So yeah. This is what happened. Our donor is nowhere to be found, still.
I just can’t believe that this is happening to us. I mean, I know that there is a possibility of donors bailing. But I never thought that it would happen to us. Not somebody who had donated twice before and followed through with everything that she needed to do. One moment things were going well and we were on our way to our donor egg cycle. The next moment, we are back at square one. This journey is so unpredictable with so many twists and turns.
At 8am this morning, the phone rang literally when I was turning the door knob to walk out of the house for work. It was our donor agency director. Her voice was almost shaking. She said that she had some bad news to tell me. I came back into the house and sat down. She told me that Iris, our donor, called to cancel the appointment with our clinic last Thursday saying that she had to go to work. To our donor agency director, it was not a good sign, because it takes a long time to schedule an appointment with the clinic so once it is scheduled, a responsible donor should stick with it. Anyhow, I guess it would have been fine for Iris to cancel the appointment if she had rescheduled it for another day. But she didn’t. Donor agency director tried to contact her, leaving her email, phone call, a longer email, and another phone call. Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and today. No response. Donor agency director said that she was totally surprised by this turn of events because she thought that the meeting with Iris went really well. Iris, who met with the director prior to our meeting, never expressed any doubts about egg donation. She in fact indicated that she would like to donate again even before the last donation was completed. The director said that donor backing out is not unheard of, but doing so after meeting with the recipient couple (us) is more rare. And usually the donors who back out would contact the director and give an explanation or a reason. It’s quite rare for someone to disappear without returning any phone calls or emails.
Donor agency director was feeling horrible that we are in this situation. I took it as well as I could on the phone. I told her that it was okay as I’d rather have the donor bail right now than later in the process, which would definitely cause more heartaches and cost more money. The agency director was praising me for my mature response. But really, what could one do? Screaming and yelling would not change the outcome. I just didn’t understand what had happened there. Agency director told me NOT to think it was because of us that the donor bailed. We just won’t know what happened and what went through Iris’ mind. We are now out $450 for the genetic counseling. If she had completed the medical screening then bailed, then we would be out another $800. We talked about other donors on her database. We saw a fully Chinese donor last week and asked about that one. Of course she has already been matched. Bob was there so I updated him, and I went on my way as calmly as possible to work. Poor Bob. Today was his first day at his new job, and he sat there being stunned for ten minutes before he could get himself up to get ready for work.
However, on my way to work, I grew angrier and angrier, and utterly disappointed. Why can’t we catch a break? There has been so many road blocks from the first day we started trying for a baby. Now that we have decided on egg donation, the road still has not been smooth at all. I teared up in the car but didn’t cry. I just felt awful that this was happening. I prayed and asked God to sustain me for the day so I could still fulfill my duties at work.
I walked into my office and saw my Dear Colleague. I couldn’t hold my tears anymore. I started crying while my Dear Colleague gave me a hug. I was feeling a little better after crying a little. Unfortunately, I had to get myself together for my 9am client. And unfortunately, his very pregnant mom was also there this morning (usually grandma brings him in). It was extra tough to have her in the session while I was trying so hard to pull myself back to a reasonable state. I struggled through the whole session and did the best that I could. I was supposed to work on a project the rest of the morning. I could not focus and was just staring into space. I just felt very upset, angry, and disappointed.
I realize that I am not mourning the loss of this particular donor per se. I have always told myself not to fall in love with any particular donor. I know we can always find another donor. But it is about the loss of time, the sense of loss of control, the timeline being pushed back, the huge sense of uncertainty, and the seeming impossibility to get pregnant by the end of the year. It was also a sense of unfairness that this is so easy for some people and so tough for many of us who struggle with this. I am angry.
I try not to second guess ourselves and wonder if it was something that we said, or the fact that we made a decision to meet with her that drove her away. If I had to make a choice again, I would still choose to meet with our donor if at all possible. Bob had great intuition about this one. After Iris talked about the future and how she was uncertain about how she would feel about egg donation, Bob asked me several times last week what Iris meant by that. He wondered if she meant that she wouldn’t donate to us. I dismissed his observation and told him not to be silly because I really didn’t feel that she was moving towards that direction. But I guess I sometimes have to trust my husband’s intuition. The only odd moment that I remember was how Iris rushed out of the house forgetting her purse and had to rush back to retrieve it. In the back of my mind, I wonder what the rush was. But that one moment didn’t clue me in on her decision to bail. I just didn’t see it. But when we choose our future donor, we will still like to meet with her. I don’t think there is anything wrong with it and we will proceed with it if the new donor is willing.
All morning I was on the verge of tears. But being at work prevented me from really crying. I just didn’t feel well at all. I inclined to cancel my afternoon clients and just go home. However, I also felt bad for canceling them. I struggled for another hour, and decided to take care of myself first. I sent my sister-in-law a text when I left at lunch time. I thought that it would be better for me to process my feeling crying in front of a person with sympathetic ears than all by myself. Fortunately, she was available and urged me to go cry at her house.
I walked in her door. Once I opened my mouth, I could not control my tears. I just cried and cried and cried. My wonderful sister-in-law, bless her heart, situated me on the couch and surrounded me with tissue, water, chips, nuts, and Toblerone! In her presence, I just cried my eyes out, wondering aloud about our journey, all the road blocks, the uncertainty about the next steps, and feeling unloved by God. After crying for about an hour, my breathing was more smooth, my heart rate slowed down, and my emotions had calmed considerably. Then I stared to feel hungry. My wonderful SIL fed me lunch before I went back home. She is amazing. I am so glad that every time I needed someone to support me, she is there.
The rest of the afternoon I just sat on the couch and chatted with my wonderful friends online. I just needed to sit and be by myself. I also began to think about options. Maybe we’ll start thinking about the frozen eggs that are available from the Chinese/Korean donor at our clinic? Maybe it’s worth exploring? There aren’t too many choices on the agency’s database as of now. So as for fresh donors, we don’t have choices until someone else pops up on the database. We have to continue to wait. Unless we pursue egg donation with frozen eggs, I don’t think we will have a transfer by Thanksgiving, our original timeline.
Every time crisis strikes, I am thankful for Bob as my husband. He came home after his first day of work at his new job and we chatted about things. He was calm and reassuring. I know that maybe this hasn’t sunk it yet for him, and he may feel angry later. He did feel angry this morning, but like he said, life goes on. We chatted a little about frozen eggs and agree that it’s worth exploring. But no doubt we have lost a bit of confidence in this process and may be taunted in the future by the fear that this may happen again if we choose a donor for a fresh cycle.
What if Iris shows up again with a good explanation? I really don’t know if I can put my trust in someone who could be flaky and disappear again without contacting anyone. The confidence is gone. We will see how this is going to unfold.
I am so fortunate that my work is flexible, so I was allowed to process my feeling at my own pace. I am ready for work tomorrow, and whatever that we will have to face. I am sure that I will still need more time to wrap my mind around this, but I still believe that everything will work out in the end, not according to my own timeline, but according to God’s. I just hope that we continue to have the strength and perseverance to keep up our faith.