Friday, October 25, 2013

32 weeks pregnant!

When I started this blog back in the spring, I had high hopes of updating it regularly as a space dedicated entirely to donor egg stuff. Then I got pregnant, stayed pregnant, got excited, stayed excited, and focused on my main blog.

I am 32 weeks pregnant, carrying donor egg bank twin girls who look perfect and healthy. There appears to be no sign (knock on wood) of pre-term labor or any other problems. We are counting our blessings every day and hoping we get to 35 weeks, which is when we're told we probably won't need a NICU stay and can deliver at the local hospital rather than one further away that has a NICU.

This has been a thrilling experience but the one thing I will mention is that NOT ONCE have I wished I was carrying non-DE babies. I love that we made the decision to go with donor eggs. I love that it worked. I love my daughters. There will be bumps in the road and things we'll have to deal with that DNA-linked moms won't have to deal with, but we'll deal with them in stride. We're not scared of them and we don't think about them. Right now, all we dwell on is that we are pregnant and over-the-moon excited.

Friday, April 12, 2013

10dp5dt beta

Official beta that was scheduled the day of the transfer was today.

HCG = 443 (different lab than yesterday so not comparable)
Progesterone = 46.9


Thursday, April 11, 2013

9dp5dt beta

Beta doubled in 45 hours. From 168 to 336.

Symptoms are back in FULL SWING!!!!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


Symptoms all but gone. No more exhaustion or tender boobs even.

Freak out of a beta today = 168. Wow, that's high.

Monday, April 8, 2013

6dp5dt and symptoms


mild cramping
serious insomnia
serious food aversion
full and tender boobs (but they've been that way since before the transfer)
exhaustion and really sore eyes

Pee sticks:

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Two lines

Beautiful. Darker in real life than in this photo. Hopeful. There are two lines.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Transfer was a success!

Two beautiful blasts, officially a 4AA and a 5AA (but more like two 5AAs by transfer) were successfully transferred yesterday. They are beautiful and I am so in love with them.

Beta on 4/12.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Transfer is set

Lining cooperated: got to 8mm.

Actual readings were 7.96mm and 8.07mm.

Good enough! Transfer is set for April 2 at 2:30 pm, in Seattle.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Lining check = a delay

I went in for my lining check today, feeling really positive about it. I've had a lot of CM and I figured that was a really good sign: lots of estrogen = lots of CM = thick lining. Nope, my lining is doing EXACTLY what it did last summer. My clinic is more conservative than the Portland clinic. Portland requires a 7mm lining to go forward to transfer, but my clinic requires at least 8mm. Last summer, I was at 7mm for 2 weeks straight before finally "graduating" to 8mm. That 3 week delay killed me and all the estrogen I had to be on sucked.

This time? I'm on injectable estrogen for the first time and STILL my lining is only 7mm. I'm assuming I'll have to go back for another lining check sometime in the next week. Between now and then, I'll probably be told to either take the injectable more often (I'm taking it once every 3 days now) or my 3-day dosage will be increased. Either way, I suspect more estrogen is coming my way and more waiting and more hope / disappointment.

I was really feeling excited and strong and happy about this cycle. I saw my triple stripe on the ultrasound screen and I was happy. And then I heard "7mm" and I about fell apart inside. The tears didn't come for about 30 minutes because I had to deal with paying for today's bad news and then also dealing with a rather incompetent front desk person who gave me someone else's payment history. I now know that Kristen with a last name of G-something (I immediately made myself forget the name) is a patient there. Thanks, Portland clinic.

I walked my bike from the clinic to downtown, trying to delay the beginning of my work day. I called hubby to open up to him about feeling like I was falling apart. He semi-yelled at me about how I told him I was ready for this cycle and all outcomes, and how if this delay is setting me off, then maybe we shouldn't be doing the cycle at all. I know this was his response to fear and disappointment, but it broke my heart. He made good points, but I reminded him that there really is no way to prepare for (1) the sadness of delay and (2) another week-9 miscarriage (response to his point about being prepared for all outcomes). If I do manage to get prepared for that, it'll mean my heart has completely turned to stone, and I'm quite sure my hubby doesn't want that.

I stopped at a coffee shop and treated myself to a caffeinated latte (fuck it, right?!), a croissant AND an apple pocket. All hand-made from a local bakery, all totally delicious, all really bad for my body and all really good for my soul.

