Thursday, July 28, 2011

Found a donor, now what?

Hi everyone!

So, you are probably all wondering what happens now that we have chosen our egg donor. Well the answer to that is nothing, at least for the next 6 months. Let me explain.

I am stressed, like super super stressed! Working full time, going to school, and dealing with infertility is alot for one person to take. I feel very overwhelmed many days. After we found the donor that we'd like to use, we were so ready to start it all right away. We are excited! We are ready to start our family! But the more I thought about it, the more nervous I was. You see, I am absolutely terrified that if we were to start it all now, while I'm still in school, it would fail. I feel alot of pressure because it is my body that the embryos will be transferred into. We all know that stress can have a profound affect on the body, and I truly feel that right now, I am just too stressed to start it all. I know that I will never be stress free, and that there will always be something else, so this reason was not the only reason we decided to wait.

The second reason we have decided to wait is my 30th birthday. I will be 30 on January 24, 2012. Before we knew about our diagnosis, I decided that I wanted to really celebrate this milestone birthday. So, we are going on a cruise the end of January. And it just so happens that I will also have my Bachelor's degree in December, so it will be a double celebration! We work for a travel agency so we were able to get an great deal on a Celebrity Eastern Caribbean cruise, in a room with awesome spa amenities. We booked this cruise a long time ago and it is fully paid for.  In all honestly, we did briefly consider cancelling, because of the huge cost of the infertility treatments. But, if I have learned anything while going through this, it's that life goes on. I refuse to stop living my life because I can't have a baby like everyone else. I feel like that would make me a victim, and I am not a victim. Let's face it, things happen in life that suck, and you can either lie down and take it, or stand and fight. I choose to fight. We are going on this cruise because we need a vacation. This year has been the hardest year of our lives, and it's not going to get any easier when we start treatments. We feel that going on a nice relaxing vacation will help prepare us for what's ahead.

The third reason we decided to wait awhile to start is that we need some time to save money. The cost of this procedure is seriously ridiculous. The fee for the donor and the donor agency are around $10,000. The IVF fees, if we do a money back guarantee program, are close to $35,000.  Yes, I wrote that right! We are looking at about $45,000 out of pocket to MAYBE have a baby. Obviously we do not have this kind of money. The fact that insurance does not cover any of it, is a huge injustice, but that's a post for another day.

So, now you have our reason's for waiting a little while. I still have tons to write about, so the posts will keep coming!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Can I Have Some of Your Eggs?

Hi everyone! In today's post we are talking about egg donors and all the decisions that go into choosing one. Enjoy!!

Ok, I want you all to imagine for a minute that you can't have a child that is genetically yours. What physical characteristics of yours did you always want for your child? What qualities of yours did you want to be passed down? Now I want you to imagine that there is nothing wrong with you, but your spouse can't have a genetic child. Thinking about your husband or wife, what characteristics and qualities that they possess are important to you? What part of them did you hope to see in your future child/children. If you can choose the person who contributes their genes to your future child, and you can't choose your spouse, who do you choose? How do you choose? What's important when making this decision? Do you choose someone you know or a stranger? These are the types of questions that have been running through our minds. It's alot to think about!

Our first decision was the choice of using an anonymous donor or a known donor. This was a hard decision to make. There are pros and cons to each. The biggest pro of going with someone that we know is that we know that person's history. If it's someone that I am related to then we share genes, which is a very compelling reason to make that choice. The child may actually look like me if we choose a family member and I really liked the thought of that. The biggest con about choosing someone we know is that we know them and so does our family. We needed to think about how often we see that woman? How will she feel about the child? How will we feel about her when she is around the child? When the rest of the family looks at that child will they be thinking he or she looks like the donor. Ultimately we decided to go with an anonymous donor. The more we thought about it, we just were not comfortable using the eggs of someone we know. It's already a very emotional situation and we decided going with an anonymous donor made it a little easier for us. We did have a couple very sweet women offer to donate eggs. And I just want to say to those women that we truly, from the bottom of our hearts, appreciate the offer. It takes such a giving person to offer part of yourself to someone else. I thank God for these people in our lives.

So now onto looking for an anonymous donor. Through research I found an agency in Texas, called The Donor Solution, that I had a really great feeling about. When I emailed the lady that runs it she emailed me back within 15 minutes and sent me the database of donors. Searching through a database of girls, looking for someone to replace my genetic contribution, is a very strange experience.

I like to compare choosing an egg donor to what I imagine online dating would be like. I would like a girl that has dark brown hair, green, maybe hazel eyes, 5'4", loves shopping, reading romance books, long walks on the beach... You get the picture. I would see physical characteristics of someone and say, "Ok, she sounds like what I'm looking for." Then would click on the picture, not like what I saw and say, "Nope, not going with that one. On to the next." This whole process made me feel very strange. I found myself getting very judgemental about the girls I was looking at. I knew in my head that it wasn't right to judge someone based on one picture and some things they wrote on a questionnaire, but this person is important! This decision is important! So I judged. I would see a girl whose physical appearance I was ok with, but then something in her questionnaire would make me rule her out immediately. This went on for a little while until I clicked on a girl that fit all my requirements. I emailed Ryan and told him to check her out. Haha! Pun intended. He said that she reminded him of me. We both believe strongly in first impressions and following our gut. There was just something about her that felt right. I knew she was the one because we were both so excited! We wanted to start it all right away. Of course there are other things that we need to consider before we can start and I will discuss those in a different post.

You know, I can joke and laugh about it now, but it took some time getting to that point. Let's face it, choosing someone else to contribute their genes to your child sucks! We really had to mourn that genetic connection. It was hard and involved alot of crying, but I believe we have come to the point that we are excited about what our future holds.

Wondering what happens next? Stay tuned for my next post!