MicroblogMondays: So Loved

Microblog_Mondays

The pregnancy has been going well as Annie has had symptoms on and off, although it has not been without scares.  I had been kind of holding my breath in case of any spotting, and had been feeling fortunate that Annie had not experienced any.  So I panicked a little bit when she messaged me about a spotting episode a few days ago.  She felt her abdominal area tightening with constant tension, and she spotted with pinkish/brownish discharge.  She contacted Dr. E, my RE, who said that it was probably no worries as it might have been stretching of the uterus.  As a precaution, she asked Annie to be on an extra dose of progesterone.  I emailed Dr. E just to make sure that it was really okay, to which she said that it was from twins, and is very common.  Later today Annie will attend our 8 weeks 5 days ultrasound and I will be video conferencing with her at the appointment.  We hope to see some growing and thriving babies.  It is at times scary to think about anything bad happening to these babies but I have been telling Bob that we have to put our complete trust in the Lord that He is protecting the babies and Annie.

*****

Today, I actually want to write about how loved I have felt from my friends.  I have received quite a few gifts in the past two weeks and most of them were surprises.  The first one was from my dear friend Jane.  She sent us a package a couple of days after our first ultrasound.  In it was a card congratulating us as parents-to-be, and completed with one t-shirt for Annie, two onesies for the twins, and two t-shirts for both me and Bob.  The t-shirt for Annie says “Their Bun, My Oven” with a picture of an oven and a bun below it.  Below the picture it says “Proud Surrogate”.  The onesies say “Worth The Wait”.

 The two t-shirts for us both have the shape of Annie’s state the the words that say “Expecting…. In [Annie’s State]!” (I am not posting Annie’s state because I want to keep it private to protect her identity.)  In the package there were also blue and pink lollipops that say “Team Blue” and “Team Pink”.  This gift was so thoughtful and came so soon after the ultrasound scan that it brought me to tears.  More importantly, it shows the positivity that my friend has in this pregnancy and it touches my heart.

Fast forward a week. I was sick at home and the door bell rang.  It was our mail lady who delivered a tiny package to my door.  I was curious to see what I got since I wasn’t expecting a package.  Inside was a necklace with a pendant that is the shape of Annie’s state and a heart that was stamped on the position where Annie’s town is in that state.  It was from my other very thoughtful friend Maddie who wrote this: “I thought you might like this since your heart will be in [Annie’s state] for the next 8 months”.  This gift is so meaningful and sweet that it made me cry.  I don’t know what I have done to deserve such love but I am just so grateful to have these friends who shower me with their love and share my joy of having these babies growing inside Annie.

One day I was just wondering aloud to Bob if anyone would go with us to attend the birth and bring the babies home.  It would be far away for someone to ride with us or to fly over there.  Literally the next day, my friend Jo asked if she could come to photo-document the birth and to help out with the twins.  I was so touched by her offer!  Only a true friend would make this grand gesture without us even asking!  She also gave us a bunch of gifts such as new outfits and onesies and a few boxes of boy/girl baby clothes, items, books, toys, and maternity clothes for Annie.  These were quality items of her kids that she had set aside for us.  I am just so touched to have friends that are like family, and Jo (and her husband) is definitely one of them.

*****

The babies are only a few weeks in gestation but they are already so loved by their aunties.  I hope that they will show us some very strong heartbeats on the ultrasound today, and in eight months they will experience the love from these aunties face-to-face.

MicroblogMondays: A Daughter That We Lost

Microblog_Mondays

When we received the PGS results, I deliberately asked Dr. E not to disclose the information on the sex of the embryos.  I would rather wait to be surprised at birth.

This is so unlike me.  Given my personality as somebody who would like to be in control of many things, my desires all my life had been to find out at our 20-week ultrasound if we were going to have a boy or a girl.  This long and difficult fertility journey has changed my mind.  I just want to keep one surprise in this process.  The sex of our baby will have to be it.

Bob really wanted to know.  I told him to ask Dr. E himself but made him promise not to share with me.  I think the task of keeping information from me is just too monumental for him.  He decided not to even go near that subject.

