Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Bio mom

I had a long conversation with a good friend of mine who was adopted regarding whether she considers her bio mom to be her mom and how connected she feels to her bio mom. I was curious for the obvious reasons around DE and what a DE child might want to know.

The background: my friend did not find out she was adopted until she was 15. Yes she was very angry at not knowing AND it also answered a lot of questions for her as she was so physically different from her parents. About 8 few years ago, as she was turning 30 she decided to look for her bio mom. She wanted to find her bio mom for the medical information AND to well, find her. Her big fear was that she’d register and discover her bio mom had no interest in being found. he entered her info into a registry and within 24 hours had the contact information. She initiated contact and they have been in touch ever since mostly by phone with an occasional visit.

How she feels today: After meeting her bio mom she fantasized about being raised by her her and the bio dad (who actually were not together) but then she realized if she had been, she would not know the people she knows today, would not be married to her husband, have their kids, and basically would be a totally different person. She likes who she is and she loves her parents, so once she thought it through the fantasy stopped.

She went on to say that she does not feel that this women is her mom because they don’t share a common background and she was raised by someone else. As she put it: I feel closer to my aunt than I do to my bio mom. At the same time she is very glad to have her in her life, to find out things about the biological side of her family – there are also half siblings.

Now this is one person’s point of view. There are many other experiences out there. I just thought it was interesting to post what her feelings are regarding the love she has for her mother and father versus what she feels for the women who gave birth to her.

As I’ve mentioned a few times here I did not know my birth father – he died right around the time I was born. He had no siblings, his dad was dead and his mother died when I was very young. After his mother died I had no contact with his side of the family. I know nothing exact about his medical history. I do have a few photos of him with my mom and the stories that have been told to me by those who knew him. I was raised by another man, who adopted me, and who I consider my father. When I was a teenager I fantasized A LOT about my dead dad, as an adult I know I am very happy with my life and that a lot of who I am is because of my adopted father. I’ve grown up thinking a parent is more than a biological connection. In a very real way it has prepared me for the DE path – not that this was a path I ever envisioned or knew existed. I had dreams of having a family the old fashioned way.

I don’t blame myself because my eggs didn’t work – they just didn’t. I accept that we will never know why, and even if we did know why it would just be a fact, not a fault. I do think of myself as someone who perseveres and continues to have hope and I am someone who absolutely believes parenthood is more than genetics because that has been my own experience.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

You never know who has used donor eggs…

Note: I re-wrote this post from the first posting…feel it now says more of what I wanted to convey…and kami thanks for your support as always…when I put this new post up everything got deleted.

It’s good to tell people.

The pediatrician we interviewed this morning has two children via egg donor. This was wonderful news to us. I think I felt my heart lifting when he said that. It re-enforces my belief that being open and honest about DE is the way to go and just for that serendipity – finding someone who has some direct experience with infertility with the issues around DE or DI etc.

I keep wanting to talk about DE with more people. For me it is very freeing and every time we speak about it I feel it becomes less of a big deal, more of a this is what we did. If that makes any sense.

I had a long talk with a friend recently who was adopted and is now in touch with her bio mom. I’ll post about that later as I think there is some correlation between what she has experienced and some of the things I know I’ve thought about when deciding on a donor and thinking about how we would tell the future little one etc.

I’m out of time today, need to get back to work, but will post more on this later.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

It takes 30 weeks plus 1 day

to stop feeling totally terrified that something might happen to the pregnancy (which i still do please see previous post). At least for me. Not that superstition has abated totally. No baby shower and we still have not bought anything for the future little one…although we have plenty of time and I do have a list.

It is very exciting to feel the future little one kick and move. Which it does a lot and is a sign of good health, I’m told. I’m meeting with our doula again this Friday – that’s actually the one thing I did do very early on – find a doula. Like as soon as we passed the 3mnth mark. We are walking the fine line between natural birth and a hospital that does mostly epidural and c-section births. It helps that our obgyn has worked with doulas in the past and is on board. Of course since we’ve prepared for natural I’m also totally prepared to be told I need a c-section for some sudden reason (or not so sudden as I’ve been told the placenta is lying very low and may obscure the cervix so the baby would not be able to come out). You know it’s like planning for a wedding – it wont ever go perfect – and it’s just one day compared to all the days, weeks, months, years after. So we’re doing what we can to plan for a natural birth knowing full well that anything can occur and we just need to go with the flow when/if anything happens. Bottom line is we trust the care we have. Same for the IVF doctor. We very much trust him too. It’s so important to trust and like the people we allow to handle our bodies so intimately.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Infertility doesn’t stop when you're pregnant

It has often been confusing to me being pregnant. Not the pregnancy, that’s been something where I’ve felt afraid the whole time that something will go wrong…no, I’m talking about the signs of visible fertility. Kami has a post about this that got me thinking about it even more. Sometimes I feel very uncomfortable – like when the lady on the street corner asked me my due date and then told me to be careful because there were women out there who could not get pregnant so they might want to steel my baby, possibly even cut it out of my stomach. I’m not kidding. It was so absurd. And of course I am one of those women who could not get pregnant. Could not until DE and even then, it’s not a given. I got lucky. Finally.

I straddle both worlds. Once my husband and I started having our fertility problems five years ago we slowly withdrew from the people we know who were pregnant, or had children. It was just too painful to be around them or to hear them talk about their babies etc. It was our effort at self-protection. And it sort of worked. When I spoke to friends over the phone and they started in with baby related talk I would not go along for the ride because it left me in tears after hanging up. Rather I started saying things like, oh wow, I didn’t realize the time, I’ve got to go, or some version of that. It was much better than going along.

