Category Archives: Donor eggs

Day 2 (written 31st January 2015)

Today we get more good news. Two of the embryos that hadn’t fertilised yesterday have done so overnight and have caught up to the others in their developmental stage. Woohoo!

Today the embryo grading begins and I’m pleased to say that so far most of our fertilised embies pass the test, some with flying colours. As of 9am this morning (US Pacific time) we have:

  • 3 x Five cells (fair quality)
  • 5 x Four cells (good quality) – one of these is the first of our late-fertilising embies
  • 9 x Four cells (fair quality) – our other late-fertiliser falls into this category
  • 4 x Three cells (fair quality)
  • 3 x Two cells (fair quality)
  • 2 x One cell (ungraded as they’re only 1 cell)

At day 2 the embryos should be between 2 and 4 cells, so with all but two falling into this range, and with some even exceeding it, we’re really happy.

Now the difficult part comes. We’ve paid to have 8 embryos tested for chromosomal abnormalities but, with so many decent looking embryos, we may have the option to test more (for an additional fee of course). This causes a big dilemma for us. We want to do absolutely everything we can to help the process along and to ensure, if we are successful in achieving pregnancy, that we have sufficient frozen embryos to provide our child with a sibling or siblings. It’s possible that testing 8 will achieve this, but it’s also possible that those 8 won’t have enough normal embryos amongst them to allow us a decent number of frosties. It’s pretty much up to chance as to which way it could go. And what’s worse is we need to make a decision by tomorrow so that the lab can perform the necessary steps to allow for the embryo testing.

After much debate between ourselves, and consultation with others, we decide to add an additional four embryos to our testing selection. We may not have enough embryos at the right stage (blastocysts) to test this many but if we do then testing 12 should hopefully give us enough for a decent number or frosties. A very wise friend told me today that I should expect about 25% of those tested to be abnormal. That would take us to nine, which after having two transferred this cycle, leaves 7. Assuming those are all good to freeze that allows us enough for a sibling or two and a buffer should any not survive the thawing process. I email the lab with our request then hope like crazy we’re making the right decision. The exchange rate is not in our favour at the moment but hey, it’s only money right? Eek.

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The Process (written 30th January 2015)

After a few random questions on what we’re going through this cycle I’ve decided to write a post on the different stages we’ve completed and what is yet to come. Assuming we’ve contacted the clinic, chosen our donor, passed all pre-work (which we have) this is what is happening from start to finish of our cycle. Here goes.