Now that the implanted embryo has failed to grow in our gestational carrier Annie, I suddenly had this strong urge to find out if it was meant to be a boy or a girl.

As the title suggests, Dr. E revealed that it was a female embryo.

A daughter.

That.

We.

Lost.

I honestly do not have a preference for either sex, but growing up, I did always envision having a baby girl.

But now that this daughter is no longer with us, it just feels like there is a huge hole in my heart that cannot be filled.

Out of the last four transfers and my own two chemical pregnancies, we never had a chance to confirm if we had lost a boy or a girl.  This is the first time that we could definitely say that we had a daughter.

Knowing the sex of this embryo may help bring closure.  It may not.  But I am very glad that we found out.

When I shared about this, one of my dearest friends gave me a song.  She translated this song from Hebrew to English for me.  The following are the lyrics:

On [the subject of] the honey, and on the thorns,

On the bitter and the sweet,

On our daughter, my baby, guard her, My Lord, for good.

On the fire that burns, on the water pure and clear,

On the man returning home after a long journey.

On all these things,

Guard me please, my Lord for my good.

For the honey and the thorns,

For the bitter with the sweet.

This is the video:

I was already touched when I read the lyrics.  I teared up when I read the words “Our daughter, my baby, guard her, My Lord, for good”.

But I didn’t know that more was to come.

The next morning, I woke up and found a video that this friend sent to me.  It was a video of her that she recorded that morning for me.  In the video, she told me that she had a gift for me, that it was bitter gift, but it was a gift for her during a very dark time in her life.  She sang this song for two weeks after her nephew passed away, as it brought her comfort.  She personally sang this Hebrew song to me and recorded it in this video.  Her beautiful singing and her love for me brought me to tears.  This is the most thoughtful gift I have ever received in my life.

The very same day, this same friend wrote about our loss in her blog post. The last sentence she wrote: “Goodnight my sweet little girl.  I’m sorry that we didn’t have a chance to meet.”

Cue waterworks.

My dear friend managed to move me to tears three times in two days.

Bob and I decided to no longer call this lost embryo Max.  We wanted to give her a proper name.  After much thinking and searching, we decided to name her Mira, which means “ocean” or “sea”.  Given our love for the ocean and how being in its presence brings us comfort and healing every time we lost a pregnancy or an embryo, it is fitting for us to commemorate our embryo with a name with a meaning near and dear to us.

One of the songs during worship on Sunday was “Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)” by Hillsong United.  The lyrics really spoke to me:

You call me out upon the waters

The great unknown where feet may fail

And there I find You in the mystery

In oceans deep

My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name

And keep my eyes above the waves

When oceans rise

My soul will rest in Your embrace

For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters

Your sovereign hand

Will be my guide

Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me

You’ve never failed and You won’t start now

So I will call upon Your name

And keep my eyes above the waves

When oceans rise

My soul will rest in Your embrace

For I am Yours and You are mine

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders

Let me walk upon the waters

Wherever You would call me

Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander

And my faith will be made stronger

In the presence of my Savior

It reminds me that even when we are knee-deep in the ocean waves (our pain/suffering/impossible circumstances), the Lord will sustain us in our faith and His sovereign hand will be our guide.  It is not a coincidence that after we gave our daughter this name that means ocean, the  same theme came up in a song that touches me. 

Mira, our daughter.  We will miss you forever.  May our faith be sustained and we keep our eyes above the ocean waves.  May we persevere so that we will see your sibling(s) face-to-face one day.

MicroblogMondays: Clinging to the Positive

Microblog_Mondays

Last week was such a rough week.

Because of our donor’s cocaine debacle, both of us were extremely distracted from work and from life.  All the phone calls and emails with all the professionals, family, and friends were taxing our attention, time, and energy.  One day everything was going smoothly.  The next day, our life was turned upside down.  So many doubts, fears, and worries surfaced.  One person’s selfish act, lack of concerns for others, and lack of integrity wreaked havoc in our lives.  We were exhausted emotionally, physically, and mentally.  Extra courage and strength were desperately needed on those few days for us to function.

Amid the chaos, we see the love, beauty, goodness, and positive that were poured over us.

