always wanted our kids to be clumped together in age, and we’ve already fucked that up! (Please let 35 year olds be eligible! All info on all sites states ages 18-35 or something, but I was never certain exactly what that meant. Were you cut off at 35 or 36? My friend down the road – who also has IVF twins – did eggsharing and she was 35. So fingers crossed!)

I swear to god among all the other valid reasons for wanting a third child, I need another one just to justify the upcoming purchase of a secondhand BIG ASS CAR. My mother in law was all, ‘I hope you aren’t moving down here and having more children. I can’t help out if you have a tonne.’ Uh, okay. But I want a big car and by GOD having a third child justifies that. People keep joking I want it because the country I was born in is all about gas guzzling giant cars – and they are probably right, but here in Country B cars are more fuel efficient and just generally less shitty for the environment.

So. Babies, cars, my mother in law (who is lovely and I KNOW she would babysit while we went around getting my wife all knocked up. Or ‘with child.’ Whatever you prefer.). Are you keeping up?

I’m so fucking nuts I’m already thinking: one embryo transfer or two? I’ve always wanted another set of twins – no lie – and four kids would be niiiiiiice. I knew I’d never be able to carry more than one again, but TMD….hmmm. That being said, having only one baby would be like a fucking vacation. My slings are calling to me, people.

And so it begins….again.

October 26, 2010

Today I sent an email to the head IVF nurse at our fertility clinic. She’d emailed me awhile back – you may remember that the woman who received my eggs last time wanted to be paired with me if I did IVF again. I wrote to say I would be delighted to be paired with her, and that we were beginning to think about having a second pregnancy.

Questions I asked – what is the BMI range for eggsharing? I know there is an upper limit from last time, but can’t remember what it is. I know I’m probably over it, but I wouldn’t want to get pregnant when I’m this overweight, anyway.

I also asked them to send us all the updated paperwork – what screening tests I would need, the costs of all precedures, etc.

Finally, I asked about the availability of our donor’s sperm. I would love to use the same donor.  And not just because my genes appear to have TROUNCED his in most every department – Coconut looks identical to my grandmother, while Snort is identical to my cousin (genetic ‘brother’ …do you know that creepy story yet?). Most of the boys in our family are tall and fair. Most of the women are short and dark (the exception being my sister and I).

I don’t know. Nothing is set in stone, here.

But I do find myself wondering how I would handle all the monitoring appointments with twin toddlers in tow. I imagine I’d leave them in the waiting room with TMD – if she’d be able to attend. It might be a very different pregnancy altogether, simply because there are already two little tykes to have to attend to. I think I’d be okay with that.

I pretty much already know what to expect, at least on the fertility side of things. I would need her there for the egg collection, though. Who wants to babysit my kids sometime next year at a minute’s notice? C’mon, any volunteers? They are a bundle of fu-un..

If you are my friend on facebook, please mention none of this on there. I don’t plan on saying ANYTHING until we are in the second trimester of this as yet invisible pregnancy. (But I keep picturing myself updating my facebook status – how gross is that? I’m more excited about the status update than, say, the pregnancy test.)

I really need to keep focused on the weight loss. Whether we go down the route of having a third child naturally or not, being a healthy version of me is a good thing. It’s tough this week as I’m not feeling great, the kids are not feeling great, and everything is closed due to half-term so we’re in the house all week. Good for having some isolated get well time, bad because I run around like a fiend at playgroup and that may be why I am losing weight.

So. Now you are all up to date.

Except the one thing you don’t know – I am back to watching ‘A Baby Story’ every day and sobbing when the baby is born. I did this before my last pregnancy. Just saying.

Unwatched pots do boil

December 4, 2008

Morning everyone. Thanks for the lovely and supportive comments. Keep ’em coming!

The clinic hasn’t called yet, which *fingers crossed* is a good sign. If they needed us to come in today for an embryo transfer, I think they would have phoned by now. I hope all 8 of our lovely mature eggs have fertilised and are dividing away. Little miracles.

I’m much better than I was yesterday. Apparently I kept repeating myself after the op, which I was warned ahead of time I would do. I guess when I was wheeled back to the recovery room in a wheelchair (which I have no remembrance of), the first thing I said to TMD was, ‘I felt everything.’