  • Suppressing my cycle. Just after the period I have following my evaluation cycle, I start on birth control pills (seems totally contrary to what we’re trying to achieve right?!?). Just over a month later, on the 5th of January, I inject myself with Lucrin (known as Lupron in other parts of the world), another drug designed to suppress my cycle. I’ve previously nicknamed this drug “Lucky Dip Lucrin” as when taking the daily injections in my 2nd IVF cycle it was a lucky dip as to what side effects I’d have each day. Luckily this is the monthly dose, which I don’t seem to have as much of a problem with.
  • Supplements: I begin (or in some cases continue) a range of supplements, which assist my body get into the best shape possible for our cycle. These include a pre-natal multivitamin (exceedingly hard to find in New Zealand so I have to opt for a ‘pregnancy & breast-feeding’ one, and boy do I feel like a fraud taking that!), folic acid, iodine, and a low-dose aspirin.
  • Blood test and ultrasound #1: This is a baseline scan that essentially checks the starting point for our cycle. They measure the thickness of my uterine lining and make sure my ovaries have been suppressed by the last few weeks of drugs so that they aren’t producing any egg-containing follicles. For us this occurs on January 12th.
  • Estrogen substitutes: I start taking Progynova (estradiol valerate) on the 13th of January and will continue taking this (hopefully) until my 12th week of pregnancy. Beginning with a low dose (one pill in the evening) I slowly build up my dosage until I am taking five tablets a day. This drug helps to grow my uterine lining to a decent thickness (anything greater than 8mm) so that it is ready to receive our embryos when we get to that point.
  • Donor scan and meds: Our donor has her own baseline scan and blood-work done in San Diego on the 15th of January and is all set to start her medication on Saturday January 17th. We’re not informed of what drugs she’ll be taking but assume that it will be similar to the ones I’ve taken in previous cycles – some kind of follicle stimulation drug (Gonal-F or Follistim for example) to encourage her ovaries to produce a multitude of egg-bearing follicles; and not long after, a lutenizing hormone antagonist (e.g. Cetrotide) to stop her body from ovulating before we need it to.
  • Blood test and ultrasound #2: Another blood test and internal ultrasound to make sure my uterine lining is developing and that everything is on track for our cycle. Both bloods/ultrasound #1 and #2 occur at our clinic in New Zealand. #2 occurs for us on the 20th of January.
  • 23rd of January: We head to The States! I inject Clexane, an anticoagulant, three hours before we fly, to help prevent blood clotting issues such as deep vein thrombosis. Not only does flying increase the risk of such problems but the estrogen substitute I’ve been taking also adds to the chance of such issues arising.
  • Final blood test and ultrasound: A final set of bloods are done and yet another date with ‘dildocam’, this time at the clinic in San Diego ensure that my lining has reached an acceptable thickness (it needs to be 8mm and mine is 7.6mm, but not to worry, they round it up to 8mm, phew!). 27th of January and we’re good to go! Our donor also has an ultrasound today and from this the clinic determine the dates for egg retrieval and embryo transfer. At the point in time of this ultrasound our donor is showing between 35 and 40 follicles, which will hopefully result in anywhere between 24 and 32 eggs (they expect to retrieve eggs from 70-80% of follicles).
  • Donor trigger: Once the clinic has assessed our donors scan results they decide that egg retrieval will occur on Thursday 29th In order for this to happen our donor needs to ‘trigger’. This mean she injects herself with a human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) product (e.g. Ovidrel) to instruct her body to put the finishing touches to the maturation of the eggs, and to begin the process of ovulation. Our donor won’t actually ovulate normally as the clinic will extract the eggs before this can occur. However, by setting ovulation in motion, it becomes easier for the clinic to retrieve our donor’s eggs and allows for their final maturation process.
  • Egg retrieval: Just what it says. Our donor heads into the clinic and the docs there remove all the lovely eggs she’s been growing for us. As mentioned above, this happens for us on the 29th of January.
  • Sperm collection: At the same time our donor is having her eggs collected, my husband drops his sperm sample at the clinic so that it can be ‘washed’ and ready for the fertilisation process.
  • The first set of numbers: Later on the day of egg retrieval the clinic contacts us to let us know the number of eggs collected during the morning procedure. This is our first anxious wait, hoping for the best result possible. It’s good, we have 27 eggs collected and of those 26 are mature (able to be fertilised) with the final one having the potential to mature in the couple of hours before insemination.