God is teaching us to hang on to the positive despite walking through the valley.

We see how truly beautiful our gestational carrier Annie is.  That morning I called her to tell her about our decision to continue our donor egg cycle despite our donor’s breach of our trust and contract, Annie was so calm, gentle, and full of reassurance.  She not only took care of me and my emotions that morning, but she also thought of taking care of Bob’s.  That night, Bob came home and told me that Annie’s husband Kenneth called him on his way to work that evening just to chat.  Bob didn’t recognize the phone number but saw that it was from Annie’s area, so he picked it up.  For someone who usually doesn’t pick up unknown phone calls, that was definitely a divine intervention.  Bob said that they had such a good chat about life, their work, family life, and a little about the donor’s choice.  This 20-minute phone call with a brother in Christ reflects the thoughtfulness and caring nature of our gestational carrier and her life partner.

We are so blessed to have them in our lives.

And then, there was my friend Jo.  She has been there every single step of the way in the last few years of our journey.  She knows the ins and the outs of our struggles.  The day I returned to work after taking a day off to take care of the mess that was caused by our donor’s positive drug screen was extremely busy with clients and a presentation.  Jo was so sweet.  She took care of me by ordering dinner and having it delivered to our house so that I could take a break from cooking.  And bless my husband’s heart.  He knew exactly what I had been craving so he clued Jo in on the type of food to order.  The sushi that night was truly a treat after a few long days of emotional exhaustion.

And surprisingly, I don’t feel anger towards our donor anymore.  Instead, my heart has been prompted to pray for her and for her salvation. This definitely is not my own doing.  The Holy Spirit is once again doing something that is so unexpected but beautiful.

And then, we also see how God has sustained us through all this.  After the decision was made to continue with the cycle, the peace that I have felt is unparalleled and is such a confirmation that this has been the path that aligns with God’s will.  Although we don’t know how this cycle will turn out, I no longer have that gnawing pain in my heart.  I am amazed at how quickly we bounced back from being at the bottom of the pit, but it is no coincidence or accident, and it is not our own ability or doing.  Nothing that we did could take us to that place of peace.  It is solely the Holy Spirit that took us to that space.

Later today we will know how many embryos are still in the running.  Fear comes and goes in my heart, such as the possibility of the embryos growing poorly or not having any blastocysts to test.  Fear is normal, but I have to remind myself that fear does not come from God.  Seeing the positive that God places in our life helps us move away from the space of fear and worry.

Despite this path to our baby that has been lengthy and grueling, it is a blessing that we can cling to the God-given beauty and positive in life as we wait expectantly for our journey to unfold in front of our eyes.

MicroblogMondays: Getting Ready for Transfer Day

Today is transfer day.  It won’t happen until 3pm.  It’s considered quite late for a transfer, but I’ll go with the flow.  Thankfully my acupuncturist who anticipated the transfer to be earlier was able to rearrange her schedule so she could do my pre and post transfer sessions at the clinic.

I have been at peace with this process.  I have been thinking positive thoughts and letting positive energy flow through my body about this transfer.  Being anxious, negative, pessimistic, or worried has not served us well in the past.  Instead of worrying about the transfer not working, I want to be as welcoming as possible to this little life that will have a chance to live inside me.  I want my body to be as nurturing as possible.  The only way to do it is to be positive and expect it to work.  I will leave the grieving, worrying, or being disappointed to the future if this doesn’t work.  Right now, there is every possible reason to believe that this will work.  Negative thoughts will once in a while creep in, like what if my embryo doesn’t thaw well?  Well, again, worrying about something that may or may not happen is not going to make the situation better.  When I have negative thoughts, I pray and ask God to help me focus on Him and Him alone and to focus on His might and power, to turn the impossible into possible.

It has been harder for Bob to be optimistic.  His mind dwells on the past, the failures, the heartaches.  He is already talking about the next steps assuming that this doesn’t work.  I can understand why he feels this way, but again, focusing on the negative is not going to prepare us better for a bad outcome.  It just means for him to possibly live the negative emotions twice or even live the negative emotions for no reason if the cycle works.  I have asked him for a favor for me, for himself, and for Lucy our embryo.  I have asked him to also try to stay positive and to surround us all with positive energy and thoughts.  A welcoming environment for Lucy from the both of us will be the ideal for the embryo to grow.  He is listening to me and is getting excited about the transfer along with me.

