Ah, more red tape.
We had our appointment with the therapist yesterday, which I was initially excited about. We were under the impression that all couples had to go through the “donor recipient consult” which is an hour and a half meeting with the therapist before moving forward with the transfer. Nothing else was mandatory. The purpose of the donor consult is to go over the journey that we are about to embark on, and provide us helpful tips on how to deal with questions surrounding the topic such as; raising a child who came from a donor egg or sperm, telling your child/children, (not everyone does, which is horrifying to me– transparency, transparency, transparency!) when and how will you tell them, how to talk to family and friends about being mindful of their language when talking about what family and DNA means, and so on. I am lucky that both of my parents agree that love makes a family. Although we will not pass on our DNA, they don’t care how the baby gets here and where it comes from. They just want a grandchild to love.
When I made the appointment back in April after our 4th failed IVF cycle, I just needed to talk it all out with a professional. I told the receptionist that I wasn’t sure when we would be moving forward with using a donor egg, so I would just plan to talk to her for now and wait to do the egg donor consult. I felt so hopeless at the time I called. It was the day or day after I found out my cycle failed. Because the therapist was out for a month, due to surgery, I had to wait.
Well, a lot has happened in the five week waiting period before my appointment. C and I talked hours about using an donor egg and exploring what it really meant to us. Not only did we talk with each other, we talked to our families. I read many blogs, online articles and listened to hours of podcasts about woman who used egg donors and alternative ways to have family. All these things helped me get closer to my goal which was acceptance of this new reality. Everything was very helpful and things started to become clearer to me and less “weird”. I started to shift my way of thinking. As they say, we may not be able to control what happens to us, but we can control how we think about it! I saw this as our way through infertility and the grief that comes along with it. It just felt like it was probably time to try something else.
When my nurse called my mid April to tell me the panel of 6 doctors met and had decided it was best I move on and try donor egg, I didn’t crumble and start sobbing at work. It wasn’t anything new that I was hearing. Our doctor brought this subject up many times since early 2015 when we initially met, although I was reluctant to hear it (what 28 year old wouldn’t be?). Of course it is still hard, but it is what it is. These are the cards I’ve been dealt.
The truth is, I had been thinking about using donor eggs for a long time. I kept the idea tucked in back of my head. Of course I was not anywhere near being ready to wrap my head around looking for a woman to take my place as egg donor, but as cycles went on and on, it became more and more apparent it wasn’t happening the way we wanted it to. I knew that donor egg may be our path to a family.
After talking to us for about 30 minutes, the therapist made it clear that they have a mandatory “3 month waiting period” from when you decide to move ahead with egg donation. That’s when I informed her we already found or donor and purchased her eggs. I thought my new nurse conveyed that message to her before our meeting. There was no holding on at this point. What’s done was done and we feel good about our decision. This is when I started getting upset because I felt as if she was controlling my life. I don’t think she liked that we didn’t meet with her first to utilize her expertise and services. What she doesn’t understand is we aren’t your typical couple who is just starting to think about egg donor. C and I are very lucky that we communicate well. We talk out our feelings and fears and are very much on the same page. I actually looked at my first donor site back in September when my friend Sam was going through her first IVF and it failed. I informed the therapist that we already spent the money on these two cohorts and we have no regrets. There was no going back in time now.
Thinking about donor egg isn’t new. It was never a matter of “if”, but “when”. This is our plan B. We have exhausted plan A (IVF) and it’s time to move on. I don’t think I explained it well enough to her yesterday. I was a bit emotional at times and not thinking clearly about everything I was saying and the implications of my words. I asked her for more clarification about this “3 month wait”. She replied, “if you think you are doing it next week, you aren’t” First of all, RUDE! Second of all, I am not an idiot. How would I do it next week? Our eggs are scheduled to arrive at our clinic next Tuesday, May 17th. Our next meeting with her is Monday, May 18th. I also have to be on drugs for about 30 days pre transfer to help prepare my body to receive the embryo (assuming the eggs even work) So, DUH LADY! I know we aren’t doing it next week.
