Wednesday, 25 June 2014

contract completed

Another hurdle has been passed, the dreaded contract has been finalized.  We just need to sign it and that is that.  What a pain that whole process was.  I swear our lawyer had a Jeckyl and Hyde thing going on, she was so nice at our first appointment and was agreeing with everything we said, then later in her emails she was so bitchy and saying that what we are suggesting has no place in a contract, etc.  Anyway, to make a long story short, we have a contract.  It is 16 pages of legal mumbo jumbo, so I'm just so glad that the donor agreed to it, with only one small change (which was probably suggested by her lawyer) to not be legally obligated to respond to a request for contact at age 18, though she does think that she will probably respond.  Fine, whatever.
Our donor has also been so generous in providing us with additional photos of herself as a child.  She is very willing to share her information so we are happy about that, since the profile itself was not extremely detailed.
Our cycle has been set and stims will start in mid July, retrieval at the end of July and transfer at the beginning of August.  I really hope we can stick to this plan, and of course praying for a positive outcome. 
We are taking it one step at a time, and so far so good.  I am on birth control now until July 11th.  Eventually we will need to make a decision about whether to do PGS or not, and if we do not do PGS will we put in 2 embryos or 1.  The RE threw in another option, to use an Embryoscope (if we don't do PGS) and that way they will know which embryo(s) are developing the best.  I'd like to do PGS, but just bummed about our last experience with my eggs, when we had 3 good embryos on day 3, but by the time we waited to day 5 there was only 1 still doing ok, and it was abnormal.  The donor eggs should obviously fare better, but what if the extra waiting for the PGS causes the embryos some harm, and they would have been ok if they were transferred on day 5 instead of waiting for the results and transferring them on day 6.  It is hard on an embryo, even a young and healthy one, to make it to day 6.  However, we did have one that made it before, and that is our Joseph. 
Anyway, it is a lot to think about.

Joseph went on his first canoe ride last weekend.  He really enjoyed it, and loved visiting our friends who have 2 young kids.  The 3 of them had a great time all weekend and Joseph was pretty much ready to move in with them, he loved it so much.  Too bad they live so far away, it is 5 hours by car, not including stops, so quite brutal!! 

Friday, 13 June 2014

Donor cleared medically

I'm starting to feel hopeful again... maybe this is foolish.  I can't remember where I read about this, but somewhere the cycle of hope/despair which can be applied to a fertility cycle was described as 4 squares/ phases to move through.  Square 1.  Death/rebirth.  This is when the cycle starts/ ends with your period or a pregnancy loss.  A time of sadness and mourning for the failed cycle.  Square 2.  Hope is building. - At some point, moving past the mourning phase and starting to have real hope for the new cycle.  Making a plan, getting a timeline.  That is where I am now!!!  Square 3. Executing the plan.  Doing the "work", for example taking the meds, etc.  Then comes the big question, will you end up in square 4 - success!  The "promised land" (ie. in this case positive pregnancy test, moving forward with your hopes and dreams from this point on), or skipping right past that and landing, kerplop! back on square 1, period arrives and with it an abrupt end of your dreams for that cycle. 
I have been through this cycle and the rollercoaster ride of emotions more than I care to even say. 
I am soooooooo sick of it!
But here I am, trying again.  My donor has just been cleared medically.  This is amazing news, because as a new, unproven donor this was a huge risk that I was getting very involved and attached to someone who may not even been suitable to donate!  She could have been eliminated by her blood tests, etc. so I am glad to move past this hurdle.  Of course there are many other things that could go wrong. 
So now I am just waiting to find out the actual timeline of the cycle.  Maybe late July-ish, as I said before.

Joseph is now 17 months old.  He is doing really well, aside from some bug bites and scraped knees.  He got a bug bite on his eyelid two weeks ago, and now he has another one in the same spot.  The doctor just said to give him a bit of Children's Benedryl to help reduce the allergic reaction.  I wish that eye would heal up, though.  He keeps rubbing it.
He loves being outside.  He takes my hand and says "walk" and pulls me towards the door.  He hands me his shoes and says "out!"   He especially loves playing in the sandbox.  Despite my best efforts, a lot of sand is getting tracked into the house, and we are constantly trying to sweep up the gritty stuff.  It is everywhere! 
He has a lot of words, last time I counted he had 50, but he has added a few more, so now maybe 60.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Moving forward with Donor Eggs

