Donor Egg IVF: Ups and Downs

Happy Redbud Spring!

It’s been a whirlwind of a week and next week will be even more intense. So our donor started her stimulation meds last Saturday. By Tuesday she was due in for her first “dosing sonogram” to see how the meds were working. I was excited to get the update.

How do you think I felt when I learned on Wednesday that not only did she miss her Tuesday appointment, but when they got her in first thing Wednesday morning, they learned she skipped her Tuesday night meds! @#$€$&£¥₩%!!!!!!!!!

My heart sank and I was in a total panic. I talked to the on call nurse who told me they were all concerned. They explained the gravity of the situation to the donor and after that all any of us could do is pray. Luckily this happened at the beginning of the stimulation, which they said she could recover from if she didn’t mess up again.  Her next appointment was Saturday…today.

I reminded myself, she is a very young woman. 21 or 22. What was I doing at 21? Not donating eggs, that’s for sure. I didn’t even know egg donation existed when I was 21. So she gets points for that. 

In my panic I insisted to the husband we go out for margaritas at my fave place so that’s how we rode out the night. I was ever so slightly at ease knowing I would see my doctor the next day for my uterine lining check and was hopeful that he would make me feel better about the situation. Needless to say I did not sleep well Wed night.

The next afternoon I met with my RE and the good news was that my lining was a 7.6 😆. That means I’ve hit the mark and remain on my 3 estradiol doses per day with a single daily Lupron injection until the transfer.

Doc told me that he explained to the donor that if she misbehaved again, she would be terminated from the program and she would lose the fee she is due following the egg retrieval. We could only hope that the thought of losing $6k was enough to get her attention. 

God!!! The suspense!

He was so supportive of me though. He held my hand, hugged me, and told me we were going to win. I love my doctor. It was an emotional appointment. Especially when he reminded me I am out of control of the situation as evidenced by my file…which is now 2-3 inches thick. It’s one of those scary files, like when you’re new to IVF and you see the doctor carrying that for someone else and you’re like yeah right not me.

Not so much!

So I got the message from the on-call nurse today. Hallelujah, the donor made it in for her appointment and currently has 14 follicles growing 😍😍😍. It looks good, and she is due back in on Monday. Original prediction was March 30th for egg retrieval, now they are predicting trigger on Thursday the 30th with a Saturday a.m. retrieval. WHOA.

That timeline works out well too, because of what else is on the calendar for this week. Like all this isn’t enough…Monday I have a root canal. And then worse than that, on Thursday the husband is being sedated to have all 4 wisdom teeth extracted plus 3 more. That’s SEVEN teeth! Moral of that story is DO NOT allow yourself, your spouse or your child (or anyone you care about) to have a 20+ year phobia of the dentist. It won’t go well. I promise. He has had terrible infections and been in excruciating pain over the years and it didn’t have to happen. But such is life. He’s getting it taken care of now. The beginning anyway. There will be extensive restoration too. $$$$$.

So there you have it. Who knows what’s next? 

I will pray. Nothing else to do.

I have been doing some springtime gardening. I planted some seeds and it’s been fun to watch them grow. Also, for the first time ever I’ve decorated with a few Easter decorations since my life right now revolves around eggs. I’m hoping they help with good egg Karma. It’s really been inspiring me to get 2-3 chickens for fresh eggs and company too. Haven’t quite got the husband on board though. Maybe one day but we do have a lot of hot pots going right now…

I was sick recently, so I put a blanket out in the yard to lie on with my pup for some fresh air. This was my view.

Thinking of all of us and keeping the hope alive.

xoxo

 

Donor Egg IVF: A Happy Surprise

I had my first sonogram of this cycle today…the dildo cam is officially back in my life. Doc had to verify that there were no cysts before we get rolling with meds…TOMORROW. I’m happy to say I got a clean bill of health and the all clear to start Lupron. 

I met with my nurse, signed away my life, chit-chatted a bit and was on my way. 

It’s probably been 5-6 months since I have been back in that office, so it was a bit surreal. There were some new faces too. Time keeps moving. 

