Embryo donation! Let's talk!

Embryo donation! Let's talk!

Postby Penny on 09 Oct 2014, 14:38

Hi all,
A friend and I were chatting about using donor eggs and we realized that there are not many threads out there right now for families in this unique situation. It would be really nice to have our own cycle thread and a place where cyclers might be able to share information with people only in the investigation stages. Whatyathink? Want to join in?
Penny
 
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Re: Embryo donation! Let's talk!

Postby Adriana on 09 Oct 2014, 14:44

You read my mind (thanks for starting this thread). DH & I are just starting down the donor path. It's strangely similar to contemplating another IVF yet completely different and bewildering at the same time. I'm finding multiple emotional layers, that I keep peeling back and exploring. Everything from 'are we giving up on IVF too soon', to 'how do I know this donor is "the donor"', to the disclosure/non-disclosure debate. The whole donor selection process seems so clinical as well - it's not in my nature to discount people based on their looks, but it's what I find myself doing as I view their profiles. It's at times, rather daunting. There don't seem too many of us on the boards sharing donor stories and I'd love to hear from any and all about your experiences.
Adriana
 
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Re: Embryo donation! Let's talk!

Postby Julie on 09 Oct 2014, 14:54

Just wanted to pop in and say Hi! Dh and I are now considering doing an iui with donor sperm as we have mf and did one round of ivf which only yielded 7 eggs into 4 embies. The er was horrific and they only got to one ovary so 8 follicles were left on the right to be reabsorbed or released or whatever happens to them afterwards. We became pregnant first time but ended in a miscarriage. And now with our remaining two ice babies we did an fet and just found out last week it was a bfn, so disappointing. Dh doesn't want me to go through that experience again so we have decided on this route. Right now we are taking a break from the clinic, a suggestion by my re, will probably start the process again in the fall. Not sure how it works for picking your donor, but I know that I want it completely anonymous. Looking forward to hearing about others who have gone through the process too.
Julie
 
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Re: Embryo donation! Let's talk!

Postby Penny on 09 Oct 2014, 15:10

I agree that ruling donors in and out due to their physical appearance is so weird for me. At first I thought I might want a child who looked like me, then I decided that I would not care if I were adopting so I threw features out the window. In the end, we chose a donor based upon her age (21 = very young healthy eggs), her history of being a good producer, her past success rates (every couple using her eggs has ended up with a baby), and her family history of good health. As for our sperm donor, we did something similar. We looked for youth (early 20's), previous reported births, few diseases in the family and finally GOOD LOOKS. We could not help ourselves, our male donor is stunningly attractive. We thought, "Eh, may make the chld's life easier." In the end though, we were so lucky. OUr egg donor has strawberry blond hair and green eyes (like Joey).

For me the hardest part of this process has been letting go of the dream of having my own biological child. I have this recurrent question about if IVF #4 would work.... then I look at the stats. Women over 35, with 3 failures, who produce few eggs are unlikely to have IVF success. So I am at a place where I am embracing the blessing of living in this time (when donor eggs are even an option).

I am so sorry for your recent m/c and BFN. What an amazing husband you have! I think it is so incredibly beautiful that he is open to donor sperm to allow you to avoid another ER. I agree that anonymous is best. Your child has 2 parents, leaving the door open to add another (after the child is 18) can be very confusing for everyone. My partner and I also chose a donor who does not agree to identity disclosure. I certainly understand people who want a know-able donor but I just don't fall on that side of the fence.

Hope everyone is having a great day!
Penny
 
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Re: Embryo donation! Let's talk!

Postby Adriana on 09 Oct 2014, 15:20

Happy Day, all (praying that we get some sunshine here, on this long weekend!)
Julie; welcome. Your DH sounds like a lovely man and very supportive xxoo..he's a keeper! So sorry to hear of all you've been through.
I find reading these posts very comforting, as you're echoing my own sentiments. Nice to know I'm not alone with my feelings....it's a strange new frontier, this DE journey and of course, not something you bring up in everyday conversation!! ("so, I found this nice-looking lady online and we're thinking of paying gobs of money to use her eggs...and what are YOU doing today? LOL).