The ladies in my Fac.ebook TTC group are so cute.  They would often wear super hero attires for me on retrieval day and transfer day.  This time someone suggested mixing things up and wearing something different.  We then all decided to wear Valentine-themed socks.  I loved that idea and bought a new pair of transfer socks for myself:

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It’s nice to have something fresh and special to wear.  Look at all the hearts and the pink!  I normally don’t buy anything pink but why not have fun with it and go all out???  So today at 3pm my feet will be sporting these news socks in the stirrups.

And then, I got a surprise in the mail.  One of the ladies in the same Fac.ebook group is a strong believer who has suffered quite a few miscarriages in her life.  We are friends on Fac.ebook but don’t usually chat or have contact outside of commenting in the group.  When I saw her name on the package, I was truly surprised.  This is what she sent me:

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A 2.5×2.5 little canvas on which she painted a picture and the word “Brave”.  On the edge of the canvas she wrote down a bible verse Joshua 1:9.  I went and looked it up.  It says:  

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 

These are her words in her card:

“One of my favorite songs right now is You Make Me Brave by Amanda Cook.  You have been on my heart so much this past year.  You are such a brave soul.  I continue to lift you up to the Father when I think of you.”

What a thoughtful gift and message.  They touched a special spot in my heart.  Right then and there in my garage, I teared up thinking about her and all the people that I have or have not met in person.  All those who pray for me openly or silently.  I appreciate their love and care and genuine concern so much.  It is such a warm and touching thought to be surrounded by love and prayers.

I listened to the song many times that night, soaking in the words.  Here is the video:

Last night we celebrated our upcoming transfer by eating my last raw fish meal for the next many months:

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It was so fresh, yummy, and fulfilling!  After this meal, I am ready to get pregnant and stay pregnant.

I believe it will happen.

Friends That Cheer Us Up

Every time we hit a bump on our fertility road, there would always be a friend or a group of friends that would do something to cheer us up.  Today Bob and I received this surprise gift in the mail:

It was from our dear friend Aramis and her husband M.  In the notes, they said, “Just a little something to pick you up.  Hope you enjoy!”

Oh yes.  Definitely!  We feel so loved and are grateful for friends.  Thanks friend for being so thoughtful.  We will thoroughly enjoy this gift.  More importantly, the gift of friendship and support makes this journey a little bit more tolerable.

MicroblogMondays: Dinner and Vegas!

Microblog_Mondays

Dinner last Friday with old friends turned out to be great.  Leanne, my usually thoughtful friend, texted me Thursday night and asked if we could speak briefly on the phone.  Leanne is someone who is not into social media, so I knew that she hadn’t seen Candace’s baby shower photos on Face.book.  Thus, she didn’t know that I had already known about the pregnancy.  When we got on the phone, she said that she wanted to make sure that I didn’t get blindsided by some news that might come up during our Friday dinner.  To save her from further stammering to find the right word to break the news to me, I told her that I knew about Candace’s pregnancy.  I went on to tell her about the emotions that I had experienced the whole week to make sure that I would be fine during dinner.  My conclusion to her was that since I had already prepared myself, regardless of Candace’s presence, I should be fine during dinner.  Leanne then told me that Candace wouldn’t be there for dinner as her pregnancy has been very difficult and driving in traffic for several hours on a Friday is not exactly the best thing for her.  I truly appreciate Leanne’s thoughtfulness in trying to prepare me for the news.  She actually wanted to tell me about it the last time we met up, but because I was telling updating her on our egg donation, she didn’t feel that it was the most appropriate time to bring up someone else’s pregnancy.  She sat at home not feeling good about not letting me know ahead of the Friday dinner knowing that I would usually need time to process pregnancy news.  Her thoughtfulness is a big contrast to our friend Chloe’s oblivion to my need to process pregnancy news ahead of time.

