Friday, May 1, 2009

The Prequel

Before starting this DE IVF cycle, I encountered some peaks and valleys. Let me start at the beginning.

Acceptance (process sucks but feels good once you get there):

When I was first diagnosed with POF, I was very young. After I had time to grieve the loss of a genetic connection associated with the prospect of mothering future children; I was able to reach acceptance. I asked myself to define the word mother. Many adjectives and responses came to mind. However, the idea of genetics never made the list.

I identified the word “mother” with love, safety, care giver, problem solver, teacher, patience etc…. It was and still is my sincere sentiment that a mother nurtures and loves unconditionally. I was confident that I had the necessary ingredients to be a mother. I wasn’t going to let a few “rotten eggs” stop me.

This self administered exercise made me curious so I decided to see what my good friend Webster had to say about it. Here is the dictionary’s definition of the word “mother”: 1. a female parent. Then, I decided to look up the term parent: 1. a father or a mother.2. a source, origin, or cause. 3. a protector or guardian. There is a mention of biology but it’s last on the list and described as one organism producing another. I met the criteria – even the biology part. How? The reality of this is simple - one human being deciding to create another human being. And whether I was able to use my own eggs, donor egg, or surrogacy; I’m making the decision to produce a child and it doesn’t matter how it happens.

Mock Cycles Suck:

After being diagnosed with POF, I wasn’t quite ready to have children at 30. Several things needed to happen first. However, I did want to know more about DE and if my body would be receptive to the protocol. So the journey began. First, my gynecologist referred me to RMA-NY. There, I got an overnight lesson in everything DE. My RE gave me all the proper blood work (FSH 40 Yikes!), and sonograms. The good new was that my uterus and everything else on the inside looked healthy enough to nurture a baby to term. Then, the RE decided to put me on a mock cycle. (Remember, at this point I’m not ready to TTC just want to see if I respond positively to the protocol). I completed the mock cycle and have one thing to say: Lupron SUCKS! Can you say HEADACHE! OMG! Whatever…I did it and the headaches, wild mood swings, and absolutely gross vaginal progesterone were the worst of it. The good news was that the RE was very happy with my uterine lining and all of my levels. i.e. I responded well.

I’m Still Single. Now What?

Like I said, several things needed to happen first. I was in and out of a relationship that simply wasn’t working and spent some time being single. Always in the front of my mind impressed the desire of having a baby. But I wanted it to be right. So now I had to decide if I was willing to take on this journey alone. It was an agonizing time. I would go back and forth between the concept of single parenting or waiting for Mr. Right. I decided to focus on my work and finishing up my degree. For now, I’ll wait.

Mr. Right is in the 2nd Row 5th Seat:

Working full time and going to school full time at night was hard work. But it was fun; challenging and I met my sweetheart. At first, he was rather annoying. He was the guy popping jokes and finding humor in everything. I was more serious and wanted to get through the daily lesson and hightail it home. However, we talked and studied all the time and grew to become great friends. He definitely had a fan club of “groupies” in class. Once I realized that annoyed me I knew there was something there….…more than friends. Since I was 5 years older than him, I wanted to keep it platonic. That didn’t stop him from trying. He was a persistent SOB and after months and months, I finally agreed to go on a “real” date with him. One entrĂ©e and a bottle of wine later and the rest is history!

Hey Honey…..did I ever tell you about my “rotten eggs”?:

Great! I’m in love with someone who gets me and loves me for me. At least what he knows about me. But will he still love me even with my sh1tty eggs? Will he love me? Will he still want me when he finds out the truth? What will he do when he finds out about my secret? I suffered with these thoughts for months before I decided to finally tell him.

“I love you. Not your “rotten eggs”, that’s what he said. I told him everything. I put it all out there. I revealed my history of cancer and the POF. When I looked up from my water filled eyes I had expected to see him running for the door. Instead, his eyes looked like mine. They were filled with tears. He comforted me and expressed that it would take more than that to get rid of him. He held my face in his hands and simply said………“I love you. Not your “stupid rotten eggs”.

Egg Donor Agencies Suck!

Last summer we started on a quest for the golden egg. That’s right! We were on a mission to find the perfect Egg Donor. Little did we know we had so much to learn about the agency process. Our clinic has a donor pool but it is strictly anonymous (no pics) and verbal profiles from your RE are provided. For us, it was important to see photographs and full profiles of prospective donors. We decided to subscribe to several online agencies and navigate through hundreds of donor pics and profiles. We did agree on a few and found one that was perfect!

We found a local donor through an out of state agency. She was gorgeous, smart, and the ethnicity was a match. The donor accepted the match and the agency contracts and legal docs were sent to us. We were so excited! But one thing that stuck out was the aggressive refund policies. As intended parents, we were not protected financially or emotionally. Basically, if the donor backed out for any reason or didn’t qualify with your clinic; we’d be out the agency fee of $5000 but as a favor to us she would allow us 30 days to select another donor. Gee thanks you money hungry @!#$@. Essentially, you pick the donor, send in the $5K and it is totally NONREFUNDABLE the minute it is cashed.

Selecting a donor is not like picking out an appliance. It’s an important decision and for many of us IP’s, many different factors go into the selection of a donor. Anyway…after marking up the owner’s agency contract and after several questions, the owner called and notified us that the donor decided to do a travel cycle with another couple. Yeah right! We asked too many questions and made it difficult for the owner to make an easy $5k. But she did take our $500 deposit.

After getting over the sting of losing that donor, we continued navigating on line donor databases. The ones I liked he passed on and the ones he liked I didn’t connect with. We fought. It was stupid and dumb. That’s the most intelligent way I could express the dynamic between us. Every time we did agree on a donor, she’d be unavailable when we called or a wait list of 3 people. We tried to negotiate and reason with agency policies but they were all pretty much the same as the charlatan mentioned above. Why? I understand it’s a business, however, if an agency solicits “great qualified donors”, we shouldn’t bare the financial and emotional strain if the match falls through. The costs associated with IVF and D-IVF are already astronomical. We couldn’t afford to lose money with agency BS and our relationship was suffering from donor obsession. Is this ever going to happen? Absolutely!

1 comment:

  1. I so loved your story and especially your definition of a mother. I could identify with all of it! Thanks for sharing!!!