If I had stuck with the original plan, we would probably be having a baby at the end of June.
Back in September, we had finally found a suitable egg donor and made a down payment to “reserve” her. Good egg donors are hard to find, and they go fast. We had found a new fertility clinic we liked well enough, better than the other four we interviewed. The plan was for her to begin taking ovary stimulating drugs, like I did when I did IVF, and she would produce a bunch of eggs, then have them retrieved about ten days later. At that point they would have been fertilized with the hubs’ “genetic contribution,” and the ones that developed into suitable embryos would be transferred into my uterus around six days later.
I halted the plan two days before our donor was to begin injections. It just didn’t feel right, for a variety of reasons. One of those reasons was that I had spent the past 11 months undergoing nearly nonstop treatments, which resulted in 2 miscarriages: one of those was my beloved miracle twins, lost at 9 weeks because they were conjoined. The other miscarriage was at 4 weeks, with what doctors said was almost certainly another set of twins. A third cycle resulted in nothing at all. Right after the third cycle, we learned that we would have to use an egg donor to proceed if we wanted more children. That news came exactly one year ago today, on June 3, 2014.
So, we charged ahead with finding an egg donor. We so badly wanted more kids that I didn’t bother to stop and evaluate what we had been through in a short time. Three cycles and two miscarriages in 11 months. It became very real to me, right before the donor was to begin her stimulation meds, that I was opening another Pandora’s Box of physical and emotional pain. I was tired of all the fertility drugs, all the time. The drugs you take to do the treatments are very hard on your body, and it doesn’t get easier with experience. I was tired of medical professionals constantly hanging around my lady parts, and I so badly wanted to reclaim both my body and my sanity. I prayed about it, and that was when I began to feel a strong call to adoption. I had never considered it before, and now here it was, feeling like the most obvious answer in the world.
Another reason I walked away is because an egg donor cycle costs almost exactly $30,000. And there are no guarantees. If the donor doesn’t respond well, or if the eggs don’t fertilize properly, you are out all that money and it’s over. If you do end up with healthy embryos, transfer them, and they do not take or you miscarry, it’s over. We worked hard to acquire the money we needed for an egg donor cycle, and if it didn’t work, that would be the end. We weren’t going to come by another 30k and have a second chance at this.
On the other hand, for a similar amount of money, we could adopt an infant domestically and if we never gave up, eventually we would adopt. (Well, that was before what happened to us. Now my expectations are pretty low, if I’m being honest). Besides my personal feelings about another cycle, the idea that our money would be “safer” going this route was very appealing. I discussed my feelings with the hubs, who was at first quite surprised but then very supportive.
Today, I’m feeling guilty. If I hadn’t changed my mind and the cycle had worked, my husband and I would soon have the second child we have dreamed of for so long. My son would have a sibling on the way, and he probably wouldn’t be asking me all the time when God is bringing him “his baby.” I would be nesting and preparing for a new son or daughter, and revelling in the sheer joy and excitement that a new baby brings. I would not have experienced the past 8 months, which is a huge hypothetical bonus.
But, I followed my heart, and I listened to the answer that was given when I prayed about what to do. I’m questioning now if it was really God steering me towards adoption, or if that’s what I wanted to hear because I needed a break. Only time will tell. Until then, I have to carry the “what if” burden, which is probably my least favorite kind of burden.
Discover the rest of the story at www.borrowedgenes.com
2 thoughts on “Hindsight, You’re a Real Jerk”
I’ve been reading your posts off and on the last few weeks.
I had a son in 12/2011 after having one ovary removed in 2007. When my son was 9months old, I had two additional tumors removed from my remaining ovary. My husband and I tried, with ‘most of one ovary’ for a second child for five months on our own. Then moved to 4 IUI’s (one, maybe two follicles per cycle) and one IVF attempt (9 follicles, only 1 matured). Initially I was completely against donor egg….for myriad reasons. I came to the point of getting started in the adoption process. As we live in a rural area, I’d been traveling five hours round trip for all infertility treatments. That, plus the injections, a full time job, and a toddler had left me physically and spiritually exhausted. Adoption seemed like a great route.
After meeting with a few agencies, I realized adoption, by no means, was the easier route. Weeks of contemplation, soul searching, and the thought of my son being an only child (as I was…which, while I had a great childhood, I always did and still do feel that something was missing in my life), I found myself back at DE. Thankfully I am blessed with an understanding and supportive husband who was up to try whatever I chose.
Our clinic was fairly affordable and had a great pool of donors. I admit I went into the embryo transfer with tons of apprehension and uncertainty. Even during my pregnancy I was uncertain of how a DE child would feel as part of our family, as my baby.
My daughter is now seven months old and I will tell you she is the biggest blessing in my life. I could not be happier. What makes my heart the fullest is to watch her big brother play and laugh with her. He protects her and looks out for her. My mama heart truly runeth over.
I don’t know if you’d be willing to give DE a go at this point….or what your infertility situation is and what your chances of success are. But I wanted to tell you that if DE is an option you would consider and it works for you, you will be so blessed.
Part of me wishes I’d done DE immediately and not ‘wasted’ time and energy and emotion on IUI, IVF, and adoption. But had I done it immediately, the egg that became the glorious soul that is my daughter wouldn’t have been available and she wouldn’t be here. Thinking of our family without her devistates me. When I look back on the torture (yes, that’s what it was to me) that was our ‘failed attempts’ and the painful progesterone shots in the first trimester AND the debilitating morning sickness it seems like such small potatoes. It feels like nothing…a brief dark part of our journey that led to a beautiful life, our girl.
Please know I’m not saying DE is absolutely right for you or anyone. I just wanted to share my experience and let you know I was at the point of exhaustion, on so many levels, but that ‘one more time’ was so amazingly worth it.
Thank you for your beautiful comment. It filled my heart right up to read something from someone who gets it. I’m so happy to hear about your success and your sweet girl. You really did get the happy ending. May I ask what clinic you used? You definitely get exactly where I am right now, and it feels so nice to be understood! So this is interesting; I also had my son in December 2011! What a coincidence. I was always fine with the “non genetic” part of donor egg IVF, like I am with adoption. We are on the adoption train until we feel called otherwise, but I wouldn’t ever rule out other options.