Former Egg Donor Undergoing IVF

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Monday, December 6, 2010

Retrieval Day

Retrieval went well. Especially, now that I was "put under" with anesthetics. They retrieved 15 eggs. After the procedure, I was able to get dressed myself, and I left only being a little sore.

The next day: I felt something that felt like menstrual cramps begin.

2 days post-retrieval: My menstrual cramps begin to feel something like menstrual cramps on steroids. I called the clinic and asked if they would prescribe me pain killers. I had been so uncomfortable with the cramps, I didn't sleep the night before at all. My last clinic sent me home with a bottle of Vicadin, which helped immensely with the pain. I told the doctor that I had difficulty sleeping, and was extremely sore. She told me to just take Motrin. I was really angry, but I dealt with the pain.

3 to 4 days post retrieval: The pain is gone... finally!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Day Before Retrieval

Today is my "day off." Meaning, no injections! I didn't feel up to touring today (too uncomfortable), so we stayed in our hotel the whole day watching T.V. marathons. Okay, that sounds lame, but it really wasn't. Neither of us really like this city, and we never have time to watch some tele back at home, so it was ideal for us.

Tomorrow's agenda: Aspiration.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

HCG Trigger Shot

Doc's Orders:
Tonight, take HCG trigger shot.. in the bum-bum :(
No more Repronex!! :)

Yesterday, my estradiol levels were evaluated and everything looks perfect. Surgery is planned for December 6th, with my HCG trigger shot taken today (12/4). Because everything is well with my estradiol levels, I do not have to take anymore Repronex injections in the bum-bum! Yesss!! This is good news people!!

We toured _____ the entire day. The city we visited is in the top 15 most populous cities in the United States, so it was kind of a big deal. Once again, parking was outrageous, so my husband and I parked miles away to avoid high costs. I realize we are scrooges when it comes to spending the least amount of money on these egg donation trips.

We must have walked a million miles (it felt like it!). I was shocked at how well I was doing, you know... with water balloons in my tummy and all. I definitely "felt" my ovaries moving with any jerky movements.

Summary of this City: I feel like people "talked up" this city so much, that I was expecting "fireworks and rainbows." We got neither...

Too busy...
Too Sinful....
Too costly...
Too much walking for the girl with growing ovaries!!

I'm exaggerating... kinda'. We did have fun, and did adventurous, expensive things... but, nothing to get too hyped about. It's fun to say that we've been there.

Our friends and family have their eyebrows raised at how we afford to take these long "vacations" in costly tourist areas. If they only knew it was all paid for by my wonderful intended parents. I feel very grateful to them for them being so generous by paying so much for me to be comfortable. The only way I can ever repay them, is to hope and pray, my eggs will be successful!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Doctor's Appointment

My husband and flew into _____. Today I felt heavier than usual, but I think it's because I had an appointment with the doctor today telling me how large my ovaries/follicles were. The doctor says I am stimulating just fine, and everything looks great!

I felt "large" after that statement. Despite my "large" feeling, I was still able to be adventurous with my husband and tour scenic areas of the city. We walked around for hours! I made sure this was a fun-filled day because I might feel "too large" the next day to do anything fun.

I didn't feel "fat" today. On my first cycle, I felt really bloated by now. But, I guess every cycle is a different experience. The best way to describe the way you feel, is that your ovaries feel like your abdomen is filled with multiple water-balloons. Walking around sightseeing with "water-balloons" in your tummy isn't always pleasurable, however, everyone has a different experience. For instance, a friend of mine who also donates tells me that she does not feel any different pre-aspiration. She feels bloated post-surgery. In my case, I feel like water-balloons are in my tummy before aspiration, and bloated a couple days post-surgery.

Anyways, until next time!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Day 6 Repronex/Follistim

Where I'm At:
Repronex/Follistim - Day 6
Lupron - Day 17
No Birth Control

Today, I jumped on the scale to see if I had gained weight, with growing ovaries and all. I gained a little less than 3 pounds. I wonder how much bigger my ovaries have grown since I began Follistim/Repronex?

My "bum shots" are getting better- in fact, my husband is quite a pro at it. I still don't look forward to it, and I wait until the last possible minute to have him administer it. The secret to less pain inflicted, was sticking the needle deeper in my flesh, and more into my muscle. Before, I warned my husband to not stick it in too deep, and a bubble on my butt was a result of my simple request. Plus, it stung more.