Penny, I hear you loud and clear on the 'giving up the dream'; it's been something that I still lament (albeit, much less than a few months back). I find it helps me to focus on the fact that our goal has been to 1) have a family and 2) have a family. But it's still hard; I sometimes feel like I only tried 1 IVF and I'm giving up too easily on my eggies.
But then reality sets in and I realize I don't have the luxury of spending another year chasing a below-20% chance. I have done some research on the emotional aspects of this journey and every therapist says you have to grieve this loss, before you can fully move on and accept the DE choice. I've found it helpful to acknowledge that I have an obligation indeed to grieve. It's an unseen loss and not being able to share this journey with many people can lead you to internalize and avoid having the conversation with anyone, including yourself. Does this make sense?

As for the anonymous vs known donor, I side with you both that anonymous seems best. That being said, the agency we're using has donors who are willing to be contacted once the child is 18. I don't want a donor that is known to us and will be there right from conception, but I'm okay with the possibility of contact once the child is of age. Being adopted myself, I sometimes wish I knew something about my genetic origins. I always wondered where certain traits came from and have always found it frustrating that I don't have a medical history to provide.
I don't feel any need to have a personal connection with these people, but would have appreciated the opportunity to know something. So, from my perspective, I think I want to give any potential child of mine at least the option to decide for themselves. It's certainly a scary proposition, thinking that they may want to involve this person in their life, or that the donor may in fact reject any contact, but knowing my personal experience in this arena, definitely helps..I have always known and said that my parents are my parents; full stop, but knowing my genetic background would have given me a more rounded personal history.

DH & I are also working through the disclosure/non-disclosure issue. I'm behind it 100% and he's 50/50. Again, I know how family secrets have a way of coming out and how devastating they can be (I found out in my late 20's that my birth mother is actually my aunt...long story); needless to say, it was a shocker and I really believe if you make your child's conception known at an early age, it becomes second nature and not that 'weird' for them.

Anywhoooo.....Penny, I laughed at your sperm donor story "stunningly attractive" LOL - my DH made me laugh the other day when viewing profiles. We've been looking for someone who somewhat resembles our families (ie: no 7' tall blondes, please) and one donor caught my eye; unfortunately she's a bit short and chunky and DH said "no point in the child having 2 strikes against them" - DH is extremely stocky and there's a lot of shortness on his side of the family. So, there's our weird 'light side' to donor selection! I sometimes feel like I'm playing God, building the perfect human being.
Not really, but hopefully you understand what I mean...we're not letting nature and fate entirely decide things, but picking & choosing attributes...still kinda strange.
Well, that's about it from me. Julie, hang in there and hope to hear from you again. Penny, it's great to have someone to share this journey with xxoo.
Hope everyone has a lovely day....it looks like we are in fact in for a thunderstorm today, so I'll be looking forward to having a nap with DH and listening to the rain!
Take care, all.
Adriana
 
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Re: Embryo donation! Let's talk!

Postby Barbara11 on 09 Oct 2014, 15:23

Hi All! I'm really happy to see you all talking about donor eggs. It is very important topic. I also agree that it doesn't really come up in regular conversation very often. And I think many people will confirm it. The whole IFV journey can be hard to talk about with friends, family, colleagues. It is harder to talk with donor egg. I have come across a lot of judgmental people. They think the world needs to know everything they agree or disagree with. Some of them are sure that only their opinion is a true one. Especially if admit that I am from a very conservative area. My hubby and I arrived at the decision to use donor eggs based on age. Then suddenly I realized that using donor eggs is really not much different (genetically) than adoption which I was more than willing to consider. We thought a lot. I saw the statistical chances of us successfully conceiving with my eggs as I approached my 44th birthday. I just had to realize it was not likely. My dear husband has always been very practical about the whole process. He tried to support me all the time. I just wish I had a bit more of his even-keel nature. In fact, he said if it would make me feel better we could use donor sperm too. Just so I'm not the only one who is not genetically related to our hopeful addition. There is a certain comfort in knowing that at least this little person will have his genes. Though there are days when I wonder if that is a good thing. I enjoy reading your posts. They make me cry, too. I had a chemical pregnancy after our fresh embryo transfer. So I'm working on our one and only chance with kidsicles (2 day 5 blasts). Even though I thought I was all over the donor egg issue. I'm reminded that the painful process is long and very intensive. I was all excited about moving forward. Then I got frightened that this baby won't love me. I was scared that the baby won’t consider me as the 'real' mom. That process of making a family is a gigantic roller coaster of excitement, fear and exhaustion. And the most important, that process would be able to give a big hope. Much luck and comfort to you all. I'll look forward to seeing how you are doing!
Barbara11
 