Now we are pregnant and I found myself reluctant to speak about the pregnancy because I remember and know all too well how painful it is to hear about pregnancy and babies if you want them. I do this, apparently to a fault. One friend actually asked my husband if everything was ok with the baby because I never talk about it. She is single and in her 30’s and I just didn’t talk much about it because I didn’t want her to be upset. Same with the other friends of ours who do not have kids or are not in relationships. The interesting thing is that she, unlike me, wants to hear about it. Which means, as Kami discusses in her post (and others discuss in the comments), that it is better to ask and be honest with people. So in that spirit: I grapple with how much to talk about my pregnancy online because I know when I wasn’t pregnant there were many days when I just couldn’t read about someone who was, and then there were the days when reading about someone who’d been through so many hurdles and was finally pregnant gave me great hope. I try to strike a balance here, if I haven’t please let me know.

Ultimately I don’t think infertility stops when something works be it a pregnancy or an adoption or the decision, as some make, to get off the roller coaster completely. Infertility changes all of us and makes us who we are, or will become. I think I am a better person today for all that I’ve been through (and will continue to experience) hopefully more empathetic and sensitive to those around me. I am continually reminded to take nothing for granted. Especially this online community.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

A little more on telling…

So my husband and I have now told just about all the people in our lives that are close to us about DE and the struggles we’ve been through regarding infertility. Mostly in superficial detail with more explanation when it’s asked for. A couple of interesting things friend revealed that she too had two miscarriages
2.only one friend asked us questions about the donor

Regarding #2: I’m not sure why more of our friends haven’t asked more detailed questions but I can say that I was grateful to go into detail with the friend who did ask. It felt amazingly good to talk frankly about coming to terms with DE, choosing the donor, the first waves of genetic loss followed by the embracing of the idea that a baby is much more than genes. the best things my husband and I can pass on to the future little one is o the knowledge we have learned and continue to learn by living our lives.

I’d be curious, if anyone wants to share, how your friends reacted when you told them about doing DE or DI. Did they ask lots of questions? Tell you that they were happy for you and leave it that? Something else?

Oh – glucose test came back negative. No gestational diabetes!

Monday, November 26, 2007

worry warts

turkey day was fine -- my husband and i decided that we would tell people about the donor if it made sense to do so regardless of my parents. it's been interesting for me to see how much i still want their approval even though i'm an adult. needless to say it didn't actually come up...and most people there were not family. the close friends who came already knew so there you are. once again i was worried about something that didn't happen. i read something somewhere once about how the things you worry about are the things that don't happen which is true until it isn't. so i guess it's good to be prepared. and i appreciate the advice that people left for me. it was helpful.

had a glucose test this AM and everything seems normal. i'll know the results in a day or two. i ate the food the chinese doctor suggested instead of the bagel the doctor suggested and feel fine. no sugar crash. and quinoa congee is fairly yummy. the test really wasn't as bad as i thought it would be. once again something i was worried about that was basically a nothing.

we are now 27 weeks and the baby is 2 pounds. doctor said this is when you feel the kicks the strongest because the baby is big enough and there is still room for it to move around.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Sweet and Low

On Monday I go in for a glucose test – this is a test for gestational diabetes that, at least from my doc.’s point of view, is mandatory even if you have no symptoms because there is a 5% chance I could be one of those who has it but doesn’t show it. Being a veteran infertile I know all about being on the low side of the odds so I’ll have to suck it up, or drink it down a 20 oz. bright orange sugar liquid. You have to fast for about 8 hours beforehand drink the stuff and then take a blood test an hour later. I don’t eat sugar (except in fruit and sometimes honey) so I imagine I’ll get pretty wound up and then totally crash and feel like crap. On the up side I spoke with my Chinese doctor who told me what to eat right after the test and the homeopathic pediatrician we found suggested some drops to take as specific intervals post sugar high.
Will report back and let you know.

One more thing: my husband finally told his brother about DE – no we hadn’t told him, hadn’t even told him details about our infertility, we’re very good at keeping secret, but as I’ve written here before we don’t want this to be a secret. He’s still got a few more to tell, but that will come. Of course tomorrow being thanksgiving there are more people we could tell BUT because my parents, while understanding that we want to share this information, are reticent to tell anyone they know there is a bit of a conflict in my own mind: do we tell people because want to tell them tomorrow OR, to spare my parents their conflicting emotions etc., do we just not say anything save it for times when we see individuals alone? i think im leaning toward waiting for the parents not to be around. Anyone have any advice/thoughts on this?

have a nice thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

95% of the time it’s nothing…

Just got a pre-cancerous melanoma removed on Saturday. The dermatologist had said “when you’re pregnant things grow so be sure to check in with me” and voila…she found something. Well, that’s why I go. This is the third one that’s gotten cut out of me. I take cancer or it’s possibility very seriously. Coming up on Thursday is the three year anniversary of the general check up appointment when the doctor, agreeing with my Chinese doc and acupuncturist, felt things weren’t quite right around my neck and that I should get a scan. 95% of the time it’s nothing…and silly me, I believed her. Of course it wasn’t fine. And I had to have a 6 hour surgery to remove two tumors and my entire thyroid which meant that the treatment after surgery was more aggressive. Basically I drank radiation. When you don’t have a thyroid you don’t have a metabolism, and without a metabolism your stops working. There are drugs to take that can give you a metabolism. The trick is knowing how much. Every person is different and it is not dependent on weight or height. Basically you feel like crap until the meds are adjusted which takes a few months.

And what does this have to do with fertility? Well the day I got the go ahead to start my first IVF cycle after all the tests etc. was the day I found out I had cancer. I was on the phone with the IVF doctor when the cancer doctor called. Too much. Really. After my surgery the first thing I asked when I could think was can I still do my IVF cycle. I’m lying in bed barely able to speak unable to really move my head and all I could do was focus on that. When the cancer doctor said no I’d have to wait six months because I’d have to do some aggressive follow up treatment since the tumor had touched muscle I just cried and cried and cried.

In fact it’s safe to say I never really dealt with the cancer because I was much more focused on wanting to have a baby. Now that we are pregnant (25 weeks) I guess I’m finally wondering to myself if I actually dealt with everything I went through. I don’t know that I have.

