Diminished ovarian reserve · donor egg · donor egg ivf · infertility · ivf · IVF with donor eggs

And we found a donor!

I apologize in advance for how this post may look, but I am posting from my phone and I can’t really see what I’m doing. But I wanted to come in here and let everyone know that we have found our new donor!

So last Thursday I received an email from Jenna saying that they needed and answer by Friday morning…Were we going with brown eyed girl, our original donor, or neither?  Ryan and I talked and talked and talked some more and finally settled on brown eyed girl. We decided that she was everything we wanted and we were bound to get a beautiful child, even if he or she had brown eyes. But Ryan still wanted to talk to Jenna about if we could change our minds later if someone else of that caliber came along that had blue eyes, blah blah blah. So we were settled, but I still didn’t feel settled. So Friday morning I emailed Jenna and told her we wanted brown eyed girl, but to please give ryan a call when she could because he had some questions. And then we didn’t hear from her…

Anyway, we both continued checking the database, either out of habit or because our subconscious was telling us something wasn’t right. And low and behold around 4:30 I get a text from ryan saying that there was a new blue eyed donor and she looked awesome. At the exact same moment I received an email from jenna saying that she was out of the office and asked if we could ask our questions via email. Well, after a quick scan of this girl’s profile, it was easy to see that she was perfect. She was of the same caliber as brown eyed girl, but with blue eyes. Ryan and I talked for about two minutes knowing that we would have to make a quick decision. We had figured out that girls of this caliber moved quickly, so there was no time to waste. We decided within those two minutes we wanted her. So I emailed Jenna back and told her to scratch everything. That we wanted this donor and if we got her no questions necessary. And then I waited–for what seemed like ages!  I even emailed Sam, the head of the department seeing if there was anything she could do to make sure we got that donor (I was scared because Jenna had said she was out of the office). Well, I almost instantly got a reply from Sam saying that unfortunately there wasn’t anything she could really do- that Jenna was the one who did the matching. She said that Jenna did time stamp her requests, but that the donor was a popular one and she couldn’t guarantee we’d get her. So I prayed and prayed and prayed.

Then we got the email from Jenna that said “she’s yours!” I felt like I had won the lottery. It all happened so fast, and I was truly working off of gut feeling. Luckily she attached her profile to the email  so we could see what we had just signed up for- and I can honestly say I have no regrets. I am so excited!

She is gorgeous! She’s a southern girl (originally from arkansas). She’s smart, has two kids of her own, and is a proven donor. So that means she’s $4,000 more. But she’s worth it. We made that snap decision, too- but again no regrets. We just have to find the $4,000. Oh back to money!

So the worst part about all of this is egg retrieval won’t be until July. Because the lab is so booked up until then. So that means we won’t do transfer until late August. Ryan as boards mid August so it’s important that we wait until that’s over before he has to deal with a trip out to San Diego- one which I’ll be on bed rest for two days. But I’m embracing this. I’m going to enjoy this summer. I’m going to rock a swim suit (I’ve been working hard at losing weight so I’m going to enjoy it this summer), I’m going to have fun drinking my pimms cups, and having the energy to play with Anadine. Because if things work in august, then we’ll have a May baby. And that means next summer I will not be rocking a swim suit! Ha!

So there it is. Now we work with legal stuff, find $4,000, and then count down until July.

IVF with donor eggs

I am so tired of thinking about this!

No, we still haven’t picked a donor. We have gone around in so many circles I don’t even know where to begin.

We did receive more pictures of the girl that Ryan likes. She’s out. She’s cute, I guess, but the other pictures convinced him that she looks nothing like us or what we are looking for.

One of the girls that we liked (the one that cost $1,000 extra in compensation) got chosen by someone else. So she’s out.

Jenna replied back about to my email about why the other one is $4,000 extra and she said that while they try to encourage the donors to move up gradually, they aren’t required to. She said she thought it was odd, but there wasn’t much she could do about it.