Dinner was great.  It was just the four of us, the core group of friends, plus Leanne’s baby.  Pregnant lady couldn’t come.  Chloe didn’t bring the kids.  Her other friends couldn’t make it.  We caught up without having to be careful with what we talked about since there was no outsiders.  We could truly talk about anything we wanted to.  It was just like old times.  It reminds me of why I still want to maintain a friendship with these friends.  And Chloe asked me in private for an update for our egg donation, which I gladly told her.  She is genuine in wanting me and Bob to be successful and to become parents.  Candace’s name came up but nobody talked about her pregnancy.  Those were some very pleasant 2.5 hours with some very good friends over tapas.

*****

Bob accepted his job offer and will start his new job on August 31st.  He will have the next two weeks off.  And we are going to Las Vegas!  When we want to take a few days off, we usually consider driving up and down the coast.  We usually like quiet time and just hang out.  Las Vegas looks like a very unusual choice for us.  But since we have not done Vegas, why not?  Flight and hotel packages are inexpensive in comparison to other times during the year.  I guess Vegas is too hot?  The most exciting thing for me is to be able to watch O!  I have been wanting to watch this Cirq.ue du Sol.eil show forever.  We (or mainly I) have splurged for some good tickets so hopefully I will not be disappointed!  We will be there in 1.5 weeks.

Since Beta Day…

I have been staring at this blank “Add New Post” browser for a few days now.  What does one write about after the crushing news of negative beta results following the second and the last embryo transfer with one’s own eggs?

I know I need to write.  There were things that happened on the day of the beta test.  There were thoughts that passed through my mind, emotions that I felt and processed, and love that I received.  I need to document as much as I can, so I will have a chance to look back in the future and know what had happened.

Last Thursday before all the symptoms went away, my friend Jo asked me what my gut feeling was regarding this transfer.  I told her my gut feeling was that I was pregnant.  After the loss of symptoms on Friday, Bob asked me the same question.  I told him that my gut feeling was that, we probably had a chemical pregnancy and now it was all gone.  Of course there is no way of confirming any of this.  It could well be my mind and progesterone doing tricks on my body.  But I would like to think that our embryos really fought hard and tried.

On Monday, I was feeling calm while sitting in the waiting room of the UCSF lab at 8:25am.  Instead of staring at my phone, majority of the time I observed the people around me.  Didn’t seem like anyone was there for their beta.  At 8:49, my number flashed on the board.  I went inside the phlebotomist’s room.  It was a nice older Asian lady.  We talked about the weather and how I was doing.  I pointed at my lab order and said, “I’m doing as well as I can be.”  She took a look, and asked, “You’re trying to get pregnant?”  I said that it’d been over three years.  She was busy getting set up, but took one look at me and said, “You know what the key to getting pregnant is?”  I was actually quite sure what would come out of her mouth next, which was confirmed by her next statement: “You have to relax.”  She went on to tell me that her 30-year-old niece had been trying for five years but still had no babies so she often tells her niece the same thing.  After we chatted for a little, and after she finished poking me with a needle, I said, “You know, for people who have been trying for a baby for a while, the one thing that they don’t want to hear is someone telling them to relax.  It is a stressful process and they are trying their best to make a baby.  So try to support them without telling them to relax.”  I felt compelled to say it.  I don’t know how receptive she was, but it seemed like she didn’t get upset.  I am glad that I opened my mouth and did my part as an infertile.

The rest of the morning I was busy doing work.  I was actually able to be productive most of the time.  My “village” (namely, my friends in real life and my online community) was getting impatient.  Still no word at noon.  No word at 1pm.  No word at 2pm.  One friend asked, “What part of STAT does the nurse not understand?”  I was still able to keep my composure at 1:30pm.  However, by 2pm, it was getting a little difficult to wait.  I had clients from 3pm to 5pm.  Getting a phone call with beta results is just not cool during a speech therapy session.  I finally emailed my nurse at 2pm.  The phone call didn’t come until 2:45pm.  What was going through  my head?  In a split second, I was thinking, this is it.  This will determine our fate for the next 9 months.  I kind of knew the results, but was still holding out hope.  From the way my nurse said Hello, I could guess the results.  We exchanged pleasantries.  Then she said, “Unfortunately, the results are negative.”  She told me to stop all meds and tried to schedule an appointment for me to talk to Dr. No Nonsense end of the week.  All I wanted to do was to hang up and be…. because I needed to get myself together before my 3pm client.  We settled on a time and I tried to hang up.  I could hear her say, “I am so sorry sweetie.”