So when I was with my nurse she mentioned noticing that I had received some insurance coverage for my meds (to which I was like, wait what?)…because this came in on Saturday:

Yeah that’s an island full of meds. Crinone, progesterone suppositories, Estradiol, antibiotic, Lupron, needles, sharps container, alcohol wipes…a DEIVF girl’s happy place. Freedom Pharmacy quoted me $1900 for this order. Progesterone is very expensive! When I got home today I had 2 pieces of mail from my health insurance. Both said my Lupron and Crinone were covered. Wait. WHAT? Wuuuuuuuuuuttttttttttttt?!

I logged onto my credit card statement and saw that they only charged me $230 TOTAL! OH. MY. GAWD. 

My mom says it’s a good omen. Whatevs, I’ll take it. All I could do was lay on the sofa in shock. And then stuff my face with a pulled pork sandwich, homemade by the hubby. Even though I’m “not” eating bread right now. The bun was so good.

So that’s my happy surprise. Thank goodness too bc I’ll be paying for the donor’s meds in a week or so. Bless her. And this cycle.

Praying for all of us.

xoxo.

Donor Egg IVF: Dare I say good news?

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Monday was a DE-IVF Rollercoaster of a day. A big one! Like for the majority of the day I was worried that the cycle and worse, the donor, was turning into a big flop. And I was sick over it, just sick. I reached out to my nurse and told her I was getting really uncomfortable with what was or was not going on with the donor as her period was roughly 3 weeks late based on the information I received. I asked if she was pregnant. A few hours later I received a response.

My nurse said she was uncomfortable with the situation too, and that she had called the donor and left a message, but had not yet heard back. 

Once I saw those words on the page, it basically sent me into a tailspin. I learned a long time ago in a couple’s therapy session that one of my problems is I have “the sky is falling” syndrome. As soon as the therapist said those words aloud I was like OMG I absolutely do that! One thing goes wrong and I start speculating and assuming the worst. I project that one thing onto everything and it usually doesn’t go well. The first step is admitting you have a problem! 

The husband remained calm, encouraging and hopeful…but I basically threw the towel in. That evening I called my mom and told her I was worried it was a bust and we would be back to the drawing board after wasting 4+ months of our lives. 

No sooner than I hung up with her did I received another email from my nurse. 

“I heard back from your donor and she actually started her period today.  She emailed (her nurse) this morning and got the message that she was out of the office for the week, so was happy to hear from me.  She already has BCP and will start them on Wednesday.  Let me know where you are in your pack of pills and I’ll work on a calendar this week.  I just need you to confirm what day you started your present pack so I can plot things out on the calendar correctly from that point.  WHEW!!!!!!”

When I say this message brought tears to my eyes…the most enormous wave of relief washed over me.

Today I got the pharmacy call to pay for $1900 worth of meds…JUST for me. This doesn’t even include the donor’s stimulation meds yet! 

I’m happy things are moving, so grateful in fact…but it’s wearing on me too. I was in a bit of a slump after work. My friend says it’s because I’m moving into warrior mode as this progresses. Nice thought. Maybe it rings true. It just wears me out mentally. Not to mention physically, spiritually, emotionally. But I will perk up. I have to reserve my strength. 

Anything can and will happen. I may be starting Lupron as soon as Monday or Tuesday next week. Eeeek. Hopefully I will receive the calendar soon. Also I have my fertility support group meeting tomorrow which is a great place to discuss with people that understand. 

Meds are due to arrive Saturday. O.M.G.

Here goes nothin’. I’ll get to prayin’. For me and everyone else too.

xoxo

Donor Egg IVF: Where Oh Where is the Donor’s Period?!

Y’all. They told me over 2 weeks ago that her period was due “any day now.” And here I am…STILL WAITING! Evidently they sent her for bloodwork today to possibly find out WTF. Obviously I’m expecting the worst. What if a call came that said, so sorry but your donor is pregnant! Okay, this has NOT, I repeat not happened. But it could!!! Any veteran IVFer knows anything can and does happen when going through these blasted cycles. And in the case of donor egg IVF, we added a whole other person to the mix. We’re probably asking for trouble, right? Ehhhhh….I hope not. But it ain’t done until it’s done. And we are SO close!