Meanwhile, another donor popped up last Thursday that is ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS! Y’all, she is perfect. EXCEPT she has brown eyes. Now, to some people that isn’t a big deal. But Ryan and I both have blue eyes. Anadine has blue eyes, and while there’s a chance that we could still get a blue eyed baby from Ryan and a brown eyed donor, the chances are slim. Her profile doesn’t have any information on her grandparents’ eye colors, so we have Sam looking into that and hopefully we’ll get that information soon. She is so perfect, it’s just a hard pill to swallow that she may not be the one – but she may just not be the one. We thought we had lost her because I saw her on Thursday, mentioned to Sam that I liked her, and then she disappeared. On Friday we got an email that Jenna pulled her off the database for us, and we told her we would think about it over the weekend and give her an answer on Monday. There’s another couple interested in her – not surprising that she would be picked fast.

So all weekend, we were going back and forth between her and the blue eyed, $4,000 extra girl. We couldn’t figure out if we were willing to pay an extra $4,000 just for the blue eyes. She was definitely the best blue eyed girl on the database, and I like that she’s a proven donor, but $4,000 is a lot of money.

So Monday  morning we woke up still unsure what to do. Ryan said he was going to email Jenna and ask her to call him so he could ask some questions about genetics, paying for known donors and if it’s worth it, etc. About midday on Monday we received an email from Jenna telling us that she was going to call Ryan shortly, but she wanted us to be aware of an email they just received – from our original donor!  It said that her husband had done some more research and was comfortable with the idea of her donating her eggs now. She said he got a little freaked out with the rush of the legals, but he’s looked into it further and realizes the risks aren’t as high as it seemed in the legal documents. She said she understands that we may consider them too much of a flight risk, but she knows they are ready and would like to proceed if we still want her. Oh. My. 

So now we REALLY don’t know what to do. We have decided that we’re not going to pay the $4,000 extra dollars for the known donor with blue eyes. We’re also still waiting to hear back about the brown eyed girl and her grandparents. We are checking the database constantly for anyone else who might pop up. And we are just getting tired of it all. Another blue eyed girl popped up for a split second before Ryan talked to Jenna on Monday. He mentioned her in their conversation and then she disappeared. We thought for most of yesterday that maybe Jenna had pulled her off for us, but we found out that she just got picked very quickly by another couple. That’s how this works- the really good ones go fast. It’s exhausting!

Oh yeah – we also got the news that they aren’t scheduling any cycles until June or July because the embryologists are so booked this spring. Well that sucks! But I’ve come to terms with it. But now I’m afraid that if we don’t make a decision soon, then the summer will get booked up, too and we won’t be doing anything until August or September. I’m just so tired of the waiting!

My gut is telling me right now to stick with our original donor. I do really like her. Although I feel a bit like that girl who gets back together with her ex-boyfriend who cheated on her. But we’ll see. We’ll see – hopefully soon! This is just so damn hard.

IVF with donor eggs · sdfc

An Update of Sorts

I wanted to stop in here and give a brief update of what’s been happening, although not much has been happening. I did receive an email from Jenna (I do love her, she’s quick to respond and always helpful). Here are the answers to my questions: 

Question 1. If we wanted more information on someone – like more pictures – is that information we could get from you? There’s one donor that we are interested in, but her pictures all look like they were taken on the same day, and it’s difficult to know what she really looks like.

Her reply: YES, I’m happy to help. Actually, our program manager will be the one to solicit pictures & any additional questions you may have. Please reach out to Sam directly at ————-.

So I emailed Sam and she replied that she contacted the donor about getting more pictures and would let me know when she got a reply. This was on Friday, and we still haven’t heard from that donor. More on that later…

Question 2: If we choose a donor who does not want future contact, but we have paid all of these legal fees for an open arrangement, is that money lost? Or are the legal fees the same regardless of the type of contract being issued? 

Her reply: There is no additional cost for an anonymous agreement. If you select an anonymous egg donor, I recommend reaching out to Michelle regarding whether she is willing to waive her fee. I’ll contact her office also.

