IVF with donor eggs

Here We Go!

Our donor went in for her first appointment today for a baseline ultrasound and blood work. I just received the update that everything is a go! They saw 30 resting follicles and she started taking Gonal F today. I wouldn’t even know what 30 follicles looks like on the ultra sound screen. The most I ever saw was 8! The nurse said that typically 70-80% of testing follicles will produce a mature egg. So, of course I did the math. 70% of 30 is 21. Assuming all of those fertilize, and going by the stats that say usually half of embryos test PGS normal, then we could essentially end up with 10, genetically normal embryos. That’s insane!

So now we are on standby. She will go back next Wednesday for a follow up ultrasound. At that point, we may have a better idea of when Ryan needs to go out there. We know it will be around the 18th, but won’t know for sure until we get closer and they see how she’s responding. 

Meanwhile, I’ve been back and forth with our nurse trying to get some answers to some questions. So in previous cycles, Ryan has always had to take antibiotics before egg retrieval. It’s just been a part of the protocol at every other clinic. But it wasn’t mentioned in any of our material we got a month ago. When I asked our nurse about it, she said that they don’t do that, but that both of us will be on antibiotics before transfer. Huh? It makes total sense that I would take antibiotics before transfer, but why Ryan? So yesterday I sent her an email asking for clarification. I also asked if he could take antibiotics before egg retrieval, just for our peace of mind. In a previous semen analysis, doctors have seen white blood cells in his semen, indicating infection or enlarged prostate. It’s an easy fix with antibiotics, so especially since he hasn’t had a semen analysis in over a year, we would both just feel more confident with doing everything we can to assure his best sample possible. I also asked if there was anything else he could be doing: multi vitamin, abstinence for a few days prior, etc. We already know the answers to these questions (this ain’t our first rodeo) but the point was that in all of the paper work, Ryan’s part of the process simply was not mentioned. Anyway, her response was that they have never prescribed antibiotics prior to egg retrieval before, the doctor is out of the office this week, and she’s going to have to ask him when he comes back next week. She didn’t even answer my other questions. 

So here’s what it all boils down to–I’m about fed up with the communication, or lack therof, at SDFC (or at least with our nurse). I feel like they are completely catering to our donor, and we’re the ones paying the big bucks. I feel so out of sorts about the idea that our potential baby is being made this month, and I have nothing to do with it. When we were using my eggs, I was giving myself shots, going to appointments, etc. Now I’m across the country and waiting on an email to get results. However, Ryan does have something to do with it, and he deserves some attention, instruction, and respect for his part of it. Especially when I ask specific questions, I expect for them to be answered. Oh, I also had to ask her for my orders to send to my clinic for my monitoring in August. You would think that would have been included in the millions of other pages of paperwork she sent me. I haven’t gotten my prescriptions for my meds either. I realize I don’t start for another month, but I’d like to have them in hand so as to avoid a rush with my pharmacy. 

I hate to complain. I think it really all stems from feeing out of control and out of touch with the cycle. I’ll focus on the 30 follicles, praying for each one, and continue to ask my questions. And I’ll hope that we get to fill out some sort of survey at the end of this, because they could really use some lessons in patient relations. 

IVF with donor eggs

Schedules, Transfers, and Decisions

Sorry it’s been a while. Blame it on summer vacation- I basically haven’t turned on my laptop in two weeks. And then I remembered I can post from my wordpress app. It’s not quite as effective, or easy, but it will do to give a quick update on things. 

So we have our official calendar. I already shared the tentative retrieval dates, but now we have the official treatment plan, complete with medications and instructions. More importantly (only because we didn’t have it before) we have our treatment plan for transfer. So I’ll be starting birth control at the end of July, whenever my period starts, then I’ll go in for my baseline ultrasound on August 8, and if everything looks good, I’ll start estrogen at the point. Then I’ll be monitored once a week to check my uteran lining and when directed, I’ll start the progesterone in oil injections (THE WORST). Assuming all goes as planned, transfer will be September 1st. 

