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Our Journey

2002 Uterine Fibroid Surgery #1

2003 1st consult with an RE, you know, just in case

2003 Got Married (at 37 (me) & 34 (DH) years old)

2003/2004 Naturally conceived pregnancies BFPs #1, #2, & #3 and miscarriages #1, #2, #3

2005 Uterine Fibroid Surgery #2

2005 IVF #1, BFN #1

2005 IUIs #1 and #2, just because, BFN #2 & #3

2005 FET from IVF #1, BFN #4

2006 Exploratory surgery to remove scar tissue from fibroid sugery #2

2006 IVF #2 (w PGD), BFP #4

2006 Emergency cerclage for IC @ 16w6d (5 months + 1 week of complete bed rest at home ensues)

2007 Our son is born @ 38w by scheduled c-section

2007 IVF #3 for baby #2, BFN #5

2007 IVF #4, BFP #5, miscarriage #4

2008 IVF #5, BFP #6, miscarriage #5

2008 IVF #6, BFP #7, miscarriage #6

2008 DE IVF #7, BFN #6

2009 DEFET #8, cancelled, embryos don't thaw

2010 Decide to adopt domestically

12.17.10 Profile is live with our agency

November 2011 Consult with RE re: donated embryo cycle

Early January 2012 Cleared to proceed with deFET

January 2012 Freeze our profile

1.20.12 deFET begins
2.12.12 eSET of one compacted morula
2.22.12 BFN

3.23.12 deFET #2 begins
4.14.12 transfer 3 embryos (1-8 cell, 1-5 cell, 1-4 cell)
4.22.12 + HPT
4.24.12 Beta #1 = 48.4
4.26.12 Beta #2 = 125.7
4.30.12 Beta #3 = 777.8
5.11.12 1st U/S - Singleton!
7.12.12 It's a Boy!
12.26.12 C-section: Baby G is born, 9#5oz, 20.5"

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Narrowed down

There are a lot of factors that come in to play re: our options, namely finances, process, wait time, whether or not I truly want to be pregnant again, potential birth mother, sibling integration, and to a lesser degree familial perceptions of whether/how we build our family. While I am still conflicted (which is a high class problem given how long it took to arrive at the decision to proceed), we have two options and I’ve sorted through my version of the pros/cons here:

1. Embryo Donation
Pro: I would carry the baby and thus feeling a biological while not genetic connection. Given
that I would be pregnant, our son would have the experience of the baby growing in my
belly and me giving birth which I think he would more easily understand. Also, he and the
baby would have similar conception stories. And, it is relatively inexpensive. Finally, we’d
give life to a frozen embryo which I think is very cool. And, couples who are looking to
donate their embryos are coming from a good place, having suffered through their own
IF struggle, and are desirous of helping another couple out. The degree of openness
would be specified in the contract and agreed upon by both parties.

Con: Donated (and not adopted) embryos are hard to come by. They are what they are from an
ethnicity perspective so no picking/choosing like with DE. Success rates are not that high
(50% but improve if the embryos are blast stage and vitrified). I would be pregnant (which
we already know would require a cerclage and possible bed rest). Pregnancy at 44 is not
without risk beyond the incompetent cervix. And, we’ve recently switched to Kaiser so I’d
no longer have access (without out of pocket $$) to my trusted OB. There are no
guarantees of pregnancy let alone live birth.

2. Domestic Adoption
Pro: We’ve already identified the firm we’d go through. We’d be able to specify gender if we like.
I would not be pregnant. While generally having a biological child is a strike against a
prospective adoptive couple, that my husband I are both adopted (and into families with
a biological child) would counter balance our “attractiveness” to a birth mother. The firm’s
2009 average wait time was 6 months (although if we specify gender it would be longer, but
still, that is shorter than pregnancy!). If we wait it out, there will be a baby at the end.

Con: Birth mother and degree of openness. This is actually what stymies me
the most. The birth mother has found herself pregnant and had to make a gut
wrenching decision to place her unborn baby for adoption. Even under the best of
circumstances, I imagine it is an emotional and stressful experience. Cost:
$25K – $35K. We’d have a little more explaining to do initially to our 3 yr old son as to
how/why this baby came to us from another mother, but I know there are resources to
help us.

I have already signed up with one embryo donation web-site and have been corresponding with the owner. I posted our profile and have viewed the few donor profiles listed. One of the egg donation groups I belong to has also posted a profile of us should any of the members want to donate embryos. And, I had a phone consultation with my RE and he is supportive of the idea and in the year I’ve been away the clinic has begun an embryo matching program. I’m waiting to connect with the coordinator.

I contacted the domestic adoption firm we would use and got their 2009 stats. My relationship with the founder goes back to January, 2008, and he is always supportive without ever being pushy and I know believes that this would be a tremendously positive experience for us (I’ve met with him 5 times and my husband, twice).

There’s no reason that we couldn’t pursue both simultaneously. The adoption process has 4 phases and the initial phase where our profile would be shown to prospective birth mothers is about $8K. So, we could take a leap of faith and see which path presented us with what felt like was the best scenario for us.

2 comments to Narrowed down

  • Sue

    Two very good options. If you can pursue both concurrently, that might be a great solution! And so cool that your RE now has an embryo program.

    Just be prepared, a friend of mine pursued both and when she was just 6 – 8 weeks pregnant, was offered an adoption match. So, think in advance how you would handle that. I think the org you want to use will let you put your profile on “hold” for a period of time if you were in that situation.

    I hope things fall together perfectly!

    • iiwii

      Yes, they will allow a hold to be placed on one’s profile.

      I’m not sure I have the emotional fortitude to do both simultaneously, but donor embryos are a bit elusive.

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