I don’t like this answer. I doubt there are additional fees for an anonymous agreement. In fact, I bet it’s cheaper. So technically, we would be losing money for choosing an anonymous donor because we’ve already paid to have an open donor. I guess it doesn’t really matter at this point. We’re probably talking a couple hundred dollars. 
Question 3: Or if we do choose a donor and do an open arrangement contract, do we have to pay another $500 for her debriefing with her lawyer? I know our retainer letter with our lawyer said that they would issue up to one more contract at no extra cost, but it hit me that we may have just paid $500 for our ex-donor to tell her lawyer that she doesn’t want to donate anymore. 

Her reply: Sounds as though they would work with another donor without additional charges.

It sounds like this is going to be a question for the lawyer, but hopefully they’ll work with me. 
Question 4: Are the costs of using a proven donor the same as using a new donor in regards to getting her testing completed? Obviously the compensation is different, but again, did we lose money on paying for our last donor to get her testing, counseling, etc. done? 

Here reply: Yes, there are no fees to screen a new donor.

Okay…good to know!

Okay so other than all of that, we’ve just been looking at donors. We’ve been arguing a bit. There is one girl that Ryan really likes, and I just don’t. She’s the girl previously mentioned that we’re trying to get more pictures of. She actually seems great in a lot of ways, but she just doesn’t seem right. For one, she doesn’t look like me much at all. She’s pretty chubby and has super curly hair. She seems smart, funny (in fact, she’s a comedian), and is willing to have future contact, but there’s just something that doesn’t seem right. And then the fact that she hasn’t replied back to Sam’s email about more pictures—well that’s a deal breaker for me. I need someone who’s going to be reliable. Sorry, I’ve just been burned and I’m not taking any chances. But we have some others that we like. In fact, we found a couple more last night that we both like a lot. Both of them are proven donors though, so they are going to cost more money in compensation. One of them is $1,000 more and the other is $4,000 more. Obviously we can’t afford another $4,000, but the thing is she’s only completed one cycle, which hasn’t even resulted in a positive pregnancy test (the intended parents did a freeze all for a future FET), and she still bumped her compensation up to $9,000 instead of the usual $6,000. I just emailed Jenna to ask what is up with that and I’m hoping someone will tell me that was a mistake, or maybe they can convince the donor to drop her compensation or something…I really like this one a lot, but not for $9,000. 

So, we’ll see. I’m ready to make a decision and move forward. Ryan is starting to drag his feet a little, which is making me sad. Please keep thinking and praying for us. This is such a tough journey for a marriage. He is a saint for sticking with me through all of this. 
IVF with donor eggs

I can’t believe we’re doing this again

I just sent this email to Jenna – the donor coordinator. I could not sleep last night with all of these questions floating around in my head. That, and Ryan and I were up until past midnight narrowing down girls on the database. And all of those emotions popped back up again…are we looking for someone like me or are we looking for someone who will make a super baby? He seems to want a super baby – like let’s look at girls who made over 2000 on their SAT. And I think “but I didn’t score well at all on my SAT and I think I turned out pretty good. Oh yeah, and so did our kid that was made with my DNA.” He also has in his head that we’re having a boy, so all of these girls who are 5’10 are his top picks.  Well, I stand at an average 5’5 (and a half, maybe). I don’t need some giant kid! 

But then I think maybe I’m being too picky. Maybe none of this stuff matters, and I should just go with my gut. I don’t know. I feel, as I said in my email to Jenna, drained in more ways than one.  And I just started crying again as I typed that sentence.

Oh yeah, I’m pretty sure I’m about to start my period. The PMS signs are at an all time high right now. Oh the irony…we would have been right on track for an April 14th transfer after all.