Along with these treatment plans, we also got the whole gamut of consent forms: basically the forms we fill out to state what happens to the leftover embryos should we decide not to use them: do we donate them to another couple? Donate them to science? Discard of them? Also, what happens to them if one of us should die? If both of us should die? If we get divorced? Basically all of these questions we don’t want to think about, but have to think about. Welcome to the world of IVF, right? Decisions galore!

So, no, we haven’t filled them out yet. Basically because, well, life. We’ve just been super busy, and finding time to have those difficult conversations is not top priority when the new season of Orange is the New Black has just come out. But they aren’t due until egg retrieval, and for once I’m not freaking out about getting things done. I’m enjoying these last few weeks of not stressing about it. Because July will be filled with news on follicle numbers, embryo quality, and last minute travel plans for Ryan. And then August will be filled with emotions running high from hormones (not to mention beginning of school year crazies). 

So for now, I’m just chillin’. I’m doing what I promised myself I would do- I’m enjoying my life as it is right now. And right now, life is good, y’all. That doesn’t mean I don’t think about what’s about to happen, and hope for a completely different scenario this time next year, but for now, I’ll live in the moment. 

Side note: I’ve just started listening to the podcast “Matt and Doree’s eggcellent adventure” and I’m loving it. It’s fun to listen to this couple talk about their experience with IVF. They’re upbeat, real, and downright funny. Anyway, if you’re going through the infertility journey, or if you’re not, you may want to give it a listen. 

So now my five year old is crying because she wants me to come pat her back so she can fall asleep. It’s a new phase that’s kind of driving me crazy. For real- she has always been the self soother, no crutches to get to sleep (minus the blankie) kind of kid.  But hey, live in the moment right? I’ll go give her a few extra cuddles and love this moment in time. 

Update: she’s now come out of her room a total of 3 times. I’ll be honest, the isn’t the best moment. (Just kidding!)

IVF with donor eggs

We Have a Schedule!

Finally! The day has come! We have a calendar. I am not naive, and I know that a million things could happen between now and then that could make all of this change, but for now we have a plan. It’s all happening a little later than I had hoped – and the time that my husband has to be out in San Diego does not work out great for his work or for a yearly vacation that we take, but we have to just deal with it. Our donor couldn’t start any earlier, and Heavens knows I do not want to wait to do this later. So here is our donor’s schedule for egg retrieval:

Last birth control pill: 7/2

Baseline ultrasound: 7/6 or 7/7

Start stimulation medication: 7/7

Follow up ultrasound and blood work: 7/12

Follow up ultrasound and blood work: 7/14

May need to be seen the weekend of 7/15 or 7/16

Follow up ultrasound and blood work: 7/17

Egg retrieval: 7/18-7/21

So there it is. So now we still have to make decisions about PGS testing (whether to do it or not), and schedule flights, hotel, etc. I thought that we all may go out there as a family and make a vacation out of it, but the timing is just bad for that. I will be finishing up getting ready for school stuff, and it’s the week before our week at the Neshoba County Fair (look it up if you don’t know what I’m talking about), so I have cooking and preparations for that. Now the praying starts for no hiccups in the plan.

IVF with donor eggs

Legal Clearance – Check!

We have signed the legal documents, our donor and her husband have done the same, and we are officially one step closer than we’ve ever been before!

yippee

So now we are ready to get the long awaited calendar. I emailed Nurse Hilary yesterday to make sure she had received the legal clearance letter from the lawyer. She replied back and said she had, and that she had reached out to the donor to see about dates that she’ll be available. Then she’s supposed to let me know when she hears back from her. Except for at the bottom of the email there was a statement that said the SDFC offices will be closed from May 18-May 21, so that means — yep, more waiting.

saupload_waiting_game

I just hope the donor has responded to her and she can get things going first thing Monday morning. I am so ready for that calendar. Everything this summer, at least July, is put on hold until we know what we’re doing. And it’s driving me crazy! I have this terrible feeling that something is going to go wrong…maybe the donor won’t be available at all in July. What if this thing has to get pushed even further? I guess all there is to do is hope.