Maybe some of you know what I mean – I mean about not dealing with other big huge things in life because fertility/infertility completely takes over. Has that happened to anyone else?

Friday, November 2, 2007

what if the other shoe never drops?

Next Monday is the 6 month or 24 week check up. It’s hard for me to believe. Still. All the baggage from the years of trying does not simply get put into storage. It’s more like a suitcase that I still carry around with me. I don’t know that it’s necessarily bad. Or that I want to forget. Actually I know I don’t want to forget. What I struggle with is how to feel at peace with where i am now, with full acceptance, with not worrying that something terrible will happen. But I guess terrible things do always happen and maybe all I can hope for is that I have the strength and wisdom to deal with things as they come up. Sometimes it’s hard to just be happy without the worry. My husband was also saying he’s worried because everything is going so well for us now. We’ve been so used to not having things go the way we’d hoped that now that we are we’re worried because everything is too good. Is this normal? I don’t know.

What I do know is im feeling cautiously optimistic about this pregnancy and about having a healthy birth. The little one kicks a lot now. Or I feel the kicks more often, take your pick. That’s the optimist part. The cautious part is my husband and I have not thought about names, we have not gone shopping for things yet and we wont have a baby shower (we’re way too superstitious). But that’s fine.

What else…oh! People have been asking us if the future little one is a boy or a girl. we opted for not knowing. For us after so much medicalization and knowing almost too much we wanted to have this be a surprise.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

On making the choice to go with a donor

When I started this blog we’d already made the choice to go with a donor, had found our donor in fact and were waiting to cycle. We were at peace with our path. BUT getting to that point was not easy. I mean we didn’t just wake up and say lets do this. We didn’t just embrace donor egg. We didn’t just say hey, what a great idea. In fact it would be more accurate to say that I felt like saying f$%#! off to our doctor when he mentioned that I was a great candidate for this option after try number 3. My husband who loves tough odds said if we just persevere we’ll be fine. I was pretty sure too. After all I couldn’t be one of those people who’d have to resort to that now could I?! Besides I was just 37 had great responses, great fertilization results and we knew from our previous miscarriages that carrying a baby wasn’t the issue. Patience was what we needed. Patience we had.

But it kept not working.

After the 5th try our doctor mentioned it again. We said oh we’d like to keep trying. He said fine. This time I cried when I got off the phone with Doctor XY. I couldn’t be the one that had to go THAT route is basically what I thought. Again we reasoned it was a matter of perseverance that even with a less that 5% chance there was still a chance. And then the EPHIPHANY: I went to see my acupuncturist and he, looking like Buddha with soft lighting behind him, said it doesn’t matter how you have a child (natural, donor, adoption) the right soul will find you. And that gave me pause. It made (it makes) sense to me. For the first time I really thought, hmm…I could do that.

But we didn’t.

After the 6th try and another donor suggestion from doctor XY my husband and I had a long talk and I had a long (several day) cry. Our chances were less than 1% of conceiving with my eggs. We decided to go in and meet the head of the DE program who we naturally hated because we had not fully accepted needing to be there in the first place. We were still scheduled to try again with IVF/PGD, we just said to ourselves this is how we cover all our bases. This way we have a back up plan and we need to do this now because it can take 6mnths to a year to find a match.

Shortly after we sent in our application the fabulous nurse we’d worked with over the past year called and said she had the perfect donor for us. She said I just want you to know she’s here for you. She sent us her information (as much as we were allowed to see in an anonymous donor situation) and in fact, we liked what we saw. We actually never looked at anyone else. Maybe it’s strange but I’ve never had any doubts, and neither did my husband, that she was the right donor for us. I guess that is because at this point the idea of the soul and the letting go of the mini me had taken over and it did not seem so important that the details of the donor (length of fingers, size of eyes, type of hair, etc. things that had originally seemed of the utmost importance) mattered so much.

But we wanted to try again.

After the 7th try well…devastation. naturally. Again. This time we talked openly with our doc about a donor…he strongly urged us to do it while also supporting us if we wanted to try again with my eggs although he was clear that it would be random luck to get pregnant with my eggs. He also said that even the fertilized egg that past the PGD test might still not be ok because they can’t test for everything. In other words the odds were, given our past history, that there would be something wrong with it. We’d gone from a 20% chance of success when we started to actually not having a percentage chance at all. This was what got us. We’d gone beyond percentages. Well that and the opinion of two other doctors.

So then…

We started to feel lucky that we had another option for us to experience pregnancy/birth. And then I started this blog because I felt alone, and scared and I found all these other blogs and wonderful women and well that’s the short version of the beginning of our story.

Hopefully this post wasn’t too long.

Friday, October 19, 2007

letting go

Kami has a very interesting post at Are We There Yet – discussing her feelings about being a donor recipient. Certainly for me coming to terms with this has not been fluid…I’ve mourned the genetic loss and occasionally still do even as my own history of never knowing my biological father and being adopted by my non genetic dad makes me realize how unnecessary genetic continuity is in creating a family. I get angry or resentful of people who seem so cavalier about pregnancy – this time I want a girl, or the just we wanted to have a baby and two months later voila, preggers…or even the we want more children…all the things the “fertile world” says. I resent the way they take their fertility for granted even as I understand that it’s totally normal to do. Why should you ever think it could be a problem? But it can be, it is. And then I think that this experience, the losses, the trying, the pain and sadness that my husband and I have gone through, that has made us appreciate this precious growing life in a way I don’t know we would have been able to do had we not gone through all that we have.

Finally I really believe as I posted on kami’s site:
To me it seems natural to mourn or be angry at the genetic loss while understanding that genetic code is only one part of what makes us who we are. it’s important to make peace with conceiving through DE. For me it’s an ongoing process (part of which I deal with by telling people about it). That said I know in my heart when our little one is born (hoping that all continues to go well) the fact that we used DE wont make one bit of difference.