We will be traveling to ____ here soon. I am hoping for an early retrieval than what they have planned, so my husband and I can come back home. Both of us are missing lots of work, so we are anxious to get back. I get reimbursed for lost wages, however, my husband does not.

Other than travel plans, two of my friends have signed up with my agency! I am really excited to share/talk about similar experiences with friends. I tend to keep all this a "big secret," in fear that others will judge me for my decisions to help another family.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Follistim/Repronex - Day 3

Where I'm at:
Lupron AM - Day 14
Follistim/Repronex (Mixed) PM - Day 3
No Birth Control

My first time injecting the mix, I "cheated the system" by switching the needle to a smaller one. This injection is meant to be intramuscular, and using a smaller needle did not allow the medication to reach the muscle, therefore, causing a small bubble on my upper right quadrant of my buttox. The bubble went away after a few minutes, but I learned to face my fear of the larger needle. On the second day of Repronex and Follistim, my husband injected me as gently as he could. I was surprised that it did not hurt as I'd imagined it out to be. I owe a lot to this blog post I found. She talked a lot about how it looks worse than it actually felt. The injection itself did not really hurt, however, Follistim seems to have a slight after-stinging feel (remember this post during my 1st cycle?) To be honest, the upper right quadrant of my bum is still a little sore from yesterday. For tonight's injection, I might consider inviting my left bum side to the "Follistim/Repronex party" to avoid an extra sore right side.

Tomorrow morning, I have an appointment with my monitoring clinic to check my estradiol levels. I have been religiously doing all the necessary injections and other requirements, so I am confident, that levels should be good.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Day 1: Repronex/Follistim

Where I'm at:
Lupron AM - Day 12
No Birth Control

Tonight, I began Follistim and Repronex (i.e. Menopure). The doctor ordered me to take 10 units of Lupron in the morning, 250 units of Follistim, and one vial of Repronex in the evening. In addition, I was instructed to combine Repronex and Follistim into one vial and inject it

into... my... rear...

I about died when I read the instructions from the nurse via email. I died a second time when I saw the needle!

I cheated on the needle part though... At least for tonight. I took one of my smaller needle overstock from my last cycle, and replaced the needle. I guess that was a bad idea because I ended up with a small bubble on my butt that looked something like this woman's bump on her stomach:

I asked my husband to shoot me in the butt, but I freaked out, and shot myself. It takes a lot of talent to inject yourself in the rear... Just sayin'... I feel a lot better inflicting the pain rather than having someone inflict pain on me. Weird, I know...

Tomorrow, I will have to allow my husband to have some face time with my rear tomorrow (aka: needle in the bum).

We are aiming to retrieve by the second week of December. I am not excited to feel the "water-balloon" feeling in my stomach right before the aspiration. I am also not excited to work with this clinic in ______. They are not as friendly as my last clinic... and the doctor has zero bedside manners. I am told, however, that this doctor is one of the best in their state. In contrast to some of my not-so-excited feelings, I am, however, very excited to see how many eggs they will retrieve this time, and if my recipients will get pregnant like my first couple did!
This cycle, they are doing many things different than the first (see above), to see if they can increase my egg count.

Off topic, I talked with my agency director and asked if anyone had been looking at me lately to do another cycle. One family had been looking at me because of my ethnicity, but still no word about a future cycle. I asked my agency to please send a portfolio out to New York. My husband and I are dying to visit such an exciting place for our next cycle!

Until next time!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Food craving and Stomach pains

Where I'm @:
Lupron Day 6 injections
No more birth control
Aiming to retrieve the mid-December.

I began taking 10 units Lupron via injection on Monday. I was ordered to stop taking my birth control on Friday (yesterday). On Tuesday, I started having painful stomach pains. On my first cycle, I did not experience any painful pains in my abdomen, so I was slightly concerned. The pain repeated itself Friday and today (Saturday). The pain only lasts an hour or so, but it is definitely noticeable. I see my monitoring clinic on Monday morning, so I figured I'd ask the R.E. (Reproductive Endocrinologist) then.

I called my agency to ask about the pain. My agency owners are so kind, and are great about returning calls. They told me that if the pains continued, to make a call to the "on-call" nurse at the I.P.'s (intended parent) clinic. The pain is not severe enough to worry me, however, I like to keep everyone updated.