That’s what’s really hard about IVF with donor eggs. When I was doing IVF before, you had to work around schedules of course, and so much depended on your body cooperating. But now, it’s not just my schedule and my body, it’s also about a complete stranger’s body and schedule. And I know when I get an email from the nurse, I am on top of it – I respond within minutes if at all possible. I know that it’s not quite as urgent for the donor. We are completely relying on her, and that’s really tough.

But hopefully I’ll have some news (hopefully good news) at the beginning of next week. Until then, I focus on finishing out the school year with these kiddos. 4 more days until Summer bliss!

IVF with donor eggs

I hate Facebook and other ramblings

Facebook and I have a love/hate relationship, as I’m sure is the case with most people these days. It’s kind of a necessary evil, although I’m sure it’s not really necessary, but I haven’t had enough coffee this morning to find the write adjective there. I love Facebook for the obvious reasons- I love keeping in touch with people, seeing their cute kids, and (let’s be honest) it TOTALLY plays into my gossipy, nosy, love for information. But I hate the politics unless you agree with my views, and I hate days like yesterday. Days like yesterday just send me into hysterics.

When we were trying to conceive our first baby, I remember Facebook being bad, as it is with everyone dealing with infertility. I remember seeing pregnancy announcements and crying at every single one. Mother’s Day was always hard, of course, but I think yesterday was the worst I’ve ever seen it. Perhaps that’s because I have more friends with kids now? I don’t know, I was pretty old when I had my first kid and I certainly felt like everyone around me was already a mom. I don’t know why it seemed worse yesterday, but it did. Everything was about honoring mom, and I kept scrolling through (because it’s like a train wreck – I knew it was going to make me upset, but I looked anyway) and I kept thinking about how if this is hard for me now, I can’t imagine what it must be like for (insert the name of my friend who is going through infertility, just lost a child, just lost a mother, chose not to be a mother, just had a miscarriage).  I have at least one friend who fits into every single one of those categories, and my heart broke for them. I couldn’t help but think about them yesterday and I thought – why are we putting such an emphasis on this day? Sure, let’s honor the mothers out there. They/We deserve it. We work HARD to be good moms, wives, etc. It is the hardest job on the planet – but goodness knows, things got out of control with the doting – it became a competition…

Mother’s Day Facebook competition —  whose husband is going to write the sweetest message about his wife and mom of his children? Who is going to get the best Mother’s Day gift? Whose kid is going to write the funniest thing on the “all about mom” page that every kid in every grade of every school writes? Who got to sleep in the latest, got breakfast in bed, got to go to the beach? Who has the cutest family picture with matching clothes? Who went to the nicest restaurant for lunch? Who got the prettiest flowers?

It’s like Valentine’s Day exploded all over again! GROSS!

***TRIGGER WARNING- I’m about to sound like a spoiled brat, and worse, a spoiled brat who has everything she’s ever dreamed of, and for those of you who haven’t yet, please don’t judge me!***

I was bothered, more so than usual by all of this nonsense, because I got none of it (see, here’s when I start to sound like that spoiled brat!) Here’s the thing – I’m not a wine and dine kind of girl. I don’t expect a reservation at the nicest restaurant, I don’t want jewelry, or any other present that isn’t hand made by my kid on Mother’s Day.  I don’t need breakfast in bed, or a gushing Facebook post. I asked for one thing – to sleep late. I ask to sleep late 2 days out of the year – my birthday and Mother’s Day. Well, yesterday morning my kid came in the room as she usually does, and my husband turned on a movie for her to watch so that I could go back to sleep. So there I was with my snoring husband on one side of me, my child on the other side of me, and “Wreck it Ralph” playing on the TV. I know I should lie say that I am just so happy to have a child that crawls into bed with me…and I AM SO INCREDIBLY THANKFUL- believe me, that was what I told myself over and over again for the 2 hours I lay there trying to sleep. I AM THE LUCKIEST GIRL IN THE WORLD. I HAVE EVERYTHING I HAVE EVER ASKED FOR – except for one day to sleep in late. (Side note – I also thanked God for the fact that I have dishes to unload and a dishwasher to unload them from as I was doing that while my husband slept – I was on a serious “woe-is-me” role yesterday!)