Thankfully love is not based on genetic code.

On our little one front: more movement. i had a moment of panic the other day when i thought when was the last time i felt anything...instantly morbid thoughts flooded my is so easy to get pulled into those dark thoughts...the trauma of infertility has a long reach.

Friday, October 12, 2007

And on the spreading the news front:

I’ve now told my two closest friends. they had interesting reactions.
Friend one said: I sensed there was something you weren’t saying but I was scared to ask because I thought it would be something bad because of your previous history. She was so relieved and happy for us. It was nice to hear.
Friend two said: That’s amazing. I didn’t know about that and it gives me hope (she’s single in her late 30’s and wants children) and it seems like a nice option besides adoption.

We decided to tell people now because I just had my 20 week scan and everything is GREAT!!!! I really felt like I was being dishonest before. After all, as I’ve said before we are proud of our SUPER HIGH TECH WUNDER CHILD and grateful that we had this option. The main reason we weren’t saying anything or the two main ones were:
1. fear that the pregnancy would not be viable
2. we’d gotten used to not talking about anything related to fertility – it’s just been so painful.

So now we’re just spreading the news of how we conceived. It feels, for me, like a BIG HUGE BURDEN has been lifted. What a relief.

Oh and the best for the last: I started feeling the little one kick and move last week. I was lying in bed reading and felt these two little movements. I almost cried. I never thought I’d feel that, or get to this point. They are very soft pushes on the inside of my lower belly. Like if someone was to gently poke you in the abdomen with their finger. Now I’m feeling them everyday. Maybe now, at 21 weeks i'm finally starting to relax, just a tiny bit and accept that things just may continue to be ok and normal as far as pregnancy goes. It's a strange feeling, not used to it at all.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Wow…time moves fast. I didn’t realize how long it had been since my last post. Got buried under a work tsunami.

So, as promised, here are some books that my husband and I read as we thought about telling or not telling:

1. Telling and Talking about Donor Conception with 0-7 year olds. A guide for parents. This is put out by the donor conception network a non profit group based in England. It’s very slim with useful information AND quotes from parents discussing telling, not telling and other related experiences like enrolling children in school. It’s very straightforward. We liked that there were so many examples from actual parents for very common situations.
2. Flight of the Stork What Children thnk (and When) about Sex and Family Building by Anne C. Bernstein. This is not about if or when you should tell but, as the title says how to speak to a child in an age appropriate way. Since we don’t have much experience speaking to kids this was interesting.
3. Having your Baby Through Egg Donation By Ellen Sarasohn Glazer. This one is mostly for those thinking about egg donation although there are a few pages about Parenthood and suggestions on whom you might want to tell. I’d say not necessary if you’ve already taken the decision to go the donor route.
4. Experiences of Donor Conception. Parents, Offspring and Donors through the Years. Caroline Lorbach. Another book we really liked and found useful probably for the same reasons we liked the Telling and Talking book – although this has many more pages – we like the quotes and interviews from people who have gone through the experiences. There is also a section of essays by donor conceived adults none of whom knew from birth about their special conception. It’s interesting though, what I found really helpful, again, is what the parents of donor children had to say about their own choices and experiences.

If there’s a book or site about donor conception that you like please let me know.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Gone hiking

Really. We’re off for a week to hike. I can’t wait. This is the first vacation since October 2005 that is not a pre or post IVF, let’s rest or let’s recuperate trip/weekend. And it’s also a needle free one! Clearly my idea of vacation has changed a lot over the past few years.

I still have another book to check out and when I’m back in, gasp, October (ok, ok, it’s only a week but when we’re back it will be a new month) I’ll post which one or ones struck a cord when we get back. no computer in hiking land...

One more thing…ever since we had the talk about telling I feel like a giant HUGE burden has been lifted from my shoulders. No I have not said anything yet but that’s because it’s something I’d like to do in person to the people I’d like to share the info with. Of course if there’s one thing I’ve learned lately it's that there's never a perfect time. So perhaps the phone will do…but in the meantime it’s time to go hiking!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

It starts with a whisper

So my husband told a friend of his (also going through infertility with his wife) that our pregnancy is through the amazing technological wonders of donor egg. And wouldn’t you know, he was like “that’s great”. And so it begins, the telling of a few close friends…what a relief to have it out there. For us this feels right. And of course they may tell people too…but that’s ok. By the time the baby is born (knock on wood because I still get waves of fear), none of this will be an issue.

M , who is trying to choose a donor has an interesting discussion on her blog about genetics: do they matter? check it out.
I left a long post there which i wont repeat here but i will say this:
My husband and I want to have a child/children to raise people who will make a positive difference in this world. In the nature vs. nurture debate I think that may fall with nurture. So yeah, genetics matter on some levels but perhaps not with this.

On the donor egg book front – I’ve been reading a few and the next post will cover which ever one or ones I think might be work someone else taking a look at. One of them seems particularly helpful but I want to wait till I finish it to post more.

Monday will be week 17 for us. Last week we heard the choo choo train sound of the little ones hearbeat.

Friday, September 7, 2007

The Cat’s Out Of the Bag

So we had a great family therapy session with my family regarding “telling”. As I mentioned before it was my immediate family’s first response of “why tell anyone including the child?” that prompted us to go in the first place. And I’m so glad we did. It really cleared the air. Sometimes you really do need a third person involved so that what is being said really gets heard. I must say my parents made a HUGE leap by the end of the hour in their understanding of why it is not only important for the child to know it’s AMAZING FANTASTIC HI TECH DESIGNER BABY origins, but for the people closest to us to know too. Can you imagine the scenario of the future little one saying to Uncle xy “did you know three people made me, I’ve got a special piece?” And Uncle XY not ever hearing the word donor before saying something like “what, no! you’ve got it all wrong” or something like that….anyway you get the idea.

