Friday, February 04, 2005

Just say "yes, please" to fertility drugs

Drugs for me? $350. Drugs for her? $1,300. Having a baby?


Today I gave my Visa card number, along with enough information to steal my identity (yeah, right, like anyone would want to be me) to a nice woman at a pharmacy in Pittsburgh. She promised to send a happy meal of infertility drugs for me, with a supersize for Our Donor and a side of syringes for each of us. Our Donor is the stranger in my city who, God willing, will provide the oocyte -- an egg, a female gamete -- that finally allows me a healthy pregnancy.

God, I can't believe I'm doing this.

Today is the first day of my egg donation cycle, but only the newest day of a long infertility journey. In August 2003, when I was 38 and had been married for six months, I was diagnosed with diminshed ovarian reserve. In other words, the doctors said, my own eggs were hard boiled. My uterus was fine and I could easily carry a child, but my ovaries had shriveled up like a pair of raisins. My best options for motherhood were adoption, or egg donation with in vitro fertilization (IVF). I was told that I had a 3% chance of delivering a healthy infant with my own eggs. I was in shock. I was in denial. And if you'd asked me then whether I knew the meaning of "egg donation" or "IVF," I'd have said, " about we Google that?"

Fast forward. I have acquired an infertile woman's vocabulary, bristling with acronyms like ZIFT and GIFT and ICSI. I can chart my basal body temperature with precision equal to an atomic clock...a broken one. And I've spent oh, let's say $10,000 of my own and my insurance carrier's money. I've undergone two IUIs and one IVF with my own eggs. Miraculously, with only one healthy egg each cycle, I conceived twice. And I lost both to miscarriage after seeing slower-than-normal heartbeats, at 8 weeks and 9 weeks.

To me those were my babies. My children. They had names, and possessions, and my husband and I had even had a few fights about them. With the last baby, we were able to do a chromosomal analysis. We learned that we had a son, and that he had an abnormality that meant he couldn't live. I knew it was because of my defective egg. I was devastated. I felt like a child abuser. As if I'd fed him spoiled food, or left him naked in the cold. I will never stop grieving.

So now, far from being an obscure search engine result, egg donation is all that I think about. It is sleeptime, mealtime, downtime, car time, any time. It may be the most important, life-defining thing I ever do.

So I've decided to write these days as they happen. I need to understand how I came to this day, when I'm willing -- more than willing; I'm perishing -- to carry a child made from my husband's sperm and another woman's egg, and love it as my own.


Anonymous said...

Make sure you revoke that credit card authorization as soon as you can after the charge for medication goes through. I just found out today that my donor egg agency just charged $583 on my credit card 3 months later without my authorization.

$1,300 for your donor? you're lucky. Mine was $1,968. It was worth it though. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I'll be saying yes please again, after a 3 yr. break. I did 8 iui's, and 7 ivf's over 4 yrs. I guess I was attached to the idea of a genetic child.

The 3 yr break did me good = to mourn, and look for a donor. That was on/off. I'd get weirded out by my judgments of the donors pictures, education etc.

But we're starting. Had an u/s and bloodwork. Start the pill in 2 wks.

It'll feel odd I'm sure, to be curious about this other woman's progress on the stims, cuz it's ours. Strange.

Anyway, so glad I found your blog.

Egg Donors said...

Great Post.....

I found your site on stumbleupon and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you down the road!

Thanks for sharing....

Anonymous said...

So grateful I stumbled upon your blog! I have just started my DE journey after three years of losses and failed IVF's. At 32, I was diagnosed with diminished ovarian reserve. Crushing! My hubby and I have mourned my eggs. And I think that was what needed to be done. I never thought I'd accept "donor eggs". But I am now so excited about getting started. I still have some horrible questions which nag at my heart... will I love my kids the same way I would if they had my genes? Is that selfish? Does it make me a bad person and a bad mom before I'm even pregnant! I am so grateful for your blog and I look forward to reading through every single post. thank you for sharing your story.