I'm waiting to hear from my Seattle nurse about what happens next.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Beautiful video about using donor eggs

Beautiful couple, beautiful words spoken, beautiful topic. They battled infertility for 6 years and are now (in this video) 14 weeks pregnant with twins via donor egg. Made me cry tears of happiness and also fear that I will never get to be this excited and happy, that this will never work for us. It is worth watching. Around 6 minutes, he says powerful things and around 7:15, she does. The whole video is bursting with their excitement:

My lining check is on Tuesday.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

I'm suppressed!

I went in for my real suppression check yesterday. At my SIS, I was told I was suppressed then, but my clinic wanted a real suppression check to make sure I hadn't broken through. The majority of me expected yesterday to be easy and routine - which it was - but a small part of me (the part of me that has seen my body screw a lot of easy and routine things up) was a little worried.

Luckily, I had nothing to be worried about and I am suppressed!

Hubby and I discussed no longer avoiding my due date and moving forward with the transfer as soon as my lining is ready. We told our nurse that yesterday and - provided all looks good at my lining check on the 19th - we'll be moving forward with our transfer the following week.

I'm feeling good so far. This next phase - growing a lining - is the part that has been hard for my body many a' time. So I am cautiously hopeful the intra-muscular Delestrogen shots will do the trick. And, yes, I will also be on PIO in about two weeks and that's a lot of intra-muscular shots. Ouch.

(I also have a debilitating multi-day Lupron-induced headache - my first - and am going home and into bed to try to get rid of it. Am told the estrogen shots will help.)

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Adios, bcp (again)

For the 4th time since TTC, I am tossing out the bcp today! I see these cycles as two phases: the birth control phase followed by the injections phase. Today, I graduated from the bcp phase and, provided I get a period and am (still) suppressed on Tuesday, March 5, will enter the injections phase. This is BIG and I am EXCITED!

Schedule, provided no delays (and you know I'm prone to delays):

March 5: suppression check
March 19: lining check
TRANSFER SOMETIME at least 6 DAYS AFTER THAT (but probably not until the very end of March / early April so as to avoid the risk of a bfn on my due date, April 7).

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Start Lupron today!

It's here. The first injection of this cycle. I start Lupron today. During my other two cycles, I've taken my shots first thing in the morning. But we spent this weekend at the coast with two sets of couple friends and I decided I did not want this cycle to bleed into the weekend. Now that we are home, I am about to take my first shot of at least 6 weeks and hopefully about 14 weeks!

Here it goes!!!! Each injection is one closer to my embryos and one closer to success and hopefully a take-home baby!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Liebster Award

So my alter-ego, "Ready for My Turn" was given the Liebster Award. But I want to get this blog out a little more so I can find other donor egg women like me. Hope you don't mind, Invincible Spring!
The idea is to circulate and increase the readership of smaller blogs; so I answer the questions put to me by Invincible Spring, and then come up with questions of my own to forward to bloggers of my choosing.

The Liebster Award is available to bloggers with less than 200 followers. And you get to add this award to your blog! There is a code, but I can't find it, so copy and paste the picture below and add it as a gadget to your blog!

Here goes!

Invincible Spring's Questions

          1. Did you have an imaginary friend growing up?
No, not that I can remember. But my sister and my dogs were my bestest friends.

          2. If you had to pick: Museum/Gallery, or Great Outdoors?
Great Outdoors, hands down. While I love Museums and Galleries, there's nothing like the fresh air and feeling of the Great Outdoors.

          3. City or countryside?
Depends. Am I wanting to explore, walk around, see book stores and stop in for an afternoon hot chocolate? Or do I feel like hiking and reading?

          4. Is there a particular artist whose work really speaks to you?
Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake (ignore the video, it's the music I want you to hear) and the sound track to Phantom of the Opera.

          5. What place have you travelled that you wanted to return to again and again?
Costa Rica.

          6. If you could invite anyone, living or dead, who would be on the guest list for your dream dinner party?
My maternal great grandmother. She rescued Jews in Holland during the war, ran a business when women weren't allowed to and raised children as a single mother.

          7. What made you decide to start blogging?
Infertility and the feeling that I was so underwater and so alone I might not make it.

