Archive for the ‘donor eggs’ Category

My life as a science experiment.

June 16, 2011

One of my main concerns in using a donor egg was my fear that I would not feel that  the child was “mine”.  I wondered if I would bond with a resulting child and feared that if I did not then the child and I would suffer enormously. When I first raised the fear with my IVF doctor he shrugged it off lightly and said something along the lines of “Of course you will bond, when you feel that baby growing inside you…”

I felt as though he did not take my concern seriously and so went hunting to try to find articles about mother/child bonding where the child was from a donor egg.  Of the few articles I found, most suggested that there was little difference in interactions and bonding between Mothers and donor egg babies and Mothers and genetic babies.  A few even suggested that the interactions between Mothers and donor egg babies were more positive, intimating that this might be because the Mothers of donor egg babies were more attentive as they felt a need to make up for the shortfall in genetic bonding.    I did find one article that suggested that as the children grew up, the Mother’s of donor egg babies had more difficulty and some sadness to contend with as physical features were commented upon by those in their community.   Comments like “Doesn’t she have her Father’s nose” etc.

So I’ve been wondering what will happen in my own case.  Will I bond easily?  When will I start to feel like the baby is mine?

Not yet, as it turns out.  I’m 7 weeks pregnant and obviously it’s very early days yet, but I’m not feeling pregnant.  I’m feeling very sick with nausea and I’ve been feeling very anxious about spotting, but I don’t feel attached to anything yet.  I am hoping that will change a little at the 8 week ultrasound next week.  For now, I simply feel like a human science experiment.  The other day it crossed my mind that I am a surrogate for my husband’s baby.  I was pretty disconcerted by that thought.

Having said that though, I have been ultra careful with my food choices and terribly worried that I’ve overheated in bed and caused this poor little one some neural damage. So I care about the little one developing inside and am trying my best to support it, I just don’t feel like it’s mine.   In fact, I just don’t feel like there could be a baby at the end of all of this. Now I haven’t ruled out that this could very well be a protective mechanism against the possibility of miscarriage and failure, as has happened so many times before.   But I wanted some record of what I’m feeling now.  It’s honest.

I hope to be able to track a change in my  perception of this little being in the near future.

An interlude with Pizza

March 16, 2011

In a couple of days time my DH and I will be heading up north for a day jam packed with IVF activities, including one of those most delightful scans with a full bladder ripe for prodding.   You’d think my bladder holding capabilities would be at an all time high by now because I’ve had so much practice. But I still get anxious about this scan.  However I do have to be thankful for the fact that my cycle seems to have occurred at exactly the right time for the scan, despite having been all over the place for the last year.  I am beside myself with joy – my body is actually working to a plan!

One of the interrogations appointments will be with the clinic’s counsellor, so DH and I thought we’d better prepare.  We sat down to  run through the questions and suggested discussion topics sent with the information package, just so neither of us are blindsided by an awkward question that could damage our case.   We needn’t have worried.  It seems we’ve discussed everything all by our clever selves – well, we have had enough time to think about this after all.    Plus we have some back – up responses prepared for any tricky explorations into our motivations or fears.  The main one is; that DH and I have become even closer during this ordeal and are confident that we can deal with any problems or issues that arise from having a donor egg child.  When faced with any problems we will simply do what we do best – talk to each other and love each other.    We truly are that good!

So after doing our donor egg exam prep we headed off to give ourselves a treat, (another fail-safe problem solving technique). We dined at our favourite Pizza place.  They make pizza in the true Italian style – they’ve even got  a certificate from Napoli to prove it!  See…everything you do needs a stamp of approval from a governing body – from pizza crusts in a wood fired oven to unconventional buns in the oven.

 

 

Hurdle No 2 – Fit to be egg recipients

March 4, 2011

Actually this really could be named “The hurdle that wasn’t”.  DH and I drove for 40mins to our fertility doctor’s most local offices for a 10 minute “interview”.  We were really nervous beforehand, expecting a barrage of questions about why we’d waited so long since our failed IVF attempts to start the Egg donation procedure.   I had some good answers worked out, none of which were, “Are you kidding?  It’s taken me years to wrestle with the reality of my incompetent body and broken heart!”

In fact we were hardly asked any questions at all. It seems my Sister and her husband had done such a marvelous job in convincing the doctor that she was ready, we were ready and the whole experience was an expression of uncomplicated sister-love, that all he could do was smile and hand us the bill.  He gave us a little talk about his history in the job, saying that about 10 years ago he’d almost packed it in because positive results (i.e. live births) were so few that he wondered if he’d dedicated his life to devastation rather than creation.  But that luckily the situation had improved to a point where he felt justified in continuing his work.  Which is good to know.

So now we’re on our way to hurdle no. 3 – our big IVF appointment day.  A collection of interviews with the counsellor, the nurse, the accounts department and the clinic, (where I will again subject my body to that most delightful of scans involving the dildo-cam).   I’m actually a little worried about that one, not the scan itself but the results.  These scans are to check my uterine lining.  They are meant to be done between day 3 and day 10 of my cycle.  Normally I could try and work that out but last year my cycle began shortening and this year…well I’m now on day 51.  I’m winding down like a rusty, old bicycle.

We had a couple of  friends over to dinner last weekend and I let them know that we were going to do another cycle, though we’re keeping the “donor egg” part of that close to our chests for the time being.  One friend wished us luck and then let the words of that old chestnut rattle out, “I don’t want to get your hopes up but I have heard of people who’ve gone through IVF and then, low and behold,  fallen pregnant naturally!”