As for the mister and his hesitation at telling others – once he understood how uncomfortable I was feeling when people close to me were asking certain questions that I felt I was responding to in a lie (maybe it would have helped if i'd told him about these things), and once we both realized that you don’t even want to have a whiff of shame associated with what we are doing, it became clear that telling a circle of other people was/is as important as telling the future little one.

And what about the world knowing? Well if the world ends up knowing that is fine too. But it’s not our mission to tell every stranger on the street, or person we are not in close contact with. Rather it is our mission to have this be open information that is familiar and comfortable and essentially just a part of our story so that when the future little one does encounter someone who says something negative the little one has the confidence and knowledge to either respond or not care.

We are proud of the technology that has enabled us to become pregnant. All the things we went through to get here as individuals and as a couple have made us stronger and made our capacity for love even greater.

Is your family supportive of the decisions you make/have made regarding donors and telling?

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Fear vs. Stomach

my stomach finally trumped my fear. i bought maternity clothes yesterday (just finishing up week 14). i hope this is not jinxing things but i've been walking around with my pants unbuttoned and long shirts for a while now. my mantra is "this time things are different" and then i take a few deep breaths when the anxiety creeps up.

next week we are going to talk to a family therapist with my parents regarding disclosure -- i'm looking forward to this and hopefully it will give us some broader understanding of ourselves and of this topic. i've also ordered a few books on DE and books for DE children based on a long bibliography from our IVF clinic..once i get them if any seem really good to me i'll post the titles.

what else...we started telling our friends our news...just the pregnancy part. most of them didn't even know about the IVF or our losses -- it was something we chose not to share. anyway, that has been interesting. i feel very hesitant, it's partly the fear and partly just, well it feels strange to have this type of good news and i'm not sure how to wear to speak.

many of my close friends are single women all of whom would like to have children and find a life partner so im very sensitive about how to tell them -- plus i've been on the receiving side of pregnancy news and felt a mixture of happiness and devastation (because of our fertility issues) so often and for so long that i just don't want our news to be the focus of most conversations.

it goes without saying that the already extended offer for a baby shower was kindly denied because well, frankly, i am too scared to celebrate until our baby is born. wow i can't believe i just wrote that...until our baby is great is that?!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

s/he looks just like you part two

a little more on disclosure.

Yes we want to tell our child everything…but does that mean we tell everyone everything?

I have to say that I feel funny not saying anything but the MR. doesn’t want to think about this right now. He wants us to just be happy things are working (knock on wood). I don’t think every stranger needs to know our story but I am feeling like some of our close friends, especially two who have had fertility issues of their own, are people it seems odd not to tell the real deal too. I worry that inadvertently we will become the poster couple for IVF…if you just stick to it eventually it will work. But that is not our case. I mean so far it has worked (currently finishing week 13) but with DE.

When I tried to bring up the subject recently to my husband he got very defensive and I shut down. I don’t like fighting. So I stopped pressing it, and decided to wait for another day. no im not dropping the issue. Last night we told two friends who have been through fertility issues our news and they were so happy for us…PGD worked they said, or something like that. GOD I felt like such a liar. This baby, our baby was conceived via DE. There is nothing wrong with this, why should we hide it? And yet, and yet…my husband is hesitant and my parents don’t think we should breathe a word.

I asked about disclosure before regarding telling a child, but what about friends? Or mere acquaintance? Do you draw a line? Do you tell everyone? I personally am for telling though as one wise person posted on this site..”you can’t untell” so I’m not in a rush at the moment but I don’t think it will sit well with me to forever say nothing to anyone.

Anyone have any thoughts on this?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

All’s clear

so lots of good news this week from the medical front.

1. ultra scan (the test for trisome and down syndrome) was fine (lowest possible risk category). they ask you to drink 20oz of water an hour before my appointment. in order to do this i arrived an hour early with a book, drank everything in one gulp, curled up in a chair and didn't move. for the scan you lie down and depending on where the baby is it can take a few minutes or, if you're like me, 45...not comfortable with a full bladder -- but seeing the images is amazing.
because i'd done the blood test a week prior i was able to get the results immediately, which was a relief.

2.had my blood levels checked at the IVF clinic on Tuesday and they are good which means my body is producing enough of everything. bye bye meds. finally. officially discharged. i wrote a note to dr.XY saying how thankful we were for everything.

tomorrow another gyno appointment and then we will slowly start telling a few close friends our news. it's really hard as i mentioned before to pull ourselves out of the "it's a secret" mode. that and to try not be scared that things will go wrong. we're trying.

Friday, August 10, 2007

The needles I have known

Today was the last morning for shots. hard to believe. i have no idea how many hundreds of shots i've had. it has been 23 months. that's right. i did my first ivf/pgd september 2005 and have been at it ever since taking two sometimes three month breaks in between. i also pull of my estrace patch and stop popping the progesterone pill. On tuesday i go in for blood work to make sure levels are all ok. i still doesn't seem real that i wont have a sharps container in a special spot, bottles, band aids, heating pads, ice etc.

anyway, just wanted to share that. it's a really big deal for me (and my husband) that there are no more meds...well we hope not.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Good news!

just stopped by DG's site and her pregnancy test was positive. how great is that?! i think she goes in for the blood test in a few days.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

It’s a secret…

everything went great yesterday -- after i stopped crying from fear and then relief i saw the heartbeat which was reassuring. our doc. even said you can tell everyone. HA...and there's the catch: we've spent so many years not telling anyone anything and leading these double lives that it feels really odd to think no more second life that now all of a sudden after not sharing our infertility we will share our fertility. my husband and i agreed to wait until next week after the ultrascreen (non invasive procedure to test for trisome 12, 18 and 21) to make sure that everything really is ok...and then there will be the telling (again assuming all is ok) -- but like i said it seems odd and the words almost stick in my throat. and how do we say them, and when -- right now only my mother and our doctors know. so we will wait till next thursday when the test results come back before saying boo to anyone about this.