So then my daughter asked for breakfast, so I got up and fixed us some breakfast. And when my husband finally woke up 3 hours later, I told him that I would like a do-over next weekend. He honestly looked shocked, like “what do you  mean? I didn’t make you get out of bed. I turned a movie on!” and I calmly told him that it doesn’t count and next Sunday I want him to sacrifice his sleep so that I can get mine – because that is what I do every single weekend of the year. And that is just about the most spoiled I have ever sounded, and I think he was genuinely blown away.

I write a lot of this in jest – I’m giggling to myself as I type. I know I am so lucky. Yesterday, waking up early with my 5 year old climbing into bed with me, fixing her breakfast as I do every other day of the year, breathing in her dirty smell, and feeling her hands wrap around my waist – this beats sleeping in 365 days a year – times a million!

We ate lunch at a pizza buffet (it was my choice – I told you I don’t do fancy), we had a nap, and swam at a friend’s house. It was a typical Sunday afternoon. I never got a sweet Facebook message. I didn’t get any presents, except for what she made me at school, and I spent a lot of time crying. But I wasn’t crying because of what I didn’t get on Mother’s Day. I was crying for what I do have…a house, a husband, and a child that is my very own. And I was crying for those out there who felt much worse than me. Sure, I’d like to be shown a little appreciation more, not just on Mother’s Day, but ALL THE TIME, but welcome to motherhood. That’s what it’s about – a selfless act of love. It’s what I prayed for and finally got. I am beyond blessed in so many ways.

Now, Facebook and I are taking a break from each other. I don’t deserve to feel less appreciated just because other families are more outward with it than mine is. So Facebook and I are breaking up for a bit. Unless, of course, my husband decides to gush on me for doing the laundry on a Monday  – then I’ll bask in all the lovely likes and comments from friends I haven’t seen in years and feel better about myself. Until that happens, I’ll find joy in what I have, and that’s good enough.

 

dealing with infertility · IVF with donor eggs

Mother’s Day

We’ve been working on Mother’s Day projects in my second grade class this week, and I have to say they are ridiculously cute. It’s one of those things that we make in class that I immediately want to take home and have Anadine make one for me.  But then I think, no not yet…in due time.

Isn’t that what Mother’s Day has always been for me? In due time…

Mother’s Day hasn’t always been a celebration for me. Now, it wasn’t ever a day of deep depression where I holed up in my room and cried my eyes out, but there were almost definitely always tears. I would turn on my smile, take my mom out to eat, wish all of my pregnant friends a happy “first” mother’s day, and then I would cry. I would cry for the baby I may not ever have, the day that I would never get to celebrate for me, the mourning of the not yet. The realization that another year has passed and it isn’t about me. In due time…

Well, that time came, and I am beyond grateful, blessed, overjoyed to be a mom. To be able to celebrate Mother’s Day is something that I have always wanted, yearned for, and I finally got it. And you know something? It still makes me cry.

It gives me such mixed emotions each and every year. I can’t help but remember the sadness I felt. And the sadness I feel for you, the woman who doesn’t yet get to celebrate it for yourself – oh girl, how I feel for you. I feel the emptiness you feel. The heartache, the disbelief that another year has passed. I remember it all too well. I pray for you, your strength, your emptiness.

In due time…

And then I feel for my friends who have lost their mothers all too soon. I can’t even imagine the emptiness they feel on Mother’s Day. I pray for you, too.

