Wednesday, September 21, 2011

yankee eggs?

There is much to be written on this here blog, but only so much juice left on the laptop battery (and the Augusta battery). The training weekend was certainly an interesting process. But I think I have to go reverse chronological on you, dear reader, and talk about Monday's RE appointment first.

Well, after waiting for an hour (again) we finally got to see Dr. RE. And just so we are clear, I don't mind waiting that long to see him because when we do see him, he takes the time to answer our questions in a thorough fashion. I am assuming he does this with all couples, causing to be him behind schedule. I prefer that to a jerk of a doctor who is on time. In a very funny, double-double negative (that makes 4, so that's positive, right?), Dr. RE said my lining was fine. No problemo with the cells in my lining. Also, the estrogen patch seemed to have done the trick in terms of thickness, according to him. He's happy with where we are in terms of lining and we can go ahead with what's next.

What IS next?

The options we were playing with going into the consultation were twofold:
1) Donor Eggs from Sattva
2) Donor Embryos from new Canadian program started last year

We started with number one. We talked about the possibility of taking up Sattva on her generous offer to go through the whole IVF process again. From an emotional standpoint, that is our first choice. We LOVE Sattva, and to have our family join with hers through DE is a dream that we wish could be realized. The miscarriage was awful on so many levels, the death of that dream not the least of them. The obstacle is Sattva's age, which introduces a great deal of statistical uncertainty into our baby making equation. I'm angry that this has to be a factor, but it just is. Sattva is a healthy woman who has given birth to healthy children in the past, but she is close to 38. It still makes her a candidate for pregnancy, but for donating eggs, it seems to be riskier. I think I am too afraid of it failing again.

Then there is the embryo donation program, where an existing adoption agency started a program that matches couples who want to donate their remaining embryos from previous IVF cycles to a couple in need. We are in need! The alluring aspect of this is that the couples have most likely been successful with their embryos before, since they are in a position to donate them. Also, we would have a connection to another family through this process, which is something that appeals to us very much. The cost is similar to the costs we just paid for the DE IVF, but most of it is in consultation and legal fees with the agency. We would have to do the embryo transfer at the donating couple's clinic, which seemed to worry Dr. RE. He felt that many Canadian clinics have set protocols to build a recipient's lining and they don't like to deviate from that protocol. And, as you know, I don't fit into a protocol very well (you will remember the supre.fact episode).  

Dr. RE's was pretty neutral, as he tends to be in his ethical, respectful stance. But then I asked him to help us weigh our options. To our surprise, the good doctor gave us his opinion.

You want to get the job done, he said. Which leads us to option 3:
3) DE IVF in the U.S. with an anonymous donor

It's not a new option. I haven't been living in a bubble here. I read your blogs. I know it's out there, it just never seemed to be for us. I dreamed about it privately, as it seemed it could be this high-probability-of-success-solution. But the costs are so prohibitive. However, Dr. RE's point was well taken. You can keep going with the Canadian system, which is partly funded, for a long while and end up with the outcome you want, but often after much trial and error, not to mention heartaches. The American system is fee-for-service with a greater focus on getting the job done the first time. Hmmm. I would like to get the job done. A take home baby is what we are aiming for here.

He talked about a specific large practice in the DC area with which they have had dealings with in the past. He seemed confident that the clinic in question would follow his protocol for my lining. And the young eggs. Oh, the young eggs. I hear they make good babies. Dr. RE suggested that we have a teleconference with this clinic just to talk about how it would look like. I better have a teleconference with my banker beforehand.

I must admit, the draw towards option number 3 is strong. Mr. A and I need to discuss it at greater length before we launch ourselves into that venture, ridiculous debt and all. But the draw is very strong.


  1. Augusta...of course you know LN10 was the result of "Yankee Eggs" as you call it (LOL!). If you have any questions about anything let me know. With you whatever option you decide. LisainSK

  2. I'm all 100% behind you whatever you choose and I am thrilled your lining is good.

  3. Hmmm, I wonder if the large practice in the DC area is the one I'm using??? They partner with my local clinic here in the UK.

    If so then I can give you some info on them if you want. My first try failed but they are very nice and I've been very happy with my treatment and the selection of egg donors.

    Email me if you want...