          8. Halloween/fancy dress costume of choice?

          9. And I'm totally stealing Amanda's idea, because I want more recipes for my collection. So pretty please, share one if you can?
Tear up pieces of kale, sprinkle with olive oil, nutritional yeast and some salt, put in the oven at 250 for 20 minutes until the edges start to blacken, then raise heat to 350 for 10 minutes. DELIC!

My questions:

1. Dogs or cats?
2. Favorite season and why?
3. Do you have a green thumb? Does that change depending on whether we're talking about indoor versus outdoor plants?
4. Have you yet found any silver lining(s) in the journey of infertility? If so, what?
5. Are you reading a book currently? What?
6. Do you make lists to keep organized in life or do things just stick in your mind?
7. Favorite scent?

And, the nominees are (ignore if you feel like it!):

Quest for the Golden Egg
Chicks and Eggs
The Elusive Second Line
The Moon on a Stick
Here I Go Again
A Place Where I Can Be Me
Project Make A Baby 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Slumbering babies

I often think about our four slumbering embryos. I imagine them, all "warm" (in reality, they're on ice!) and cozy, waiting for us to come and collect them from "day care." It makes me feel all warm and excited inside.

I asked my husband a few days ago whether he ever thinks about them. He told me he does, a lot.

I am getting so very excited for early April. Spring is on the way.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Our beautiful calendar

Here it is. Our beautiful FET2 calendar. We had to do some tweaking of the dates as the lab is doing some construction for a week in early April. My embryos (2 of them, that is) *should* be snuggling inside me by then, fortunately.

My nurse has been wonderful about avoiding April 7. That would have been my due date and I told her I can't handle that date AND a negative beta. So we'll do the transfer a few days before-hand so I can get through April 7 by pretending to be pregnant again.

Without further ado, our calendar:

(I took a screenshot off the laptop and can't figure out how to make the picture bigger, so please click on it to see the full size version)

Saturday, February 2, 2013

And the cycle begins!

With the arrival of my period today, so began our cycle! Birth control for a little over a month, suppression check on March 12, lining check on March 26, SIS sometime between now and the end of February, and a hoped-for transfer the first week of April.


(we have 4 beautiful grade A embryos waiting for us in Seattle)

Friday, February 1, 2013


When we made the decision to "go donor," I always just felt like the kid that popped out of my womb would be my kid. In fact, I have told loved ones "I'll scratch the eyes out of anyone who tries to suggest otherwise." (use of the violent language to convey the point that I feel very very very strongly that my child is my child)

The concept of "epigenetics" is exactly what I was feeling. And now I have a word to use.


The idea that the fetus that develops in the womb is actually that womb's biological child.

That sounds strange, right? We were taught to believe that the fetus is 1/2 DNA from the sperm-donor and 1/2 DNA from the egg-donor. Meaning, a fetus conceived through egg donation would not be biologically related to the birth mother.

As far as DNA goes, I think that's probably still correct. I have to look deeper into that, but I'm not really that interested in it so who knows when or whether I'll actually look deeper.

Epigenetics is the idea that the womb grows the fetus rather than just being an incubator to the fetus:

Freedom Pharmacy published this great booklet about egg donation -- here an excerpt:

“Perhaps the greatest myth surrounds pregnancy. Many believe the uterus is simply an incubator. Nothing could be further from the truth. The most important aspect of all pregnancies- including egg donation pregnancies- is that as the fetus grows, every cell in the developing body is built out of the pregnant mother’s body. Tissue from her uterine lining will contribute to the formation of the placenta, which will link her and her child. The fetus will use her body’s protein, then she will replace it. The fetus uses her sugars, calcium, nitrates, and fluids, and she will replace them. So, if you think of your dream child as your dream house, the genes provide merely a basic blueprint, the biological mother takes care of all the materials and construction, from the foundation right on up to the light fixtures. So, although her husband’s aunt Sara or the donor’s grandfather may have genetically programmed the shape of the new baby’s earlobe, the earlobe itself is the pregnant woman’s “flesh and blood.” That means the earlobe, along with the baby herself, grew from the recipient’s body. That is why she is the child’s biological mother. That is why this child is her biological child.”