In due time…

So I won’t take what I have for granted. I will celebrate! I would be lying if I didn’t expect to be treated like a queen for the day. I want to go have a nice lunch, I want to take a nap, and I want to forget laundry for the day. I worked hard to celebrate this day, and I deserve to celebrate it.

But you know what I don’t want to forget? That I have the sheer pleasure of being a mom. I want to do mommy things. I want my daughter to make me a craft at school that I will hang in the kitchen. I want to start my morning with cuddles and end it with kisses. I fully expect to deal with a tantrum (or two), a messy house, and a fight about what she’s going to wear to church. After all, this is what I asked for, what I prayed for, right? I will enjoy it with abundance.

But I will also never forget. And so I will spend a part of my day (a very large part) remembering those who still wait for their time. I remember, my friend. I will pray for the emptiness that my womb now feels. I will mourn my own losses in this process. And I will remember how truly lucky I am. This day is for mothers who are, who have been, who will be, and who want to be. If you yearn for a child, you are a mother. I know I was a mother long before I gave birth–I just had to wait for my due time.

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.

 

IVF with donor eggs

NIAW: Listen Up

listen up

It’s National Infertility Awareness Week and the theme this year is “Listen Up.” And really, that’s what any person struggling with infertility needs, is for someone to just listen.

To Family Members and Friends:

Your advice isn’t wanted or needed, especially in regards to my treatments. I have received the following advice from various people along the way:

  • You should just adopt
  • Just relax and it will happen
  • I had a friend once who was told it was impossible for her, but then it worked
  • Isn’t one enough?
  • You shouldn’t do the treatments. It must not be in God’s plan for you to have children.
  • Go see a nun – she works miracles
  • You shouldn’t do the treatments because the hormones will give you cancer
  • Just wait – it will happen when it’s supposed to
  • You’re so young – there isn’t any rush
  • Why don’t you just use a surrogate?

I could go on and on. The problem with most of this advice, is it’s given without fully understanding what my problems are. And I get that. I didn’t understand how babies were made until I had to understand it. I didn’t know what Fallopian tubes do, or how ovaries work, or what a follicle was. I don’t expect for anyone else to understand it either.

So, just listen…

I am happy to explain what you don’t understand. The problem is, I need to know what you don’t understand. So ask me, and then be prepared to…LISTEN.

1993f-infertility2bneeds2bsupport2bmeme

 

To Insurance Companies,

Infertility is a disease. 1 in 8 people suffer from some form of infertility, yet none, NONE, of the treatments are covered by insurance companies most of the time. The thing that holds most infertile couples back from becoming parents is most often finances. Fertility treatments are so dang expensive! I remember being shocked by the $1,500 bill for the hysteroscopy to have my tubes checked out. It was the first ever test that was performed and I remember thinking “this better work!” And then we skipped a whole bunch of other steps and had to go straight to the big guns – $15,000 for one IVF cycle, plus the cost of medications, and none of it was covered. So insurance companies, LISTEN UP!

No-Money

To Politicians,

Signing bills like the Personhood Amendment doesn’t just make laws against abortion, it also has the potential to harm the field of infertility treatments. For those of you who are unfamiliar, this bill defines life at fertilization…not conception, fertilization.

There are so many things wrong with that statement, but mostly that, in most cases, fertilization happens at the very top of a Fallopian Tube, way before the woman knows she is pregnant (about 2 weeks before, actually). So you’re risking tubal pregnancies, early miscarriages, and a million other things that could happen, which could potentially be considered the woman’s fault under the guidelines of this bill.

But in regards to fertility treatment, IVF to be specific, fertilization happens outside of the body. So according to this bill, embryos made in a lab are human beings. And should anything happen to those embryos, someone is to blame – for murder. This bill has the potential to stop fertility treatments altogether because no doctor, or embryologist, is going to want to take that risk.