then there is the other thing of: do we explain the donor egg idea right from the get go? We want full disclosure for our child, does that mean full disclosure to everyone? to close friends and family? i'm not sure what it means. If anyone has thoughts on this please let me know.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Testing, testing 1,2, 3

I went in for the blood test part of the ultra scan this morning. as i filled out the form i was totally surprised at the box which said ivf: age of egg donor. Wow. There must be a critical mass or recipients to get a box on an insurance form. the test is a quick finger prick and then next week is the ultrascreen to check for fetal abnormalities. as i've mentioned more than once: the fact that this is a DE pregnancy makes all these test so much less stressful -- i can actually go by myself as the terror alert is more like a blue than bright brilliant red.

still can't say i can do everything alone. we are also scheduled today for another ultrasound with a new obgyn -- still don't have one yet....for this appointment i need my husband to hold my hand. it's actually at the same office where we went the two time we discovered that we would need d&c's. i had mixed feeling about going back there -- the memories are so sad and horrible. on the other hand, this is a new chapter, i hope.

today is the beginning of week 11.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007


i'm still having some problems not letting go of the fear that something will happen -- as i well know something bad can. so while i am really happy that things continue to seem good, i am struggling with letting myself really accept what is going on even as my body tells me all is well. my boobs are so HUGE now they are like aliens on my body. i think i'm growing out of the C cup which is terrifying...i mean it's the end of my 10th week! it also means i might have to get another bra which i don't want to do in case this doesn't work out. maybe i should have called this post conflicted? i've actually rewritten for the second time now.

We have not told anyone our news except my mother -- as far as we're concerned it's not news until we pass that magic trimester mark AND the ultrascreen comes back with an "everything looks normal". Every time i pee (which is often) i look to make sure there is no blood. My pants aren't fitting not because i'm showing but because my butt and thighs have expanded with my appetite. still i don't want to buy anything new because what if this doesn't work.

We have not bought any pregnancy books either because the last time we did that the shipment came like 2 days after the first D&C. it was heart breaking and this horrible reminder of our hopes. so now that we've "arrived" i'm just gonna wait before unpacking.

if this pregnancy continues i guess ill find out if/when these worries dissipate.

we have an obgyn appoitment on monday, that will be 10 weeks if things go as we hope they will.

in the DE blog world I'm hoping that things will continue to go well for drowned girl who just did a FDE transfer and Lara who is getting her second beta today and anyone else who just transferred or is waiting to hear something in the next few days.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Keep moving

everything continues to look good. as we were waiting for the obgyn i started getting really really nervous. when we saw the scan on the screen i burst into tears i was so relieved. and then i couldn't stop crying for about five minutes. and now i'm back in front of the computer trying to do work but obviously not doing it as im writing this.

so there it is. we have a pass go card again. the next test is the non-invasive one to check for abnormalities. the relief i feel what was are using a donor egg and not mine is once again HUGE. of course the fear will come back, and we are not out of the wood yet (are we ever?) but for today it is not here.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

me count?

9 weeks 2 days today…hmm. We have a obgyn visit on Friday and as we get closer I get more nervous. our first pregnancy ended at 9 weeks…I know this is different. I keep wondering if the fear will ever go away. So far it’s more like a rolling sea – comes up in waves. I do have symptoms (tired, sleepy, and my boobs jumped from a large A cup to a C cup -- yes they seem to be meant for some other body.

the thing that is so wonderfully different, that I have to keep telling myself and blogging here, is that this time we used donor eggs. This time the eggs are healthy.

And still...i am so nervous about it that i don't want to plan into the future and i didn't even want to buy an new bra in case things don't work out. that said i had to buy a new bra because i just couldn't squeeze into mine. while im excited at the change i keep thinking what if...and then i put on a baggy shirt and try to pretend nothing is any different. We are also trying to hid any changes from friends and family until we pass the magic 12 week mark. basically i work, fall asleep at my desk, don't go out and look like a slob. but hey...that's ok.

Anyway I’ll check back Friday. For anyone reading please think good thoughts for us.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

s/he looks just like you

certainly not a comment a donor recipient expects to hear, although i have read that it does happen.

my husband and i decided a while ago on full disclosure to our child (if we should be lucky enough to have one). i know this is not the usual way that one has a family, but there are so many different permutations of families these days...we're not quite sure how we will say it -- someone we know who is a mother from donor egg began telling her daughter almost immediately the story of the nice lady who helped create her.

that said I don't know that we plan to tell everyone -- certainly the obgyn who we work with will know -- whether we tell all our friends? the stranger on the street who says "s/he look just like you!"...maybe to them i'd just nod...i don't know.

there is no stigma attached to this, at least i don't think there is -- but it does require a little explanation and i don't know we will always feel like giving it. moreover at some point it will be up to the, now imagined, teenager if s/he want to tell people.

on the other hand -- there are people we will tell -- we don't want to inadvertently become the poster couple for IVF finally working...they tried 8 times and now look! so for those people we know who find themselves down the IVF road and having it not work we will/would absolutely spill.

genetics does not a family make...and yet without the donated genetics we would not have the possibility of a family.

so yeah, we plan on telling the story right from the beginning -- getting practice saying the words so that later they wont seem so awkward.

do you plan to disclose? have you thought about it?

coming up for air

so we did not go back for another scan Tuesday despite the nice offer of dr.xy at the fertility clinic. i decided i didn't want to give into my fears -- this pregnancy is different from the other ones. instead of dreading the worst im going to try and hope for the best.

don't get me wrong i remain TERRIFIED, at least part of me does, but if i don't take a stand within myself to not succumb to every fear now i don't know when i will. so there it is.

we are hoping for the best and are always prepared for something else.

today we are 8 weeks and 2 days pregnant. everything, at least on the surface seems fine. we have an appointment with an obgyn july 27th for an exam and another appointment on the same day with another obgyn for a consultation.

continuing to mostly hold my breathe but occasionally breathing.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Knock on wood

second scan was good. we heard a my husband said yesterday "i think im finally giving myself permission to be happy but i want to knock on wood anyway."

all i can say is that as scary as the scan is for us given our previous history with pregnancy scans it would be A THOUSAND TIMES SCARIER if this pregnancy was with my eggs.

the knowledge that the odds are we were given a healthy egg from a proven donor makes an enormous difference. this is something we thought about when we took the decision to go with DE -- that knowing we'd be using healthy eggs meant the fear factor would go down enormously. and it has.

of course, because i always have to say this: anything can happen.

for now all is well.

