Wednesday, September 21, 2016

"Stop thinking. Act."

I recently sat down at lunch with a good friend who is the ONLY person besides my husband that I feel safe with sharing the musings in my head.  She is an older mom, one of the lucky ones who found that last good egg in her forties via IVF.  It was really helpful bouncing all of this off on her (including the eye-rolling I got in response to describing the spirit medium's words).  Walking around with all of this I've-gotta-secret-ey-ness has been rougher than I thought it would be.

Her: "You don't want to have to travel for IVF, it's hard enough to deal with the monitoring and everything when it's local."
"Me: Yeah, but apparently donor egg IVF really does vary widely across the country. Not to mention it's a really different process.  I wouldn't be stimming my own ovaries, so I wouldn't need the kind of monitoring you needed."
Her: "Well, I still think that you should at least start locally and see where you can get.  You really need to stop thinking, start doing. It's so clear to me that you want a baby.  It's much easier to start acting locally, so start acting."

So, Part I of Acting:  There is a clinic about ten minutes from my house, actually, that is not Babies Guaranteed.  They do have a donor egg program.  They were my friend's clinic as a matter of fact, and they are known to cycle women who are not sure bets by any stretch, which does likely lower their SART stats.  Actually, Viking's old primary care physician had a baby through them in her forties (not sure whether it was via donor egg) and again at age 50 (definitely via donor egg).  Viking has done very little way in the research (nah, who am I kidding he's done none) over the years about ANY of my fertility bullshit, but one day he came home from an appointment with her with a little torn off slip of paper with that clinic's name on it.

I poked around a bit.  The clinic has a donor egg program with an agency I've already reached out to to ask about Open ID donors, and a frozen donor egg program through one of the few reputable frozen egg banks that definitely has open ID donors.  The clinic may also offer a guarantee program, though it's a tad unclear from their website.  But all of this is a start, I guess.  Fine.  I might as well make a consultation appointment.

Part II of Acting is a conversation with my mom.  I have dipped my toe into those waters already.... it's kind of hard.  When I talk to her about wanting a baby, frankly, all she does is blame herself for not pressuring Viking and I to start procreating immediately after Niblet was born. Her exact words: "I should have told you two to just get busy when I moved down to (your city) that year to watch Niblet." Not helpful, Ma.  I also had to re-explain to her that I was already rejected as an Own Egg IVF candidate at 40  ("Oh," she said.  Long Pregnant Pause. "I didn't realize that.").  I've brought up donor eggs with her, in the abstract. In the context of being told by doctors that this was my only pathway to a baby.  Also in a context that she could possibly relate to -  the many women out there who have reached that point and have definitely turned to donor eggs.  "Out of desperation," she said. "Or out of an all consuming desire to have a baby, Mom," I said.  "You're in NYC.  Look around you.  All of those forty-something women with infants you see on the upper west side or in Brooklyn?  They are NOT all genetically related to their babies."

I was going to attempt another talk with my mom again yesterday, but now I am thinking I am going to hold off.  Because I know it will be helpful to talk to her with the ammunition of another fertility clinic conversation under my belt.  This motivates me to complete Part I first.  I can't quite understand her logic, but Mom still somehow inherently trusts the doctors, fuck if I know why.  She believes that I am the victim of "bad luck" and is convinced that if I had just had gotten pregnant with another baby within two years of Niblet, I would have somehow been successful. (Yes, she has an operating two year theory based purely on anecdotal evidence.  All of those three year and five year and ten year anecdotes be damned.  Two years ya'll).

Some of you may wonder why I care so much about my Mom's buy-in.  It's not for the financial help.  I've written in the past of my love and respect for her.  This is a woman who offered to pay for me sorry ovaries to cycle, before I was rejected by Babies Guaranteed.  But there is also, as you have learned, the need for me to not have any shame about this.  If I were to ever have a baby via donor egg, I would require honesty for a child, and the family who love that child.  It would be no one else's business how a pregnancy came to be, but somehow I do feel it's my Mom's business.


  1. Hi

    You are touching on more and more of the factors that I took into consideration:
    1) taking action. I totally agree with your friend. I was really indecisive, but I never went as far as making an appointment. When I find myself in moments of regret, I immediately shoot myself down by telling myself that if I'd really wanted to do it, I would have taken action. As I have done with many other difficult things in life.
    2) your mother. I completely hear you on this one. I think it was brave of you to write about it and potentially face criticism of people saying that her opinion shouldn't matter. One of the deciding factors against DE IVF for me was that I know my family would have completely disapproved and possibly broken contact. Again, I'm not saying that we should live our lives according to other people, but there's no escaping the fact that their perspectives have an impact, whether we like it or not.

    As for waiting, you can tell your mother that we tried for every single cycle from when my periods came back onwards (from when my daughter was about 7 months), so her theory doesn't work in every case. If anything, I find myself eternally grateful that I managed to have my daughter, as she was very clearly one of my last good eggs.

    Best wishes,


    1. Naomi, you are so spot on. I fully expected comments suggesting that I shouldn't care about my Mom's opinion, and as much as I would love to believe that's true, it isn't.
      As to the taking action, all I can say is that I have tried to use every excuse in the book to avoid the point I am at now - the money is a big one, and lately, the worries that I am too old - and I still feel like, this compulsion to move forward. So I'm moving forward. I absolutely believe you would have done the same. xo