Here are some links to the idea of epigenetics (I have not read all the info on them but am simply providing them):

Like I said, I have no doubt that any baby I am lucky enough to push out of my womb (or have extracted through a c-section) would be my baby. I started looking into this idea for two reasons: (1) other peoples' reactions in the future, which I suspect will not always be as supportive as our current friends and family have been, and (2) my husband recently told me, when discussing canceling our last and final "natural" cycle "I want to have a baby with you, not some other woman." He doesn't really mean that and he is excited about egg donation. But when it came down to me saying "let's not even try this month, we have FOUR perfect embryos waiting for us," he thought "but if we have the chance to make our 'own' baby, let's try." I forward all these links and the idea to him and his response was awesome. He said:

That’s pretty good stuff. It’s you that matters here.
Love that man.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

The decision to "go donor"

The decision to "go donor" was actually a very easy one for us (well, for me it was ... my husband went along with my decision).

Years ago, when my husband (I'll call him "B") started dating, I did NOT WANT CHILDREN. I realize, through personal analysis, that I was going through a very independent stage and also was scared to be a mother (my mother was VERY involved, hovered constantly, was overbearing and didn't let us grow up on our own so I had to really rebel to get anything). I couldn't even think or talk about childbirth without closing my legs tightly and getting goose bumps. My "not wanting children" caused lots of arguments between me and B. For some reason, despite this seeming deal breaker, B stuck with me. We got married and I still didn't want kids. I guess he either had tremendous faith in the fact that I would come around or he could see the future. I guess he knew I'd want kids and my declaration that "I'll adopt one or two if you really want to" was enough hope for him.

Because, right around when I turned 30, my biological clock started REALLY ticking and I wanted babies. My own babies. Like the kind I pop out of my womb! WHOA! Friends who knew me pre-transition still remind me that I said things like "I'll throw a party if I'm barren." (oh, yes I recognize the irony!)

We started TTC in early 2010. Over the next 2+ years, we had failure after failure. Our health insurance does not cover infertility so we paid out of pocket for absolutely everything. Including the one and only round of IVF we went through. It cost us just under $20,000 but we expected it would be the answer and this would all be over. We bit the bullet, paid the money and started injections.

It was a disaster. The cycle was almost canceled when I didn't get suppressed. Then they had to up my medication significantly to get my follicles to grow. In hindsight, both of these issues should have been red flags. We should have bailed on the whole thing and saved so much money. But we were desperate and hopeful and the doctors told us to keep going. Hindsight is always 20/20.

We got 15 eggs. YEAH! 14 were mature. YEAH! 9 fertilized. YEAH! And then only 2 survived to day-5 and they were a day delayed (they were the equivalent of day 4 morulae instead of day 5 blasts). Given what I know now about how embryos continue to develop the morning of transfer, I am quite sure my two were dead by transfer. We had no frozen embryos.

At our WTF appointment with our doc, I told her "I don't care about DNA." I always thought I would adopt (back when I was in high school and early college). All of my fur creatures are adopted so adopting a child seemed a good fit. Right before and during IVF, we attended two adoption seminars. We were so saddened by the cost of adoption and the potentially lengthy wait time. We were disheartened.

So, when I told my doc "I don't care about DNA" she suggested a few other options: ones we had never heard of or considered:

Donor Egg Bank ($7000 or $14,000 at the time)
Donor Embryos ($4000 at the time)

They are just like they sound. "Donor Egg Bank" is a bank of donated eggs. Meaning a donor has gone through the IVF process, the doc has retrieved her eggs, and those eggs have been frozen the day of the retrieval. "Donor Embryos" are donor eggs fertilized with donor sperm, and then frozen.

The Donor Embryo process is significantly cheaper than the other options. I was open to that option. The prior 2+ years of IF had shown me that I really would like to experience pregnancy. Donor Embryos would allow that. B decided if we are having a baby, then he'd like that baby to have his DNA. He's 100% open to adoption, but if we're growing a baby in my womb, he wants to use his DNA. Seemed fair. We settled on Donor Egg Bank.

(there is of course a fresh donor egg IVF cycle - which includes a donor doing a fresh IVF cycle and those eggs being immediately fertilized with B's sperm. My body is prepared along with the donor's body and then the fertilized, 5-day embryos are transferred into me. This costs upwards of $30,000)

We've been "at" the donor egg process a little under a year. We did a transfer with 449's eggs in July 2012 and I got pregnant. While I was pregnant, I loved my baby. I never once thought about it being donor DNA. Just before we learned about the miscarriage, B started worrying about how his family would react (which is kind of ridiculous because the baby would be as much "his" family as any other baby born into the family). We drafted a long email about our journey, the pain, the decisions and that our baby will be our baby and will be a part of the family like any other baby.