Here’s the email: 

Good morning,

We aren’t interested in using the donor you suggested, so you can put her back in the database. We are narrowing down our favorites and should have a decision made soon. I do have a few questions though…
1. If we wanted more information on someone – like more pictures – is that information we could get from you? There’s one donor that we are interested in, but her pictures all look like they were taken on the same day, and it’s difficult to know what she really looks like.
2. If we choose a donor who does not want future contact, but we have paid all of these legal fees for an open arrangement, is that money lost? Or are the legal fees the same regardless of the type of contract being issued? 
Or if we do choose a donor and do an open arrangement contract, do we have to pay another $500 for her debriefing with her lawyer? I know our retainer letter with our lawyer said that they would issue up to one more contract at no extra cost, but it hit me that we may have just paid $500 for our ex-donor to tell her lawyer that she doesn’t want to donate anymore. 
3. Are the costs of using a proven donor the same as using a new donor in regards to getting her testing completed? Obviously the compensation is different, but again, did we lose money on paying for our last donor to get her testing, counseling, etc. done? 
I hate that most of these questions deal with money, but we are really running on low at this point. I feel drained in more ways than I can count. 🙂 
Thanks for your help. And I apologize if these questions should be directed elsewhere, I just thought I’d start with you.
IVF with donor eggs

I Have No Words

Yesterday afternoon, as my class was packing up and lining up to dismiss, my phone rang. It was an unknown number, so I ignored it. Then I noticed whoever it was left a voice message. Well, you know how you can read the transcription of  voicemails now? This is great technology for when you’re a teacher and can’t actually lift your phone to your ear when you have a class. So I started reading it, and after reading the first line “Hey Rebecca, this is Jenna from SDFC and I have some pretty bad news for you” my heart sank. I forgot kids were in the room and went ahead and lifted that phone to my ear (bad idea) because what she said next was devastating and I had to hold myself together 1 more minute before the bell rang and the kids could leave my classroom.

My donor has decided to drop out.

She doesn’t want to donate her eggs anymore.

I have been praying her name for the past 3 months, we are a week away from starting the cycle, and she has decided to quit. To her, I was a nobody. She had no connection to me whatsoever. But to me, she was a part of my family already. I had been looking at her picture daily, reading her profile, imagining my baby with her bright blue eyes. She was a part of me and my family’s future. And she quit.

Apparently, her husband got freaked out by all the stuff in the legal contract suggesting that there could be medical complications with the procedures. I can’t blame him for freaking out. I can, however, blame him for waiting so long to freak out. And I can blame her for keeping him in the dark about it this whole time. And I can blame them for not realizing that there are risks with all medical procedures, but they are very unlikely – AND, WELL, WHAT ABOUT ME?! And then I feel selfish, of course. She was giving a major gift. She was about to do things to her body for my benefit. I get it. But I’m angry as Hell!

I cried. I cried all afternoon. I cried when I told Ryan. I cried when I told my mom. I cried when I looked at the donor database for other options. I cried when I thought about how much time this adds to our plan. I cried and cried and cried. And now I feel empty. I’m exhausted. And I don’t even want to think about this anymore. I don’t want to do the online dating search for another donor. They all have flaws – I’m dealing with all of these emotions again- “what am I looking for?” “Why doesn’t she look like me?” “But she needs to be just like me!” Really, I just can’t believe we’re back to this part.

Jenna sent an email with the profile of a donor who favors our original donor in a lot of ways. And I like her a lot. She was one of our original favorites. She’s a proven donor which means she’s not going to back out. She’s done this before and she’s had success before. BUT that means she costs $5,000 extra dollars in compensation. And while Jenna told me that’s the best money we’ll ever spend, there is just no way we could come up with another $5,000.

So, we keep looking. There’s one girl that I like. She’s also donated before, but only once, so her compensation is $6,000 (we would owe $1,000 extra – we can do that) but she’s not available to start a cycle until May 15. We keep looking. But first we mourn, but we keep looking. Because I’m ready. I’m so sick and tired of the roadblocks.

But a baby is coming.

Just not how we planned, when we planned, or anything the way we planned.

Welcome to the world of infertility… It’s the absolute worst place to be.

cycle delays · ivf · IVF with donor eggs · legals · sdfc

Another Glitch

I will never feel guilty about sending an email or calling to check on the status of things again. I heard back from the lawyer (or the paralegal) regarding my email to them checking to see if they had heard anything from the donor’s lawyer. She said that they were planning on having the consultation with the donor on Thursday. Luckily, she saw on my chart that our legals had to be complete by Friday to get the cycle going when we needed, so she did ask the other lawyer if they could move up the consultation to today. I have no idea if that will or can happen, but I’m starting to come to terms with the fact that transfer just probably isn’t going to happen in April. Too many things have to fall into line for it to work out, and I just have my doubts.

