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.

donor egg · ivf

Maybe we found a donor?

So I emailed Jenna, the donor coordinator, and let her know our top choice. I don’t want to give a lot of details about her, but she’s beautiful, smart, and just gives me chills when I read her profile. She seems real, not over the top, AND she notes that she would be willing (in fact would love) to have future contact with the parents. I just really like the idea of being able to stay in touch with the donor, just in case we have any genetic questions down the line.

So now, I’m just waiting to hear back from Jenna.

choosing a donor · consultations · donor egg · finances · ivf · sdfc

AND…We’re Back!

Hello all! I know, I know… it’s been way too long since I last posted anything on here, but honestly there just hasn’t been anything to post. I actually spent several months not really thinking about it much, and had a few moments of “well, life is pretty good. Are we sure we want to have another baby?”

And then, like a ton of bricks, the baby fever hit — big time! I don’t know if it was the fact that one of my best friends is pregnant, and watching her glow with her big (but not really big at all) belly just got me sentimental and wanting to be there, too. Or maybe it was that my coworker just had her baby and I got to cuddle with that tiny little girl and smell her sweet smells. Who knows?! But now I am just so desperate to be pregnant again, and to buy the sweet clothes, and change the diapers, and feedings – I am longing for it…yes, even the stuff that takes over your life, and your house, and your sanity! I want the chaos, and that was the part that was scaring me and holding me back from pushing it too much. Crazy how things change!

So, I contacted San Diego again and told them we were ready. We do not have the funds together, but I’ve decided we just won’t. We will have to take out loans, but we can probably save up about half of what we need by the time we have to give them money. But I am getting older, as is Anadine, and I’m just ready. If we wait until the money is completely there, we will never be able to do it.

So last week, we had a financial consultation to find out what our options are as far as financing. The lady we spoke with was very nice and informative. She assured me that SDFC will not nickel and dime us- I guess time will tell. (CCRM was real good about having hidden costs). So we discussed a few options, and depending on which donor we choose, we will figure out which route we will take. There’s one option that pays for one egg retrieval and then as many transfers as it takes to get pregnant from that batch of embryos. I think that option costs around $24,000, not including donor compensation and medications for the donor. Another option is a money back guarantee option: if a pregnancy isn’t established after 3 transfers, you get your money back. That option costs somewhere around $31,000, not including donor compensation and meds. If the donor we choose is a proven donor (meaning she’s done this before and had success), we probably could do option 1. If we choose a new donor, we might want to choose option 2, because you just never know. Either way, it ends up probably being about the same cost because a proven donor is going to cost close to $10,000 in compensation, whereas a new donor will cost $5,000 (makes you want to get in the egg donation business, doesn’t it?) Anyway, it’s a lot of numbers, a lot of money, and it kinda makes my head hurt. Basically the information we really needed is that the money is due at the start of the cycle – all of the money upfront – there is no financing plan. However, there are loan companies that work directly with SDFC. I knew that before, but needed the refresher. So now we look into that and see what we can get approved for, look at interest rates, etc.

Yesterday, we had a phone consult with our Doctor – Dr. Kettel. We are officially established patients at SDFC! The phone call went about as expected – no new information really, but it basically got us established. Ryan and I started looking at the donor database last night and picked out a few favorites. The next step is to get in contact with the donor coordinator (who we talked to last spring) and get matched with a donor. We’ll give her our favorites and she will help us make a decision that works for us.

Once that is done, we will start scheduling things. Right now our plan is to do a freeze all of the embryos and then do a transfer sometime in early June, when I am out of school. Although it would be nice to schedule it during my spring break, just to get things going a little sooner. Doing a freeze all would mean I don’t have to worry about syncing my cycle with the donor’s. It also means we can do PGS testing on the embryos, which increases the chance of success by being able to choose an embryo that has all of the right chromosomes. And yes, it also gives us an idea of which gender we are transferring in. 

Anyway, stay tuned. I’m hopeful that this blog is going to be getting more interesting in the coming months. Now, off to find a donor!

donor egg · infertility · ivf · polyp · uterus

Polyp Removal

I thought this picture was so funny when I saw it. I remember those days of standing on my head and doing all sorts of stuff to try to get pregnant. I guess I am doing all sorts of stuff to try to get pregnant now, they are just a little more doctor involved. I’m lucky that my husband still has the attitude of “we’re in this together.” Bless him for that!