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Re: Embryo donation! Let's talk!

Postby Adriana on 09 Oct 2014, 15:42

Hi, Barbara - thanks very much for joining the thread...it's lovely to have the company. DE can feel a bit isolating at times, can't it? I'm usually an open book (much to DH's chagrin) and it feels very odd sometimes to be so close-mouthed about our next steps.
It seems we've all struggled with cases of the "what ifs". I spent a good deal of time feeling like I was jumping the gun, or just plain giving up too easily, by only trying 1 IVF cycle before moving on to donor eggs. But yes, age and statistics do have to play a big factor. My DH has helped with that transition, by being so very supportive. Just another reason why I'm glad he's mine.

Am I reading your post correctly, in that you're doing a frozen transfer from your own IVF cycle, then considering moving on to DE? Or have you already started your DE quest? In either situation, I've found I can't move forward without first grieving the past and finding a place in my life where that experience can rest peacefully. Ignoring it, or pretending it doesn't matter hasn't helped...I had to somehow embrace it and learn to accept it, to be able to let go and move forward. Does that make sense? Hugs to you as you move through that process.


Some words of wisdom that my mom gave to me, when I told her of our DE plans. By way of some background, I'm adopted - she said to me that your child is your child, period. I've never felt that she isn't my mom and in point of fact when I was much younger and someone (without knowing my situation) said they could never adopt because "it wouldn't be their child", I responded (umm...rather 'strongly', I'm sure ) that the only thing my mom didn't do was give birth to me. She gave me love, a good foundation in life and all the tools I needed to live my life to its fullest. 'Nuff said. I agree it's a difficult decision and we have those qualms about genetic vs. familial bonding.

It sounds like you've managed to retain some sense of humour and balance....I laughed out loud when you commented that DH's genes being passed on may not be a good thing. ROTFLMAO - I've giggled to myself about the same thing. Lord help me if they get my DH's propensity for procrastinating, snoring and his ability to be so rational when I'm just itching for a dustup
How's everyone else? Cindy and Blueyes, hope all is well.
OK, off to help DH with assembling the new BBQ I bought him for our 10th wedding anniversary...and by help, I mean staying clear of him while he mutters and ignores the instructions
Adriana
 
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Re: Embryo donation! Let's talk!

Postby Penny on 09 Oct 2014, 15:55

I am so glad to see some activity here.

Adriana, I read the article you linked and I was amazed what a good job the writer did covering the myriad issues we DE users are facing. Thank you for sharing. Like you said, I too had to grieve the idea of having my own biological child. The children from my father's side all tend to favor strongly. I grew up hearing, "You must be (so and so)'s girl?" or "which (last name) are you?" For better or worse my appearance helped give me an identity and a place I knew I fit. I think I always imagined that my child would share my dark eyes and hair... as well as a particular way of standing my family shares. So making the move to DE meant that I had to let go of that piece of my imagined child. But honestly, it was a small fear when I weighed it next to my fear that I would never be a mom. 3 failed IVFs paired with being a poor producer convinced me that my eggs are not good. Also like you and Barbara, I looked up the stats for my age + 3 failed cycles + low AFC = better chance of being hit by lightening. I am open to a miracle but I think God gave us scientific minds for a good reason.