  • Insemination: Once both the eggs and sperm have been washed (cleared of any excess debris not actually related to the sperm or egg). The lab fertilise our donor’s eggs with the sperm my hubby has provided. There are different ways to do this. The simplest and possibly most common way is to introduce multiple sperm into the petri dish the egg is contained in and let them fight it out, much as they would if the embryo was conceived ‘normally’. For our cycle we’re doing things a bit differently and are using a process called intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection or ICSI. In this process a single sperm is selected and manually inserted into the egg. This of course has its pros and cons. It makes the fertilisation rate much higher but it also increases the risk of the embryo or child having something wrong with it as it’s not necessarily the strongest sperm making it to the egg. The increase is very small though, so in the interests of getting the best possible result overall we’ve agreed to go with this option. The day of egg retrieval/insemination is known as ‘Day 0’.
  • Fertilisation report: The day after egg retrieval/insemination (January 30th for us) we receive a fertilisation report from the lab to let us know how many of our eggs have fertilised into embryos. For me this was one of the most harrowing times of the process so far, I think perhaps because this is where everything has gone wrong in our other cycles. The news this time is good and 24 out of the 27 (yes our last little egg that was lagging behind in maturity caught up) have fertilised. At this stage, day 1, the embryos are only a single cell. Tomorrow they will start to divide and we will begin to see differences in their development and quality.
  • The daily updates (this is currently the stage we are up to as I write this): From now until transfer day we will receive daily updates as to how our embryos are doing. On day 2, the second day after egg retrieval/insemination the embryologists begin grading our wee embryos. They look at the number of cells each embryo has, the quality of the embryo (poor, fair, or good – a call dependant on various factors such as the graininess/transparency of the embryo, the symmetry etc.), and finally the amount of fragmentation the embryo has (this is the amount of excess waste generated by the dividing embryo. A heavily fragmented embryo, much like our embie in our first IVF cycle, will have a lot of this waste trapped within the embryo itself rather than excreted and expelled).
  • Pre-implantation genetic screening (PGS): Most normal IVF couples would proceed with the daily updates until it was decided the embryo/s were ready for transfer. Again, we’re doing things slightly differently and have elected to pay extra to get pre-implantation genetic screening, or PGS, done on our embryos. This is more insurance for us, having travelled so far, that the embryos we implant are chromosomally correct. This will hopefully reduce the chance of miscarriage further down the track should we be lucky enough to fall pregnant. The testing, which for us will occur on day 5 (the 3rd of February), involves taking a few cells from each of the embryos chosen for assessment. These cells are then examined under a microscope to determine whether they have the correct number and arrangement of chromosomes, and any abnormal embryos are discounted. Abnormal embryos might result in a pregnancy (although pregnancy is less likely) but are far more prone to miscarry before full term. The standard number of embryos tested is 8 but, due to the number of embryos we currently have at day 2 we’ve decided to pay to get a further 4 examined. We’re not going to get this chance again and figure it will give us peace of mind that any embryos we’re able to freeze for future use will be chromosomally normal.  It’s also at this stage that you can find out the sex of your embryos and can choose whether you want girls/boys/one-of-each transferred into you.  We’re opting to go for the two best-looking/highest quality embryos and leave they sex of them to chance, we want that to be a surprise further down the track.
  • Egg transfer: This is it, day 6 (4th February). Decisions are made on the best quality embryos and we head into the clinic for egg transfer. Finally I get to play my part in this process. Because we’ve selected the success guarantee program (essentially, “we guarantee you a baby or your money back”) I am to have two embryos transferred into me.   Basically I rock on up to the clinic, pop my legs in the stirrups and have two little embryos inserted into my uterus via a catheter. Having been at this stage twice before (with less than ideal embryos) I have some idea what to expect. Every clinic is different though so there may be some slight disparities in what I expect and what will actually occur. I know of one already. Back home in New Zealand, our clinic performs this transfer with a full bladder. I consume 750ml-1 litre of water an hour before transfer so that by the time I get in there I’m desperate for a pee. It’s horrendous for the patient but helps the doctor with both ultrasound visibility and with the uterus’ position. Thankfully our San Diego clinic is able to perform the egg transfer without the exceptionally uncomfortable full bladder, so I am one happy camper!
  • Home time: A couple of days of relaxation then it’s time to head home. On the 6th of February we’ll drive back to LA and hop on a plane bound for New Zealand, hopefully with two very precious cargo still on board. Another shot of Clexane 3 hours before the flight and away we go!
  • Test time: The nerve-wracking two-week-wait (2ww) and pregnancy test. A couple of weeks after we arrive home I’ll have a blood test to determine whether all this has worked or not. It’s an excruciating wait, not helped by the fact that our test day will be delayed due to the San Diego/New Zealand time difference, and clinic hours. I hope the wait will be worth it. Wish us luck!