I want to get the ball rolling and start preparing my body in June. That is not something I want to wait three more months to do. What good can come from waiting 3 more months? I can talk about it over and over and cry until I am blue in the face. We already own these “half babies.” Why are they defining readiness as a discrete period of time?
I respect that they have a general timeline, and that they are professionals and that this isn’t their first rodeo. But with that said, we do not fall under the “norm”. She asked a few times when we started thinking about using donor egg. Almost so many times you would think I would realize what she was doing. I’m usually not oblivious, but I apparently was in this session. I didn’t get the “game” she was playing. What I didn’t realize at the time was that she was trying to get a specific date out of me to see if it had been 3 months- 12 weeks. She made it clear it was very apparent all over my medical chart that “patient was not ready for donor egg.” What C and I talk about at home is very different from what we may tell our doctor. If after the first failed cycle (in October 2015) we gave up and said fine to donor eggs, then I would have been fearful our doctor would have given up on us and not given us his “best plan yet”. Of course I knew early on it wasn’t looking good. Believe me, I understood my chances were low, but I still wanted to try and try and try and try. After the cycle review happened it was crystal clear that this was probably it for us.
So when she talks about this 3 months wait, I want to yell, what in the world are you talking about!? Of course we have thought about this longer than 3 months. Yes, we found a donor fast. No, we weren’t expecting to. We had looked a few other times and it was mostly girls taking selfies in the bathroom at their Chili’s job.
Just like falling in love, you never know when it will happen. We had no idea we would find NEL so fast. And if it wasn’t for all of our openness with each other in the previous months, we wouldn’t have been on the same page May 2, 2016 and in a position to take the chance buying these eggs for so much money with essentially a two day period to decide. We did not go into this lightly.
I felt like I started back peddling and couldn’t be honest with her anymor. It turned into me proving that we were ready. I know they just want to make sure their clients are ready, but how can they put a time frame on readiness? I asked her point blank what the three month wait was for. She explain it was to have the time to meet with her and go over different stages, for example, how to pick a donor, what to look for, and to grieve the loss of my on genetic baby. This is when I wanted to get up and leave. C and I do not need to be told what to look for in a donor. We are grown adults who are very in tuned with each other, as well as life. We are also on the same page as far as values go and what’s important to us. We picked her based on her words she wrote. We felt like we knew her. We didn’t even know what she looked like at first. When we saw her it became even more clear we picked the right person for us.
Who does anyone think they are telling me how long I should grieve? I will grieve my whole life. As the therapist said, this is a death. I have grieved this whole process long before I sat down with her yesterday. This whole ride has been nothing but a non stop giant wave of grief. I’m ready to move on and how she is acting is making me feel worse. She did mention that when we met next week we could essentially “talk her into” waiving the 3 months. Great, so now we have to plead our case next week?
You may be reading this thinking, she said 3 months not years, calm down! It may not seem like a big deal to wait 3 additional months, but it is to me. I have waited my whole life to become a mother. I have already had so much taken from me at this point. I don’t need her now playing “God”telling me when I can have the transfer done. No other woman has to go through a 3 month waiting period before trying (although some should!!) Not to be Debbie Downer but we don’t even know if these eggs are even good! We reallllllly hope they are, but I don’t wait to wait until August to find out. We have waited long enough too many times for too many things.
As you probably can figure out by this point, I wasn’t a huge fan of this lady. C thinks I am just looking for someone to direct my anger towards. May he is right. She didn’t do anything crazy but I did find her to be condescending. I also wish she would realize that there isn’t necessarily the same time line for everyone. This is all unpredictable. One could prepare for their transfer by taking shots for a whole month and it could be canceled for whatever reason. You could also get a ton of eggs and none fertilize. You could look for a donor for a year and never find one. Nothing is for certain.
I have my whole life to continue to talk this all out. There will be many different feelings that arise as time goes on. I plan on continuing my therapy during my pregnancy too. I think it is super important to talk through everything while it is happening and deal with my feelings head on. I hope I am given the gift and miracle of pregnancy. We plan on going back in Monday to “plead our case”. I would like to start my meds in June and prepare for a July transfer. And that is that!
My sister shared this quote with me yesterday and I felt it fit this blog entry perfectly.