  4. wow. so much to think about. I am glad that your RE is talking to you straight about what is and is not realistic. I guess at this point, power comes from getting more info. Please keep us posted on how all of this works out

  5. Hi - just a thought as I am from the US and used donor eggs. The price is quite high, as you have noted - there are some clinics (such as the one I used) who offer discounts to patients who do not have insurance coverage. We were able to save approx 18,000$ by using this clinic who offers the 'cash discount.' Many clinics throughout the US work with patients from out of town and are accustomed to working with your dr (we had a known donor, my sister, who lives in Hawaii, so she was monitored there and came here for the retrieval.)
    Best of luck with your decision!

  6. Yup egg donors eggs are pricey but the results are priceless. Some clinics offer some slightly less expensive options like a shared donor program or you can buy frozen eggs at a flat rate (10k for 10 eggs). Beware of hidden fees. Good luck, I think you have some interesting options.

  7. WOW! I am so happy about your lining! SO HAPPY! I was steeled for a "the pregnancy path is at an end" result. And I know I should be more neutral about it all, given the many, many factors you'll have to weigh, but my heart skipped a beat at the possibility of a path that would have a good chance of success. (Not that my neutrality or lack thereof has any impact on you guys, but hey.)

    I know I read the egg donation pamphlet every time I'm in the OB's office with a sense of longing, but alas, I'm far too old. It makes me have such good feelings about those yankee eggs, though, to think that donors are probably younger me-s.

    In any event, whichever path you take, I'm excited that you have options.

  8. Sorry I'm just catching up on your last couple of posts. First of all on the previous one I'm glad you were met with a positive response by your social worker and that she understood the desire to start the adoption process in addition to pursuing IF treatments, we did the same and it made me also feel better to be pursuing both paths.
    Next, I'm glad you have an RE you trust and who is honest with you about all the options available. Wishing you wisdom and strength as you consider all of these options and hope the course that is best for you & Mr. A becomes clear. We live in an incredible world where all of these options are available!

  9. Oh thinking of you my friend. I can only imagine how much is swirling in your mind right now. I am so very thrilled that you have such a good and ethical RE who is really looking out for what is best for YOU. That is sadly so very rare anymore it seems.

    I hope you are able to get the information you need. I hold my last clinic in high esteem and know of a few Canadian gals who have gone there for DE.

    Thinking of you my friend... and thank you for the sweet comments on my blog. While I am so very angry that we've both had to endure so much in the past year, I am forever thankful for the blogging community and amazing strong women like you.

  10. We just had our 2nd FET transfer at the Large Clinic in DC you are being referred too a few hours ago. While sitting in the waiting room, I saw that Donor Egg Success rates are about 64% on the first try. I have several friends who have done donor egg cycles with them. They all have twin boys (weird coincidence I know).

    They have a large donor egg program with lots of different options that might help the pocket book. It is probably worth the Con call your RE is recommending.

    Good luck with all your option paths.

  11. I am happy to hear the good news about your lining, and the other possible paths you have to choose from. It is helpful, but also sometimes scary to have so many options, as we tend to second guess ourselves and think we should've gone with a different choice. So, I say, weigh your options as you are doing, then go full steam ahead with the choice you make without regrets and second guessing.

    If you go with Yankee embryos will your child have dual citizenship? :)

  12. Was totally thinking of My New Normal. Glad she self identified. I hope you can compare notes.

    Options are good, but I too am feeling dampened that Sattva isnt a clear and easy leader. She is one of a kind.

  13. We did an anonymous DE cycle in the States, and this Canadian girl is very happy with the results. Our GC is 16 wks pregnant. So, if it takes a village to make a child, in this case it has taken a couple of countries to get the job done, but, so far, so good!

  14. I am glad there are options. I feel you on both the heartbreak and misgivings about Option 1. Also, I am glad that your RE is thinking this through so thoroughly, vis a vis Option 2. His misgivings sound, well, sound.

    I am 99% certain that I know the DC-area practice he's referring to (SG). It is very highly regarded, the best in the mid-Atlantic. And the success numbers for donor egg are - anyway - very, very high.

    The important thing, maybe the MOST important thing: there are options. You don't need to decide now. But there are avenues of possibility in front of you.

  15. Egg donor banks is cheaper but more risky because you don't know what you're going to get.