Telling my notary

So apparently the contract with DEB USA needs to be signed in front of a notary. Which of course means I have to actually tell them what they are signing. Not to mention the form itself has the DEB USA logo on it right at the top of the page.

Luckily as a lawyer, I am also a notary. Not so luckily I can’t notarize my own signature. A bit of a conflict of interest there. I could find a random stranger to notarize my egg donation forms. But then I have to tell a random stranger that I am going through DE IVF. Luckily as a lawyer I have many lawyers as good friends. One such friend works in the next building over.

So basically another good friend now knows about our DE IVF journey. And I didn’t have to tell a random stranger.

Tomorrow we send the forms and the money to DEB USA.

Going down that rabbit hole.

 

Prep Prep Prep Prep Prep

(Anyone else hear the Work song by Rihanna in their head when you read that title? (for the record I find that song very annoying).

Hysteroscopy is scheduled for Feb 22. Just to check out the uterus make sure she’s ready to go and the fibroids haven’t taken over in there. Hopefully there won’t be any issues with that.

First acupuncture treatment booked for Mar 9. Hopefully this will give me a head start in the lining department.

About 8 weeks away from my CD1 of  IVF. (Thank you POI for allowing me to predict my CD1 with such pinpoint accuracy). If anyone is taking bets, I would put my money on a start date of April 15.

This is where the control freak in me starts to take over. I need to be doing something to prepare my body for the upcoming cycle.

Here’s the pre-IVF prep game plan so far:

  • Workout regularly – 2 times a week HIIT workouts with weight training, 2-3 times a week yoga (this might be ambitious, but maybe if I write it down it will happen right?), maybe start training for a 10k run in May (starting in March both DH and I will train for the race-I may or may not run depending on where we are in the IVF cycle by race day, but I figure the training cannot only help things so training proceeds till further notice).
  • Watch diet – try to limit processed foods and salt intake, lots of home cooking, focus on good carbs, lots of fruit and veg, once a week red meat. Limit caffeine and alcohol of course.
  • Supplements – Platinum Naturals Prenatal vitamins with DHA, Vitamin D drops (1 drop daily), Folic Acid (1mg daily), Nutra Sea Omega 3 liquid (1 tsp daily).
  • Acupuncture – once a week till start of IVF cycle, then twice a week till transfer day.

I am debating whether to start Vitamin E pills and replacing my daily tea with raspberry leaf tea. It can’t hurt I guess.

That’s one benefit of IVF I guess, since I know exactly when I plan to be ‘pregnant’ I have time to prepare my body for it. Silver lining right?

The Therapist.

We had our mandatory therapy appointment yesterday. 

 It was not too bad. I tried to go in with an open mind. But I’ve never been to a therapist before so it’s hard not to be open minded about something I’ve never experienced. It’s all new to me. 

AG has needed therapy to deal with his exam anxiety so I guess he might have had a bit more to go on. But still this was an entirely new experience for us. 

That being said, and even though this was ‘forced’ upon us since we are using donor eggs, I can see the value in it. 

She was nice enough. She asked some tough questions and brought up some good points that we will likely discuss more going forward. Most had crossed my mind before. But AG was surprised by a few thing he had not considered. A few even stumped me. But overall it was a good session. And we have some further areas to explore as a couple. 

Some things that we need to discuss further:

How and when we will tell others about our DE IVF journey. 

I am already thinking about this on a daily basis. AG doesn’t have as much of an issue with it and is ready to tell everyone now. I am not so sure. I just need to decide when will feel right for me. 

One thing we haven’t really discussed is what we will do if we are so lucky as to have embryos left over from our lot that we will not use. Honestly I don’t think this will ever happen. I think we are more likely to use all of them and wish we had more to keep trying. But that being said there are some serious considerations if we are in that position. And especially if we do decide to donate to another couple. DH seems ok with donating. But I’m not convinced yet. Especially if we have any children from this lot. How will a future child feel about having other siblings out there?

This is already complicated by the fact that our egg donor has two children of her own and potentially two that have come from her egg donations. So a total of four half genetic siblings may already exist. That is going to be stressful enough for any future children. Let alone allowing a few more to exist through embryo donation. 

Another issue we both need to discuss is what we will do in case there is a risk that the child may be born with a disability or developmental issues. Or what if there is a risk to my life.  What if we have multiples? Triplets for example. Would we choose to selectively reduce to reduce the risk to all? These are things we have discussed. The chances of multiples are reduced since we will only be transferring one embryo at a time (mandated by the government on a funded cycle). But it is not impossible. 