Monday, July 9, 2007

getting to here from there

i've been reading a bit on other DE blogs about the process of accepting (or not accepting) the path of DE. a little pregnant has a really good discussion going on about this and if you haven't read it you might want too. there are MANY points of view.

for the record i wanted to explain our thinking a little bit more and why we were able to accept DE. of course when Dr.XY first mentioned it when we had failed ivf/pgd #3 we were OUTRAGED....but by #7 things had changed a lot: we'd gone from having odds have success (granted lower than 1%) to having the idea of random luck to get us through a healthy pregnancy. all of a sudden DE seemed like a gift not a curse.

some reasons i was also able to wrap my brain around the idea of DE and accept it into my heart and psyche.

1. my father died when before i was one and i was raised by my adopted father. when i think about who i am today -- mannerisms, values, how i conduct myself in this world and around others, not to mention many of my interests -- lots of these traits come from his example. i am who i am today because of how he and my mom raised me. how i look is the superficial coating. not to mention that i have "inherited" several of his facial expressions.

2. when my husband and i decided to have children it wasn't to have clones of ourselves (though of course that initial fantasy of blending our looks/talents was there), it was to raise people who would make a positive difference in this world.

3. we believe that a soul comes to you no matter how you have your child (adoption, DE, the "normal" way etc.)

4. of course i had my moments thinking wow, this child will never physically look like me but as i said above that is really not the reason we want children. i mourned the genetic loss as we discussed the idea of doing this, but that loss quickly became a gain when we realized how much we've learned through this process.

if anyone would like to share why they chose/welcomed DE as the right decision for them, please do.

Tomorrow is our 7 week scan...the balance of terror and hope continues.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

seeing is believing

"this is what we want" said dr.xy this morning when we did our scan. the heart was flickering and we could see blood pumping. it certainly feels real now and i was TERRIFIED to do the still not comfortable. i know anything can happen all to well and that a good scan now does not mean you make it through the first trimester.

that said things are different this time with a healthy egg. we have a second scan next week and then the hand off to the obgyn (i just found out mine quit so we are scrambling to find a new one).

i was reading some other blogs and the question of being comfortable with a DE has come up here and there. i'd like to say for the record that there has been no looking back since we took the decision to go this route. for us it came down to a few things:

1. our probability of becoming pregnant with my eggs was so low it wasn't a probability but random chance

2. even if we got pregnant the likely hood that there would be something wrong was very high despite the PGD (they can't test for everything). the fact that none of the embryos ever took points to the fact that even though the passed they were damaged.

3. my acupuncturist mentioned to me the idea that the soul chooses it's parents so ultimately how it gets to you: adoption, DE, IVF, the "normal" way doesn't really matter...somehow that idea resonates with us.

so there has not been any looking back. and when we saw at the scan today neither of us thought this is a DE we thought: this is our baby -- and we could see that it was my body that is pumping blood into this teeny tiny life. that said we are very aware and grateful to our donor. we are not pretending she does not exist.

for today i am not scared.

Sunday, June 24, 2007


so just about a full week has gone by since we got over our first hurdle the positive pregnancy test. i struggle a little bit with actually believing it's true even as i find myself getting exhausted every afternoon, and very hungry once in a while. it is not smooth sailing after all the struggle and past pregnancies that didn't work. it's hard for me and my husband to let ourselves by happy or even fully embrace what is happening. don't get me wrong we are happy and grateful but we are also terrified. i keep thinking that as scared as we are we would be a thousand times more scared if we hadn't gone with donor eggs. with my eggs the odds that if id gotten pregnant i'd ever have had a healthy pregnancy were slim at best.

i had my follow up blood test a few days early and things are still looking good although my progesterone is borderline. they'd like the number to be high. what the number is i don't know. i don't ask because with my personality if i knew numbers i'd start fixating and scouring the Internet for information or misinformation all i know is they'd like it a little higher but are not worried and my beta is good.

so now my regime is

1. 3 estrogen pills a day

2. 1 estrogen patch every other day

3. 2 progesterone pills a day

4. and of course, one big shot every morning.

So it goes. i am doing a follow up blood test on Tuesday to check the progesterone levels and the big heartbeat check comes july 3rd. that is the one that is most terrifying because with my other two pregnancies that is when we were told the pregnancies were no longer viable and it was on to the D&C.

so i keep reminding myself not to jump ahead. to stay with today, and to remember that this time with a healthy donor egg things are very different.

Monday, June 18, 2007


it worked! we are pregnant. wow. very exciting and sort of surreal. i'd always wondered what it would be like to get the call that we should continue our shots etc....and now i know. after 7 phone calls saying stop everything and wait for your period we finally heard: keep taking your shots and taking your pills everything looks great right now.

i have no doubt doubts will come because of previous experiences -- but actually things are so different this time around. we started with a healthier egg -- not my eggs which have so many problems. my husband and i talked about how if the IVF/PGD had ever worked we'd have been terrified because we still wouldn't know that something wasn't wrong -- PGD detects only about 12 abnormalities. Right now we know that the egg that was used is totally healthy, without question -- and that the embryo (or embryos) growing inside us have a fantastic chance of being healthy. It is a relief, it is a gift.


so no sweating last night...phew. this AM we went for my blood test. I did not take a home pregnancy this time. I have always done this in the past on the 9th day because i've sweated at night and wanted confirmation that the cycle had failed before being told. This time is different. this time im thinking it may have worked and the idea of taking at home test and possibly getting a false negative is what has kept me from doing anything other than the blood test route.

ill get a call late this morning. not really going to try and concentrate. figure why pretend that i can? it's actually what i usually do, but i guess it seems like as good a time as any to do something different.