It’s not the end of the world, but I am still so disappointed. It’s possible that I can just take some time off of work just after my Easter break, or maybe take a long weekend in early May. But most likely we’ll just go with our original plan and go at the end of May when school is out. I know that will be the less stressful option, and it’s just a matter of patience to get me there. I do have some other disappointments associated with waiting that late though. For example, if it’s successful, the new baby’s birthday would be in the same month as Anadine’s birthday. Again, not the end of the world I know. Also it would mean not being through my first trimester in time for The Neshoba County Fair. If you are my friend, you know what a big deal this is for me. If you don’t know me, or the Fair, I’ll just explain it as this week long party in our family’s cabin. It is my absolute favorite place, and it’s a time when I get to see a lot of extended family. I was 9 weeks into my pregnancy with Anadine when I went to that fair, and I was miserable. Not just with the morning sickness, and not just the fact that I couldn’t formally announce that we were pregnant (although people pretty much figured it out because I wasn’t drinking and was going to bed at 9:00 every night) but because with any sort of IVF, you’re still on all of these medications throughout the first trimester. I was taking progesterone suppositories (which also meant wearing a pad), and wearing estrogen patches. The fair happens the last week of July in Mississippi heat. You spend most of your time outside – and y’all it was just plain uncomfortable. I would much rather be bigger, but in my 2nd trimester by fair time. Yes, it would still mean not drinking and probably going to bed early, but I just think I would be so much better off. Again, none of this is the end of the world – it just adds to my disappointment that we probably aren’t going to do this earlier.

I’m not counting myself out just yet, but I am getting myself prepared. I’m just so ready, but I know it will happen eventually and in the best time for us.

I just got an email (after I emailed them- I told you I wasn’t going to be shy anymore) from the paralegal that said the donor has moved her consultation to this afternoon! So now we pray she doesn’t have a problem with the legals, so we can sign and be done with this part of it. And then we pray REALLY HARD that my period shows up. I am luckily showing lots of PMS signs, so maybe—just maybe—this may work out after all. Trying to not get my hopes up—yeah right!

birth control · FET · ivf · IVF with donor eggs · sdfc

You really have to be your own advocate

I continue to find that I have to keep up with my own sh** when dealing with SDFC. I really don’t know how anyone goes through their first cycle of anything and gets it right the first time when using them. I am constantly emailing my nurse to ask if I need to be doing anything and her response is kind of like “well, yeah actually you are.” I get that they have a million patients and can’t keep up with everyone’s story, but when dealing with someone like me, who is emailing every other day to give updates, ask questions, etc., you would think they would be able to keep up better.

So here’s the newest story.

I was in the shower this morning thinking about how I really hope we hear back from the lawyer soon so we can officially get the calendar, and then I started thinking about the potential calendar that nurse Hilary sent me and how it said “March 20, take last birth control” and I thought “hmm, I wonder when I’m supposed to START taking birth control? I mean, usually you have to start at a certain point in your cycle, and if I need to be be on it for a certain number of days, I probably should have started it with my last cycle.” And then I thought, surely they are staying on top of that. Surely they would have told me to start BC if I was in fact supposed to start it.

But then I kept thinking about it. I went back and read through all my emails to make sure I hadn’t missed something. I found the first email that Nurse Hilary sent me with the checklist of things to do. I saw where it talked about how I need to take BC for my sonohysterogram, but then could stop taking it until I started my FET cycle. So I thought – okay I didn’t miss anything.  Everything is probably okay. But then, I figured I should go ahead and email Hilary and see what’s up…just in case. Just to clear my head about it. And y’all – I felt so guilty about it. I thought “I am probably driving her crazy with all my emails. She is probably sitting there thinking that I don’t think she knows how to do her job!”

