This is really happening. I am really going to do this. Right?
I got a call from my clinic yesterday saying that our donor is downregulated and ready to start her stimulation drugs next week. I will start Estrace this Sunday, to build up my uterine lining for implantation. (Sadly, I have to keep taking the evil Lupron...I thought I'd get to quit when I began Estrace, as I did in my own IVF cycle, but this time around they don't want my ovaries getting in on the act at all.) Egg retrieval from the donor will probably be March 29, with transfer on April 1. I do hope that isn't an omen.
I carefully wrote all that down as the nurse was speaking, and after we hung up I meticulously transferred it to my calendar. And then I sat back and tried to figure out why the bottom had just dropped out of my stomach. Why all my doubts and fears about donor egg were beating about my head like a manic bird's wings. Why I suddenly had, as they say, cold feet. Isn't this what I've been waiting and working for? What I've been longing for?
Well...no. What I've been waiting for, working for, longing for, is a baby. A donor egg cycle as my method of family building was never high on my list of life goals, and it carries with it such a freight of stress and uncertainty that if it were a box on my doorstep, I'd call the bomb squad. Sometimes, donor egg feels too hot to handle.
Many have said to me, "Bee, you think too much." This is no doubt true, especially since the quality of my thought often leaves much to be desired (think pete-and-repeat jokes, weird David-Lynch-esque daydreams, and dustbunnies). But I think this decision I've made, this step I'm about to take, deserves some high-grade cogitation. This is huge. The hugest. I'm at the altar, about to say "I do." I am reformatting the hard drive that is my life, and I'm about to press ENTER. Or, try this metaphor: I'm about to jump off the high dive; I know there's water in the pool, but can I swim? Have I really got the stuff to be a good donor egg mother?
That's why I have the willies today. I am so very close to the point of no return. Assuming I am lucky enough to have embryos to put into my body on April Fool's Day, I will no longer be a woman dithering about donor egg and wondering if I can possibly slay all my dragons and be a good mother to my sweet maybechildren. On that day, with those embryos inside me, I will be a donor egg mother, if only for the time between transfer and beta HCG. I will be responsible for those potential children, and committed to raising them as best I can, with all the love and care I can muster. There will be no avoiding the pain I fear ahead, if they have problems or issues with their origins. On that day, there will be no going back. No "do overs," like we gave ourselves in childhood when we blew it playing kickball.
God, who wouldn't be scared?
It sure would be easier if my reproductive decisions were as simple as a smooth Merlot and a date with my husband. But they're not. I'd like to report that after a night of calm reflection, I arrived at a Zen-like serenity in my decision to be a donor egg mother. Or at least, a steely determination to stick to my guns, and damn the torpedoes.
But that would be bullshit.
The bald truth is, I was so freaked out last night, and so freaked that I was freaked after all the time and blog pixels I have spent on my DE decision, that I drank a big glass of wine -- I know, I know, bad me -- and tossed and turned all night. I look like hell today, and the only certainty I have is this: If I were to cancel this cycle, I would regret it forever.
See, I make all my life decisions based on one simple principle: How can I keep bad things from happening to me later? It's lowering, to realize what a true pessimist I am. If I chicken out, the "What if?" question will torment me like Marley's ghost. I will grieve my maybechildren if I don't at least try to become their mother for real.
So I am not going to shrink back from this, no matter how frightened I am. I'm off that high dive, and I don't care if I go splat. I'm going to take my vows. I'm going to press that button. I will take this leap of faith, and trust that wherever I land, I can make that place a loving home for me, my husband, and all our children.