I wonder what age I’ve got to be and how many years we’ve got to deal with infertility, before people stop burdening us with that particular fancy.  I fancy that I’ll try an experiment.  I’ll wait another few years…perhaps until I’m 48 years old and then tell people cheerfully that we’re having one last run at an IVF baby.   I bet at least one of them will say, “We’ll you never know,  you might conceive naturally…”

Hurdle no. 1 – Egg Donor Approval

February 7, 2011

Today I received a call from the IVF Clinic’s counsellor.  She rang my mobile and I answered it in the middle of the yarn aisle at Lincraft.  A truly excellent venue for receiving news about your potential donor egg cycle.  Be that as it may, it seems that we have jumped the first hurdle.  My Sister is approved as an egg donor.  I’m not sure if I’m supposed to be joyful about this.  I have a sneaking suspicion that I’m meant to be grinning and holding my head high as it looks forward to the potential birth of my  potential child.  Instead I have cried my heart out today.

I am a churned up, mushy cocktail mix of relief, terror, hopefulness and grief.   This news unleashed the grief of failed cycles and miscarriages that I have unintentionally stored deep under my skin.  To choose to go down this path is to admit that the other path is closed.  I’m 41 and in peri-menopause. I know it closed quite some time ago, but this draws the truth down from my head to my heart and it hurts.

To choose to go down this path is also to accept help from my younger Sister. The Sister I have previously cared for.  I never expected that she would be called on to give so much of herself to me.  I never expected that she would put herself at risk for me.  I feel concerned for her, though the risk is low it is still present.  It is very present in my mind.

To choose to go down this path is to accept that I will be an older mother who has had so much time to think about raising a child, and so much time to accustom myself to living without one, that I am no longer convinced that having a child will bring meaning, contentment, or happiness.  Through this infertility journey I have found out that those graces must be attained through self development, or self actualization.  They can be developed in all manner of ways – not just through having a child.  Knowing this, I had hoped to make it part- way down some of those paths before being responsible for bringing another life into the world.  I know my failings as a person more deeply now than I did when I first started TTC.    What I do not know is whether this is a blessing or a curse.

To choose to go down this path is to once more open my heart to the possibilities of success and failure.

Happy Birthday to me…

July 13, 2009

Well,  about a month ago I turned 40. Amidst the congratulations from friends there were many comments such as “It’s only a number”.  Not so.  You can probably guess who these comments came from.  Yes, that’s right – they came from those with young children.    As someone who is infertile the number 40 is pretty meaningful to me.  We had expected to have children (plural)  by 40.  I had expected to stop trying to conceive by 40.  I had expected to be moving on.  None of these things have happened and the fear  of being childless has increased.  I wonder if I will be able to move on once menopause hits?  I imagine then that I might then be able to say, “No, nup, never…it’s not going to happen”.  Until then….I’m on the other side of 40.

A couple of posts ago I received a comment which was really a link to a blog site.  It seemed to be very anti – IVF and was quite poorly written in terms of grammer, so I don’t think the author’s arguments were expressed very well.  I can honestly say I felt a little attacked when I investigated the site.  But I have decided to leave the link in as there are some points I believe are valid, such as considering the notion of Identity.    Plus…I want to make a point. It is the assumption that I, or “We”, as  IVF participants,  have not thought about such notions that I find offensive.   Of course I have wrestled with the idea that a child conceived from a donor egg may have unique challenges ahead in terms of  identity and their search for a place in the world.  Of course I have thought about adoption.  But each person must find there own way through this.  Who am I to judge another’s struggles or reactions to a gut wrenchingly emotional  time of loss and longing?  I bring to these decisions my own background and experiences of childhood, as does everyone who goes through such a journey.  The decision to do IVF, to adopt or to use donor eggs and/or sperm is not made lightly or quickly.     My decisions have been more like processes developed over seven years!  And yes, I am still questioning and still questing.    I am outraged, not that someone else thinks that I should think about such ideas, but that they would assume that I hadn’t!

Our House

March 21, 2009

Last night I had a really, really bad sleep. Despite a sleeping pill ( a herbal one, don’t worry), I didn’t sleep much.  My tired old brain just kept on running around the problem circuit.  My sister just recently got engaged.  They plan to get married next year and I’m wondering if it is just too much to expect that she will still want to be my donor egg person this year.  I think if I asked her right now she would say yes, but in 6 months time when she’s preoccupied by the wedding? 

I’m also wondering if it’s even fair to ask this of her in her engagement year.  After all, I love her very much and want this year to be a special one for her.  She’s had a rough time in the past and deserves a huge helping of joy and attention.  Do I have the right to ask this of her at this time in her life? Last year she knew we might be planning to do a donor egg cycle this year.  But I suspect her engagement might change things just a little.  She is 12 years younger than me and used to call me “Mum” when she was little because I was highly involved in her care.  I love her so much and really want her to experience this time as her “own”.    But I’m turning 40 this year, and unfortunately every year counts.

Today DH and I went for a swim.  It’s near the end of the season.  Each swim could be our last for the year so we are paying particular attention to the beauty of the sea whenever we step into the waves.  Today there were tiny sand coloured fish that swam around my toes.  My fingertips were crinkly by the time we stepped out of the cool water.  We lay on the beach soaking up the late afternoon sun.  All was perfect until a family a few feet away from us started talking loudly abount the mundane aspects of their lives with kids.  Was it loud, or did it just feel like they had a megaphone hanging from their lips?

We returned to our house, washed our feet and climbed the stairs to the balcony.  DH looked up the side and started talking about home extensions: a second story, a studio downstairs for me with an attached room in which children could play……if we had them…or if we had one.

Our house is small.  One lounge/dining, a kitchen nook, one bathroom and 3 small bedrooms.  Room enough for 2…or maybe 3.