Thursday, February 5, 2009

Getting closer ... egg donor issues

A QANTAS Airbus 330 will take us from Perth to Singapore

Then a Jet Airways Airbus 330 will take us from Singapore to Mumbai

Flights are booked! Thank you to our resident travel agent Johnny, who did the bookings for me because I was too lazy.

Today I received an email from our dear ED agency coordinator to tell me our donor starts her shots today! Wow! 

I think of our donor angel every single day. I still cannot comprehend why a young woman would fly all the way to India to donate her eggs, her genetic material, her family's genetic material, to us. Every single day I am in awe, am amazed, am confused, but am incredibly grateful that she is doing this. It sure isn't for the money because the country she comes from has a cap on payments to donors. It also isn't for a "free" trip to Mumbai. While we love Mumbai, it is not the top holiday destination of the world. 

And this trip is not free for her. This morning she started sticking hormones into her body,  for us. She will undergo a general anaesthetic for us. She will spend ten days away from her loved ones, for us. She may feel really sick from the hormones, for us. She may be in pain, for us. Why is she doing this? At the same age, I most certainly would not have had the courage to do what she is doing. 

She doesn't even have an infertility history. I think those of us who have had so many problems with fertility would donate eggs to a needy couple in an instant. We have been there, know what it feels like to not be able to conceive, and we have a bond with other couples in the same position. Perhaps our donor has a friend of family member who has suffered infertility. I don't know, I will probably never know. But be assured, every single day of my life, when I am enjoying our children, I will be thinking of her. I will be wondering about her. I will be sending her love and hoping she is doing well in life. 

Choosing to be an egg donor is no small decision. Choosing to accept the help of an egg donor is also not a decision to be taken lightly. You can't sensibly make that decision in a week, or even a month. We can all get very focussed on "the goal" - baby creation at all costs. But what about the consequences? Are the IPs choosing ED with such haste prepared to explain to their child how they were created? Are they fully informed about the issues some donor-conceived children go through? Have they truly explored issues faced by donor-conceived children, or are their eyes solely on their "goal". 

I can't say I am fully informed. Australia has recently implemented a "known donor" process, whereby anyone donating sperm or eggs has to agree to be contactable if a child born from their donation wishes to contact their donor, at the age of 16 (with parental consent) or age 18 without parental consent. This has severely reduced the number of egg and sperm donors. The wait list in Australia for a donor is around two years, unless you can find one yourself.

I have known I would need an egg donor for around five years now. Despite trying with myself, my egg quality has always been the white elephant in my brain. Too many miscarriages for no apparent reason. I have truly explored every option there is, to become pregnant myself, and to use my own eggs. My heart and mind are very clear. I have no attachment to my genetic material, and am even glad in some ways that it is out of the picture now, because there are some things that run on both sides of my family that I would not like to risk passing on.

Sometimes I feel a bit sad that I cannot carry myself. But I think I am romanticising pregnancy. Me getting fat in the belly. Me and Bob lovingly feeling our baby move. Me feeling the baby move inside of me. In reality, a pregnancy for me may well have turned out like my sister's only pregnancy ... loads of fluid retention, a 30 kilo weight gain, nausea, a terrible labour over four days, use of forceps, suction cap, pethedine, gas, epidural ... and lots and lots of pain. I so hope our surrogate C does not labour that badly.

I received an email from Dr S yesterday. He saw our surrogate C and said she was looking beautiful, and that she was happy and excited to see us. I wish I could be there. I wish there was some way to tell her how happy she has made us and how excited we are. I wish there was some way to tell her that we are so proud of her, and that we will never forget her, and that she will always be a part of our family.

I really wish I could spend every day of our pregnancy in Mumbai with C and her family. But I would just get in the way. I am definitely going there for the major events. The eight week scan, the 12 week scan, the 20 week scan ... okay, I'm dreaming, we don't have enough money to do that, but I will be going as much as I can. And I HAVE to be there when our bubs are born. 

As such, I have called in old debts, and have cancelled university. I do not want to spend $2800 on studying something I already know how to do when I could spend that money on flights to see my new Indian family. I feel so much gratitude and love for the people helping us.

This afternoon we get the first of three building quotes for our extension. They want to "present" the quote to us with great fanfare. I am so not interested. If the quote comes in as manageable, we will go ahead, but there will be no signing on the dotted line. And I will be the worst client in the history of home extensions. I will save every darn penny I can so that we have as big a fund of money possible to be as close to C and S, and our docs in Mumbai, so that we can fly out at a moment's notice.

We are SO close! The journey has been long and painful, we could have good news in as little as four weeks.



Rebecca said...

I am so hoping that this will be your cycle....hugs and prayers.

TandA said...

I truly wish you all the best... the journey is so long and difficult but the end of it will be so rewarding.

I read your blog with great interest as we are following in your steps. My partner and I have enrolled with SI also and are soon going to be committing to an ED through the same agency as you. We're expecting our ED will be in the next group of EDs going to India (in 3 or 4 months). I've been lurking in the SI Online forum for a while now, and hopefully will soon get the courage to "come out" as an IP!