Friday, October 31, 2014

I want to be your mom

Months ago, Katie Couric apparently did a piece on donor egg (I did not see it and have not seen it). She had a couple on the show whose family was made complete by the use of donor eggs. She had the donor on to meet the family ... and (as I understand it), called the donor the "mom."

This raised quite a stink in the donor community. I had no idea about her show or the stink until I read a fellow bloggers post about it and then talked to her in real life about it (she is a friend of mine here). Turns out we were on totally opposite sides of it: she believes the donor is some sort of "mom" and I firmly believe the donor is just that, a donor. I find myself indebted to our donor, but no more than if she had given me a kidney do I feel like she is a part of my life or my family more than the cells that she gave so I could grow a couple of babies.

Without realizing it, I have been ruminating on this for a while. It has been turning over in the back of my mind. I haven't been able to rectify one issue (an issue that my bloggie friend brought up): if I am the mom because I grew the babies, then who is the mom in a surrogate situation? I have a friend who used two separate surrogates to bring her two sons home and there is no doubt in my mind that my FRIEND is the MOM and the surrogates were just vessels who helped her get her sons home (her sons are her DNA). But ... if I believe that I am my babies' mom because I grew them, then how too do I think my friend is their mom because they are her eggs grown in someone else (my situation exactly, kind of)???

Fast forward. A friend's husband was adopted and just found his birth mother in July of this year. She found him, actually, and they met this week. There was great joy in their household as he met his birthmother for the first time (he never actually met her at his birth because she didn't want to see or hold him so he was taken straight away). Some of us had questions about his relationship with his adoptive parents and whether the birthmother in the picture would change that at all. NO, was my friend's answer. Her husband's parents are his parents, and his birthmother appearing does not change that. He loves his parents and always will. He will never run away from them to connect with his birth family. But he is glad to know his genetics and to have a medical history.

Early early this morning as my brain was turning as it only can at 4:30 in the morning in the dark with the peaceful rain on the roof I made this decision: your mom is who WANTS to be your mom.

Being a mom is a title earned. It is a privilege. It is an honor. And it has to be something that one wants. This realization, this decision made things clear.

In my friend-who-used-surrogates situation: <SHE> is the mom because <SHE> wants to be the mom
In my situation: <I> am the mom because <I> want to be
In my friend-whose-husband-is-adopted situation: his mom is his mom and his birth mom might join and earn that role (and it sounds like she wants it and has always wanted it but for a very different situation back in the 70s) but that remains to be seen - but it is possible to have two moms!

It all made sense to me. It took away fears and concerns and doubt. All of which stem from that initial stupid conversation about whether I am or the donor is my babies' mom. Seems clear to me now that <I> am their mom, no questions asked.

The end.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

There. Is. A. HEARTBEAT!

The surprise of the day is that there is a heartbeat! I'm 7 weeks today and there was ... is ... a strong heartbeat of 148 bpm!

They wanted to do a vag cam ultrasound but I politely declined. I got enough out of today to see the heartbeat. Fetus ... baby?? ... is measuring around 6w5-6w6, but she wanted to do the vag cam because the belly ultrasound this early on isn't accurate. Sorry, I don't need more. I saw enough.




Friday, October 17, 2014


Wednesday's experience really shook me. I hadn't expected that low a number and it made me really upset. I was "100% sure this is over" is a text I sent to Million and Tonisha. I was sure it was over. I had cramping that felt like Braxton Hicks and that left me hunched over as I walked. I felt like my uterus was falling out. And then the number. A doubling time from Monday's beta of 312 hours. OH. MY. GOD. That can't be good. I was "100% sure" it was over.

Thursday, while sitting in my office, it dawned on me that I could know more if I got a 3rd beta from the clinic that drew my blood on Friday and then Monday. Same lab, so the number would be accurate as compared to the other betas. I called the advice nurse, explained the cramping (did not mention the other beta!) and that I was "100% sure" it was over.

I was told I could come in for a beta. They'd be happy to have me come in, in fact. I happened to have driven that day so I jumped in my car and sped off to the clinic.

A "short" two hours later, I got the call: 20,896. As compared to Monday's beta, that is a doubling time of 82 hours. And that doubling time is dead on where it needs to be for a beta over 6,000.

The nurse - whom I got to know very well over the course of my twin pregnancy - told me she even ran it past the doc and he was pleased with the number. She said "you're not out of the woods yet, but things are looking good." (I am trying not to read anything into the "you're not out of the woods" part. Uggg.)

I went from feeling exhausted from being "100% sure this is over" to being exhausted from still being pregnant.

The beta I was meant to have today? Million convinced me not to go. She was right. It would give me no further information. Instead, around the time the beta was scheduled for (8:45am), I had a terrible 20 second bout of nausea.

I'll take that as a sign that - FOR NOW - I remain pregnant.

OB is giving me an early ultrasound ... that is set for Tuesday. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014



Not looking good. That's a doubling time of 312 hours. Uh oh.

I will add that my OB said "things look good" (she sent that message through the nurse who called me). I think she is just trying to protect me. I called asking for an early ultrasound.

Final beta on Friday.

Monday, October 13, 2014


Still going up! Beta today was a good number - 11,954 (Friday's was 4499).

I have never ever ever been this far pregnant with my own eggs. Yes, this far is "only" 6 weeks tomorrow, but still uncharted territory for me.

I had chemicals - I never made it past my missed period before my betas were already on the plummet with those. My ectopic was caught and terminated by 5&4 (or 5&2).

So today ... 5&6 ... is new terrain for my body. I called my MFM and my OB to ask whether I should get on a low dose progesterone, just for "shits and giggles" and to play things safe. Should hear back soon, I hope. But even if I don't hear back or am told "no," my decision is to just let nature take its course on this one.

Ultrasound set for 10/28. We'll see what happens between now and then, and on that day.

Friday, October 10, 2014


Our journey to a family consisted of:

3 chemicals
1 ectopic
1 failure of an IVF cycle using my own eggs
1 failure of a donor egg IVF cycle that resulted in a 9 week miscarriage
1 beautiful perfect donor egg IVF cycle that resulted in the precious, perfect, amazing identical twin girls just going down for a nap in the other room (but a loss, because both embryos started growing but one stopped while the other split).

Today, one week and one day shy of their 11 month birthday, I got a call. From our former MFM office. With an hcg beta blood test result.

I am pregnant.



Approximately - because I have NO idea when I ovulated - 5 1/2 weeks pregnant.

I don't know how. Well, I do know the "how" details, but I can't believe the "how" details.

Since peeing on two sticks yesterday and seeing the pregnant line show up before the control line, I have done some research. My Google topics included "pregnant after donor egg IVF." Turns out there is some blossoming but limited research on the idea that women who go through IVF - even a failed cycle - are more likely to get pregnant in the next 6 years than if they don't do an IVF cycle - again, this includes a failed IVF cycle. The research suggests that something about being pregnant "teaches" the body what to do. This is especially the case in women with PCOS, the idea being that being pregnant gives the endometrium a break so the many months post partum, the body is ready to be pregnant again.

Truly fascinating stuff.

The part that being pregnant CANNOT teach a body is about increasing egg quality.

So ... I go back for the standard second blood draw on Monday. Then an ultrasound. And then, should we get that far - we never ever ever have been even this far with my own eggs - we will do genetic screening and the materni21T test (or something like that).

For now. HOLY SHIT I AM PREGNANT. I am "that person." Sleeping donor egg twins (well, they're not quite sleeping, more like squealing and chatting and talking and NOT sleeping) next door and a "bun in the oven."