F-Day (written 30th January 2015)

D-day yet again…or should I say F-day as it’s the day we get our fertilisation report. I’m awake early, unable to sleep in anticipation of the news we are yet to receive. I try to keep busy, making tea and coffee and breakfast but even still I’m checking my emails every few minutes for an update.

By 10:30am we decide we need to get out of the house, we’re both going crazy with the stress of waiting for an update. We opt to head back to the Gaslamp Quarter as I’ve got my heart set of some yellow (bumble coloured) slippers to ward off the cold of these tile floors. Just as we’re about to hop into the car a text from a DEIVF-experienced friend arrives hoping we’ve received good news this morning. It’s just before 11am, should we have received news by now? Thinking back to our other cycles it’s seems that we should have, that can only mean bad news right? Or maybe not because we received early news in our other cycles and THEY were bad. My panic shifts into overdrive. Emails are checked nearly every minute as we cruise down the freeway. Why aren’t they emailing us?!? Should I have opted for a phone call? Do they prioritise the calls first then get to those who have selected to receive their news via email?

I think I’m officially nuts, but looking over at my husband I see the stress written all over his face too. It’s a quiet car ride, no talking, no music, neither of us can bear it. We clutch each other’s hands and steal frantic yet supportive glances at each other. Then we reach our destination. I check emails again but the number in my inbox hasn’t increased. “Refresh! Refresh!” says hubs urgently…and there it is. ‘Day 1 update.’ My stomach drops out as I open the email, I think I am going to be sick. “Yesterday we retrieved 27 eggs. Of those, 27 eggs were mature” (YES! Our little eggy lagging behind caught up!)…yada yada yada…..”We inseminated 27 mature eggs yesterday and today 24 have fertilised”

Twenty-four! Oh my god, that’s amazing! That’s an 88% fertilisation rate. I’m stunned. WE’RE stunned. I feel a sense of relief. I’m smiling yet kind of numb. Then a minute or so later it actually sinks in. We have 24 embryos. I feel the tears start to stream down my face and look over at my husband to see the tears in his eyes too. A text to our friend in San Diego who had messaged earlier and soon she has tears welling in her eyes also. We’re both shaking and I feel some of the stress leave my body. There’s still a fair bit of tension there, we’ve still a long way to go, but we’ve crossed a major hurdle. Now to hope that our potential little Bumbles develop normally, survive their PGS testing, and make it to transfer/cryopreservation.


A trip to the hen-house (written 29th January 2015)

It’s been a day of ups and downs. Egg collection occurred this morning and I’ve had butterflies from the moment we dropped the ‘other half of the equation’ at the clinic at 10am. We’ve been trying once again to distract ourselves – wandering through the Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego, and having lunch at the magnificent Stone Brewery. Still, the wait to find out our egg numbers is hard. I’m constantly checking my emails, doubly disheartening because not only is there no email from the clinic, it’s also my work email address so I’m reminded of all the shit waiting for me back home when we return. Argh.

The email comes just before we sit down to lunch. My heart is hammering in my chest as I skim the email to get to the juicy stuff. It’s good news. They’ve retrieved 27 eggs from our beautiful donor. Better still, 26 are mature and there’s a hope that the 27th one will mature in the next couple of hours before insemination. Wow. That’s an awesome number. Twenty-seven! That’s 4 more eggs than our previous three cycles combined, and if you’re talking mature eggs, a whopping 18 more! Amazing. I spend most of lunch messaging various people to tell them the good news, a little rude but we’re both just so excited.

A couple of hours later and the dread starts to sink in. Like a drug, the high doesn’t last, and we start panicking about the fertilisation report. It’s that point in most of our other cycles that the major bad news has arrived. The butterflies are back but this time they’re worse than ever. I feel ill, my body can’t decide if it wants to cry, yet I try to convince myself that it’s all going to be ok. Hubs is slightly more positive, as always, but secretly I think he’s pretty nervous too. Unable to concentrate on much we opt for a quiet afternoon back at the house.

6pm and I’m absolutely shitting myself. Two days ago I was on cloud 9, browsing the baby sections of the local shops, now I’m completely and irrationally paranoid that this won’t work and that tomorrow we’ll get similar news to what we’ve received in other cycles, “few have fertilised normally”. I know it’s stupid, we’re trying something new now, but there’s part of me that just feels as though I’m cursed, that we’re destined never to have children. It’s a dark tugging hole deep down in my stomach, a black pit that sucks out all the rational thoughts and feelings, leaving only a hollow emptiness. I hope more than anything that it’s just me being crazy, because I struggle to imagine my future without kids.