Barbara-- I hear you on living in a conservative place where people don't openly discuss DE and such. I have told several people and the reactions range from interest and support to quiet discomfort. My poor mother has her hair blown back by my choices in so many ways! I also had to LOVE that your DH offered to use donor sperm just to make you feel more comfortable. He obviously "gets" you: he's a keeper! How are you doing in the midst of your 2ww now? (So sorry about the chem pg) Are you feeling any twinges? Feeling confident?

as for the question of being loved by the child: maybe I am too naive but I simply don't worry about that. Professionally, I have seen parents put their children through horrible things and the kids keep loving them anyway. So my plan is to be the best mom I know how to be and just to let the rest fall into place. I do acknowledge though that this outlook is likely oversimplified.
Penny
 
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Re: Embryo donation! Let's talk!

Postby Celine23 on 09 Oct 2014, 16:00

Hi there! I was lurking and just thought I would pop in to wish you all the best of luck with your journies. My husband and I are definately leaning towards donating part or all of our rather large stock pile of frozen embies when the time is right. We have an adopted son who has been with us since birth. We can't imagine life without him. If we can give another couple a chance to enjoy half of the love he has brought into our lives, we would be thrilled. Anyway, like I said, good luck to you all. I will continue lurking..because I want to learn as much as possible on the whole ED side of IVF.
Celine23
 
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Re: Embryo donation! Let's talk!

Postby Barbara11 on 09 Oct 2014, 16:03

Adriana,
Yes, we actually went through our donor egg cycle in April and June. It took me a few months to get used to the idea. I had to think about what it would mean for me to give up that genetic connection. It really helped me when we went to the required counseling and talked with someone who deals with donors and recipients all the time. It is very important to hear the advice of someone who is well aware about this. It clicked with me that using a donor can be as big a deal as I choose. If I choose to let it be no big deal then it will be no big deal for our family just like anything else we accept as a normal part of life. Your adoption history is awesome and your mom sounds wonderful. I was on pins for a while. Things went very well with the donor. She was a beautiful young woman. She was about 25 years old. She was a new donor with no track record. She had a good family health history. She had a girl of three of her own. So we just did it without dwelling too much. All was terrific with her cycle except that I took an hpt too early. It was negative. And I slowly became pretty down in the dumps. Then my beta came back positive and I slowly absorbed the shock and good news only to see it go back down and become a m/c 6 days later. As if this whole process isn't enough of a roller coaster. We had 2 frozen blasts so we figure we had one more chance but of course had to wait 2 months. Because I did actually conceive if ever so briefly. We just had our FET Wednesday. I am hopeful. Against my preferences we transferred both blasts. I about had a heart attack waiting to see if they would survive thaw. They called us as we arrived in the parking lot of the RE's office to say they were good to go and I just started to cry. My husband thought the news was bad. Poor men, they have a hard enough time understanding crying at all let alone when we're relieved or happy. I'm trying so hard to be optimistic and practical like my husband. He believes there are always options. I feel old to be trying to have a baby. I feel that this is my last chance. Though I know in my head that my view is distorted. I am feeling pregnant at least in my mind. I'm trying to just be distantly curious about what I notice. I try not to focus on it too much. If I get pregnant I will have lots of time to obsess over every little thing. Taking some strength from so many things I've seen people write on this site. Despite of it I'm hopeful. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out. I'm enjoying the fantasy that it could work. I'm trying to incorporate this into my life philosophy. It is so wonderful to hope and imagine the best knowing that somehow we will get through the hard things. Sorry to ramble on - can you tell I haven't been able to talk about this much with anyone?! A tiny piece of history about me. I was married before. The horror came home one day completely out of the blue and asked for a divorce. No warning, no clue, no chances just shock and devastation. I seriously had a difficult time surviving. I just couldn't find a reason to go on living. Many years later I was considering marrying my sweet amazing man that I love now. I said it had to work. Because I just couldn't survive again if the marriage failed. I got some awesome advice from my mom. She said that I would never forget. She advised don't think of it that way. She asked to think of it that now you know you can get through anything no matter what! Now what I see around me a many people. A lot of them have recovered from trauma of one kind or another are some of the most humble, hopeful, introspective, strong people I know. They spend time fighting with their fate. Although I wish this journey were easier for all of us, I'm grateful to share even some of these moments with some really cool people!
Barbara11
 
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