Therapy – Round Two Session Two

Session two with  my therapist was very productive, as usual.  She started out asking me how I had been feeling.  Honestly, I thought that I would be more sad than how I have been feeling.  I am very surprised that I can carry on my life like usual.  I don’t think I am being avoidant by brushing aside my feelings.  My therapist wondered if my calm feelings have to do with my mental and emotional preparation for egg donation since last July.  I have had so many months to get myself ready for it.  Now that the time has come, maybe the shock is not as great?  That may be the case.  I just know that I have been feeling good in general.  I am still not ready to contact the donor coordinator at my clinic.  I still have not written an email to donor agencies.  I haven’t even asked for our money back from the clinic.  I am not ready for these steps yet, but I feel good in general.  My therapist did mention that some women may feel periodic sadness during the egg donation process because it would start to feel real.  I will wait to see if that is true in my case.

I still feel a need to be distant from Chloe, my friends who said some hurtful things to me.  When Bob and I talked about plans for the summer, driving up north to visit with her and her family was one of the options.  After our little incident, I am not ready to see her.  Hence we decided to go to Chicago instead.  I told my therapist that I really don’t want to risk being there with Chloe in the middle of a egg donation cycle.  I don’t want to hear anything negative about what I am going through, although I believe that she’ll be very careful from now on when she talks to me about my fertility journey.  I just don’t feel like taking a risk.  My therapist told me that it’s okay to guard my heart and protect myself.  I somehow feel a little guilty for not going to see my friend, but then I really feel the need to take care of myself.

My biggest question right now is how to go about choosing a donor.  Given the few choices at our current clinic, do I have to venture out and check out donors at agencies?  One night Bob and I were lying in bed looking at all the choices at my clinic.  Now that he has to pay for the cycle for real, he is vetoing all the choices.  I don’t know if he’s joking or not.  But he has his criteria.  At the same time, he also brought up doing what Aramis did, which is to cycle at the Czech Republic, purely for the more affordable cost.  The only problem is that, it’s going to be even harder to find an Asian donor all the way in  Europe.  That would leave us with non-Asian donors as an option.  I actually thought really long and hard about it.  We not only have to think for ourselves and our lives, but also our future child’s life.  We are accountable for creating his/her story.  One day, we are responsible for telling our future child how and why we chose our donor.  I do not want to tell the child that the only reason why we chose to find a donor in an European country is because of its low cost, especially when we have the financial means to cycle here in the US.  It’s another story if we don’t have enough funds for that.  I am really mindful of the impact our choice has on our future child.  So I am going to try in all my power to decide on someone who has some connection to my ethnic background.

My therapist gave me some good points to think about.  She asked me to whom I feel the most connected out of the three potential donors.  Setting aside how “Chinese” these donors are, I feel the most connected with a first-time donor who is currently cycling.  I like her looks, her age, and her educational background.  The most important thing is that I love how she answered her questions in her profile.  Her responses are so thoughtful.  I want to be able to tell my child in the future the specific reasons I chose a particular donor.  I want to be able to say what I loved about her.  Of course I know that not every single donor would work out but I want to let the child know that we take this selection process very seriously and it has been done with love.  My therapist said that this is exactly how she wants me to start thinking about it: the reasons why we want to choose a particular donor.  She wants me to be able to tell my future child the story of choosing a donor with confidence and the particular quality that we find appealing about the donor.

My therapist asked me to think about how I usually make my decisions in life: with many choices, or a few choices.  Thinking back, we usually had three to five choices when we tried to decide on a fertility clinic both the first four rounds and the last four rounds.  Any more than that, it just felt too complicated and dizzying for me to process all the information.  If that’s my pattern, then my therapist thinks that having three potential donors to think about is a very good first step.  She said that some people bring in a whole spreadsheet of donor choices to show her.  To her, that will make it even harder to make a choice because the information of different people may get mixed together.  I am not someone who would create Excel spreadsheets for choosing a clinic or a donor, although there is nothing wrong with that if it’s your style.  So I will stick with the three potential donors that I have right now.  My therapist told me to continue to use my own intuition as I am quite in tune with my feelings.  She said I would know if I want to venture out to find more choices.

We also talked about transferring one vs. two embryos in the future.  I feel strongly about avoiding carrying twins because of the higher chance of premature birth and complications for both mom and babies.  I would rather do eSET repeatedly until we get pregnant.  Although Bob really wants twins and supports transferring two embryos, my therapist told me that it’s perfectly fine for me to be firm on my stance because I will be the one carrying the child.  I am afraid of the chance of an embryo splitting into two.  A single embryo transfer is the safest way to go.