A tense evening ensues but on the plus side I’m so exhausted from worrying I manage to fight back a little at the insomnia that’s plagued me for the last three nights. I by no means sleep normally but do manage about 5-6 broken hours so to me that’s a win. If only my dreams were of little Bumbles and a successful DEIVF instead of boats and sharks and drowning and nightmares.

 


This is it (written 27th January 2015)

After a few days in LA, hanging with my brother-in-law, we’re now in San Diego. I’m not big fan of LA as a city but it was nice chilling with my brother-in-law and seeing some of the nicer parts of the place. I was able to distract myself from our upcoming DEIVF with shopping, a theme park, and sightseeing, not to mention all the eating! It almost seemed like a holiday.

The holiday falters as we exit the city on the two and a quarter hour drive to San Diego and the reality of what we are about to undertake sinks in. Of course I’d thought about this a lot before, but this momentous step in our USA DEIVF journey, travelling to the city where our baby will hopefully be made, hits home like no other. I have a wee meltdown as we enter the city limits. I’m scared, excited, nervous, pleading. I’m not a religious person but I’ve prayed like the most religious person alive to every person, object, thing, or higher being that there could ever possibly be that this treatment works for us. I have so many butterflies I think I might be sick.

After a few minor hiccups with our accommodation (the Air BnB host gave us the wrong apartment – there’s a set of four of them – then the wifi wasn’t working) we settle in. I’m trying my hardest to think of this as a holiday with additional tasks, but it’s a pretty hard ask when those ‘additional tasks’ hold the key to one potential future.

10am the following day and we’re at the San Diego Fertility Clinic for my final bloods and ultrasound, and an appointment to chat through the rest of the process. It’s pretty cool to finally meet all the staff we’ve been dealing with via phone and email for the last few months. The nurse gives us a big hug, and the doc chats to us about the time he’s spent in New Zealand. It’s all very surreal.

The ultrasound goes well, 8mm lining which is good, and I can now say I’ve dated dildocam internationally. A quick blood draw before we head into a little consultation room to get bombarded with information. Our donor was seen earlier that morning and has between 35 and 40 follicles which should result in somewhere between 24 and 32 eggs, fantastic! It’s likely egg collection will be Thursday but they’ll confirm later in the day. We get handed a bag of drugs and told all about when to take them. My hubby gets warned about progesterone and how I will probably think it’s the end of the world sometime just before my test date, and how he needs to be supportive through that. Then we’re done and it’s time to go. Roll on the progesterone fun!

We spend the rest of the day cruising around, on a high, stocking up the house with food etc. I can’t help but look at the baby section in Walmart despite that being waaaaay ahead of where we’re at. I don’t care. For once I feel good about something related to IVF and I’m going to make the most of it!

 


New year, new you? (written 4th January 2015)

It’s the New Year and now I can actually say our cycle occurs this month. THIS MONTH! Oh my gosh. Far from feeling excited, I think the closer we get to D-day the more nervous and sick I feel. We are spending a house deposit on getting to the States for this treatment. What if our donor doesn’t produce any good eggs, what if my husband’s holiday lifestyle over the last month affects the quality of our embryos, what if I haven’t done enough to get my body in good condition for this, what if our embryos don’t last the distance, what if it just doesn’t work. Yes, the torture of the “what if’s” is kicking in and despite my best attempts to ignore them and ‘live in the moment’, they can’t help but creep on into my thoughts, making me either cry or want to puke.

Not long before Christmas we received our official treatment plan. At that stage I could still get excited about everything and it truly felt as if these three pieces of paper made everything real. On the fifth of January (which is now tomorrow!) I inject myself with a long-lasting Lucrin (Lupron) injection to help sync my cycle, followed by blood-work and ultrasounds on the 12th and 20th here in New Zealand. On the 13th of January I start Progynova to build my uterine lining and on the 23rd we hop on a plane to the USA. I have a final blood test and ultrasound scheduled in San Diego on the 27th and we can expect egg collection from our donor to occur somewhere between the 27th and 30th of January, with embryo transfer happening somewhere between the 2nd and 5th of February. The 5th of February is our wedding anniversary which for some strange reason is the only thing making me feel good about this cycle.