I hope we hear the results of the bloodwork tomorrow and that all is well…that she is just late due to stress…not that I want her stressed either! 😐 Dammit. 

I will think relaxing thoughts, at least that’s what I’m saying right here right now. Maybe I’ll go back to yoga and put that into the universe. Who knows? I’ll pray though for sure. She can’t start meds until we have Cycle Day 1. And I’m on my third pack of BCP’S back-to-back, only active pills. Enough already!

Okay sleep well, hopefully I will have good news soon.

xoxo

Donor Egg IVF: Am I a Sugarmama?

So I’ve talked before on the blog about the astronomical cost of IVF and using an egg donor (here). But I had a funny experience this week. I got a call from Freedom Pharmacy, who specializes in IVF meds. I was at work and was not expecting the call, so when I heard the message that they were calling for payment information I immediately called and emailed my nurse. I wanted to verify that everything was as it should be as I hadn’t been given a heads up to expect this call or that we were ready to order meds…although I knew we were close. 

I heard back from my nurse pretty quickly that the donor’s nurse (she has a separate one) had placed the order for her bcp’s, folic acid and an antibiotic. The donor is due to start her period any day now so she wanted her to have these meds in hand when that happened. OK, makes sense. So I called and made the payment. It wasn’t the big, scary $2K payment I was expecting. $50 bucks.

After I hung up I felt kinda funny. The donor pays for nothing throughout this process, nor should she. But it’s a strange sensation to be paying bills for a complete stranger that I will likely never meet, but one who is working to give me something beyond incredible. So that’s when I giggled to myself.

I am my donor’s Sugarmama!

It’s not the first payment I’ve made and it certainly won’t be the last. But okay I get it I’m not really a sugarmama, but maybe just a little! I’m paying bills so she can have all these appointments and buying her drugs and folic acid so she can make good eggs! I’m wondering about her health and hoping she’s taking good care of herself…and I think she probably is. 

I’m not paying her electric or buying her groceries…but hey, if I found out she could use some groceries you bet I’d send her some. It’s just a strange and new phenomenon. One no one ever expects to experience. But here we are, experiencing every little piece and asking for more! Dang.

So I’m not very private about what we are going through, and in telling others that I am using donor eggs, the most common response I receive is oh you’re using a surrogate. No, no, not quite the same. So it’s definitely one of those deals where you get to educate people. And sometimes I can’t tell people’s responses…like I wonder if some religious individuals disagree with this process. I’m not worried about it though.

Anyway, happy Thursday. It’s almost the weekend. Hoping the donor starts her period asap so I can pay her bills ;)!!

xoxo.

Donor IVF: The Recent Scoop

I haven’t been in a very bloggy mood the past couple of months. Can’t really explain why as I don’t know myself. I do still want to document our journey though. So here I am. To tell you about some things that have happened. 
On Monday of this week we got the news it feels like we have been waiting FOREVER for. Our donor’s karyotype testing came back normal!

What does this mean?

It means we now have all of the tests, results, etc. from this woman that we need to proceed with stimulation meds. It took nearly 4 months from when I first reached out to the donor IVF nurse to get to this point as the young woman we selected is a first time donor. Had we selected someone who donated before it would have moved much faster. I won’t lie, I have a bit of a dreamy attitude that maybe she will only ever donate for us. But I am realistic. She may do this several more times. It really doesn’t matter.

We were very excited to get this news because it has been such a long road. We went out to celebrate at one of our favorite restaurants which was nice. So now we are waiting for the donor’s flow to start, which should be any day now and then we will get the calendar and medications will be ordered. 

Coincidentally on Monday I also received a message from another IVF soldier (who is now 12 weeks pregnant) that I met through an infertility support group I attend. She offered a still sealed Gonal-F 300 pen to me for free, which as you may know is very expensive! It was so generous of her and I brought her cupcakes for a trade. This means another $300 saved on the donor’s medications. Plus, I told her if this all works she can say she played a part :). That’s a nice thought. 

