Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Next Stop: Egg Donation

I have not talked about IF treatments since the update on our appointment of August 19. I think I've been avoiding thinking about it, and instead chose to stew over it because that feels so much better (!).

We have our next appointment on Friday, September 17. For that appointment, our donor will come with us to the clinic and will meet with our RE by herself. We will also meet the three of us with the RE to discuss all the steps involved in the egg donation. And of course, our donor will be treated to the magic wand, and I will have the sonohysterogram.

I believe that this appointment will make the prospect of the egg donation very real. For now, it has been hypothetical, with some brief moments of realizing that it was part of a shared reality among a few people who know. I think it's mostly when I hang out with our donor (she is a good friend of mine) and we speak about it that it becomes very real. Her resolve astounds me. There is no amount of scaring her with descriptions of needles and early morning drives. She is steadfast. She wants to do this.

Why has it been so hypothetical for me? We all know the answer: it is because of fear. The reckless prospect of hope is prohibitive to us who have failed at fertility treatments. Why would this work? Why would there be a baby in my uterus at the end of this process? I've come to understand my decision to go ahead with the egg donation as prevention from wallowing in regret in 5-10 years, when I sit there childless and feel like there could have been so much more I could have done. I do not want to give myself more ammunition to be beat myself down for not trying hard enough.

I find my heart cloaked in an opaque, velvety wrap that seems at once comfortable and smothering. The cloak becomes visible to me when I talk about the egg donation with my close friends and they light up with excitement and hope. All I want to do is run my hand gently across their face to make the excitement go away, like a mime changes his face by the brush of his hand. Thankfully, I happen to have the best friends in the whole entire world, so they can hold me in my fear of hope. My darling friend Dragonfly just looked at me lovingly from her little skype window on my mac and said "I'll be excited! You don't have to be excited. You can give that part to me". Bless her heart. That was just what I needed.

I thought about this potential baby on my walk to school this morning. I think it as a girl. I gave her a name and thought about carrying her for 9 months. I usually can't envision it. Like Jess talked about in her post, I have had mucho problemo visualizing this process coming to fruition. I am of the same opinion as she is, that for something to materialize, one must first create it in the mind. It makes me nervous that I have difficulty believing this will work.

I realize that my history does not permit me to believe in pregnancy very much. Never having ovulated, never having had a pregnancy scare when I was younger, let alone a BFP, it has become fiction in my mind. I had all sorts of hopes and dreams about being pregnant until the treatments failed last October and since then nothing. My unconscious doesn't really let those images come to the surface in the form of dreams, by day or by night. But I also find as I am reading your blogs that I am missing something so fundamental that most of you have: a cycle of some sort, a history of at one point having ovulated, an experience of early pregnancy, or something along those lines. In my case, it will be this friend's egg mixed with Mr. August's sperm, inserted into my (tiny, chronically under-stimulated) uterus, and a whack of estrogen and progesterone support. And from that, a baby is what we hope for an outcome. My logical side can't digest it very well.

What is left is that there is also part of me that knows it can happen. I have always responded to estrogen and progesterone, and for my last cycle at this time last year, the lining got all nice and thick, ready for an embryo. So through magic, or miracle, or the best of science, there is part of me that believes it could be successful. I just wonder if that is enough. Do I have to leave the safe platform of my fears and leap wholeheartedly, believing unequivocally that this process will work. Is it reasonable to be afraid, and does being afraid mean that it will fail? Ah, the superstitious workings of an infertile's brain. I tell ya.


  1. Also on the DE journey...the emotions of joy and grief ebb and flow. Good luck on your journey!

  2. Oh, I can relate in so many ways to this post. (Heck, you even referenced me in it- thanks!) It's so odd to have other people be more excited for you and hopeful for you than you can be for yourself. When I think of your case, I think of nothing but hope for you and think it's very possible you will have success. It's when we think about ourselves we get trickier.

