Thursday, September 25, 2014

Donor Option

We're back to looking at DE options.  We could try one more time with my eggs and see if we have any blasts to test, but the reality is that, based on our previous cycles, it's highly unlikely that we're going to see success. Mr R is really not happy at work but he's hanging in there for the insurance. The longer this takes, the unhappier he gets. I don't want to continue torturing him. Trying "one more time" with my own eggs is effectively wasting another 2 months and will push our last insurance covered cycle - the one we were planning to use for our de  - I to next year when we're going to have to pay co-pays again.

I've spoken with donor banks. Out of pocket after what insurance company covers - $15,000
I've spoken with frozen egg banks. Insurance won't cover egg purchase. - $14,400
I've spoken with my clinic in-house, fresh donor coordinator - $? (Pending)

I found the PERFECT donor in the frozen bank. She's exactly what I was hoping for! But $14,400 is way outside of what we can afford. Our last hope is our own clinic donor program which is around $17,000 but insurance will cover a large portion of that - or so we've been told.

I am struggling with this....

Our clinic has very limited options.  Four donors with blue eyes. None of them has so much as a wave to their hair. The only one with O blood group has a super high forehead and very thin hair which Mr R has very strong feelings about. I have 2 top choices but the truth is neither of them would have even made the list had I been selecting from a donor bank or frozen bank. I feel like I am settling. Like money is the deciding factor here - it IS -  but I feel guilty/stupid for letting finances dictate the genetics of my future child/ren.  Those I've spoken to about this say I am over analyzing this. A baby is a baby. "You want a child right? So what's the problem." The problem is I don't just want A child... I want MY child and I'm not quite over that yet.

The next part is disclosure...  Mr R doesn't want ANYONE to know we used DE. Not even the child. I don't want anyone to know, but I'd prefer the child knows - maybe not from birth, but eventually. Also, if we want to do things Mr Rs way we HAVE to have a donor blood type O since both he and I are O.  I don't want my child to grow up with the whole "you're not even my real mom" thought in his/her head. I also don't want them to find out by accident as an adult which might cause them great emotional distress and cause them to live a drug addled life on the street.... Or something...  A friend of mine who used DE says she regrets telling her folks because her mom now has Alzheimer's and keeps saying inappropriate things to her twins (now 4 yrs old). Her father makes no effort to see them for birthdays etc because "they're not really my grand kids". Ugh! How heartbreaking!!

As for me... I just cannot let go of a genetic link. I can't wait to hold a baby in my arms and experience all of the joys of motherhood. But I can't yet say that somewhere deep in my heart I don't/won't  long  to look into my baby's eyes and see my own .  And this makes me worry that I may (in a hormonal haze) be resentful of my de child. Ugh... I don't think I am expressing myself well. I want so badly to be comfortable and happy and at peace with DE and if I am not then maybe now is not the right time to do this... But again... Money... Time... And are my fears normal? DE mamas did y'all have any of the same fears/thoughts? I need to commune with other DE mamas I think.


  1. I'm so sorry--I definitely felt this same thing. It feels like a process, and a long one. I'm don't think that I'm 100% ready for donor eggs, but I'm definitely 100% over using my eggs. It just became too hard for me to fail cycle after cycle.

    We actually went with a straight-haired donor--I have wavy hair, but my husband has super curly hair (his donor has straight hair, so I thought we could get his curly hair through her.

    B also doesn't want to share with anyone--except my parents--but has agreed that we can tell the child "when they're of age." I actually don't agree with that, and will work on him for the 3+ years we have. What our therapist said was that whatever decision you make--to tell or not to tell--you have to do it by age 7. Up until that point children are pretty accepting, but after that it becomes more difficult. Blood type or not, I don't think it's feasible, what with all the genetics stuff available commercially, that you can keep the genetics away from anyone. But that's just me. B and I will have to make a decision as a couple and luckily we have some time.

    Your friend's father who doesn't feel a connection to his DE grandchildren sounds really terrible. I know, 100% my family won't feel that way, which is why I felt comfortable telling them. But that's just really horrible.

    Is traveling for a DE cycle at all possible? My clinic, Conce.ptions, has a free preview weekend of their donors this weekend if you want to look. A 1:1 cycle (so you get all the eggs) is $20K + medication) and a 2:1 is 13K + 50% of the medication. It might not be possible, but they had decent choices.

    While I was picking my donor, I was thinking of a game that we had just played as part of a team building activity--would you rather be smart or beautiful? Or in my case--would you rather your child have your personality or your looks? We tried to find the best mix of the two. But it made me so very, very sad.

    Now, I'm OK with it. I'm looking forward to having a normal cycle. I'm sure you've read some of the DE blogs who have children--without a moment's doubt, with no regret, none would have done anything different. That's really nice to read.

    I'm sorry that you have to go through this. I wish it were easier, but hang in there. You'll find the path that's right for you.