We never got to send that email. The day we drafted it (and stored it to send a few weeks later) we learned there was no longer a heartbeat.

We mourned a while and then decided to get back on the bicycle / horse / whatever one gets back on after a tremendous fall. We chose a different donor - this one is also a proven donor but is in her 30s - and bought 5 more eggs through the Donor Egg Bank process. Of those 5, miraculously, FOUR fertilized. We are awaiting transfer in early April 2013 (knock on wood).

Interestingly, the people who *could* care about us using donor egg do *not* care at all. My parents. It's their DNA that is not being passed on. My mother and my father (divorced) are both so supportive and want *nothing* more than for me to be pregnant. Neither of them seem to give a flying fuck that we're using donor eggs. In fact, when we had our first donor transfer, my mum printed out the embryos and stuck them on her fridge. Each ultrasound, she'd print out the picture we sent her and she'd add that to her fridge. She was so in love with her grandbaby. It was amazing and I feel so grateful to have such supportive family members.

I realize that choosing to "go donor egg" is not an easy choice for everyone. I quickly came to terms with it because I realized I need help achieving a dream. I would take a donor kidney, heart, eye if need be to continue living life to the fullest. So why not a donor egg? I *know* there will be issues in the future and at some point, B and I will (hopefully!) have to talk to our child or children about our choices. But for now, I am completely 100% at peace with our decision. And, I know about PVED if and when I need them.

B is getting there. We are in the final week of the cycle right before we start our Donor Egg Bank cycle. Meaning we are in the TWW period. I wanted to scrap this cycle (I took Femara) as soon as we learned about the 4 embryos. B said "I want to try. I'd rather have a baby with you than with another woman." So he is still having some issues about the whole thing. He's very communicative, though, and amazing at working through his emotions and hold ups. I have no doubt he'll get there and (hopefully!) when I pop our baby or babies out, he'll fall in love with his biological child and it will all be a distant memory.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

A little background

Hubby and I threw away birth control in November 2009. We didn't officially start trying until March 2010, but we did have sex at the appropriate time accidentally in January 2010, so I count that as our TTC start date. We just hit 3 years and still have no child or children at home.

Nothing happened the first 8 official months of TTC. Then, on the last day of November 2010, I got my first bfp. I was estatic and never ever thought that things could go wrong. They did. That was my first chemical pregnancy.

In July 2011, I got another bfp and, again, didn't think anything would or could go wrong. Sadly, I had an ectopic pregnancy and we terminated at 5w3d. We then had a failed IVF cycle in January-February 2012, with no frozen embryos. When my RE heard me say "I don't care about DNA" (but my hubby does), she suggested "donor egg bank" at a Seattle clinic. It took me all of 2 seconds to decide to do that. It took my hubby a little longer as he had to grapple with his concerns of "making a baby with another woman." I'll blog about that more later.

Before heading to Seattle, I had another chemical pregnancy in March 2012 (yes, the month after our failed IVF cycle). We did our donor egg bank FET in July 2012 and GOT PREGNANT! Saw a heartbeat! Heard a heartbeat! And then had a 9 week miscarriage in September 2012. I then had another chemical pregnancy in October 2012, the very month after my miscarriage and d&c.

To me, a bfp or even seeing and hearing a heartbeat has come to mean nothing. I am scarred from this experience but still, we continue.

We were destroyed by that miscarriage. It took weeks of deep, dark spaces and thoughts before I started to come out from the hole. I was broken, numb, angry.

And then light started to shine on us again. I regained my confidence, my hope, and my willingness to go on. My darling husband was along for whatever I decided.

We chose a different donor - this one is against all odds, in her early 30s (the other donor was in her early 20s). Both donors have been "proven donors" and are both moms themselves.

This donor gave us 4 beautiful embryos. We are awaiting transfer in early April 2013.

Other than all these crappy chemicals / ectopic, there is nothing wrong with me or us. My hubby has "rockstar" sperm. All of my test results are "awesome" - meaning we *should* get pregnant and we *should be* parents.

I don't care how we get there. And I love the 4 frozen embryos so much and did not love the two embryos we got from our own IVF cycle any more. These 4 hold our hopes for a family and I love them so so so much.