After we were cleared by our RE last Thursday, Bob and I talked and prayed on and off about the agency donor the whole weekend. I was still waiting for the clinic donor coordinator to confirm that the in-house donor was still nowhere to be found. Monday morning, I completed a phone consultation with the patient navigator at my clinic to discuss about the cost of the cycle and the timeline for the fees. I got a good understanding of what we are getting ourselves into. On Monday afternoon the clinic donor coordinator confirmed with me that Yes, she still could not reach the in-house donor who said she was going to be available in July/August. After learning that news, Bob and I decided that the outside agency donor would be the one with whom we would like to work. I wrote the agency director and notified her of our decision. She was on vacation at the time and had told me that she’d read her email once a day. Within two hours, she returned my email telling me that she had emailed our chosen donor to confirm her availability. Once the donor confirmed, then we would proceed with signing the agreements.
This is the process: when you choose a donor, you won’t know if the donor will work with you until the donor agency director confirms with the donor that yes, she will in fact work with you. So of course, there is no guarantee. For all we know, the donor may not feel like it is the right time to donate again, or work/family/school/other things may get in the way. Basically, life happens. So Bob and I knew that the email could come back saying that the donor is not available. The interesting thing is, I had been very calm and at peace about this. I wasn’t anxious, nervous, or impatient. From Monday to Tuesday, I just waited patiently for that email, not thinking too much about it. I told Bob that we could always find a different donor if this one doesn’t work out because obviously if she is not available, then she is not going to be our donor.
The email came right after work on Tuesday, just after 5pm. My Dear Colleague and I were in our office wrapping things up before we left for the day. When I saw the email and read the first line, [Donor’s Name] has confirmed her availability”, I exclaimed out loud, turned to my Dear Colleague, and told her what I just saw. I was tearing up a little bit! Honestly, I was surprised by my emotions again. I didn’t think that I would be so excited and relieved about it, given how calm and at peace I had been about the whole thing. I think it had to do with finally getting positive news repeatedly after receiving bad news for a while. It’s so nice to know that we are finally moving forward after being stalled for a few months. I forwarded the email to Bob, who was super excited as well! He said, We could have a baby next year! Yes, that IS a possibility! We could not contain our excitement.
That night instead of cooking, we went out for a celebratory dinner in our neighborhood. We love this one deep dish pizza restaurant in the city. The sister restaurant was opened a while ago in our neighborhood and we hadn’t tried it. We ordered Bob’s beer and our pizza, and was told that the wait would be about 30 minutes for the deep dish. No problem, we said. So we sat there and enjoyed our time while waiting for the food. Way after 30 minutes later, we were wondering where the food was. The manager came by and apologized to us for the wait, saying that somehow the print ticket was messed up and the pizza was finally in the oven. To compensate for our wait, he would comp us the pizza and anything that we would like right now to tide us over. We were in a general happy mood, albeit with a hungry stomach. We told him that the delay was okay (of course, with a free pizza) and ordered a salad. At the end, all we had to pay for was Bob’s beer and the tip for the waitress. Here is our celebratory pizza on the house:
Currently we are in the process of getting the following ready: the fee for the donor agency, the agreement between the agency and the intended parents (us), and the agreement between the donor and us. After carefully reading the agreements, we had a few questions that got answered by the donor agency person tonight. Apparently, under California law, the donor has to consent to how intended parents handle their remaining frozen embryos after they have completed their family. If the donor does not consent to 1) donation for research purposes and/or 2) donation to another couple, the intended parents cannot legally do so. The donor agency person checked our donor’s prior consent with the previous couple and found that she did consent to both, so the prediction is that she will also consent to both for us. We also were wondering about the pros and the cons of keeping ourselves anonymous vs. disclosing our identifying information. The donor agency person told me that it’s actually usually the intended parents who would like to know the identity of the donor so that future contact is made possible for any sort of health related issues. She checked for us and said that our donor is okay with disclosing her information as well as to a meeting. One is usually scheduled in the evening on weekday at the donor agency that would last for 30 to 60 minutes. The donor, agency person, and we will sit around casually and chat about anything. We have opted for meeting with the donor so hopefully a meeting will be scheduled after the agency person returns from her next vacation that will start in a few days. I asked about donor sibling registry. Apparently I was the second person who asked her about this in the past week. The donor agency person said that she has no experience or knowledge about it but she’ll look into it. Finally, she forwarded us our donor’s psychologist evaluation and made it known to us that our donor took an anti-anxiety drug for a period of time in college for general anxiety. It’s interesting though, that I too was anxious in my last year of college and in fact had insomnia for a few months. I eventually went on anti-anxiety drug for a few days. Anyhow, I spoke with Bob. Both of us don’t have any problem with it.
Tonight, we are finalizing the letter that we are writing to the donor as part of the requirement of the donor agency to help the donor have a sense of who we are. I think that this is a great idea and we have put a lot of thought into it. We detailed how we came to this point of egg donation, the treatment that we had, our backgrounds, how we met, our dreams as parents, and our interests and hobbies. Most importantly, we are expressing our appreciation for her willingness to give this gift of egg donation to couples who otherwise have a really difficult time to become parents.
Tomorrow I will drop off the signed agreements, the check, and the letter at the agency. After that, the agency will send the donor’s records to our clinic. Things will officially start. Depending on how much testing needs to be done and how much we need to sync our cycles, the wait from now to transfer could be from two to four months. I am very thankful that we have come to this point, and hope that our donor will have a successful cycle like the one completed in May. My heart is full of hope. Praise the Lord for this big step forward!
From now on, we will call our donor Iris, (suggested by my dear friend M) which means this in flower language: “The flower symbolism associated with the iris is faith, wisdom, cherished friendship, hope, valor, my compliments, promise in love, wisdom.”