Saturday, June 16, 2007


well week has gone by fast. i have been mostly able to focus so that's good and the visit from my best friend was great. i have begun to dare thinking that this may have worked.


Well because the past seven times about 5 days before the pregnancy test i start sweating at night in three places:

1. between my breasts -- a sort of sticky sweat.
2. on the back of my head
3. back of my upper thighs.

I think this is my body trying to get rid of the progesterone that it no longer needs. Once i stop the shots then my body really goes to town for like the next two nights. so much sweat that i keep a spare t-shirt next to the bed so i can swap it with the totally soaked one i am wearing. really.

this time no sweats.

so two more days to see if my theory is correct.

i am cautiously hopeful.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


two were put back two frozen and another three waiting in the holding docks for possibly freezing today!

we are cautiously optimistic. i know the odds are better this and i also know that nothing is a sure thing. so now begins the waiting while pretending not to wait -- hoping that work sucks me in so much that i can totally concentrate and think about what im doing not what might or might not be happening in my body. luckily i love what i do and a good friend is staying with us for the week so time should move along.

although that said i am very much fine with the present moment.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

while you wait

waiting waiting waiting....i think i've spent the last 22months waiting on things IVF related and the last four years waiting for things pregnancy related. waiting for the right time of the month, waiting to try a pregnancy test, waiting to try again, waiting for doctors visit, waiting to see if the fetus grows or we do a D&C, waiting some more, waiting for information, waiting through cycles waiting through the times in between...and now waiting, again, for another transfer. albeit this time with way better odds. and at least i have plenty of practice! tap tap tap. there is a possibility we'd be called in today for a day 3 transfer...we'll see.

it is nice for me to read the blogs of other people going the DE route. Mr. B and i have been very private about all things fertility related and donor egg is so far away from the thinking of most people I don't even want to have to explain it, or us, or anything. Which is why, i guess, it is such a relief to read all the other DE blogs. so thank you to everyone who posts and puts up their experiences/thoughts/feelings you've all really helped me not feel so alone.

oh, and to answer Daisy, regarding putting back 2 or 3 embryos: previously we would have put back 3 because the odds were so low for us with my own eggs. to be honest i'd be so happy to put back one healthy embryo that had a decent chance. i really don't know what i'd do if given that choice. finally i think the clinic we are working with only puts back 2 on DE cycle so that wont even be an option for us.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007


well between today and yesterday 7 embryos grew. 7 chances for us to possibly have a healthy pregnancy and baby. the doc. said we will wait 5 days for a transfer. this is all new to us as our previous 7 attempts -- hmm the number 7 again -- were all with PGD when the fourth morning is spent staring at the phone waiting to find out if any embryos are healthy and can be put back. In our case it was always one in ten would be good to put back. amazing isn't it. Once we had 21 embryos and after PGD only three were deemed ok. what happened to my eggs? maybe the radiation treatments? maybe they were never that isn't age yet -- or so they tell me. and i guess, in the end it actually doesn't matter. this is the way it is. we are happy to have this other chance.

Friday, March 30, 2007


today i discoverd through broken eggs that there are more than a handfull of other women discussing their experiences, or their thoughts about going through this process. she has, in fact, a long list of blogs on her site.

Mr.B and i were talking last night and both of us are really relieved that we've embraced donor egg. imagaine we now have over a 40% chance of getting pregnant instead of a less than 5% chance. maybe less than a 2% chance...and even then we would not be certain that the egg was healthy despite the PGD.

Friday, March 16, 2007

doing 110%

yesterday i spoke to my shrink -- told her the news of our decision...i am amazed at the adaptability of the human brain to rationalize situations, to turn potential negative into positive. but then what else can we do? i mean should we sit around and say how horrible WHY ME?...and that's the epiphany i had one day on my way to the subway two weeks after my second miscarriage...WHY NOT ME? i mean it's not like i want anyone else to have to go through this...and then i realized at the same moment that i am not alone...that there are plenty of people out there going through whatever it is they are going through...and that somehow going through this pain makes me better able to empathize with the pain of others. and i guess that's why i can sit here today at 8:57 AM in front of my computer listening to regina spektor and say it's all going to be okay. a donor egg is of course not what we expected...i mean we didn't even know something like this existed way back when...and last year when Dr. XY suggested it after our 3rd IVF attempt i got so angry...what the hell was he saying...we can do this. MR.B and I agreed we would persevere. that low odds were our friends...that persistence pays off...and so we tried, 4, 5, 6, 7 and now we are here at the threshold of this new attempt, trying something different with a donor egg and hoping that this will be what works for us...cause really when you think about it, when i think about it we've actually had embryos 9 times (2 were previous miscarriages) 7 IVF attempts over 100 fertilized eggs only 10 good enough to put back...we have tried everything not to mention all the body work i do lets see

1. cranio sacral
2. maya massage
3. acupunture
4. very healthy diet in conjunction with chinese doctor
5. every test known to man and women by western docs
6. get my 8 hours
7. rarely drink
8. yoga six days a week
9. gym 4 days a week
10. meditation every day

i think i can truly say i am doing everything i can do. and i know we are going to a great doctor who has also tried everything, and we've spoken to other docs. to get their opinions and it all came to this: donor egg. and even then, even then we must keep in our minds that it is possible this will not work either. okay. enough for today.

Thursday, March 15, 2007