Tuesday, September 13, 2005

good news/bad news

First the good news:
My sister has agreed to be a donor.
She is single. We don’t need to worry about including a fourth person in this decision. She is younger than me, so her eggs are, hopefully, plump and healthy. She has 2 good ovaries.

Then the bad news:

Although she has agreed, at the back of mind I’m always thinking “what if she changes her mind?”
She is single. She has no children herself...maybe she wants to have a baby herself...soon. What if she finds a partner between now and the potential IVF cycle? What if she wants children with this hypothetical new partner? And who really knows whether her eggs are any better than mine. She has not yet had the pleasure of vaginal ultrasounds.

There’s so much more to this. The first time I really discussed this with her (after failed cycle #3), I think she was completely freaked out. She became defensive (‘why don’t you just adopt”…yes, she really said that). I became upset. You see, just because I’ve been living through IVF hell and thinking about egg donation vs. adoption vs. childlessness doesn’t mean that she has. I know what it’s like to go through IVF. She doesn’t. There’s a huge incentive for me to put myself through this crap: the prospect of a baby. What’s the incentive for her? Just because it means the world to me to have a child, doesn’t mean that it means the world to her.

It took many emails back and forth to try to explain why we were asking for her help and to try to get her to express her concerns. After failed cycle #5 I think she realized how hard and heartbreaking this was for us. She called me and said yes, she would consider being a donor.

So, we have put the wheels in motion (all the while gearing up for cycle #6- my last cycle with my own eggs). The three of us (my husband, sister and I) met with a psychologist and a clinic in her town (we live 300 km apart). The psychologist was wonderful. She had thoughtful questions, and clearly has lots of experience in this area. She made us think through a few things (would we want the potential child to know how they came about?- we answered yes; did we know what would want to do with any extra embryos?- the thought had never occurred to us, we’ve never had the luxury of ‘extra embryo’s). My sister left the appointment reassured. Turns out she’s not the first person in the world who has been asked to consider this. Turns out this happens more often than you would think.

The clinic appointment
The good news is that the clinic we met with for the donor cycle is only 1 block away from my sister's workplace. It's really really important to me that this be as painless/easy/hassle-free/convenient for her as posssible. The nurses have reassured her that she can come to the clinic for her daily injections. The doctor has assured that he'll choose a protocol that involves the fewest number of injections. AND he has reassured her that she in fact has hundreds of thousands of eggs and he will likely only take 10-15.

The bad news is that this is actually not one of the best clinics in Canada. I think they are reasonable. Then again, we have gone to the two best (supposedly) clinics and the result is the same.
Here I am, getting my sister to undergo injections, ultrasounds, bloodtest etc. and go through a potentially painful retrieval.
Here I am, giving up a chance to have a baby with my own eggs.
More than anything, if/when we go this route I WANT IT TO WORK (damn it).
So am I sabotaging it by choosing clinic convenience over excellence??


At 4:28 PM, Blogger Thalia said...

Don't know about the clinics, but do have the conversation with your sister that you are having here with us (if you haven't already). It's wonderful that she's able and willing to do this, and I imagine it will be quite a rollercoaster for both of you.

At 11:18 AM, Blogger Chee Chee said...

I understand your desire to make this process as convenient and painless (logistically and otherwise) for your sister as possible. I am not sure whether another clinic/RE would be better or not. Perhaps you could discuss your sister's protocol with an RE in whom you have a greater level of confidence. At least that way, you can get a sense of whether another doctor would have made different choices. I don't know . . .

I am glad that your sister has agreed to be your egg donor and I wish you well this cycle.

At 1:10 PM, Blogger ninaB said...

thank you both for your supportive comments.


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