Saturday, December 19, 2015

The embryo transfer

It has taken two months to get there but we have gotten there!  The embryo transfer was yesterday and we are now in the two week wait.

Our donor has been amazing.  We have met up socially on a few occasions now and we all get along so well.  She is one generous and loving woman and I feel so blessed and grateful to have met her.
She was so worried about doing well by us and producing enough eggs for us to use, that when she told me she had gotten 24 eggs, she burst into tears with relief!  And said she did the thing in recovery when the nurses told her.  24 eggs!  Its staggering.

As she was only donating and not continuing to transfer herself, they were able to overstimulate more than is normal for a regular IVF round.  But not too much so that it damages the eggs.  To produce 24 though, is incredible.  They weren't expecting that many!

Of those 24, they chose 20 to fertilise - 10 using IVF and 10 using ICSI.  We got 9 ICSI embryos and 7 IVF embryos.  Amazing!  From them, we got 11 great quality embryos.  They chose an IVF one to transfer to me and the rest will be frozen.

We have never seen an embryo like the one I am carrying inside me now.  It had reached blastocyst stage by Day 4 and the embryologist told us that we couldn't have a better result!  Our embryos from my eggs never reached that stage before transfer.  Ours were always still at the early cell stage.  To see one looking like that, was fantastic.

Yesterday after the transfer I was feeling crampy and very fragile.  I rested, listened to my meditation CD's and thought positive, open, loving and receptive thoughts.  Today, I have that stretchy uterine sensation.  But as usual, it is a symptom that I can associate both with pregnancy and sometimes with being pre-menstrual.  So, no guarantees there.

Apart from a few little things I still have to do, I have taken two weeks off work for the Christmas break and will focus on staying relaxed and positive.  Oh, and get ready for everyone coming over for Christmas lunch!

The meditation CD's I have been listening to are awesome.  If anyone is reading this who is going through any kind of fertility, they are the ones to use.  It is a website called Circle and Bloom and they have CD's for any situation - both natural and medically assisted - before and after and during - as well as for general women's health.

There is so much to say - about our donor and what she has done/and wants to do for us - about the process - and about our hopes and dreams.  Right now, though, I am staying focused on the now.  On encouraging the little life inside me to implant and grow strong and healthy.  On staying relaxed for the next two weeks.

I will be back in two weeks to let you know the results.  If it isn't successful this time, there are 11 more little embryos waiting for us.  And while that thought helps us to remain positive, it certainly doesn't take away our deep desire for this one to be the one.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Donors

So, the first thing I did, was to call our fertility clinic.

"Whats the story with donors now?"
"Well, we actually have three in the works at the moment!"
"Really!?  Oh my god! I can't believe it!"

And then the stories of them all came out.

The first donor 

She was overseas and ended up extending her stay

The second donor

She had come to the clinic through another patient.  However, before the lady who found her could start a round with this donor, she had to use her last embryo from her previous donor.  This was a success and she was pregnant!

Her new donor then volunteered to donate to another couple until the first woman had delivered and was ready to try for her second.  There was plenty of time for the donor to go through a round with another couple and she was keen to donate to someone else.

However...  the first lady was so distraught and upset and didn't want her new donor donating to anyone else.  "What if something goes wrong?  Then you won't be there for me.  You need to be there for me."
Okay, so we will wait until your pregnancy is well and truly stable.
Then it was "But I want you there as soon as I have delivered.  I want to get started on trying for a second baby straight away.  And what if you do a round with someone else and then decide you don't want to do it again?"

The donor decide to wait as she didn't want this lady being so distraught while she was pregnant.

Eventually, it came to a time that we met with this donor.  She was an amazing woman to be doing was she was doing and what she planned to do in the future in helping people to achieve their dreams of motherhood.  I'm really glad to have met her.  But, she wasn't the right fit for us.

In the meantime, after all that happened, we lost the chance to meet the third donor.

The third donor

She had also come to the clinic through another patient.  This patient then became naturally pregnant!
Once again, this donor wanted to donate to others.
In this case, though, the patient was more than happy for her to do so.  They waited until she was safe into her pregnancy and then all was good for the donor to help another couple.

However, because we were meeting with the first donor, the clinic linked her up with a different couple and we missed out.  I should mention here, that at this stage, we were first on the list to be connected with the donors.

I was so disappointed.  "We should have met with the first donor earlier, then we would have known"  blah blah...  you get the idea!

The next day, the clinic called.

Another lady had just been cleared to donate.  Would we like to meet her?  Yes yes please!!!

The fourth and final donor

Everything worked out as it should.  This lady is awesome.  She has also been through the IVF process with the same doctor as we did.  She has gone through the same trials and tribulations.  She had the same OB with the one pregnancy that went passed 8 weeks and then she had the same heartache when they lost that baby at 12 weeks.

Our stories are so similar.  We all get along so well including the hubbies.  We have the same feelings about how we would like things to be should we be successful.  It is a good fit.