Low and behold her response was “yes, you need to start it day 2 of your cycle and you have to be on it for 10 days before starting medications.” Well, I’ll be damned — the potential calendar says I start medications on March 20. Which means I need to be on BCP by March 10 — THIS FRIDAY! Which means I need to start my period by Wednesday–THIS WEDNESDAY! It is possible that my period will come by Wednesday. That will be my Cycle Day 20 and my cycles have been known to be that short. I’m also not counting on that happening, because you just never know. So now I’m pissed. Now this could potentially mean a May transfer after all…or having transfer day a few days later than I wanted in April, which will mean me missing work because it won’t be over my school break any more. All of this could have been solved when I emailed her weeks ago letting her know that I wanted an earlier transfer date. Then she should have told me I needed to start BCP at my next cycle to be sure I was on them long enough before I would start medication.

So now I pray that my period starts in the next two days. What a freakin’ weird thing to pray for, but so be it. And I will never feel weird or guilty about bugging my nurse. Apparently it has to be done to make sure things are moving along.

PS. I also emailed the lawyer to check on things there. For all I know, they’ve gotten the paperwork from my donor’s lawyer and it’s just sitting on someone’s desk with no sense of urgency.

God · infertility · ivf · IVF with donor eggs · prayers · Siblings

My Heart—It’s Melting

Yesterday, Anadine and I were on our way to soccer practice and she strikes up a conversation that melted my heart. Here’s how it went…

A: Mommy, why is Miles’s daddy your brother? (Miles is her cousin who lives in DC – they adore each other)

Me: Well, Uncle Jim and I have the same mommy and daddy. We grew up in the same house. Then Uncle Jim became a grown up and had a little boy and a little girl. I grew up and had a little girl – you!

A: And a little boy?

Me: Well, no, unless you count Willie (our dog)

A: But what if you had a little baby and he was a boy?

Me: Then he would be your brother (*feeling a little weepy)

A: Well, I think we should have a baby boy so I can have a brother

Me: Well, that would be wonderful. We’ll just have to pray to God and ask him to send us a baby

A: (*puts hands together) Dear God, please give us a baby that’s a boy tomorrow. Amen

I just about lost my composure then. It was the sweetest thing I’ve ever heard. Our conversation continued about how we have to say prayers every day and we may not get what we want exactly when we want it. I explained that I had to pray for God to send her to me for a long time and then finally He answered my prayers. It wasn’t exactly when I wanted it to happen, but it was also perfect when it did.

I have this feeling that God will listen to Anadine, more than anyone else. Most people do! ha! She has always had this weird and special connection to God. Ever since she was very tiny, she spoke about God as if He were her best friend. I have no doubt that they became very close as she was waiting to be delivered to me. She is, after all, a miracle made by Him.

egg donor · ivf · IVF with donor eggs · legal contract · sdfc

Moving Along

We received our contract last week, and spoke with the lawyer yesterday. The contract is pretty basic and covers everything we needed/wanted it to. Basically any future relationship we have with our donor is up to us. The contract gives us the ability to contact her, meet her, continue contact with her, etc. but it also protects us from her ability to have any sort of parental rights to a future child or embryo made with her eggs. One thing I thought was interesting is our first meeting (if we choose to meet) has to be arranged through SDFC. So after egg retrieval, I can’t simply request to be her friend on Facebook and continue from there. SDFC has to do the arranging, and the lawyer even mentioned that they may want an official meeting with a psychologist to discuss everything. I actually kind of like that idea. To be honest, I haven’t completely decided if I want to meet her or not. I may just want to keep it a strictly emailing/Christmas carding kind of relationship. I just don’t know.

But anyway, now the contract goes to her for her to review with her lawyer. Once that’s done, assuming nobody has any problems with anything, we can sign off on it and get the green light to move forward with the cycle. The lawyer said that she expects that to happen by next week.

I’m freaking out that our donor is going to back out when she reads the contract. Or maybe something else will happen and she backs out. I’m trying to trust her. It’s hard to put trust in someone you’ve never met before though. I guess that’s what faith is all about. I’m just praying that she finds peace in her decision to donate her eggs. Because if she backs out, we’re back at square one. Please, angel donor, don’t back out on us!