I was kind of stunned but at the same time not surprised.  I was hopeful prior to the phone call but was also realistic.  I knew my odds.  It would have been a long shot to be pregnant and to stay pregnant with my own eggs.  In the next 15 minutes, I notified Bob, my Face.book group friends, a couple of other friends, and wrote the last blog post because I knew that my friends there were waiting.  It was almost like I had no time to process this news because I knew I had to put on a brave face so that I could get through the next two hours without being upset or crying.  I said a quick prayer for God to sustain me and went ahead with the rest of the work day.  Surprisingly, I was quite focused during those two hours.  After my 3pm client, I went to make some copies.  Pregnant Coworker was standing there in the copy room.  She asked me how I was doing.  Instead of saying “Good”, I said, “I am alright.”  “Just alright?” she asked.  Yes.  I am not going to tell you that my long journey of trying to conceive with my own eggs just came to an end.  After a few awkward seconds of no talking, I commented on her nicely painted nails, to which she responded that her prenatal vitamins have been making her nails strong and fast growing, which enabled her to paint her nails.  I regretted saying anything.  I just fled the room after I was done.

Maybe things had not sunk in yet, and I knew I wanted to be strong for the rest of the night for my Bible Study group ladies.  I went ahead with the rest of the night as planned.  I led Bible study and attended the lecture.  I felt loved though, as my friends at Bible Study all remembered the big beta day.  I received many warm hugs.  A couple of my friends were teary. I am thankful that God orchestrated the timing of the beta so that I could focus on Him and others on that Monday instead of any other day.  Tears didn’t come until that night when my husband was hugging me in the bedroom before he went to get ready for bed.  I looked at him and asked, “Can I cry?”  That was a silly question.  But I felt so much better and safer crying in front of him and with him while he held me in his arms.  Life was so much better after the release of my emotions.  I went to bed in peace and had a great night sleep.

I think the reality still had not sunk in yet on Tuesday, as I was feeling fine throughout the day.  One of my best coworkers walked in my office in the morning with this:

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Such a thoughtful friend and such a wonderful gift.  It totally cheered me up.  Then in the afternoon, my mom sent me a text saying that someone sent me flowers at home.  I knew it wasn’t from Bob because he only sends flowers to work.  I had my guess which was confirmed when I got home:

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It was from my sweet friend Jane Allen.  Thank you so much friend for being so thoughtful and being there.  The flowers have been bringing a smile on my face every single day.  They also became the topic starter with my mom about what happened.  She of course asked me why my friend gave me flowers.  I shared with her about the failed transfer.  So thank you Jane for helping me with that.

Wednesday, I woke up feeling sad.  My original plan was to resume going to fitness bootcamp.  I couldn’t get myself up.  All I wanted to do was to lie in bed until the very last moment before I had to get up for work.  Bob was sweet and told me not to worry about going to bootcamp.  He went and did my share for me.  🙂  There were appointments that I couldn’t cancel or reschedule that morning.  But I could cancel my afternoon appointments.  I made a decision to take care of myself.  The first thing I did that morning upon walking into work was to ask my front desk staff to cancel all my afternoon appointments.  I left at around 12:45pm, had a nice slow lunch at one of my favorite restaurants, bought a cup of my favorite fully caffeinated coffee, and headed to Tar.get for some much needed essentials for home.

When I got home, my mom asked me about the cost of the cycles.  Instead of telling her the cost of each cycle, I told her how much we spent last year for all the cycles.  I also shared with her that one donor egg cycle will cost as much as the total we spent last year.  After my nap and when Bob got home from work, mom came up from her room and handed us an envelope.  I opened it up.  Inside was a wad of cash enough to buy the IVF meds for the donor.  I looked at her with disbelief.  She told me that both she and dad wanted to support us knowing that we worked so hard to save up the money.  I looked at Bob and handed him the money to give back to mom.  He tried to pass it back to her but she refused to take it.  I started tearing up.  She teared up and came to give me a hug.  My parents are about some of the most generous people I have ever known.  I was speechless at their kindness and generosity.