It’s difficult after so much disappointment over the last four years to believe that something could work. I remember thinking the same before our last donor cycle, which despite showing so much promise was unsuccessful, only fuelling my mental fire that nothing will ever work for us. I know I need to change my thinking, and I’m trying hard, but it really is challenging to believe I’ll ever be pregnant. The thought that one day I could be actually freaks me out a bit now. After being so ready for it four years ago, I’ve spent so long in the infertility trenches that the thought of being pregnant is an alien concept to me. I can’t even begin to imagine my reaction were we to get a positive test result. It almost seems like it would be a bittersweet moment and that makes me sad. Then there’s the pregnancy itself, am I still ready for it? I can’t even imagine watching my body change, slowly coming to realise the being within. It seems totally unreal.

Ok, so the above was written a few days ago and now I can officially say I’m really not coping. I’m hoping like hell it’s just a bad week because if I have to feel like this for another month or so I may actually go insane. Facebook today is packed full of pregnant people complaining about their pregnancies and I actually want to break something. Yes it’s hot, I understand, but honestly be a little grateful for what you have. I know I’m overly sensitive at the moment but it just strikes me that some people get things a little too easily sometimes and they don’t truly appreciate all that they do have. I won’t lie, I myself have fallen into this category. I often have to make myself take a step back and look at everything we’ve accomplished and everything we have. But do other people do the same? I can think of a few who should!

Making matters worse is the fact that we’ve opted to try and keep this cycle more of a secret so there’s not even anyone I can really talk to. I can’t chat with my friends as we’re hoping like hell for a surprise for them in the not to distant future. I can’t post on Twitter as some of my IRL (in real life) friends follow me on there. I can’t even talk to my hubby as, being the everlasting optimist, I’m not sure he entirely gets where my head is at. Only a week into January and already I’m crying nearly every day. I’m seriously questioning whether I can keep this up for another year. Let’s hope this cycle works and I won’t have to, but I can’t help but feel I’ve written that before.

 


May the odds be ever in our favour (written 15th November 2014)

Two and a half weeks on and I’ve just had the second scan in my evaluation cycle. The cycle is designed to test my body to make sure it can do everything it’s supposed to in order to receive the donated-egg embryos we hope to have once we commence our proper cycle. Amazingly my body has behaved and my endometrial lining is at 10.6mm after only a week of minimal drugs – much more than the 8mm required to pass my mock cycle. I suppose I shouldn’t really be surprised, my body has always been pretty good at this part of the process, it just can’t do the one piece that makes this part worthwhile – grow a decent egg. Nevertheless I’m pretty pleased and am anxiously awaiting an email from San Diego to say we’ve passed and I can stop the drugs….or more to the point, move onto the next ones.

As far as I know our blood tests have come back normal (yay!) and we also ticked off our counselling session, if you can call it that, last week. It’s the third time I’ve seen the counsellor we saw (my fourth counselling session at the clinic) and, having just seen her for our local donor cycle, this one was more of a formality than anything else. Once again we’d already spoken about most of the stuff she bought up and knew exactly how we felt about it. We’re generally a pretty laid back couple so her ‘curveballs’ (“what if your donor had donated to someone else here locally and you ran into the children from that donation”) were kind of like water off a ducks back. We’re prepared for that and will deal with it if it arises, we’d like to think that would be a positive thing rather than something to worry about. What worries me more is the extra risks we’re choosing in the hope of having a child.

We’ve decided to go with the clinic’s ‘Success Guarantee’ which basically means, if we’re accepted into the program, our cycle/s will result in a baby or we get most of our money back. If our first cycle doesn’t work we go back for a cycle or cycles using (should we be lucky enough to have them) our frozen embryos (AKA FET) until those frosties are used up or until we have a baby. If no baby results from this process, refund. The catch with this – other than having to qualify for the program – is that they transfer two embryos each time. Yep, there’s a possibility (although isn’t there always) of us having twins, a thought that both terrifies and excites me.