    The realer it gets- when we see the wands and the meds- the more it starts to enter our hearts. And that's when fear can start to take over. The battle between fear and hope is not an easy one. But I know I'll be here for you along the way. It's so hard to imagine sometimes, but it IS possible!

  3. I hear you on the fears...I don't know if they ever go away. What I remind myself everyday is that DE is different. The eggs were the main reason why I wasn't pregnant and I'm not using them anymore.

    I am so hopeful that DE will bring you your baby(ies)!

  4. I was just wondering where you guys were with this plan...

    I love to think of your steadfast, revolved, loving friend. You are clearly a deeply wonderful person to inspire someone to do this. While I can't know what you're going through, to me it seems quite reasonable to be fearful, to not fully believe, and yet to be hopeful. I feel like it's possible to leap and yet remain guarded, to imagine something happening in vivid detail without having to be convinced it will come to pass. Because maybe under all the hope and fear has to be the logic. It may succeed, it may not. I, at least, always faltered when I tried to trick myself into ignoring that.

  5. I hate that hope is a bad word to us. Our experiences have beat the hope out of us. There must be some way to have this hope and not have it cut us so. Like bunny said, you must be that wonderful to have a friend do this, Give this gift. I am overwhelmed with the kindness and with that I feel there ought to be real hope involved.

    You have a lovely uterus for occupying and I would think that will be the way this goes. It might be hard for you to imagine, but we will all help do that for you as well.

  6. I am so thrilled that you're moving forward. What an amazing friend you have on so many levels... I love that she understands your fear so much so that she's going to be "excited" for both of you - what optimism... something that we infertiles lack generally, for very good reason.

    I'm going to sit along side you and your friend and share my excitement for you and this journey and hope beyond hope that you'll be changing poopy diapers in the next year!

  7. It is so not unreasonable to be afraid. You are dealing with something big here. Moving on to donor eggs is a big decision and one that brings with it highly complex issues. But my feeling is this: don't underestimate your role in this. Without you, this little one would never be born. You are not just a uterus. You are a potential mother. The kisser of skinned knees, the reader of bedtime stories, the confidante of little one's secrets, biggest hopes and darkest fears. Your role cannot - must not - be underplayed.

    I am excited. And I am optimistic for you. I know that it seems so hypothetical at this point, so long-shot. But I really don't believe that it is. And while I - like you - do things so as not to regret NOT doing them later (when in my worst moments I believe I will be a crazy, childless old lady with many dogs) I also think that this little one is much more than just a possibility.

    I am glad you have such good friends, both who support you emotionally and who help you - in a very biological way - get where you want to go. Hugs, Augusta. I am thinking of you and hoping big hopes for your appointment next Friday. We've never met and yet I sense - through my infallible emotional radar - that you are going to be a wonderful mom.

  8. I loved this post, especially your last paragraph, "Do I have to leave the safe platform of my fears and leap wholeheartedly, believing unequivocally that this process will work. Is it reasonable to be afraid, and does being afraid mean that it will fail? Ah, the superstitious workings of an infertile's brain. I tell ya."

    I have been feeling that same way a little bit as things get closer and closer to the big day. time will march on and whatever happens will happen. but i am sure our infertile brain tries it's best to understand and make sense of what is going on.

    I so hope your infertile brain will help you understand how wonderful you are and what a great mother you will be and that embryo donation can work for you.

  9. augusta,

    your post got me to thinking a bit, and I hope you don't mind, but I quoted that last bit of your post in mine and put a link to your post in my blog as well.

    thanks for providing some good food for thought

  10. When I got to the part where you daydreamed about your daughter on your walk I teared up. It is so hard to hope but so touching when it happens. I hope with all my heart that you get what you want and your friends sound like good people :)

    Let me know how your apt and test go.

  11. I came across your blog from Jana with Find Joy Now and I can relate to so much of what you said in this post. We are in the process of embryo donation. I too have felt fearful about whether this will actually work, but feel like I have to at least's so hard balancing the hope and fear that this whole process brings with it. I look forward to following your journey & wish you all the best.