I am already freaked out by the thought of carrying multiples. I don’t think my already weak uterus will be able to handle it. So I am positive I will be more than upset if we end up with multiples. But these are decisions we need to discuss now.  

Apparently, the risk of post partum depression is higher in mothers that use a donor egg. So both of us will need to be on the look out for that. That is news to me and I will be sure to tell all my family to watch out for that if and when the time comes. 

One thing that I thought was actually quite funny was that neither of us agreed on the number of kids we wanted. It makes sense though. We both have been prepared for zero children. So we never really talked about how many children we wanted. It just didn’t make sense. But I feel like that is one of the most basic things most couples talk about. 

He said 2. I said as many as I can. My theory is that, if through some miracle I am able to carry a baby to term, I am not going to stop until we have exhausted our embryo lot. That being said, when I thought about it some more, I think after 4 kids I might not be as inclined to continue. Plus we would have to consider my health, our ages and financial ability to even support that many children. So I guess there is a limit to what I want too. But honestly I would be ok to stop at 2 if we are so lucky. For now though just one will be plenty. Thank you very much. 

I did get a bit emotional talking about our situation in general. I am starting to realize that I am more bothered by my infertility than I previously thought. It always takes me by surprise. And I will probably have many more bouts of crying before we are done. 

Overall it was a pretty productive conversation. And I think it really did help AG and I to start thinking about the future and how things could change for us. I am definitely looking forward to discussing this some more with him. 

#MicroblogMonday: Random shit I think about

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How may embryos will we get?

The ED (I feel like I should name her, is that weird?) has an egg lot of 7 mature eggs.

DH’s swimmers have literally never fertilized an egg before. Of course, all his stats are great and there is no reason to believe they are not  up to the task. But do they need like a practice egg or two to get it right?

Obviously not all eggs fertilize. And not all that fertilize grow to viable embryos for implantation. But I wish there was a statistic that could tell me how many we can expect to see. The clinic will use ICSI to encourage fertilization. I think the standard stat is that this results in a fertilized egg 75% of the time. DEB USA guarantees that we will have at least one viable embryo to transfer. The coordinator at the clinic said that she has never seen less than two embryos result from a DE lot that came from DEB USA.

I am hoping for at least four, but will be content with three. In my head the magic number of IVF cycles before I will give up trying is three. I figure after 3 tries with good embryos and (hopefully) a decent lining if it isn’t working then it wont work at all and we need to move on. So I would like to have at least three good embryos to give this our best shot.

Here’s hoping.


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Mandatory Therapy

Finally I heard back from the therapist who is supposed to meet with us to discuss the emotional implications of using a DE.

To recap, I emailed her last Tuesday (Jan 31). When I did not hear back I called and left a voicemail on Friday (Feb 3). And again on Tuesday (Feb 7). I even emailed the coordinator at the clinic and asked why she wasn’t responding.

Apparently she has been away for the past week and only just got back (on Tuesday according to the coordinator). And my email landed in her junk mail. Regardless, I am not sure why it took her two days after she got back to respond to my voice mails. But anyways. She apologized, and since this is mandatory, it is not like I have much choice.

She explained the process. DH and I will need to come in to discuss the emotional impact of using a DE. It will be a 2 hour session and there will be a $250 charge. She books up pretty quickly (she only works Mon Wed Thu) but since we are not starting till April we have a bit of time.

On kink though, DH leaves for New York next weekend and is not back till mid-April. And we are planning to get started on the IVF cycle the minute he gets back. Since I am on HRT, I can pretty much predict my day 1 in April will be a few days after he gets back. That way if the first cycle produces an insufficient lining we can just keep going without loosing too much time.

I told her we have already selected our donor. And her reaction implied to me that there really wasn’t much to talk about now that we have already selected a donor. (I guess most people have issues finding the ‘perfect’ match?) So if we were to schedule a meeting in April,  there would be a lot less to discuss. So it all sounded like this was a session that would be almost pointless by the time we are able to see her.

