September 8, 2010

And the journey continues...

Thank you readers and Buds for the warm welcome yesterday. It feels good to be here.

So back to my TTC journey. A quick review of the Golden Bud TTC timeline thus far
  • 12/07: Start TTC
  • 10/08: RE visit, fertility tests
  • 12/08: IVF #1: cancelled on Day 8 due to no response
  • 3/09: IVF #2: 2 follies, 2 eggs, 1 embryo, BFN
  • 10/09: IVF #3: 2 follies, 2 eggs, 1 embryo, BFN
  • 12/09: Start the donor egg process
  • 3/10: Donor cycle
A lot of women talk about how hard it was for them to move on to donor eggs. For me the decision was a relief. I could finally stop throwing good money after my bad eggs, and the odds were so good that I couldn’t help but be giddy about the whole process, which goes a little something like this:

  • Month 1: More testing. Most of my tests had expired after 1 year, so I needed an SHG (less painful than the HSG) and blood work, and Mr. GB needed a new SA and blood work. We were also required to meet with a psychologist and a geneticist. Not sure we go sure we got our money's worth in return, but the $350 for both was just a drop in the bucket so I didn't complain.
  • Month 2: Mock cycle, which is basically a trial run of using the estrogen patches to test my lining. Mr. GB also had genetic tests done because we thought we were getting good pricing on the testing (we didn’t--long story). No genetic issues turned up, so we decided not to test the donor.
  • Month 3: Donor selection & cycle—yippee!

Now it was time to select a donor. I admit I was a little naïve about the selection process. I thought I'd make it fun by booking a date for Mr. GB and me to bring our laptops to Panera and look at donor profiles over dinner. What I discovered was that most of the donors I liked were already booked. This process was actually the hardest thing about IF thus far and I was unusually cranky for a few days. At the time I really wanted to find a donor just like me—looked like me, built like me, personality like mine. It wasn't until this process that I think I finally mourned the loss of my genetics and any coincidental resemblance to me. Fortunately a donor I liked became available, and my whole outlook changed. It takes some women months to find the right donor. It took me about a week.

So why did I choose our donor? She had blue eyes (like ours), fair skin (like ours), brown hair (like Mr. GB), wavy hair (like me), and 0+ blood (like ours). I also really liked her personal statement—she sounded just like me. She looked more like Mr. GB than me, so I figured at least our children would strongly resemble Mr. GB and not some other woman. I admit I did not obsess over her family health history, her occupation or grades, or her ancestry.

I put down our deposit before I even asked about her donation history. Another terribly naïve thing to do. Turns out she had 4 successful recipient pregnancies and I was thrilled! But I misunderstood the stats and thought that “0 embryos frozen” meant that none of the recipients had done a frozen cycle. What that really meant was that despite her successful recipient pregnancies, she’d never had embryos survive to freeze. But I let the 100% success rate go to my head and thought we’d have twins and be done with babymaking. Did I mention I was naive?

From the get-go I had a bad feeling about the cycle. I tend to be very intuitive and a little superstitious. My feeling of dread was caused by these events:

  • Day 5 of stims: Donor coordinator calls and says the donor is responding great and her meds have been reduced. My intuition says OVERSTIM! Immature eggs! Failure!
  • Day of ER is the day of the “spring forward” time change. I was paranoid that they would get her retrieval time off by an hour, and either the eggs would be gone or immature.
  • Day after ER: Embryologist calls. Bad news. Of 20 eggs retrieved, only 8 were mature. Her worst cycle ever. So I was right about my fears of overstimming. The embryologist was happy with the fert rate though—6 fertilized—but all I could think was that we only got 4 more eggs than I can produce myself.
  • Day of ET: Day 3 transfer of 2 embies. Saw a different RE than the one who’d done my previous 2 transfers. My bladder was overfilled and the RE had difficulty doing the transfer. So much so that the embryologist started to get worried. The RE put the embies back in the dish and kept trying. The second time was successful, but I couldn’t help but think that the embryos may have been damaged in the shuffle.
  • Freeze report: Nothing made it to freeze. I wasn’t surprised, but I was still devastated. This was the most upset I’d been to date.

Call me a Debbie Downer, but by this point I was really worried. I spent a few days on the couch pouting and I was convinced we’d failed.

I think I'll wrap this up for today.

Til then,

Golden Bud


Sunflower Bud said...

Killing me with the story ending!!! I'm a skip to the end of the book and read the last page first kind of woman.

Silver Rose said...

Me too! What a cliff-hanger!


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