Right afterwards it all seemed hot, fresh, and painful. I did experience the egg collection as hurting a lot, and I have recollections of them giving me more drugs while it was going on. Oddly enough, though, I don’t actually remember it. For instance, my ass was all the way at the bottom of this table, with my feet on a stool. I remember worrying I was going to slide right off the table when I was sober – let alone with the drugs. Within seconds of the first shot going in I was doped up.

I remember the nurse saying, ‘If you feel dopey now, wait till I get this one in you!’ And that’s the

 

OH MY GOD. The clinic just called! I am crying. I am so happy.

Of the 8 they did ICSI with, ALL EIGHT HAVE FERTILISED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am trying to get through to TMD, so this might be disjointed. —- Okay, just got off phone with TMD. Going to keep things disjointed, though!

Crazy Name Nurse rang with the news. She just kept saying, ‘This is fabulous news. Well done you! I am so excited for you!’

I also said, ‘I hope things have gone well for the recipient as well.’

CNN (ha – what an acronym) said, ‘She’s had fabulous news this morning as well. She is so excited!!’

I feel almost as happy for her as I do for us!! Now we have eight little babies growing in a lab. Two of them will go back into my uterus on Saturday morning.

I want to write more about the egg collection and the ass bullets, but for now I think I need a breather.

EIGHT FERTLISED out of eight mature eggs!!!!! I am overflowing with gratitude to everyone who has played any part in this journey, including those of you who are being so supportive here.

EIGHT!

Quickie from the eggy momma.

December 3, 2008

Still super sore and in pain, so this will be a quickie.

Egg collection went well. They got 18 eggs. Of the nine that were destined for me and TMD, 8 were mature. I didn’t ask about how many were mature for the recipient, because from here on in they’re really her eggs.  Hope it was good news, though.

When they defrosted our baby daddy juice, the sample was apparently excellent. Really high motility, etc etc. Because we are doing eggshare, though, they want to give us the best chances so have decided to do ICSI with all 8 eggs. ICSI is injecting a single sperm into each egg.

Glad my eggs were mature. Glad the boy juice is alive and kickin’.

Tomorrow morning they will ring to tell us how many fertilised. A little crazy thinking that our possible future child/children are sitting in an incubator right now.

Would write more, but sitting up is not a good position. Very, very, very sore.

A big thank you to TMD who has gone to every appointment, and was there with me today making me laugh prior to the egg collection  – even though laughing has become a painful thing.

I need to go to try to poop now. Putting in my first progesterone up-the-butt ‘bullet’ (a nurse called it a bullet today and I almost exploded with laughter) in about 25 minutes. This is my second bullet of the day. I made TMD go buy me latex gloves.

Speak to you all soon. Thanks so much for the well wishes and comments on the previous entry. Now we all just need to hope the little babies are developing properly. Will keep you updated.

They won’t let me wear deodorant.

December 2, 2008

So, what happens tomorrow?

1. I stop eating at midnight tonight. I have nothing to drink after 4/5 am tomorrow morning.

2. I arrive at the clinic by 8:45 for my egg collection, scheduled at 10:30.

3. No doubt all the risks and things will be run through with me. I’ll also get a load of information for the next stage of treatment.

4. Prior to the op, I stick some pessaries up my ‘rectal passage.’ One for pain, one to prevent infection. I’m not sure how effective these will be as I will probably literally be shitting myself with nerves.

5. I get sedated! The nurse said this is not being awake, but not being asleep. Way to be specific.

6. Under ultrasound guidance, a needle is inserted into my vagina. It pierces the vaginal wall to go through to first one ovary, then the other. I suppose it will pierce each individual follicle and suck the eggs out. This takes 15-20 minutes in total.

7. I spend 1-2 hours in recovery (until I can pee normally and eat without vomiting. Nice). I find out how many mature eggs were collected. Those eggs are whisked off somewhere to be fertilised.

8. We take two taxis and a train home. I cross my fingers that my little egglings are doing well. I probably shit myself some more.

Then Thursday we get the call saying how many eggs have fertilised. I get all antsy thinking about embryos needing to go back in on Thursday – I’ll still probably be quite sore and TMD might have already gone into work. This means that we’ll make our individual ways to the clinic, which would be a bit of a bummer. I’m going to clarify with them tomorrow what time they think they’ll call, and perhaps TMD can have some flexibility about going into work.