I don’t mind doing it. I mean it can only help make sure that I am being sane and rational about this whole process. I feel it will be very helpful for DH. I have been dealing with the reality of IF and loss of my own eggs for over 20 years now. I read up on it, participate in the forums online. I have this as outlet to discuss what I am going through. DH has really only had since he has met me, and even then we weren’t actively looking into IVF until last year. He is a med student, so gets the process well enough. But psychologically he might have a bit more to discuss and process than I do. And as a couple it can only help make sure we are both on the same page.

Turns out, the therapist had a cancellation for Monday at noon. So we got that appointment. So that’s it then. DH and I are all set to meet the therapist on Monday.

#MicroblogMonday: DE Genetics

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The egg bank and our clinic armed us with a whole lot of information this past week. The obvious stuff like how to register and the financing arrangements, but also they provided a pamphlet on ‘how to choose a donor’.

This was surprisingly helpful. I very naively believed that it would be pretty straight forward for me. Just find someone that has similar physical features (height, weight etc.), good genetics and boom we’re off. But as I go through the database I am finding that physical characteristics are actually lower on my list, and education and personality feature much higher on my wish list along with genetic predispositions. Of course, DH has a totally different view and places physical characteristics high on his priority list. It definitely is not an easy process.

The pamphlet did help clear up a few misconceptions for me. For example, along with the donors physical characteristics it is important to look at the family as a whole for their characteristics e.g. are all the siblings short or tall? Blonde or brunette etc. It also noted that level of education is not necessarily an indication of the intelligence of a donor, life situations may not allow some to pursue higher education and I shouldn’t discount a potential donor for not getting a bachelors degree. I also liked the emphasis that this should be a positive process, so that when we do tell any future child about their conception, they will feel like they were carefully chosen by us.

The one thing that stood out to me was the reference to this article. Essentially, a recent study demonstrated that even with use of a DE, a future mother will secrete molecules in her uterus that can modify the genetic information of the future child!

This is mind blowing to me. It basically changes what I fundamentally believed about egg donation and genetics. How did I not know about this before? Why don’t people tell you these things when discussing egg donation? I feel like this is important information especially when a person with DOR is being told they will never be able to use their own eggs to get pregnant. Despite the fact that I may say that genetics doesn’t matter, it does. It reinforces my decision to try DE IVF over adoption. And having this little bit of hope changes things.

Obviously I don’t expect to see a little mini-me pop out of my uterus any time soon. But if things work out, it will be nice to be able to hear people say ‘oh she (in my mind it is always a girl) has your …’ and not think: nope, shes from a DE, so whatever it is, she didn’t get it from me.

Regardless, this new information has me a little more excited about the whole selecting an egg donor process and I guess having a bit of hope is a good thing at this time.


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So is this supposed to be like online dating?

It feels weird.

We started looking in the DEB USA database last night. Not surprisingly, options are limited for a south east asian donor right now. Two to be exact. Neither of them get me too excited though. So lets see what the next few weeks of searching brings us.

It feels weird though. Looking at these womens’ profiles and judging them. It feels rude to dismiss someone because she says she only completed high school. Or has ‘some college’ (I’m thinking: drop out?). Obviously most of these women donate for the money. Their situation may not have allowed them to go to college or university. And many do say they want to go back to school and have some admirable aspirations. So it just feels wrong to judge them on so little. But I guess that’s the process.

In terms of search criteria, I don’t feel the need to find someone who looks like me. For me right now I think it is more important to find someone smart (both DH and I are professionals with graduate degrees so I would want someone who is following a similar path). I also want someone with a similar personality to mine rather than her eye or hair colour. For some reason that is what resonates with me.

I don’t know how to describe the feeling when looking through the egg bank with AG. It is interesting to see what his priorities are over mine. I am not to fussed about looks, whereas he is super picky. Our list of ‘favourites’ are all over the map. From an irish red head to a hawaiian brunette. But none of them feel right yet. Is that how it is supposed to feel? Or is it more like when you are dating and you meet the right person and it just clicks? Am I waiting to feel that click?

In general though it is a strange feeling to have to look at a women and judge her for her eggs. It feels wrong in a ‘you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover’ sort of way. But I know that is exactly what we need to be doing here. Looks are important, as are the genetic markers.

This morning I spoke with the DEB USA agent. I let her know what we are looking for, she seemed to think that there may be one or two more that might come up that are in our ball park in terms of heritage. She said she would put a note in the file and the coordinator will then know what to look for and can call if something comes up. I really hope that something does come up that is exactly what we are looking for.

And so the search begins.