There’s roughly a 40% chance of our cycle resulting in twins and, should that happen, the risks for both mother and babies go up dramatically. There are higher risks of premature birth, low birth-weight, preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, and complications and/or issues both as newborns and later in life. I’m not going to lie, all of that absolute petrifies me. What if the decision we’re making now severely impacts on the future lives of our children. What if by implanting two we’re effectively issuing them with a life sentence? So why have we made the decision we have?

It certainly hasn’t been made lightly, and I wonder every day if we’re doing the right thing.  It’s partially a question of money – the success guarantee option is roughly only $5,000 more than a one-off, one time only, single-embryo transfer – and that’s clinic fees only. If a single-embryo transfer wasn’t successful we’d not only have to fork out another nearly US$20k, we’d also have to cover the costs of getting to San Diego and staying there again. Admittedly we’d have to cover travel costs under the Success Guarantee cycle too, but at least we wouldn’t be paying the clinic fees again.

Another part of it is that after three failed IVF cycles here (and countless other treatments) it just doesn’t feel like the odds are in our favour. It honestly doesn’t feel like it could work. I know that may seem stupid (especially given we’re using the eggs from a donor in her twenties) but after nearly four years of failure it’s extremely difficult to believe that things could go right. We’ve been conditioned to think negatively and now feel the need to give ourselves the best chance of success.

To further increase our chance of success we’re also opting to pay extra for Pre-implantation Genetic Screening (PGS) where a selection of our embryos are tested pre-transfer (usually around day 5) for any chromosomal abnormalities and the best (or most normal) embryos are selected for transfer. This testing will hopefully reduce our risk of miscarriage further down the track. It’s also possible to test for gender at this time and we’ve been told we have the option of choosing the sex of our child/children before the embryos are transferred into me. WOAH! Hold up there, what?!? Yep, we could potentially choose whether we have boys, girls, or one of each (assuming the embryos stick and make it to full-term). This world is starting to sound a bit Gattaca. Scary. Still, not ones to leave an issue unexplored, it prompts a lengthy discussion about the pros and cons of this.

The idea of twin boys freaks me out, we both (pre-fertility issues) always wanted a girl first, but if we were having twins then maybe one of each would be nice, or maybe twin girls would be better. In the end boils down to this: all we want is a healthy child (or children!), whether it’s a male or female, two of one or one of the other doesn’t matter to us, and so the choice of sex pre-transfer is irrelevant. All that matters is that the baby is healthy and is ours. End of discussion.

It seems we’re not the only ones freaked out by twins as, although our donor had initially said she’d be happy with an open donation, with her previous cycle resulting in twins, she’s become a bit freaked out about the whole thing and now wants to remain anonymous. However all is not lost. She’s agreed to register with the Donor Sibling Registry so, while we still won’t know who she is, we’ll be able to contact her anonymously to ask questions and share information. That’s enough for us! Our main concern was essentially ‘losing her forever’, having her disappear into the woodwork with no way to ever contact her with questions, and our child or children losing the only connection they have with one half of their genes. Who knows, even our donor herself has admitted that, at some stage in the future, her feelings on contact may change and we may have a more open relationship.

And that’s pretty much where we’re at. We paid San Diego for our donor’s medication today (eek!) so once the last little bits and pieces of our pre-testing are ticked off we’re good to go. Assuming I pass my evaluation cycle, SDFC will soon be providing us with our timeline, we’ll know our rough dates, and the die is cast. May the odds be ever in our favour.


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dorsetrachel

random acts of kindness, senseless acts of beauty

NewtoIVF

The trials and tribulations of a girl TTC

Schrodinger's Catbox

All the things they don't tell you about making babies. And not making them.

Under The Paw

The quest to expand our family

Waiting Mama

A Trying to Conceive Story

mother-one-day

Mid-20's Aussie wife & friend to all. Trying to concieve baby number one since April 2011. Medical Scientist by day. I'm a bargain hunter, crafter, animal lover & handy with a power tool. Desperate to add 'mother' to that list. my Darling Husband is my loving team-mate on our infertility journey.

Diary of a Yummy Mummy in Waiting

The quest to expand our family

misslazy81

For every girl who's ever had questions but no answers