I again felt better on Thursday except for one moment.  Lying in bed at night, I was thinking about a two-year-old with whom I work on Thursdays.  I think about his smile and how much his smiles resemble his mother’s.  Thinking about that, I started feeling sad as I know that I will never be able to see my own smile in my future child.  I just let myself cry.  Bob was next to me letting me cry it all out.  All these tears are doing my heart something good.  I need to mourn.  I need to grieve the loss of genetic links with my own future child(ren).  I am just taking care of my feelings and letting things be.  I knew I had to talk to my therapist again in order to move on.  Fortunately, she is a few weeks away from her maternity leave (she’s pregnant with her first child at her early 40s via IVF) so she can still see me next week.  I happily scheduled an appointment.  I don’t mind her big pregnant bump at all.

This morning Bob and I met with Dr. No Nonsense to talk about the next step.  I opted for an in-person meeting because it’s often difficult to talk to him on the phone when he puts me on speaker phone.  Dr. NN looked at us and asked what we had in mind about the next step.  I looked at him and asked him to tell me his thoughts first.  He wouldn’t budge!  He said, I want to hear what your thoughts are.  Ha.  So I told him that we are done with our own eggs and would pursue egg donation.  He commented how much effort we have put into these cycles.  He said that we have done everything that we could.  I agree with him.  We have.  It’s a logical next step to move onto egg donation.  Dr. NN looked pleasantly surprised that I had already talked with the donor coordinator and we had met with the psychologist.  We could start choosing a donor any time we want to.  There were a few things we discussed about.  If we want more than one child, fresh cycles are better than frozen cycles.  Each cycle he will try to get 15 to 20 eggs.  If it’s a donor that has a potential for only 8 eggs, he said, he’d call me and ask me if I would still want to proceed.  A frozen cycle only guarantees six eggs.  The chances of having extra embryos to freeze will be a lot lower.  With the clinical pregnancy rate of 71 to 79% in the last few years, he thinks that our chances of getting pregnant and staying pregnant are high.  If we ever have questions about a first-time agency donor, he said he can always look at the testing and paperwork before we make a decision.  One way to avoid that is to choose someone who has already done a cycle or two.  The discussion of singleton vs. twins also came up.  Bob always wants twins but I want to avoid any complications.  Dr. NN did say that the pregnancy rate is about the same whether you put one embryo or two embryos back, but the twin rates are a lot higher when transferring two.  Bob commented that he had always wanted four children but now he just wants to get a child and be happy.  Dr. NN said that once we have one child, we will want to have a second one.  So getting ready for that right now will be a wise choice.  He said that endometrial scratch isn’t proven to make a difference according to studies.  And a lining of over 7mm is good as long as it’s trilaminar.  Studies show that a lining of 7, 8, 9 or 10mm does not make a big difference in terms of pregnancy rate.  Dr. NN ended the conversation by telling us to find a suitable donor and we can have a meeting to go over the treatment plans.  He wants us to be excited about our cycle and be 100% on board.  He said he is very excited for us.  I am very thankful for his enthusiasm.

My wonderful friends have been checking in on me daily.  I am very grateful that every time they ask me how I am doing, they also ask me about Bob.  So how’s Bob doing?  He felt angry the first few days.  I think he’s been feeling better.   And after today’s meeting with Dr. No Nonsense, I think he is feeling hopeful again about the possibility of the future.

And I am too.  I just still need a bit more time for my closure.  I am grateful that egg donation is even an option, and that we started saving up for it since last July.  This time I feel a lot better than last year.  Last year we didn’t have a plan.  I was paralyzed by the chemical pregnancy and couldn’t move on for many months.  This time we’ll be able to move on much more quickly.

Finally, to everyone who read my posts in the last week, checked in on me, or commented, please accept my sincere gratitude for being there and showing your support.  You all have warmed my heart and helped me get through this difficult time.

Thank you for your love.