A bit of a ramble

I’ve not been very prolific in my blog so far, partly because unless I’m working at home, it isn’t so easy to find a bit of peace to write, except in the evening, by which time my brain cells are normally on a go slow.

 But of course it’s always possible to do it the old fashioned way, and scribble something down with pen and paper to type up later. Here I am on a London bus on a rainy morning, heading into town for a seminar.

This morning was 14th February or “Valentimes” in the words of my DS, who presented me with a huge card and some heart shape chocolates, which he insisted we open and have with our breakfast.  There’s a photo somewhere of DS at exactly 7 days old, his first “Valentimes”, propped on the sofa with a bunch of flowers tucked under his arm. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if next February we had a new baby to pose on the sofa, and I got a total of three valentines?

One thing that’s weird about reading internet blogs is when you find one that grips you and you read back. Sometimes it’s bitter sweet to see tragedy unfolding, so heartbreaking  to see the crushing of optimism.

I’ve been reading miscarriage and infertility blogs for a few years now, and in that time any of my targets (what noun is there for “people whose blogs you read” which doesn’t have some sort of stalkerish undertone?) .. .in that time many of my targets have been through both sorrow and joy.  Sadly, several are still struggling.  

I’ve read a few blogs recently where women have been wondering aloud whether their drive to “succeed” has almost obliterated the original desire for a child, or a second child.  Maybe so. People think I’m strong to keep trying, but I do believe that is easier to carry on, then it is to decide to stop. This foray into DE/IVF is my last gasp really. I no longer have the strength for the cycle of TTC, get pregnant, suffer through early weeks, get bad news, miscarry or d&c … rinse and repeat. Without the support of women on Fertility Friend and ivillage.co.uk who have also suffered recurrent loss, I would never have kept standing through all that I have. Real life friends, especially those without children, do their best to be sympathetic, but really… what do you say to someone after a 4th, 5th miscarriage? After a 6th? A 7th? Really, what do you say?

The change of tack to De/IVF brings others onto the team, is the way I see it. TTC naturally and miscarrying is very lonely. Just me and my haematologist, I sometimes feel, with the occasional devastatingly inept proclamation from the Early Pregnancy Unit  “This pregnancy is only 20% likely to be viable “… “Scan consistent with early intrauterine pregnancy of 5 weeks gestation” (when I’m 6 weeks) … “I’m sorry, the heartbeat seems to have stopped” 

This time round there’s a cast of thousands. Me, a benign IVF expert doctor (wish we knew we had the one we want!) mr DrownedGirl (doing what he normally does, but just the once and in to a cup) and Kind Friend, suffering various indignities on my behalf.

Everybody says just WHAT a kind friend she’s being, and it’s true. She’s always been a great support through my miscarriages, not least because she is on hand to chat via IM those days when I’m hibernating at home, not wanting to talk to anybody by phone.

Knowing that we’ll embark on the IVF side by side is a great comfort, and a benefit women don’t get if they receive eggs from an anonymous donor, so I’m doubly lucky. It has occurred to me that I have not yet come across anyone who has received eggs from a friend… a sister maybe, but not a friend. I presume that this is, in part, because many woman pursuing donor eggs are already past the age of 35, and that their friends are of a similar age. Actually, for many women, their sisters are of a similar age too.

That reminds me, I am an avid reader of donor egg blogs  – please post a comment if you know of any I have missed from my blogroll!

I wonder if women don’t like to ask their friends if they would donate? I’m not sure I would have asked, myself. I mentioned to KF that I was looking into going to Moscow, and she just up and offered her own eggs!  Do people worry about the future relationship between the child and the donor? I’d worry more about the relationship if I had a sister as donor, just because of the whole sister relationship thing.  My sister, while we’re on the subject, donated eggs herself in her youth. She’s forty soon, and her daughter was 20 recently. So unless I asked my niece, and that would have seemed wrong, given egg donation is quite intrusive physically, I didn’t have any close female relatives in the frame.

My first thought when looking into donor eggs was Spain. I saw an article somewhere. It’s about the same price as the UK, but there is not the donor shortage and long waiting list there is here. I got some good advice from  posters on the “Abroadies” thread on fertilityfriends.co.uk. Once I discovered that there is a wait for blue eyed donors, I looked at Altra Vita in Moscow. Due to the weather there in the winter, we’d have had to wait till late Spring to visit. Accommodation is Moscow is quite pricey and rather wiped out the savings. And we’d have been hard pressed to take a trip there and do the IVF, with DS in tow.

So it was a huge huge relief when KF offered to help us. There will still be a fair bit of childcare juggling and driving, but it’s all so much more manageable, and the cost will be less than £5000.

That’s assuming that Small but Enormously Friendly Clinic say yes. I wish the letter would arrive!

The more I have thought about the implications of using a known donor, the happier I am with it. When the idea of donor eggs from abroad first caught my imagination, I hadn’t thought it through very well. Obviously, any baby that you grow and bear is going to feel like yours, there’s no doubt about that. But with an anonymous donor, out of the UK, the child would have no way of tracing that person, if they wished to. Is that something we’d come to regret, later?  Using a known donor means that I don’t have to worry whether our child will ever resent a lack of information. I’ve been thinking  a lot about the benefits, and I’m sure I’ll write more later. I know not all women pursuing donor eggs have the choice of a known donor, I feel very lucky.


~ by drownedgirl on February 14, 2007.

5 Responses to “A bit of a ramble”

  1. I remember my first knee jerk reaction to anonymous vs. known donor-anything. I was against “known” because I was worried about the donor looking for the child.

    As I have researched and educated myself, I realize it would be the child who would want to know, and it’s their right to know. It’s take a long time for me to have that “aha!” moment.

    I hope I get a chance to prove it.

  2. I actually have a bit of a wondering side of me, as my dad was adopted, and all I know really about that side of the family, genetically, is that his real mother was a servant in Ireland who got pregnant. My dad looked very different to his parents, and his (also adopted) sister.

    My maternal aunt did some research into my mum’s family, going back to gunsmiths of French Huguenot background. But on my dad’s side, we don’t really know.

  3. I find taking compliments very difficult, even through work where I’m meant to be all confident, etc.

    To be honest I feel as lucky to have you as a friend as you’ve said you feel about me. I can pour out any random moans about dh and the littlies without worrying you’ll be shocked by anything I say, you know ALL sides of my personality (he he) and you understand my hatred for phones too! I hope I have helped in some way when times have been rough, as to be honest I never feel like I have, even this last miscarriage when I knew I was doing everything I can to help things work for you in the future I felt totally helpless. No-one can ever know the right words to say at the right time to make you feel better, and sometimes there just aren’t any anyway.

    I know we have spoken about egg sharing at the clinic for various reasons, and as much as I would be happy to help any couple create their family, I am glad it is you that I’m helping, and I so hope this is the answer to you holding your baby in your arms x

  4. Just found your blog, what an awesome journey yourself and hobbesy are about to undertake.
    I have been going through a known donation with Star. We met through a forum, but have become friends. Initially when I was thinking about donor eggs, I thought I would have to go overseas as well – I just didn’t think I’d find a local known donor. Look forward to following your journeys.

  5. Hobbesy I wasn’t saying you don’t say the right thing… more that I feel a big chasm between me and most friends these days, and I almost feel sorry for them, it’s so obvious they feel at a loss.

    Sparkle, Hobbesy and I have been following your story avidly! It’s really inspiring.


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