Saturday, July 23, 2005

Cousin, Can You Spare An Egg?

When we first started the whole Baby Quest, my two cousins, (my favorite Aunt's daughters) volunteered to donate their eggs. We told them we hoped it wouldn't come to that but we'd keep it in mind. In fact, over the years I have had several friend offer to donate their eggs, which is just incredibly touching.

As our IVF cycles progressed, or rather came to abrupt halts, we started thinking more and more about my cousins' offers. My dear friends at this point were passed the age for donation and my cousins are in their early twenties. After our last cycle, we started making arrangements with my cousin A to figure what needed to be done. We knew the clinic had available schedules in July, and that A would be in summer school until the end of June. Her fall semester would start in mid August - so July it would be.

We had to go and meet with a social worker to discuss this option, who asked us all kinds of invasive questions "How do you think you would feel if you saw your kids and your cousins kids playing together? ....Happy? Why on earth wouldn't I be happy? All kinds of asshat questions. We talked with the ovum donor nurse, who was very pleasant and told us what kind of screening would be necessary for all three of us. DH had his blood work that day, and we would need to fly A in from Texas to come in for a day o' screening. Of course before that, she had to have her day 3's done at an RE's office local to her (thankfully there was one in her town). When she got her course schedule on June 1st, she checked with professor to find out what, if any days she could miss. On that advice, we flew her up for a day in mid June for the fabulous Day o' Screening. Upon the physical and psychological, results we would know if A was an acceptable donor. For anonymous donors, they want to see 12 follicles for a baseline count. For known donors they'll accept 8. A, who is 22 and in school on a Soccer scholarship, had 20. In each ovary. Yeah, that's pretty mind reeling. The most I ever had was 13, but I m also 34. Physically she was fine, and as the psychological exam tests for depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, we started to make plans for A's trip in July. My therapist asked "How are you dealing with things kind of dragging?" Just great, as they didn't feel like they were dragging at all! Everything was just moving right along. And on a very positive note, I asked the Big Guy if there was anything they could do to help with this cycle (when the biopsied cells were thawed, he told me not to worry about money - they would do whatever they could to make sure things worked out for me). To my utter disbelief, he told me they would waive their fees (about $14,000. for known donor cycle); I would still be responsible for medications and outside lab costs (about $6,500.). I cried and told him how grateful we were for their help. What a relief - thank God. Now we could get the ball rolling.

We booked a flight for A to arrive on Thursday, July 7th and stay until the 30th. We were really looking to spending some time with her because she's just a really cool girl. When she graduates in December, she'll continue with Physical Therapy school. So. She's smart, pretty, athletic and in incredible shape. We really couldn't believe our luck that she was willing to do this for us. And while she was staying with us, we could get to know her a bit better, too.

I started my Lupon on 6/27. Her meds would start on the 9th. Like I said, moving right along... On her first screening, she had 20 follicles in one ovary and 21 in the other. That would be 41, people. Jeez Louise. But I tend not to count my chickens until they hatch, so, one day at a time. Her meds, Bravelle, cost an ungodly amount of money. My insurance covered mine, but of course they wouldn't cover her. All for a good cause. All the money we've spent is an investment. Which we do know, but as I am a horrendous tightwad, it helps if I remind myself every so often. My lining progressed nicely, and was responding extremely well. So well they had to back her off some of her meds. They told us we could expect the retrieval between the 19th and 22nd of July. They actually wound up doing the retrieval on Monday, July 18th. That was quick! They were able to retrieve 25 eggs. Wow. The following day they called to tell us 10 had fertilized. The nice thing about this amount was that it wouldn't be decreased by the number that were affected or carriers.

So we went in on Saturday, July 23 for a day 5 transfer. We were told we had two average blasts for transfer, with six more still developing. If they do okay, then they'll be frozen. My lining was "perfect" (it should be - I'm on 2 cc's of progesterone each night, and that's one in each cheek, for those of you counting). This will be my last post for a few days, as I'm putting myself on bed rest (which dh is reinforcing). We want this to work so badly, but fact is, want or hope or prayer have nothing to do with it. If this is in the plan for us, it will happen. If it's not, then it won't. I just wish I knew one way or the other so I could accept it. I guess that's what faith is about. I still hope this works.


At 7/23/2005 6:11 PM, Blogger Suz said...

Take care of yourself Anna - enjoy your bedrest as much as you can enjoy it. I'll be thinking of you.

At 7/23/2005 6:44 PM, Blogger penelope said...

what a touching tale - I haven't read all of your posts yet but what a sweet cousin. So sorry about the 2 shots - geez - you are so going to run out of spots to poke!

wishing you all sorts of good luck!

At 7/23/2005 8:26 PM, Blogger NME said...

We're thinking of you and send you warm wishes!

At 7/24/2005 4:35 AM, Anonymous thalia said...

Have just read your blog from the beginning. What a horrific experience you have had. I hope that this is the one for you. You don't say explicitly but it must be that A is not a carrier?

Will be thinking of you and keeping fingers crossed. Have you read Tertia's story about her baby Ben?

At 7/24/2005 11:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, Anna, I hope this works. I'll be thinking of you.

At 7/26/2005 9:42 AM, Blogger nyl rebma said...

holy cow, what a journey! i'll be thinking of you and checking in regularly for a new post. good luck to you!

At 7/27/2005 7:11 PM, Blogger Anna said...

You've got it, Thalia - neither A nor her mom are carriers - just my mom and one of her brothers.

How can I read about Tertia's baby Ben? I'd love to, just let me know what the link is. : )

At 8/11/2005 7:56 PM, Anonymous Manuela said...

Wow... what a story... sounds like you have incredible family!!! That's just wonderful.

At 2/26/2014 8:24 AM, Blogger Jessah @ Dreaming of Dimples said...

I don't know if you even check these comments anymore. But I asked my cousin to be my egg donor last night and she said yes!!! Just soaking up info for those who've gone before me. Thank you for sharing your story.

At 3/04/2014 3:33 PM, Blogger Anna said...

Jessah, what wonderful news! I'm so happy to hear it and I wish you and your family all the best!! I'll follow you for updates! :)


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