13 June 2009

back to nature

About donor eggs-- here's the real deal:
My first choice is to use my own raw materials for this procreative endeavor.
If money were no object, I would already be at CCRM most likely, trying like hell to make eggs on my own for however many cycles it takes -- we'd get pre-implantation genetic testing (PGD d for diagnostic? diabolically expensive? ) until we got something normal or proved that there is nothing normal left.

Considering my age, and being realistic for a moment about statistics, I absolutely know donor eggs is the way to go. BUT, there are two big buts on this one- but#1, it is friggin expensive, and I am not sure we can afford it ever, and we can certainly not afford it now. but#2, I am just not ready to consider it since I am still *quite* attached to trying to use my own materials.  I fully realize (and am mad about the fact) that I have a limited window for my own stuff, maybe the window is already closed. But my clinic and most clinics want you pregnant with your own stuff by 43 or they are done with that mode of inquiry.  I am 42 1/3. So, I will play this out until next february. And, by the way, if you asked me to express why I've got such a strong attachment to this idea you'd find me strangely inarticulate. I end up answering something like this: I just want to do it this way, I just do. And so does my darlin.

And we do not need to decide right now: Donor eggs do not have the same time limit as my own body--most clinics will work with you until you are 45, so I have a little tiny bit more leeway. And for me, it is not a race to get a baby as soon as possible no matter what, the race, the rush is because I want to use my own materials assuming I have anything good to work with and I am fully aware of running out of time.

Donor embryos is another option we've talked about and I think I even may have talked about it here- much more financially do-able, but much less "choice" about the who and the where-- embryos available for donation are made by folks like me-- older folks who have been having trouble conceiving, so all of the statistical benefits of using younger eggs from young donors are not usually carried over to donor embryos. And up here in NH, there is hardly a surfeit of embryos waiting for a home. Not that it is critical to anything, but there is also virtually no chance for our mix of ethnicities unless we go much farther afield. For example, one major group down in Tennessee is apparently just awesome for helping match donors to recipients, but requires certain criteria that we do not meet. 

We started to explore adoption-- like donor eggs it is very expensive-- but unlike donor eggs the cost can be spread out a little-- but the process-- gosh, it is not measured in two week waits, but in what feels like invasion and judgment and the process can take years and filled with waiting, hoping to be chosen, uncertainty and the potential for heartbreaks too.  We just are not ready to face that whole process yet either.

So for now, we are doing what is best for us.  Hate the statistics of chromosomal abnormalities for eggs as old as mine.  And hate how hard it is to just get and stay pregnant. But, for us
this is the right thing for right now.

what I'm thinking now about this cycle:
my body is clearly doing all it can do, a yeoman's job-- lots of follicles, my period came, E2 nicely suppressed, bbt chart acting normally-- so, I'd like to think it is possible we could succeed even without technological intervention. Why not? (shhhh, don't burst my bubble with ugly statistics, I know they are hideous).

So, in order not to go insane, I am trying to think of this as a fine option, a back to nature option, a ordinary people do it this way every day sort of option and I am trying like hell not to feel as if I am missing out on my one and only big follicle count.  And if this cycle works? Great. (Ok, more than great!!!) If not? I have meds for next month. Gosh darn.


IVF 40+ said...

Good for you! The only way to 'do' this journey is to navigate with your instincts. I have a friend that got preggers at 42 after trying for ages and now she has a lovely little girl.

IF Optimist, then... said...

Good for you and your hubby Kate. Everyone wants to solve a problem and tell you want to do, but you should do what feels right. Sounds like you've got a good plan and I hope it works out this cycle. My best wishes. -Traci

just me, dawn said...

the best journey is the one chosen by you. lots of people have opinions but you and DH are the ones in bed at night, you must know that you did the right thing for you. I applaud you and am praying for a great outcome!

Jenn said...

Sweet Kate,

Just from the sounds of this post, I know you must have wrestled heartily with finding the right path for you and DH.

You are trusting your feelings and being true to your heart - no matter what, that is the most important thing on this journey.

I am praying that even with all this cycle craziness you end up with a huge sticky BFP at the end!


Michele said...

follow your heart, Kate. IF takes so much out of us and the one thing that we can do is follow our hearts. you will make the decisions you need as each approaches.

big hugs...

Anonymous said...

K - well said and I feel that way about our situation as well - even though we have moved on to donor sperm, I am not ready to give up on my eggs yet. I have no articulable reason myself. Hoping everyday for you.

onwardandsideways said...

It is definitely process, going through all of this. And you are doing it the best way, being true to yourself.

Coupla' things:

- Generally, at most clinics, you can do DE up to the age of 50. Some even take up to 52. So you've actually got more time than you think, should you ever choose to go that route.

- CCRM is just about THE most expensive place in the US to do DE. There are a number of other clinics that have similar stats to CCRM that are less expensive. Email me if you ever want some names.

- Having been to CCRM, I would not go back there -- in spite of the fact that we had success. They are all business, and nothing but the business.

- If you do ever move on to DE, you should DEFINITELY find a clinic that has a money-back guarantee program. With these, you can cycle several times and if there is no take-home baby at the end, you get money back. I would never do a DE cycle without this kind of program again. Knowing what I know now, we were very lucky to have success on our first try with DE. Advanced Fertility Center in Chicago has a 4 tries program that looks really good. If we go for a sibling, there's a good chance we'll go there. Stats are as good as CCRM's. Also, CCRM has a money-back program, but it's really bad. Even their financial person said 'we don't recommend it to most people.'

Okay, that's enough DE talk for now. I won't say anything more about it unless I see something as I did today that isn't quite right in terms of info about DE.

Fingers crossed, as always, for you!

Anonymous said...

follow your instincts. it sounds like you've really thought a lot about your options but at the end of the day your reasons for pursuing your own eggs are just that, your reasons. all that matters is that the two of you are comfortable with how you move forward on this crazy journey. for me DE was simply my only option to carry a child myself. but does that mean it was an easy option to choose. absolutely not. and also as onwards and sideways mentioned if you find yourself looking more closely at DE next year or years from now, my clinic did the money-back cycle program. basically we got 6 fresh cycles (with unlimited FET cycles if we had any frozen embryos to work with) and if nothing resulted in a live birth or if we backed out at any time we got ALL our money back. so we could still know that other options, like adoption would still be possible. but for now... just go for it lady!

NoodleGirl said...

No need to explain the difficulties in accepting the idea of DE. After abysmal stimming for IVF#1, it looks likely I'll be heading to DE and I've been having a hard time wrapping my head about it. You have to go through a sort of mourning process, I think. But like you, I'm not quite giving up yet on a bio child. I'm gonna drain my insurance for all that they'll cover, hoping for a miracle. you never know when that one super egg will hit center stage.

Oh, and btw, my clinic does DE until age 50 too. So like others posted, I think you have more time than you think if you're willing to move clinics.