Now, she has a beautiful little boy and two baby twin boys.

And she wants to give other couple the same chances that she had to become parents.

We have started the process.  We have both had our first appointments and things will slowly progress.
We are nervous, worried and excited at the same time!
We are taking each step as it comes.


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

A brief journey through adoption

It was at the end of last year (2014).  I had come to a pretty good place in acceptance of a childfree life.  I was comfortable with my life.   But I knew hubbie wasn't in the same place.  And because he wasn't, then we weren't.  This wasn't a situation for one person to be okay and it's fine.  We both had to be okay with a life without children.

Hubbie still had constant thoughts of "maybe we could adopt".  I had already looked into adoption, had passed on the information to him, and felt that it just wasn't the right thing for us.   But hubbie needed to look into for himself.  I understood that.

So, off we went to a adoption meetings, reading through the material they sent us and listening to other women's stories of their international adoptions.  By the end of it, we were both shaking our heads.

For so many reasons, international adoption was impossible for us.   The most basic of those reasons was the highly rigid criteria for adoption and the years long waiting periods.  We would be in our mid 50's before we received a child, if we ever did.  And the cost!  Enormous!  With no guarantee of success.  It was way beyond our means.  And it was also beyond our emotional and physical means.  The children that were possibly open to us were high needs, older children and after hearing the stories of their requirements, hubbie and I knew that it was just beyond us to be able to properly care for these children.

Our state here in Australia doesn't do adoption, only fostering, and that path as it turned out,
was also not open to us.

There were positives and negatives that came from our brief adoption journey experience.

The positive was that we were able to let go of that path and hubbie was able to move on from thoughts of adoption.  It was a clearing.  And he felt much better about it.

The negative was for me.  From having been in a hard-earned place of acceptance, this search through the adoption process brought back all my maternal feelings.  It was all back.  The need, the desire, the dream of having a child.  I wasn't happy to be back there again.  Back in that place of heartache and lost dreams.

And a strong reason for that was that I had to be the one to makes things happen.  I was happy for hubbie to look into adoption and I encouraged him to do so.  But he wasn't able to do it himself and I had to take it on, or that never ending "what if" would have been there forever.  It's one thing to sit back and go with the flow of the journey.  Quite another to be the active participant in making it happen.

But that's the way it was and I had to deal with it.  I took the approach that I had gotten through it all before and was much stronger and more capable of dealing with things.  I knew that I would recover.  I had done so before.  In the end, I know that I will be alright.

So the adoption journey ended and we were left with just one last possibility for a child - a donor egg.

Friday, August 28, 2015

The Donor Journey begins

I just looked at my last post on this blog.  It was on August 29th, 2013.  Now on August 28th, 2015, I am posting again.  Exactly two years since our fertility journey ended.  I thought it was longer than that.

I just looked it up.  Tuesday, May 21st, 2013, was when we lost the baby.  I had thought that was the end of the journey.  That's why I thought it was longer.  But I had forgotten that we tried one more time with Nemo, our frozen embryo.  I had forgotten about Nemo.  How could I forget that?

Now, we are back into the land of hope and possibility.  Which of course comes with its share of fear and doubt.

We have a donor.  A beautiful, amazing, kind, selfless woman who is not just willing, but so eager, excited and happy to give us a chance at having a child.

There is a lot of story to tell in the journey that has led to this point.  There is a lot to tell about our wonderful donor.  It's all slowly unfolded over the last few months.

This blog has always been one of recording my journey towards being a mother.  Understandably, it was retired when we lost Sophie and Nemo didn't take.  Now that there is a new phase, I wanted to document that journey once more.  Just in case the journey does lead to motherhood.

One day, if there is a child, they might want to read all about it.  One day, I might want to be able to tell our potential child the story of how much we wanted him/her and how we strove to bring him/her into our lives.

So, I will slowly recall the last few months.  Try to remember and put into words how we ended up here in this new journey of trying to become pregnant again with the help of a donor egg.

How do we feel right now?

We are unsure, we are doubtful, we are hopeful, we are going with the flow and just taking each next step as it comes.  We are also scared.  Firstly, I am scared of becoming a mother at 47 years of age.  We started this journey when I was 40.  Now, at 46, I wonder if we are making the right decision.

But, in reality, there is no decision to make.  If we don't try this one last option that we have to become parents, we will wonder for the rest of our lives about whether we made the right decision.  We will always regret not trying.  And I can't live with that regret.

If this doesn't work though, then we will both be able to put it all to rest and move on, knowing that we did everything that we could.

As for being older parents, I am sure that will be difficult.  But life is difficult anyway.  We have to deal with its challenges all the time.  Parenthood at any age is a challenge.  This challenge though, will come with unconditional love and joy and wonder and hope.  There is a sense of anticipation in the possibility of embracing a new phase in our lives of life with a child.

So, we are back at the fertility clinic.  Back amongst the wonderful staff that are filled with so much hope for us.  Back on the journey towards motherhood.