donor egg ivf · ivf · IVF with donor eggs

Time Away for the Heart

postcardnashville1The hubby and I got away this weekend to go to my college girlfriend’s wedding in Nashville. It was exactly what we needed. If I’m honest, I was worried about going because of the money we were spending on everything – hotel, flight, dress, tux – it was all adding up pretty quickly, and we all know we are strapped for cash right now. Every bit of extra money needs to be going to pay off our IVF loan, or to savings to pay for our trips to San Diego. So I was pretty stressed out about it, but I am so glad we went.

Seeing those girls always makes my heart full. They are the kind of friends that make it easy to pick right up where we left off, no matter how little we’ve spoken over the months. We get together for a girl’s weekend about once a year, but it was great fun to get together with the husbands. I adore the men my friends have married. It’s rare when your friends marry someone that still gets along with everyone in the group. It just added to the fun of having everyone together, instead of making it awkward. They also weren’t afraid to ask me how things are going in regards to this process – and I am so grateful for that. A lot of them read this blog, in fact, and I am so grateful for that, too. Girlfriends-Day-Out-Image

But on top of the good feels that these girls give me, we also have a BLAST together. The wedding was beautiful, the reception was amazing, and we danced and danced and danced. It was fun getting all dressed up, being with each other and each others’ husbands, and celebrating the last of us to be married off. It was a great “last” wedding. Now we just have to find other opportunities to get together!

So, what does this have to do with infertility? After all, that’s what this blog is about, right? Well, mostly, I just feel so refreshed. It gave me and the hubby time away from normal life for a little while. I was feeling stressed at work, stressed about finances, stressed about the upcoming cycle and getting legal stuff taken care of, etc. This weekend gave us time to just be us. To let our hair down and have a little fun. Infertility can be so incredibly tough on a marriage. I think it is important to remember who you are as a couple. Not a coupinfertility-and-marriage-300x224le struggling with infertility. Sometimes it’s hard for me to lose that identity. It has become a part of who I am, and that can be pretty tough on one’s self esteem. But this weekend I got to feel like me again. I felt loved, I felt sexy, and I felt like a human being. Not that I didn’t think about it, or talk about it, or feel it in my usual ways. But it didn’t overwhelm my day – and that’s just what I needed.

 

donor egg ivf · financial · ivf · lawyer fees · San Diego Fertility Center · sdfc

I knew this was coming…

So even though we won’t have egg retrieval until July, I want to go ahead and get everything needed for legals complete so we don’t have to think about it. So I contacted the lawyer, explained that we had found another donor, and asked that we go ahead and start the process. So once she got the go ahead from the clinic, she sent over our retainer letter which we have to sign… along with $500 to pay the new donor’s lawyer.

UGH!!!!!!!!!!

When I read that, I just started crying. I knew it was a possibility, but when I asked Jenna all of those questions, it sounded as though there was hope that we wouldn’t be out any money. I just forwarded it to Ryan and said “I want to fight this.” The problem is, we don’t know who to talk to about it. This is a fee that doesn’t go to my lawyer, or SDFC, but to a completely different person with whom I don’t have any contact. I decided I was going to email Jenna about it and see if there is ANYTHING she can do – maybe she can talk to the donor’s lawyer and explain our situation? But Jenna is out of the office until the end of this week. I just didn’t even reply to Alison (the paralegal). I couldn’t. I’m just so tired of this mess.

But then she emailed us on Friday to make sure we had gotten her email. I replied to her and said “I’m sorry for my late response. We’ve been trying to figure out what to do because we weren’t expecting to pay another $500 for the donor’s attorney – especially since the  last time we paid that $500 our original donor backed out on us. I’ll get back to you shortly.” It’s a little snooty. I feel kinda bad about it…kinda.

In the big picture, $500 isn’t all that much. But it’s just so frustrating that we completely lost $500 – I mean we paid that other lawyer to do a terrible job last time. It probably took 30 minutes of her time to have a phone conversation and not convince these people that they’re freaking out over nothing. So I’m going to complain about that. If nothing else, SDFC should cover the cost for us. Am I being ridiculous?

Today we have a phone call with an embryologist at SDFC. We just have some questions about PGS testing. We’re wondering if it’s really worth the $4,000, especially since we now have to pay $4,000 extra for our new donor. We originally signed up to do it for “family balancing” – basically we want a boy this time. But we are realizing that $4,000 is a steep price for that kind of thing. So we basically want to find out if we don’t do it now, and end up with another girl, could we do it later with our frozen embryos for a third pregnancy? I just felt a little sick to my stomach when I typed those words. Ya’ll I’ll be 36 in September – a THIRD pregnancy?! And I have had so many people tell me – “Another girl would not be the end of the world,” “Girls are great – boys are gross,” “But Anadine would love a sister.” Yes, I understand all of this. But when you can’t get pregnant easily, when you are 35 trying to have your second child, and when you have been through everything in the world to have a baby and you are simply trying to find any positive in the situation (and, yes, maybe gender selection could be that positive) then you have to consider it. I know the other side, too… Maybe we’re playing God too much. If we could get pregnant easily, the idea of having another girl would not hinder us from trying again. These are the debates we have back and forth all the time. I’m leaning more towards not having the testing done, but I’m also the frugal one.

I mean, y’all, we are crunching numbers right now. We found out we owe over $2,000 in taxes this year. Now we have this giant loan, added costs, and have to find the cash to get out to San Diego when it’s time. I wish I could just win the lottery. Or get a huge raise. Or get invited to ELLEN! HA! I mean, where’s Oprah when you need her?!

 

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.

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.