So politicians…LISTEN UP. We deserve to be heard.

embryo being fertilized

As with anyone who is going through some sort of struggle that is hard for the majority of the population to understand, we just want to be able to share, without judgement. Sometimes we just need a hug, or a shoulder to cry on. Sometimes we may want a prayer. Most of the time, we just want you to LISTEN.

IVF with donor eggs

A Letter Written Years Ago

Sometimes, about once a year, I go back and read this letter. It’s a letter I wrote to family and friends who has been walking with us on our IVF journey to give them an update on how our third IVF cycle had gone. (spoiler alert- not good). I like to read it because it reminds me to be grateful. Grateful of our journey, of where we are, and of the outpouring love that we have received from the people in our lives.

It’s hard to read. It always brings tears to my eyes. But it reminds me to be grateful. So here it is. Side note: writing this letter is also what inspired me to start a blog. When that IVF cycle failed, I couldn’t stand the idea of calling/texting/emailing every single person who knew about it and repeating the news over and over again.

So here it is —

Dear Family and Friends,

This is for all of you who have been my support group for the past several months/years. Many of you unknowingly volunteered for this position by giving me unconditional love, prayers, and support. Most of you fell into the position (whether you wanted to or not) by just being around me every day and not being able to escape it; and some of you had no choice because you’re a relative. (sorry!) Regardless of the reason, I want to thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for being there for Ryan and me. I wish I had the time (or really the emotional will-power) to write each and every one of you a personal, handwritten note – but I just can’t put myself through that (I am certain you all understand!) You have all, in your own ways, been a true blessing to me. I cannot begin to tell you how much it means to me to have your prayers, your words of encouragement, your shoulders to cry on, your ears to listen to my screaming frustration, and your gentle hearts and faith to help me carry on.

This is a letter I started writing for myself, just to get all of my ideas out of my jumbled mind. But as I was writing it, I felt that I needed to share it with all of you. After all, you have been through this entire journey with me, and I felt as if you deserve to know what I’m thinking – I don’t always express myself too well with spoken words, and sometimes I think I come across as more of a doer than a feeler (if that makes any sense.) Basically, I just wanted you to know, because you deserve to know, how I am feeling.

This has been the most difficult 2 ½ years of my life. Ryan and I have been through the heartbreak of trying our hardest to have a baby “the old fashioned way,” only to be disappointed each month for a year and a half. I have charted basil body temperatures, been told by doctors to just be patient -“sometimes it takes people longer”, “your temperature charts are textbook perfect” they said. Then, after referring myself to a Reproductive Endocrinologist 10 months ago, it has been a whirlwind of even more emotions. We have found out I can’t have children naturally due to blocked tubes, I’ve been through 2 IVF cycles that got canceled due to poor response to the medications (after doing all of the injections, I might add) and then, after more hormones and blood tests, found out I also have the egg supply of a 40 year old. Through all of this I have watched all of my married friends get pregnant without really trying – “just to add salt to the wound” as they say. (please don’t take offense to that for those of you who are so very blessed with babies!)

The past month has been the most difficult – Ryan and I have been to 2 funerals of close family members, I have stuck myself with a needle twice a day, swallowed a countless supply of hormones in pill form, been through a painful medical procedure, to then start having shots given to me by Ryan or Mom with a 2 inch long needle every day (talk about the feeling of helplessness)- with thick enough medicine to give me welts and bruises on my back. I have gained close to 10 pounds due to the countless number of hormones that I’ve been subjecting my body to, my face looks like a 16 year old’s, and my ovaries still feel like they have golf balls inside them. My entire body aches, the bruise on my left arm from all of the blood work makes me look like a heroine addict, and my eyes are constantly blood shot from all of the crying. I have gone to talk to a nun who supposedly performs miracles, especially dealing with infertility (one of the most terrifying experiences of my life, by the way) and have spent countless hours on the Internet on message boards of people who have done IVF, Googling my diagnosis (yeah I know – terrible idea) and researching clinics across the country who may be able to better help me. I have gotten my hopes up one day: planning a nursery, figuring out important pregnancy dates (even the week that I would get the glucose test done – I know I’m weird), to then bawling my eyes out because I didn’t have any “symptoms.” And don’t even get me started on the money we’ve spent on all of this – the medical bills that I will be paying off of my credit card for the rest of my life (or so it seems!) and the miles that I have put on my poor car driving back and forth to our RE’s office which is 2 1/2 hours away. I spent the majority of my Thanksgiving break on bed rest, spending countless hours looking at the picture of our little 4 cell embryo, and praying for a miracle. Regardless of the praying, regardless of what “Papa” told the nun, regardless of doing everything right, I found out today that I won’t be having a baby in 9 months – my arms will be empty.

