This story originally appeared on the FitPregnancy.com website.
Narrowing down the egg donor list
After three months of searching—and learning that our top choices had a long waiting list—we narrowed our list to two available donors. One was the blonde chemistry student; I had to admit she was smart, cute and well rounded, plus her family had impressive longevity.
The other was the bike racer who loathed calculus. She wasn’t available for three months due to her work schedule, but I was willing to wait because I liked the idea that we seemed similar—we competed in the same sport and shared fear of indefinite integrals.
We contacted the aspiring chemist, via her agency, and learned she was available right away. But my gut pulled me toward the bike racer. I simply had a good feeling about her, and in the end, that was enough for me. Paul deferred to me.
We chose not to meet our donor. Some therapists strongly advise a get-together, on the theory that it will be reassuring to the child to know that his or her parents met and liked the donor. But we already had several pictures of our donor. We knew she had a master’s degree and a National Geographic subscription, a fondness for Hugh Grant movies and “an outdoorsy and outgoing family” with no known medical problems. We knew she was willing to meet our child, if he or she so desired, at some point in the future. What more did we need? What if we met and had a personality clash? Why jeopardize the good feelings we already had about her?
Following my clinic’s instructions, we consulted with a therapist, who told us most recipient couples don’t meet their donors, and she felt that was a reasonable choice. Once we signed a contract with our donor—she relinquished all rights to any embryos created; we paid her $5,000 fee plus travel expenses to my clinic, 200 miles from her home—the process went smoothly.
For six weeks, Paul injected me daily in the stomach and hip with drugs to suppress my ovulation and prepare my uterine lining for the embryos. Meanwhile, the donor, supervised by my doctor, took hormone injections that stimulated her ovaries to produce extra eggs.
The morning her eggs were surgically retrieved—six months after our canceled IVF, two years after our trip to Chile—they were fertilized by Paul’s sperm. Five days later, we had 18 embryos. During a short procedure, the doctor inserted two of the most robust ones into my uterus. The rest were frozen.
I spent the next two days on bed rest, mostly watching reruns of The Office on TiVo. I knew the odds of success were high, but as usual, my gut said: expect disaster.
When you have an IVF transfer, the nurses implore you not to take a home pregnancy test and instead to wait for your blood test 10 days later. Some urine tests aren’t sensitive enough to detect pregnancy hormones so early; why risk unnecessary disappointment? To be continued…
RSMC is a complete fertility center under one roof. We specialize in IVF, especially difficult cases, and have an egg donation center as well as a surrogacy program. For more information please e-mail: [email protected] or call 858-436-7186.