    1. I knew I had read something somewhere about a specific age that a child should be told by. It must have been on your blog. I believe Mr. R can be talked around. But we both agree that my family don't need to know. My mother knows that we've been looking into DE for a while now, and she has repeatedly told me how wonderful that is, and how she wishes that I'd just do that instead of keep trying with my own. I believe that she'd be accepting. I KNOW that she'd use that knowledge in some devious way down the road. My brother has a son, my dad's first grandchild. My father loves that boy and they look just alike and they have such a tight bond. But my dad lives in another country, and so does my brother. There will already be a great distance between my father and my children... I don't want to add anything to that distance. I don't think he'd treat my children any differently knowing that they aren't genetically mine if we all lived on the same continent, but living this far apart... I'd rather he not know any different. My mother would be the first person to tell him. Our (mom and I) relationship is tentative at the best of times, so she's a definite exclusion. Mr R's family would love them any way they come... but since they will be genetically linked to them, that's not a problem.

      Oh my but there are soooo many choices out there. None of them were a match until I found the frozen donor... she is literally PERFECT, right down to blood group. She even looks like me in baby pictures... a slightly slimmer version of my baby chub. Unfortunately my clinic just doesn't have much to offer. Travel is definitely not an option for us. Mr. R has burned every second of vacation for this year and will be taking two unpaid weeks off in October when he has his vasectomy reversal surgery.

      The thing that bugs the hell out of him is how much I read into the donor profiles... I consider every spelling error. I guffaw when I see "GPA 4.0" after counting 12 spelling errors on the same page. I analyze divorced parents, premature death of a sibling, and orthodontic history... I drive myself crazy with the details and honestly I wish I didn't know so much. Then it occurs to me... "if someone knocked on the door right now holding a baby and said the child is available for adoption, and they'd like you to consider keeping him/her would you do it?" Of course! "You wouldn't have a say in any single aspect of how that child looks/acts/medical history, etc." Bah! He has a point. When I think of it that way I wouldn't hesitate. I have no idea why this is so much harder.

      I was excited to see we'll be going through this at the same time. It will be weird hearing about follicles by phone or email, and I know it will hurt when Mr. R goes in to give his sample while I stand outside in the cold. But I am really, really hopeful that this will be it. That this cycle will end with some positive news. I wish us both all the best!

  2. Sorry--I meant to say that the preview weekend is this weekend, starting tomorrow afternoon.

    And also, sorry my comment was so long, it's just that I JUST went through this!

  3. Wow, all of this debating kind of makes me glad we used an anonymous donor. We never got a chance to see pictures, so we never had to worry about how much the donor looked like me. I still haven't 100% gotten over the fact that I won't have any biological link to my baby (as evidenced by the dream I had last week where I gave birth to an ugly baby and felt no connection to it, which is absolutely horrible and I'm sure wouldn't happen in real life, but that's your subconscious for ya). But right now I'm just so happy that things are going well and baby seems healthy that I don't think about the donor thing TOO much.

    As for disclosure, I'm 100% in favour of the child knowing. Who else you tell is a personal choice based on how you think they can handle it. For me, I broached the topic with my mom before considering DE and she was immediately like "well it'll be my grandbaby no matter what!" which I knew she would be. Others might not feel the same, so I think it's fair to limit what you tell others. But the child itself should, in my humble opinion, absolutely know their genetic background as soon as they can understand it. The fact is, they WILL find out at some point and hiding it only makes it seem secret and shameful, which it isn't. Keeping secrets will only lead to a whole lot of resentment. I might suggest that you have him read some of the "donor conceived" stories on the website. I'll caution you, some of these folks are VERY bitter about being the child of an anonymous donor. I'll be honest, I had a lot of second thoughts about doing DE at all when I read them. But it seems like most of them only found out very late in life or by accident, and a lot of the resentment is from being lied to. I think (or at least I really hope!) that a donor conceived child who learns as soon as he/she can that this is where they came from and it's perfectly normal although different, then it will basically become a non-issue.

    1. I LOVE reading your updates! Frankly your success has played a HUGE role in my even considering DE to start with and I am sure that as your pregnancy progresses I will grow more and more at peace with it seeing your joy. I agree that some of these databases have just too much information, but once you have it, it's hard not to over-analyze.

      I completely agree that the child should know. I am encouraged to hear that there is an "acceptance window" where things will (hopefully) go smoother than dumping this information into the lap of an adult.

      Being so shaky and fresh in my acceptance of DE I will avoid that website for now. But I might review it later, and will definitely share the link with Mr R.

  4. From the kid's standpoint being rejected by his bio mother is way more heartbreaking than being rejected by his step grandfather. Even think about the fact that his own grandfather might love to spend time with him if he was even given the chance to know that he existed - he would very likely not be deterred by his daughter's disinterest in her offspring because it's still his grandson whether she raises him or not. How can anyone look at the situation where the kid's step grandfather is disinterested, sad as that is , but not think its doubly sad that the kids own actual biological mother just handed her kids over to strangers without so much as a background check. That is what is truly heartbreaking. I mean it's true your back up family hopefully has more staying power than the one that abandoned you but the first abandonment by the bio parent i- you got to get dialed into that.