Saturday, October 22, 2011

In which I meet my future baby's half-sibling......

This, as the title suggests, is a tale of staggering cosmic coincidence. Around November 2009, I found my donor. On seeing his profile, I knew within an hour that this was just perfect for me. That moment of perfect clarity came after months of indecision and trolling entire databases of multiple banks and wringing my hands trying to make a decision. The relief was indescribable. I bought a few vials, opened a yahoo donor sibling group, and hoped that women using my donor would run google searches and show up.  Not much happened for a while.

I was also a member of Wendy Kramer's Yahoo DSR group. I never ever visited it though. One day, late at night, I was aimlessly browsing. Something made me open up that Yahoo DSR. One of the first few posts had a link to an article in Marie Claire, where this woman talks about her donor. No bank name or donor ID was mentioned, but this was what was said.

His voice sounded warm and kind. I listened to stories about his family, friends, wife, and life experiences. He said he became a donor not for the financial incentive, but to give an amazing gift to an individual or a couple, which was great news after hearing so many guys say flat-out they were doing it for the money. [A donor can make up to $100 per sample.] It was really moving. During the last minute, I had tears rolling down my face, and I knew this was right for me.  

I read this, and I was like, huh, she has my donor. I just knew.  Thankfully, the article gave her full name. I found her on facebook and contacted her. She was extremely enthusiastic and YES, we had the same donor!

She had had multiple failed IUIs at that point. She went for her first IVF a little after I went for my first IUI. We both got pregnant, she had her baby, I lost mine. But we kept in touch, though our contact has been almost nil this year.

She joined our little donor group. Quite a few other women found us as well. Some of them went on to have kids and now, all of these women are in touch with each other. Their kids will meet each other, and hopefully forge relationships.  I am so glad so many good things came out of that entirely random stream of events.

Last weekend, I went to the New York SMC conference. It was totally a last minute decision. It was a roomful of about 200 women maybe. I step out for lunch, people milling around everywhere, this woman comes up out of nowhere and introduces herself. Even though she is a facebook friend, I did not recognize her-- but it was M, with her baby! My jaw literally hit the floor and stayed there. I hung out with her, I got to play with her son who is just the most delightful baby.. it was surreal. I don't know if I can ever have a baby with my donor--- but if I indeed do get to do that, I just met my baby's half-sibling before meeting my baby!!!

I've just been floored by the incredible coincidences that keep connecting me, time and again, to M. I keep thinking, the universe must have a grand plan in engineering all of this, and I drive myself nuts trying to figure out what it is.....

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Turning into a hermit again...

The last time I initiated serious planning for TTC was Jan 2010. At that point, even though I was about months away from the actual process, my routines started changing. I no longer felt like going out.  I became more of a stay-home-in-my-jammies kind of person. Now, to my dismay,  the very same process is restarting. I should be getting ready to go out and help somebody celebrate graduating. I don't WANT to.  I have done nothing the entire day other than catch up on chores, watch TV and work.  I should be getting ready to go out and mingle with other human beings. But I can't bring myself to and I'm feeling bad because there is another person inside of me who actually does want to go out, but TTC me won't let her.

I don't like this version of myself, because I'm much more of a hermit than I normally am.  And NYC is going to be even more isolating than San Diego- people go out late and they stay out till the wee hours of the morning.Nobody stays in and plays boardgames and watches movies. I'm going to be spending SO much time by myself once the TTC process actually begins- I don't want this exile to begin even earlier, but that is what it looks like its going to be.

And sometimes, I wonder for what it all is. The last time I jumped into this process, I was so very certain I'd get to take a baby home. Now, no such confidence exits, only a hope.  Its going to be a bloody scary, and quiet few months (hopefully, an entire year). Thank god for this virtual universe and you guys!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Please go give support..

Anna was pregnant with a boy when preeclampsia struck in full horrifying force at 20 weeks. She lost her baby. Her story is heartrending- please go offer support here

Thanks to the 'miracles' of science, we can now tell what genes predispose to preeclampsia. Both maternal AND paternal genes contribute. Sometimes the greater, higher risk gene actually comes from the father. Someday, I hope medical science evolves enough to the point where they include these genes in routine pre-pregnancy screens- they might help avoid such horror stories.

I'm so sad-life can be so bloody unexpectedly horrible.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Catching up

I'm amazed and gratified that this blog still gets people coming by even when there is absolutely nothing happening I am so, so very glad I connected with all of you, it may just rank among the most positive things that have happened to me in the past two years---thank you so much for being there!!

Now for a pent-up rant--- the  NYU Fertility Center has not been making me too happy. I called the last time my period rolled around to schedule a HSG, only to find out that my doctor (Dr L,the purported genius at the HSG) would be on vacation for the next 10 days. Its not the first time I've heard that either. So, I'm sitting this cycle out. I'm still not over the fact that he does not think anti-thyroid antibodies even might be a contributing factor to miscarriage and does not even want to treat with synthyroid (!!!!!!!). If I get started on my opinion of this, I may go on for a while. I pray I have the sense not to tell him how I really feel, that would be a very bad move.

The general lack of attention of detail in this practice pisses me off. Lots of little things, but one thing stands out- at my original consult, when they were counting my antral follicles, I committed to memory what numbers he came up with, but since I could not remember which ovary had how many, I asked for my medical records from that visit.   My numbers were 14 and 4. Instead of writing down the numbers the doctor had called out, the nurse decided to use adjectives (very good and normal, respectively). When I read this, my jaw fell open.Good and normal?!!!? That could mean just about anything. I'm a scientist, I know how important it is to note the details, and I know that it is something important in the medical community as well. Dr. Garzo's practice would have done no such thing. They have done multiple antral follicle counts for me and at each count, the numbers are recorded into a form meant for this purpose.Their record keeping overall was far superior, this is a far more meticulous practice. When you think about why, say, an IVF cycle succeeds or fails, its mostly biology of the patient and the suitability of that particular cycle design for that patient, but a small but significant portion is about how the staff and doctor handle the little details. I cannot say how many times I've seen an experiment fail or work based on one tiny detail - the devil IS very much in the bloody details!

Somebody asked me what I miss most about San Diego- the diplomatic answer was - the beaches, but the real answer is, I miss my RE. I miss my lovely, compassionate, infinitely smarter nurse.

As to where things stand: I'm revving up for an IUI (no meds), for the first good (based on fertility signs) cycle I see in 2012.About Plan A, the quest to do this with a real live man and not a catheter inserted by a gloved hand- its not going too well. I dated quite a bit, thanks to Eharmony, but nothing came out of it. I've had an on again-off again flirtation at work, with somebody who is a lot of fun but with absolutely no relationship potential. I spoke to (and am still speaking with) a couple of eligible Indian boys, who I'm supposed to meet in October. One of them irritates me when we talk on the phone, but he is a nice guy and my parents love him. Sigh.  The other I like and have fun talking to, but I have a feeling I'd want him as a friend but would not have chemistry when we met up. Even if we do 'like' each other, this process is very difficult. Unless I fall head over heels, committing is going to be very hard. It takes time to build a relationship, and its much harder if you are in different geographical locations.

So yeah, astrologer's predictions of marriage notwithstanding, I have a feeling I will be going to be trying to make babies with my dreamboat of a donor, who has helped  4 women produce 5 beautiful, healthy babies. I hope I'm similarly blessed someday.