A Taste of IVF Over 40

My Egg Donor is Arriving on Monday

Posted on: Thursday, November 13, 2008

Where do I start with this post?

I have had a rough coupla weeks.  The gloss has fallen off the process just a little.  I haven’t even wanted to say it because it felt so bad.  I’ve almost been depressed – and for no apparent reason seeing as how things are still going ahead beautifully.

This is what happened.

My niece rang me about two weeks ago to let me know she had had a thought about her eggs (good to know she’s thinking about this lots, I thought). She said she knew that there was a chance that her fertility could be affected by the IVF procedure (the counsellors make a point of going over this very, v e r y thoroughly).  She said that because of this threat she was wondering if it was possible to perhaps split the eggs up between her and me so that she had some spare in case she did become infertile (this is where I almost fainted).

Now, I’m not a greedy person.  But I tell you what, I felt like I wanted to grab up all the eggs and run away into the hills with them.  And I would’ve, if they’d have been sitting on the table between the two of us.

This brings up the issue of how much emphasis should the counsellors place on the possibility of someone’s fertility being affected by the IVF process.  My goodness, the chances are so slim … I don’t think any one of us IVFers even noticed anyone tell us that there was a chance of that happening.  It’s like the disclaimer they tell you before you go in for a general anaesthetic … “some people never wake up from a GA”).  Why should they spend more than a few minutes on the possibility of something like this going wrong when the chances are so slim?  Yeah, yeah, I know … they are being super-thorough.  They like to make sure the donor is prepared for the worst.

Now, to make the waters murkier, my lovely niece (who only wants to do the right thing) has aquired a new boyfriend who seems very, very nice.  This relationship has all evolved since she decided to be my egg donor.  My niece said she’d like to mix some of the eggs with her new boyfriend’s sperm (two weeks ago she said all this … my head has still not recovered).

My response to her tested all the skills I have as a professional facilitator and coach.  I managed emotional control (somehow) and I gave her a response any counsellor would be proud of.  The whole conversation just left me feeling like my dream-come-true had a black lining – that I still didn’t deserve to get my wish without pain.

Now, my niece is still an angel.  She was doing the right thing.  She was expressing her opinion and asking a question.  Exactly what I would encourage her to do if I was her friend. Shit!

My response … I said that there was always the possibility that they could split up the eggs.  Nothing is impossible.  If it was something she really wanted to do then it was certainly worth considering.  I was thinking things like “Who would get the ‘best’ eggs?”, and “What if there weren’t very many eggs?” 

I told her that it would most likely delay the process by several months as there would need to be another round of counselling for all of us, this time including her new boyfriend.  His sperm would have to be tested, his blood, his medical background … I was pretty crushed at this stage – I felt like my dream was slipping away.

I am very, very certain that I want this whole experience to be a good one for my niece.  She is a lovely girl and she wouldn’t want to hurt a fly.  It was a very valid question.

After about 20 minutes on the phone, and the dinner I was cooking was slightly wrecked, I still finished the conversation on a positive by telling her that she should definitely be sure that she thinks and feels that she is doing the right thing. 

I asked her if she would just do one thing for me, “Please do me a favour and just think about this for a couple of days.”  I asked her to think about it long and hard.  I knew that if she did change her mind I would still probably get pregnant but not until several months had passed.

I know I am probably over-reacting but I just can’t seem to be excited any more.  I cried for two days after her phone call and I’ve just not recovered; I can’t get excited now.  I can see that it was too good to be true.  I am paranoid that my journey is to be fraught with danger and pain.  Now you can see why I have put off writing this post.  I’ve been wishing that my mood would change but I can’t not update this blog!  And I can’t pretend it didn’t happen.  Sorry I’m being such a ‘wuss’ (Australian term meaning ‘chicken-shit’).  But what the hell am I supposed to do with the next 40 years if I don’t get pregnant!!?  Seriously.

In the end, and after a couple of days, she said that after thinking about it she was happy to continue on as planned.  I’ve spoken with her many times since and I am convinced that she is still quite OK and excited by it all.  I also spoke to her mother, my sister.  My sister has convinced me that my niece is absolutely fine with everything and that it was just a question she had.  One thing hasn’t changed and that is my respect for this girl.  OK, she didn’t think about it thoroughly before calling me but I like to think that that is because she trusts me and respects my knowledge – she wanted my help with her question.