So I had the surgery yesterday to remove the polyp. All went well and it is out of there. They have sent it off just to make sure it’s nothing more serious, but no one suspects it is. I am in a little bit of pain today, but nothing too unbearable. I probably pushed it going back to work the next day though. I started off strong, but this afternoon I am feeling pretty weak and sore. I keep getting little twinges in my lower stomach that make me want to curl up in a bed, but I keep reminding myself that I have been through far worse and it is all for a good cause. My throat is the worst part of it. Something about the tube they put in my throat must have really irritated it. I don’t ever remember having that problem from past surgeries, but hopefully it will go away soon.

I do feel like I have at least made a step in the right direction. Now this is out of the way and we can move on once we have the money together.

I had a conversation with my brother and sister in law during Easter to let them know what was going on. They were pretty supportive of the whole thing and really didn’t give me a hard time about any of it. My brother did ask me if we had considered adoption, to which I basically replied…

I explained that at least doing it this way I get to be pregnant and carry the baby. And at least it will be half Ryan’s DNA. I understand that adopting is a wonderful thing to do, and I am certainly not opposed to it. But there is still heartbreak and financial burden associated with it. It is not an easy thing to do, and we’re simply not there yet. He understood that though.

So now Ryan and I have to really sit down and plan out a budget to get money together. We have to figure out how much we can save each month and really look into grants and loans that we can get. Our testing from CCRM will expire at the end of the year, so we really need to aim for doing the IVF by sometime in the fall. This blog may get a little boring for a while, but I appreciate you all staying with me.

Advanced Fertility · Chicago · donor egg · donor egg costs · donor egg ivf · fresh donor egg · frozen donor eggs · infertility · ivf · ivf costs · San Diego Fertility Center · sdfc

Comparing Clinics

So I have been spending the last several days searching and comparing fertility clinics across the US. My head is swimming with information. I have gone on the SART website and checked the stats on any fertility clinic in any place that either a. has family in that city or b. would be a cool place to visit. I have looked into the top 5 clinics on the list of “best fertility clinics for donor eggs.” I have little notes all over the place for each clinic where I have jotted down prices, donor information, etc. It’s been crazy!

San Diego- I have continued to be in contact with the nice lady at SDFC. She has been incredibly helpful. We have a phone consult with her on Monday afternoon to discuss more specifics. The problem with SDFC is its location. Out of all of our options, it would be the most difficult for us to get to. It would probably be an expensive place to stay as well. What I do like about them is their large donor database, and obviously the friendly coordinator who has been so accomodating.

Chicago – Looking at the SART website, Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago’s numbers really look good. In 2015, they did 45 donor egg transfers with a 91% success rate. 45 isn’t a big number of transfers (compared to San Diego’s 88), but 91% success rate is hard to look past. The other pluses for this clinic is that it would be fairly easy to get to from here, and we have family in Chicago which means a free place to stay. The other thing about this clinic is they have a fairly large frozen donor egg bank. This would mean a much lower cost (I think the cost quoted on their website is $15,900) and a lot less planning (I wouldn’t have to sync up my cycle with a donor). I’ll probably post about frozen vs. fresh donor eggs at a later time – I really have to look more into this. I hadn’t even thought about it before I saw it on their website. The annoying thing about this clinic is the nurse I have been in contact with hasn’t been the most approachable person. Granted, I have only talked to her through email, but she hasn’t been very forthcoming with answers to my questions. I have just emailed back a questionnaire she wanted me to fill out, so we’ll see if we can get a consult scheduled with them soon.

New Jersey- They are the second on the list of “best fertility clinics for donor eggs” and their stats look good. I have called them and gotten some pricing. Their prices for their cycles are about the same as SDFC. Who wants to go to New Jersey anyway? I’m going to keep them in the back of my mind, but I just don’t really see that being worth it.

Dallas- I have emailed and called them. Still no response. I’m a little annoyed by that. Looking closer at their stats, they have an 88% success rate for fresh donor eggs, but only did 40 transfers in that year. I still think those are good statistics, and it sure would be convenient. I just want them to call me back already. The real deciding factor there would be the cost and amount of donors in their database.

So that’s what I have for now. I’ve looked at several other clinics, but these are the top 4 at the moment. It makes me sad to be officially saying goodbye to CCRM, but 7 donors in the database at $40,000 just isn’t going to cut it. We have a follow up phone consult with Dr. Surrey next Thursday. I’m debating whether or not to cancel it. It seems silly to pay another $100 to tell him we aren’t going to be seeing him again. Although I still have some questions for him regarding my Doppler test on my uterus. We also haven’t gotten the whole report on the semen analysis yet. I guess I should decide pretty soon what to do about that!