I am still only taking birth control pills, but that will change soon. February will be busy for sure, and the cycle may bleed (no pun intended!!!) into March…we will know soon. I am so grateful that the pressure is not on my eggs to make embryos again. And I’m so hopeful for this donor’s youthful 21 year old eggs. 

Honestly I have very little sadness about the notion that the blueprint of this baby will be made from another person. All I can focus on is the thought of a heart beating and a baby growing inside me. However that happens, the baby that will be there is the one we were meant for. That’s all that matters.

On a sad note, we had to put our 17 year old cat, Moogie, to sleep on Thursday. He had a stroke on Wednesday and could no longer walk. I now know what it looks like when a cat has a stroke and it’s a very strange thing to see. The vet said cats with heart murmurs have a higher likelihood of blood clots. We were together with him when he passed, petting him and telling him we loved him. It was quite peaceful. Love you Moogie. 

Hoping for a peaceful, low cost weekend. We have ivf meds to buy any day now!!!!!

xoxo

Donor IVF: Lessons and Updates

The lessons one learns when going through IVF whether with your own eggs or someone else’s are NOT for the faint of heart. Besides the heartache and devastation that come with failed cycles, I think I’ve come to the conclusion that the next biggest lesson is patience. 

That’s what I am dutifully continuing to practice today. And here’s why…

We’ve had weeks without updates through this process, and then yesterday, TWO updates from my nurse!

The first was regarding the results of the husband’s Progenity genetic testing and here’s what she said:

“…he is negative for Alpha-thalassemia, Cystic fibrosis, and Spinal Muscle Atrophy.  If you proceed with this donor, you may conceive a child who has a carrier status as well, or no carrier status at all.  We are expecting the donor’s Karyotype this month.  When  you reach the end of your active pills in this pack, which I think should be the 21st, go ahead and call for a refill and start a new pack skipping the placebo pills to continue taking only active pills.  If we keep you on active pills only, we can start your Lupron sooner  once we have her final result.”

Yes!!! OK, great news. He is not a carrier of any of the disorders that our donor is which means she isn’t out of the running. So the only thing left that we are waiting on to get going with stimulation meds is the Karyotype results.

I asked my nurse if everything was A-OK with the timeline to get her Karyotype as I had last been told they were due in late December. We would have had them sooner but evidently the lab messed up so the donor was instructed to do a redraw for this test.

Then I got this message:

“I have some not so good news regarding the Karyotype.  We were expecting to have results after the holidays. Unfortunately, the lab has not faltered but it turns out that the donor did not have the re-draw until early this week.  XXXX has been in contact with the donor and found out that  she did not go back as instructed.  Unfortunately that is our delay at this point. My guess is that hopefully we’ll be able to start your Lupron by the end of this month and plan the donor stim start sometime in mid to end of February.  We never expect the Karyotype to be abnormal but have to wait to start the meds for the calendar until it is confirmed.   In the meantime continue only active pills so we can jump right into the calendar as soon as the results report out.”

My immediate emotion was disappointment…obviously. And I can’t lie it did give me pause for concern about the donor we selected. But luckily I was with a girlfriend and we talked it through. 

Pretty quickly I reminded myself that so far the donor has done everything that was asked of her in a timely manner…and this was the second time she had to do the same blood test after the lab dropped the ball. She’s young, in college, and we just barely got through the 2016 holiday season. Maybe she traveled for Christmas or had family in town. Anything could have been going on in her life. So I’m okay with it, there’s no other option anyway!

But geez…mid to end of February to start her stims. Sigh. Deep breaths…I bet this entire process will be pushing 6 months by the time we complete the cycle. P-A-T-I-E-N-C-E.

So that’s that, hurry up and wait. In the mean time I will find little projects to keep my mind occupied. This process won’t really feel real until I start the Lupron injections. Needles make things real, right?!

Happy Saturday. I’m staying warm. It’s 20 degrees in our neck of the woods.

xoxo