Sunday, February 20, 2011

Looking for a Good Number

I met with the reproductive endocrinologist last Thursday. While I sat there listening to the odds, I began feeling a little hopeless. He did not paint a very pretty picture for me, and while I told him I appreciated his honesty, I was still a little sad. My percentage of achieving a pregnancy doing a natural IUI cycle (no drugs) is 8%. If I do hormone injections, it goes up to 15%. While I don't want to chance multiple pregnancies, this option is not something I want to start with. He explained that most people choose the drug option, and that I was definitely in the minority. If I wanted to continue with my plan, he told me the next step would be to do an ultrasound and look at my follicles. I asked him what a good number of follicles would be and he said he'd be happy with ten.

After I met with him, I visited my friend who works there. She asked me where I was in my cycle, and since I was in the right timeframe for the ultrasound, she asked the woman who does scheduling if I could be squeezed in that day. I did some work, and for two hours while waiting for my appointment, I worried that this plan of my could come to a screeching hault after the ultrasound. To say I was nervous/worried was an understatement, but I just wanted to know. The doctor came into the room, and I suddenly realized that that was the moment that would determine if there would be a next step. While doing the ultrasound, he pointed out the follicles. I got excited when I saw them because I saw a lot. I got more excited when he told me I had 15-20, and that he wasn't going to count all of them. He said he'd be happy with ten, and I doubled that! I was thrilled, and so proud of my good old ovaries because they were actually cooperating.

After my ultrasound, I talked to my friend who works there and told her the good news. We talked about the options (drugs vs. no drugs), and I might be a little more open if I'm not successful with a natural cycle after a few tries. Like my OBGYN, this doctor thought if it didn't happen in four natural cycles, then I'd have to do "intervention". My friend then told me the goods news... I have unlimited IUI cycles through my insurance! Evidently I have great insurance, and even IVF is covered.

It was a day filled with great news, and a day closer to my dream. I believe I will get pregnant with a natural cycle. Eight percent is low, but people my age get pregnant all the time, and from all tests done so far, I see no reason this can't happen. On the other hand, the odds are so stacked against me that I am super nervous. I just don't want to get my hopes up, but this is something I want so badly, and I can't imagine not bringing a child into this world. It's going to be a rollercoaster, but I'm ready for the ride!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Everyone's on Board!

The final person I had to tell was my mom. I had a feeling she would be okay with this, but I had no idea how ecstatic she would be! One would have thought that I had called to tell her I actually had a baby. Anyway, she said she's never had a problem with anyone having a baby on her own, and that I will for sure be able to make it work. She reminded me that years ago, she said she would take me to a sperm bank if I wanted to go this route. She was surprised to learn that the sperm bank now comes to me in the comforts of my own home via the internet.

I read the profiles of my final two donors, and she picked the front runner that my friends, sister, and I picked out last weekend. When she saw the picture of when he was a child, that sealed the deal. Have I found my donor?

As we were ending our three hour call, I happened to walk past the TV that was on but the volume was down. The names of guests for a late night talk show were appearing on the screen, and Grayson Chance appeared. That's my boy's name! (I had to Google him because I had no idea who he is.) It was very creepy and as I told my mom, she said, "That's your sign!" Is this actually going to work? If so, I guess I'll be having a boy. : )

Sunday, February 13, 2011

"Pick my Baby's Donor" Party!

Last night my good friends and I got together to Pick my Baby's Donor! My sister participated via Skype to join in the adventure. I first went to wine tasting where I got to design my own wine label to launch the momentous occasion. I sure hope that in a year or so, we'll be drinking that wine celebrating instead of me throwing it off my balcony and watching it break into a million pieces.

We hooked up the computer to my projector and launched the website on the wall so we all had a good view. With pizza in our bellies, wine at our sides, and chocolate cake and ice cream waiting for us in the kitchen, we began the long process while sitting comfortably on sofas. (My sister had wine along with a piece of string cheese at her side and stolen chocolate from my nephews. A preview of my life to come, she informed me.)

I'm not so sure any of us imagined what a challenge this would be. At one point we had to remind ourselves that we are not searching for a husband or a "real" daddy, but just someone whose sperm I will buy. : ) I was surprised at how difficult it was to find the "right" one. After looking at a lot of profiles, I finally bit the bullet and paid to get the additional information. All along, I have been one who believed that the way he looks isn't as important as who he is. After all, I was reminded that I am the one who will shape my child as he/she grows, so it might be more important than I think to pick someone whose appearance won't hurt my eyes. I agree, but I still want good qualities/genes in a person to make up who my child is. After much discussion, I paid the money to get additional information... mainly baby/young child pictures. Once we were able to see pictures, we immediately loved each donor a little more or a little less. While I don't consider myself very superficial, I have to admit that seeing pictures helped a lot.

After a few hours, it seemed as if we didn't get very far. While we narrowed to three strong contenders and five runners up, I knew that I wouldn't have THE one picked out going into this last night, but I was hoping to get down to two or three. No such luck. So the question is, how in world do I choose my baby's daddy? With refreshed eyes and a calm/cleared head, I will look at my five contenders again ( and again and again) in hopes that something I see helps me narrow my choices down one by one. The good news is I've got some great potential daddy sperm for my baby. The bad news is I've got too many from which to choose.

P.S. If you can't read the wine label, it reads: Plan B A Toast to Hope and Chance 2011. (Hope and Chance are the middles names I have chosen for my baby.)

Friday, February 11, 2011

All Systems Go!

Two big things happened yesterday: I told my sister what I am doing, and I went to my OBGYN to talk to her. The result... good things on both accounts!

My doctor told me that there appears to be no reason why I can't get pregnant. She recommends no drugs (which is the way I want it to be) because at this point, there should be no reason to need them. It's freaky when I think about how quickly I will have to pull the trigger to make this happen. I will go in for an ultrasound on day 11 and every day after until my follicles are the right size. At the right time, I will do an hCG shot to force the egg to release. I will then order the donor sperm, have it shipped overnight, and go in 24 hours after the shot to have my IUI. Wow! I think I'm going to feel like this will be a shot gun baby! We will attempt this four times. If I am unsuccesful getting pregnant, then I would have the opportunity to intervene with drugs. My doctor understands that doing that is not something I will consider, so I've got four tries to make this happen!

The other big news is that I finally told my sister. It wasn't nearly as bad as I had imagined it to be. She wasn't that surprised because I had mentioned doing this in passing years ago, and while she got silent to take it all in, she was excited and supportive about this adventure. I think the idea of being an aunt is exciting to her. I know how much I love being an aunt, and while I am my nephews' favorite aunt (pretty much because I am the only one in their lives), she will be my baby's favorite aunt as well (okay, because she will be the only aunt!). She told me that if it's meant to be, it's meant to be, and that I'll never look back and wonder "what if". She gets it.

I've been trying to decide if I will tell people when I am actually doing this. I don't like the idea of people pretty much knowing the anticipated day of peeing on a stick and waiting for those results. My sister told me she wants to know, so if I choose to tell people, she will be one of them. The thought of waiting those long days wondering if it was successful without anyone knowing sounds agonizing! It's funny though because I don't know exactly when people have sex when they conceived their children, so it seems strange that they will know precisely the moment when, the location where, and position in which : ) I conceived.

While talking to my sister, I said that I had never been so sure about doing something, and those words really made this seem like this is without a doubt the right thing. All systems go!