Apparently spotting and abdominal cramping is normal after this procedure. Tampons are verboden, but I don’t like them anyway. Nor do I wear nail varnish or make up – two no-nos for the op tomorrow. Chemical type things + eggs = bad.

I am deeply grossed out about not wearing deodorant. I will definitely be bringing along my wee Nivea bottle to spray on me once we’re cleared to leave.

Nivea and hospitals. This is so reminiscent of the past summer.

In other news, we bought a de-humidifier last night and I wasn’t even tempted by my inhalers. I don’t want to take them during pregnancy, so it bodes well that last night went so well. I should actually go check on that thing. You would NOT believe how much water it’s sucked out of the air.

Who says bloated tummies aren’t hot?

December 2, 2008

My stomach a few days ago. Notice the blooooaaaatttttttting. The tasty looking bruise in the picture looks about a million times better than it did the day after the shot. The only really bad bruise, and it’s all down to TMD. After this shot o’ bruising, I took over doing my shots again. Ha.

dscn40043

And here we have the bloated tum o’ fun yet again – this is seconds after MY LAST SHOT. Indeed, this is the trigger shot. What’s delightful about this is that rather than ‘pinching the skin’ around the area, everything is stretched so tight and bloated that I have to just grab on to the entire hunk of lower abdomen in order to squeeze anything.

 rscn4023

Actually, looking at that picture, that’s me actually giving the shot. See all the liquid still in the syringe? It’s like a live action movie.

Kinda.

And here’s a document with a heading guaranteed to make you sit up and take notice:

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And, finally, the only member of the household that shows only a pasing interest in IVF:

dscn4017 

So. Today’s my first day off work. I don’t feel any bad symptoms at all. The trigger shot is actually hCG. This is the pregnancy hormone – it’s what pee-on-a-stick pregnancy tests are looking for. I injected myself with 10,000 iu. The fact that I’ve gone from zero to baby-hormones with no real side effects at this point will no doubt make me feel sane while I’m waiting to do a pregnancy test.

The info they gave us says they send us away with a home pregnancy test. No blood test? I know this country is different than others that test hormone levels every other day to see if it looks like a twin/singleton pregnancy, making sure everything is developing, etc. But a home pregnancy test? It seems like such an ordinary way to end an extraordinary IVF cycle.

Let’s hope that test makes an appearance on this diary in a few weeks, and it’s a big, juicy positive.

If only babies were as simple as my newly aquired letterhead skillz.

December 1, 2008

Perhaps I am actually an adult. What would lead me to make such a rash declaration?

Well, I’m working from home today. I needed to print something out on letterhead I’d taken from the office. And…AND…I guessed which way the paper needed to go to be printed on the letterhead correctly on my first attempt.

I think this is the first time something like this has ever happened.

And in other news, did you read (two posts down) about my good eggy baby news?? The nurse is supposed to call to confirm the time of the trigger shot (the shot that makes me ovulate roughly 36 hours from now). My egg collection is currently scheduled for 10:30 am on Wednesday, so my trigger is supposed to be 10:30 pm tonight.

I am done done done with the superovulatory drugs. I have my last shot of the downregulating drugs tonight at 7 pm, and then the crazy trigger shot. It involves snapping glass bottles in half and mixing powdered medications with various solutions. It’s like some kind of science experiment – except way more important.

Anyway, the nurse hasn’t called yet. I am starting to get antsy. Think I will call around 4 pm if I haven’t heard. You know, those damn donor lab people still haven’t attached my donor profile to my file. Poopheads.

(get it? She’s a big brown poophead…well, poopbody.)

I’d like some muffin with that egg.

December 1, 2008

Goooooooooood morning.

I’m back from the scan. I’ve got six big follicles on the right, seven big follicles on the left. There are also slightly smaller follicles that the sonographer thinks they’ll also be able to get eggs out of. That means that all systems are go, and the egg collection will happen on Wednesday. Before leaving the clinic that day I would know how many eggs were collected.

Thursday I would get a call letting me know how many had fertilized, and the nurse explained the options. If only two had fertilized (um, I would hope for more than that!) they would go straight back in on Thursday. The clinic takes the view that the best place for the teensy tiny babies is in the womb. If more than two eggs fertilized, they would allow them to develop until Saturday. At that point, the two that were developing the best would be put back in.

Can you believe this is happening?!?! Because I’m not sure I can.