Finally, we discussed about my fight with Bob the previous weekend.  I forgot what exactly we were fighting about.  But it seems like every fight comes back to the struggles of infertility.  Bob is still trying to resolve his feelings regarding the failed cycle and all the time and money that we have spent cycling with my own eggs.  During the fight, he asked why we did not consider adoption or egg donation sooner.  It sounded to me that in that moment, he regretted spending time and effort on these own egg cycles rather than focusing our energy on the other means to get us a baby.  I don’t think he truly regrets it.  But he has been angry with not being able to have a baby and it’s natural to think back and wonder about all the what-ifs and what-could-have-beens.  I do not regret a single thing that we did.  I reminded him that we made the best decision given the information that we had in the moment.  I would not change a thing about the past.  It was the past that brought us to this moment.  We prayed and we had peace about every single step.  I believe that we’re led down a path that will eventually guide us to our baby.  However, it was tough to emphasize on this point when he was angry.  My therapist said that it seems like Bob just wants a sense of control, because this process does not provide him (or anyone) with any control of the situation.  This is why he finds comfort in striving to reach our financial goals, because they give him back the control that he can’t have with the reproductive process.  However, it’s not good to have regrets.  So it’s important for him to work on getting over these feelings.  In terms of what means we use to have a baby, my therapist said that she usually asks if carrying a baby is important to the couple.  If it is, she would suggest egg donation or embryo adoption.  If it’s not, the adoption would be a logical choice.  I have been feeling strongly from day one about two things: being able to be pregnant and carry to term and having at least the genetic links to my husband.  Since these things are so important to me, egg donation is the logical choice for me.  Then we should focus our energy on grieving the loss of my genetic links and our effort on pursuing egg donation.  I know that Bob has the fear of failed cycles after spending all the money on egg donation.  We have to have faith in God for carrying out His plans, whatever they may be.  A couple of days after the fight, I asked him how he felt about egg donation, he said that of course we would proceed with it when we are ready.  So we are still on the same page about the next step.

At the end of the session, I felt a lot better about my ability to navigate the world of egg donation in the very near future when I am ready.  I also felt that it might be beneficial for Bob to come to a session once with me so that we could both talk about our feelings.  Unfortunately, my therapist is about to go on maternity leave and doesn’t have any early evening time for us.  She gave me the names of a few therapists in town that also specialize in infertility.  I am sure I will seek help if I need it.  But I’d rather not go with Bob to see these new people as they don’t really know me.  I do feel equipped to move forward when the time comes.  I just have to wait for the right moment.  I hope that moment comes soon.

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8 thoughts on “Therapy – Round Two Session Two

  1. I’m so glad you have such a helpful therapist. It sounds like she’s really hit the heart of quite a few matters. One day you will have an amazing story to tell your child about how they came to be. Not everyone is fought and struggled for even before birth as your baby has been.

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  2. You have been through so much. It’s pretty amazing you have it so together. Your therapist sounds pretty amazing — and you sound so strong.

    If the texting stuff with Chloe is still bothering you, and she’s really that good of a friend, why don’t you pick up the phone? Why don’t you tell her all of this? Let her respond in some way. Those texts were bad, but you’ll know her heart if you give her a chance and pick up the phone. In the big scheme of things, this one friend seems like the least of what you’ve been through.

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  3. Before I got to your last paragraph I was going to suggest maybe it would be beneficial for Bob to come to a session so you could talk things out together. I understand him trying to regain control, but you’re right in that you have to be comfortable explaining your choices. For me the issue was anonymity and being able to explain to our child that we didn’t choose to cheap out if we had an option that would have given him a known donor. Unfortunately, everything we had access to both in Czech and in Canada would have been anonymous, just with different levels of medical and background info provided. We went with the option that would allow us to have more money to put towards his future. I hope he understands this choice when the time comes. Whatever you decide, if you’re at all like me you’ll probably still question yourself from time to time. It’s one of the burdens us DE moms will probably always carry, wondering if we made the right choices. Wow, long comment. Sorry for the novel!

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  4. Your therapist is so wise. There are so many factors that play into choosing a donor, there’s no way to have complete control over the process. Hopefully Bob can relax and let go. Not that this is any excuse for Bob, but I remember being frustrated with B for asking me to wait a year while he tried to improve his sperm count. If it comes up again, remind Bob that a) it’s not like you were sitting idly by during your OE cycles, you were actively researching and pursuing DE options and b) any other scenario would result in a different child than the one you will eventually have and he’ll have absolutely no regrets when he sees his baby’s face for the first time.

    Finally, ask Bob if his ultimate goal is a child or a healthy child? If it’s the latter, he should also agree to an eSET. There’s absolutely no question about that in my mind.

    xoxo

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  5. It seems like therapy is being really helpful. Your therapist sounds great and has a nice way to make you think about stuff in a calm way. good luck with everything! xx

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  6. Picking a donor was the most difficult part of the process for me. What worked for us was to first decide on the criteria (ours were to not have any of the same negative health conditions carried by my husbands family, to look somewhat like me OR my family, good education, to seem to have a maturity/understanding of how big of a deal it is to donate your eggs, and finally that we “liked” her answers to the “why are you doing this” question. Before we had this criteria, I floundered. I was overwhelmed with the number of donors we were considering. Once we decided what was important to us, the list really narrowed itself down. Like you, we considered going outside the clinic but it really was going to be so much extra stress to coordinate so we ended up choosing among the existing list at our preferred clinic, Good luck and lemme know if you want to chat about the process more. For me, this was the most difficult part. Also – stand your ground on the 1! If you transfer two healthy donor eggs it is very likely it WILL be twins!

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  7. Pingback: The Beginning of Everything Egg Donation | In Quest of a Binky Moongee

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