Still, after all of this, I’m ready to start again. Whether it’s with my own eggs, through donor eggs, or through adoption – I will be a mother and Ryan will be a dad. We don’t know why God has challenged us with this, and we are both pretty angry with Him right now. However, we also know that He is all we have left. He is the only being that we can truly depend on right now. I’m not sure I have ever needed God more. As angry and confused as I am about why He has chosen me for this challenge, and as much as I feel like He owes us a miracle, I know that it is ultimately up to Him. No matter how much I beg and scream and throw my fist, He will answer my prayers when He is ready. Finding the patience is the most difficult, especially when I know that every month we don’t do IVF, is every month that I’m losing eggs from my diminishing supply – they’re just going to waste.

But I can say – when it does finally happen for us, I won’t ever take it for granted. I will cherish every moment of my pregnancy (oh how I pray for morning sickness and back pain), every moment of delivery (although I will be getting an epidural, I don’t want to remember it that badly!), and every sleepless night with my newborn. I will sing to the heavens when my baby starts teething, crawling, and walking. I will delight in my two year old’s tantrums, potty training, and moodiness. I will be grateful for every lost tooth (and I HATE dealing with teeth!), and every skinned knee (oh yeah, and I don’t do blood very well either!) I will praise God for a 16 year old that hates me, and I will thank Him for the countless debt from his/her college tuition. I will watch my children get married and bless me with grandchildren and I will tell them all how much I love them and am blessed by them every single day. I will cherish the bad moments along with the good. I know there will be moments when I will be tired and feel like complaining, but I won’t for a second miss the days when I wasn’t a mother.

I’m not really sure what our next steps are. We know we will keep trying. We know we will never give up. We will spend every last penny we have, and we will travel whatever distance it takes. Because I know, from the deepest place in my soul, that I am meant to be a mother.

I love you all so very much. Please continue to keep us in your prayers. And please know that I thank God for all of you every night. I have never felt so loved – and that is the blessing that I can take from all of this. It has made me closer to my husband, I have discovered who my true friends are, and I have never appreciated my family more. I will forever be grateful for that.

IVF with donor eggs

While We Wait

I follow a group on Facebook called something like Parents Via Egg Donation. I joined it hoping I would connect with a network of women who were also going through donor egg IVF, but I’ve discovered that it’s really a group that posts articles about IVF, Donor Eggs, Surrogacy, etc. Sometimes the articles are blog posts that people have written, other times it’s research that’s come out, and other times it brings in politics regarding women’s rights, etc.

There are times when I just skip over them because either I’ve read it before, or have no interest in reading it. I usually do read the blog posts, because that’s what I really wanted from the group. But then sometimes an article catches my eye and I not only read it, but feel the need to share it – here of course! This one touched a lot of things that many people have questions about, but the part that I liked reading the most was the idea that some genetics can be passed from the mother to the embryo through the embryonic fluid. This doesn’t necessarily mean that my donor egg baby will look like me, but there may be certain traits, especially behavioral traits, that I will influence while he/she is in my womb.

For your reading pleasure…

http://lehmannhaupt.com/2016/01/06/becoming-a-solo-mom-via-assisted-reproductive-technology-donor-eggs/