My niece started her injections yesterday and I am on Progynova – 6mg a day.  She’s arriving on Monday – the day after I turn 41.  Loveliest birthday present. Her boyfriend is coming to Melbourne at the same time to support her with the whole experience.  I am still a very lucky lady ☼


9 Responses to "My Egg Donor is Arriving on Monday"

Like you I’m stunned. I also glad that thing will be proceeding as planned and it was just some what-if” thinking on her part. I think once things get really rolling along your enthusiasm will return. This egg donation thing is tough. And it’s not even like we can anticipate all the pitfalls.

You did an amazing job at staying calm and treating her gently and respectfully. I can’t say I would have been as smart. I would have probably let my desperation show.

I’m really hoping this cycle goes well. I am looking forward to some updates when you feel up to it.

OMG! Your stomach must have hit the floor! Poor sweetheart what an ordeal you’ve been through. The IVF clinic is trying to cover its ass so repeat donors can’t sue, but I agree with you the risk is just so miniscule in this situation they shouldn’t have scared her by stressing it.

Thank god she rang you to discuss it and took your advice on board. She sounds like a lovely girl (and you must be one hell of a facilitator!) but with a new boy on the scene she was obviously thinking more about herself than you at the time. I’m glad she remembered why she agreed to do this. Sorry if that sounds ungrateful, I know that you are.

I understand that this has taken the wind out of your sails, but it sounds like everything is back on track now so try to keep the final prize in sight. I hope this final week goes smoothly. I’ll bethinking of you.

Hi there! I’m a new reader and have been an egg donor myself. I am happy that you and your niece have come to an agreement. No doubt, you have been through a lot to get to this point and have a lot of expectations. But, having been a donor myself, I reacted to this post differently than a recipient would have.

However naive her thoughts of keeping some of her eggs for herself may have seemed to you, they are her thoughts and, more importantly, they are her eggs, not yours (you speak of them in this post as though they are already your property). I can’t speak for your niece, but I know that I donated, to a woman who is not related to me, out of a deep empathy for this woman’s struggle with infertility. I would suggest that it is this very empathy and deep thinking about the challenges of infertility that makes some donors turn their thoughts inward and consider their own reproductive future. It would seem to be a natural part of the decision-making process.

Having said that, it is wonderful that the two of you are on the same page and ready to move forward. Best of luck to the both of you!

Thanks Paragon,

It is an amazing thing that you did. It is very good to get your perspective. How easy it is for us recipients to think the world revolves around us.

wow…I can see why you haven’t been online to update us…I was wondering what was going on with you.

It sounds like she trusts you, which is a great thing. And its a big thing she is doing, so of course she would have questions and be a little anxious….

glad everything turned out for the best though =)

Wow wow wow – I can imagine how your heart must have gone through the floor.

Bloody hell – I think I would have died if my sister had said that to me.

But I am really glad you are back on track! Maybe prepare yourself for one more ‘wobble’from niece.

I am sure the excitment will build as you get closer to transfer.

Thinking of you – and wishing really good things from this.

I’m sorry, I am still picking my jaw up off the floor. I was worried something may have been wrong during your absence. I think you handled the situation perfectly and I hope she continues to keep the communication channels open between you. Hmmm…

Can I just begin here by saying “thank you” for titling your post with “My Egg Donor is Arriving on Monday”? I think I might have just lost it right then and there had you not given a light at the end of the tunnel to us before you started. How very, very hard this all is. I cannot even begin to think about what it felt like to be walking in your shoes those couple of days.

We’re in the middle of our very last 2ww with our own eggs/IVF right now, and every day I’ve been checking in here and hoping things are going well. I think I’m more invested in your happiness right now than mine. Somehow it’s easier. That’s stupid, I know, but hell, hormones, yeah? Sometimes it just seems too hard to live in your own skin.

Anyway, I’m rambling. No point to all that blathering. But, I’m sending you and your niece lovely thoughts and good wishes every single day! I think this will work, and I think your Everest is just about scaled. Hang in there.

I hope you had a very happy birthday yesterday!
And best wishes for this week. I’ll be thinking of you.

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