Since our failed cycle at the end of March, we have had a lot to think about.  We do want to try for another baby, and close in age to Joseph, so our best shot with the money we have left is to go down the donor egg road.  It has taken a lot of emotional energy to become ok with this, for many reasons.  One concern is to consider the feelings of the future DE child, since we already have one OE child.  Will he/she feel ok with this?  What will it take to make it ok?  After a lot of thought, the only way I was going to be able to move forward with the whole DE thing is if the donor conceived child would be able to have contact with the donor and have access to whatever information they feel they need or want.  So we started a search for a donor that would be open to contact.  To make a long story short, we found one, after a few false leads.  However, this donor is an unproven donor, so now I am kind of regretting that we have decided to go with her.  But at this point we are committed, unless we are willing to lose our deposit, which I don't think is worth it.  There is no certain reason that it should not work out.  All proven donors were unproven at one time.  But still, I wish we had found a donor that was proven as well as open to contact.  Too late now, oh well.  At first I mainly wanted a donor who looked like me, and this one does to a certain degree, but after a while I focused more on finding someone who was really open to sharing who they were, whether it was similar to me or not.  I was really happy when I found out that this one was willing to meet with me!  But then so disappointed when she cancelled an hour before the meeting.  But then excited and nervous when she arranged a new time to meet...  Then she told me she had the wrong day and she would not be in town until two days later...  OMG?  This flakiness was not sitting well with me, and still makes me wonder about how the cycle will go, if it ever gets started. 

Well, I finally did meet her today, along with her sister, who came with her on her trip into town. (DH was not able to come since he had to work.)  My God, I have never been so nervous about meeting a new person, it was worse than a blind date!  But I brought Joseph along with me, out of necessity since I had no one to watch him, but also it was a blessing to have him as a distraction because he kept the mood light.  He was so good, too, because he just stared at the donor and her sister, both very attractive girls, and just cooed and smiled the whole time we were talking, which was 1.5 hours.  He only got restless when it was about time to go anyway.  They thought he was really cute.  I found out more about her family, herself, and it ends up we studied at the same university (though obviously not at the same time) in the same program, studying languages (even though that was not clear on her original profile).  She has decided to go back to school and go into nursing now, so more years of school ahead and thus probably part of the motivation to donate her eggs, to make a bit of money, though it is not huge.  She is very altruistic as well, obviously, since even with compensation, donating your eggs is no picnic.  I have been through 4 IVF retrievals myself, so I know what is involved. 

So, I'm feeling fairly good that this egg donor cycle may actually happen in the near future, though I will never be certain until the retrieval has actually taken place.  There is nothing for sure about relying on a stranger, no matter how nice they seem when you meet them for an hour, but I WANT to believe that it will all work out.  Maybe the retrieval will happen at the end of July.  I can't imagine it happening sooner, but it could be later.  Or if this donor flakes out, which would be a very annoying possibility, after investing all this time and energy into getting to know her, etc., then I will have to find a new donor and it will be another 3-6 months until the retrieval, as the process has to start over.

I have not shared this with ANY of my friends/family, even one friend who used donor egg and would probably make sense to connect with.  I do plan to share this, but not right now.  I did actually mention to my mom a while back they we may use an egg donor, and got a pretty chilly response, so I have not bothered keeping her up to date with new developments in that regard.  We will do it with her approval or not, and will let her know in the end, but don't really want to hear about whatever her issues are, as we are still grappling with our own at this point, anyway.  Let's just say, if it all works out then we will tell everyone, and if it does not then why does anyone need to know, anyway?  At this point, I don't feel like I owe anyone any explanations or updates about my fertility cycles that I am not ready to give.  Plus, educating my entire circle of friends and family about donor eggs and all the complex issues involved, that they have probably never even considered, is not something I need to add to my plate right now.  One friend in particular has been so persistent in asking me what I'm going to do next, after our cycle in March failed.  I had to tell her to back off and in fact maybe we will just have the one child and I don't want to feel like a failure if that is what ends up happening.  I could not take her constant wishes for my success, hoping and praying, etc. It sounds bad, but I just wanted her to leave me alone and mind her own business!  She just does not get that after almost ten (yes, TEN!-- holy crap) years of TTC and never, ever once getting pregnant naturally, her hoping that it's going to "happen for us" on our own anytime soon is just more than I can freakin' stand.  She totally does not get it, and I don't want to put up with any of her nonsense comments, or correct her, or tell her about our plans at the clinic.  I think she was hurt by this, but now she does not bring it up anymore and it is SO much better!  She can just talk to me about other things and treat me like a normal person.     

In other news, we bought a playhouse for Joseph and set it up at my mom's place by the lake.  It was great... until we were attacked by swarms of mosquitoes and had to RUN inside and hide from them for the rest of the weekend!  Joseph got bitten on his face, and one eyelid swelled up from a bite (I took him to the doctor, but he is ok).  We are back in the city now, safe from the bugs that apparently thrive in the fresh, country air!  Maybe in a few weeks it will be safe to play in the house, once the early season bugginess has subsided!