UPDATE:
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!

ivf · IVF calendar · San Diego Fertility Center · sdfc

It’s the waiting that can drive you crazy

Warning: Crazy, Type A lady (me) shows herself in this post. You’ve been warned…

So I think I just come to this blog when I feel like I don’t have any control over what’s happening. Typing about not having control helps me feel in control – maybe?

We have checked everything off our list of to-dos. We have paid the clinic our $36,000, we’ve paid the lawyer the $1,700, we’ve gotten our blood work completed along with all the other tests needed. Everything is checked off our list, and has been that way since Tuesday. So now we’re just waiting to get the calendar…and the waiting is killing me! I’m actually a bit frustrated because I have even emailed my nurse to check in and tell her how anxious I am to get the calendar, and I haven’t heard back from her. Granted, I emailed her yesterday around 3:00 our time (that’s 1:00 in San Diego), so she hasn’t had a full 24 hours yet to reply, but she has had 24 hours since she should have gotten word that we are all set to go.

That wouldn’t be so frustrating, but I also emailed the financial lady on Tuesday to make sure we are indeed at a $0 balance. I haven’t heard back from her either. And she has definitely had a full 24 hours to respond. What’s going on over there in San Diego?!

I’m going to give them to the end of the day, and if I don’t hear anything from anybody by then, I’m going to call. I mean, even if they respond back to let me know they’re checking on it, right? Even if they are emailing me to tell me to get a grip and it takes a while – just give me a response! Maybe it’s because I’ve been spoiled. CCRM was always excellent at getting back to me within hours of an email. And if I’m honest, Nurse Hilary is usually just as good…but that’s also why I’m freaking out a little bit. Communication, people!!

I have to keep telling myself that we have plenty of time, and all will work out when it’s supposed to, but I just want a plan. I want to know when things are going to start happening. When do I have to start shots? When will Ryan go out to SD for egg retrieval? Will it work out for me (and maybe Anadine) to go with him? When will transfer be? I need to plan! 


UPDATE
I just received an email from Nurse Hilary (they must read my blog! ha!) that gave me a tentative schedule. She said we have to wait until the legal contract is completed to know for certain. See, I was under the impression that we just had to have the retainer and fees in for them to work up a calendar, and then the contract just had to be complete before egg retrieval. Ugh – it’s probably my lack of understanding, but still! She said assuming legal can get their stuff together by March 12, we can do an April 14 transfer. I would start my estrace on March 24 (birth control would be before that and would stop on 3/20). I would have ultrasounds on 3/24, 3/31 and 4/7 which would be perfect because those first two would be during my spring break and I wouldn’t have to take off work to drive to Jackson for them. It probably also means egg retrieval would be around 3/31, which is great (I think) because we will be in New Orleans two days before that and Ryan could fly out from New Orleans (way cheaper flights). Of course that’s the part that’s always iffy because egg retrieval is determined so much by how our donor is responding to the medications. Ryan would be pretty mad if he had to miss the concert we’re going to see. I don’t know – this is all still up in the air until we get the legal stuff done. I’ve emailed the legal girl to see how quickly they can get things completed. So now…more waiting. At least I have some sort of idea of what could happen. We may very well be looking at a May transfer – not the worst thing in the world – it would just mean more — WAITING!

counseling · ivf

Counseling Session

We had our counseling session yesterday with our priest. It went really well and was much less awkward than I expected it to be. He kind of already knew that we were on this path, but he asked a lot of questions about how we got here (donor eggs) and how we have dealt with that decision. And then we talked about a lot of other stuff completely unrelated. It was very positive and I am so glad to know that I have that continued support system through him. That’s why I liked the idea of going to him instead of a phone call with some therapist that I’ll never meet. I like the idea of having him as a part of our journey. I’ve always been strong in my faith, but never extremely religious. And I like this priest because he’s bit like that, too. He isn’t too pushy, but he does love tradition (I’m Episcopalian, by the way). I just left the session feeling very embraced and loved.

Today is my sonohysterogram. I’ll post later about how it goes. By the way, I’m interested to know – is anyone even reading this? Comment below if you are.

ivf · IVF with donor eggs · San Diego Fertility · sdfc · sonohysterogram

Sonohysterogram scheduled – check!

My cycle started today. It’s so funny that those 4 words used to send me into tears and now they mean – yay, we get to move forward with something! So it meant that today I could call and schedule my sonohysterogram with my dear old friend, Dr. Isaacs in Jackson.

I’ll be going next Thursday. This is the one part of the whole pre-cycle process that I’m most worried about. Mainly because it’s checking my uterus, and my uterus is the one and only thing that has anything to do with me in this cycle. It’s essentially the only thing I am in charge of – not that I can actually control what’s going on in my uterus, but it just feels like the pressure is on! This is the test I have to pass. Plus I’m a little worried because the last time I had this done is when they found the polyp. And they also said that the blood flow wasn’t great. So, yeah, I’m nervous. I’ve quit caffeine, and I’m doing a cleanse this weekend to hopefully rid myself of any toxins in my body. I doubt this will make any difference other than making me feel like I’m doing something. As I’ve said before, it’s the waiting that’s so hard in this whole thing. It just makes me feel helpless. So maybe doing something (whether or not it actually helps) will make me feel like I’m helping along the process in some way.

In other news, my blood work has come back and has been faxed over to San Diego. I assume they’ll tell me if there’s something wrong with it. I’ve emailed Nurse Hilary to tell her to expect the results, so hopefully she’ll respond soon.

So that’s it for now! It’s been 2 weeks since our donor had her tests done. So I’m waiting patiently for those results. Waiting…waiting…waiting…