Like my first cycle, my appetite has increased. It stinks gaining weight, but I am willing to gain the few pounds for a couple more weeks.
If you are an interested, potential donor, please email me! I'd love to share with you my agency!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

2nd Cycle - Just a Little Update

Quick Update:
1. I begin my stimulating medications next week.
2. My medications arrive tomorrow.
3. Today, I began doubling up on my birth control medication.
4. Flight arrangements have been made for my spouse and I to travel to ____ for the retrieval.

Boring post, I know... Nothing too exciting going on with the donation cycle (yet!)

As a side note, I am also entering this contest.

Friday, October 15, 2010


Event postponed until spring

I received a call from the recipient's physician tonight, that we will be postponing the retrieval until the first week of December. I actually am relieved. I will have more time to melt off the weight. This is my 5th day on the Atkin's Diet, and I have successfully lost 5-6 pounds. There are a couple of phases in the Atkin's Diet, however, I just want to complete phase one, in order to return to my original weight pre-retrieval. I have been exercising daily, and I hope my body forgives me for the extra weight I put on by continually melting off the weight. I think I have already mentioned this, but I was chosen for a third time next year (January) to donate my eggs. Ironically, both recipients are in the same area/location.

Anyways, my orders are to continue birth control. Until further exciting news!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Phoning the Doc - 2nd Cycle

Over the weekend, my husband and I completed signing the contract for my second donation cycle with my agency/IPs. I also had my phone appointment with my IP's clinic's doctor to get a update on my health background. I noticed right off the back that this doctor/staff did not sound as warm as the staff in my previous donation. They were a bit more rigid, however, there are some things that the physician talked to me about, that made me trust her/him infinitely. Some things I learned from our appointed conversation:

Firstly, I take vitamins/herbs on a daily basis. One specific vitamin that I had been taking actually increases the metabolism of drugs. Therefore, one of reasons that I during my first cycle, I produced few eggs- the medications I was taking, was getting metabolized too quickly. I was asked about any vitamins/herbs that I took daily from my previous clinic, however, they did not advise to discontinue my supplements. Starting tomorrow, I will be discontinuing that specific vitamin. (If you'd like to know which vitamin I was advised to steer clear of during this donation, please email me. For anonymity purposes, I like to use as little details as possible in this blog). At the end of our conversation, I asked the physician a question about the couple I will be working with. I like to know a little about the couple, so I asked why this couple wanted me. My first couple chose me mainly for my intellect and achievements. My second couple are choosing me because I look like the intended mother.
Secondly, without me even having to ask... the doctor asked about my recent weight gain (approx. 10lbs) since my last retrieval. I told him/her that I was a difficult time shedding these few extra pounds, despite that I haven't been exercising as religiously like I did before I went into my first cycle. She/He told me that this was common, and to try the Atkins Diet or South Beach Diet. The physician informed these types of medications hold on to our calories, and by cutting our carbs for a time, the weight should come right off. I've decided to begin the Atkins diet tomorrow.
Thirdly, the doctor informed that another reason I may have had a small amount of eggs, is because the cysts I developed mid-cycle did not completely go away. Despite the small number from my first donation, the clinics do know that I am proven, and have good-quality eggs.
Exciting News: My agency called, and informed about another couple wanting to sign with me for an egg retrieval in January! I feel thrilled that another couple wants to use me.
I am still very excited that my IPs are pregnant, and asked my agency if sending a "Congratulations" card would be OK. After my retrieval, I gave the all the nurses that I worked with a "Thank You" card, as well as to my intended parents. I don't want my IPs to think I am trying to invade their privacy, by sending a second card (to congratulate this time around). My agency thought this was a great idea. On that note, does anyone have any ideas on what to write to an intended parent's card of congratulations? I am a google queen and even tried searching for common messages for such an event... but everything sounded like I was trying to be in the child's life- which is NOT what I want. For example: "Can't wait to meet your new addition!"
Any ideas?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

New Family TTC!

I received a call from my agency today that my next anticipated retrieval date will be mid-November. At first, I was a little nervous about the time of this donation, because my last retrieval was less than a month ago. I do NOT want to "stress" my ovaries 'too much, too soon.' My anxious feelings were quickly replaced with a peaceful feeling after talking with my couple's clinic, and expressing my fears of another donation this soon. I am also relieved that this time around I will be put under with anesthesia. My first donation, I was able to feel everything, however, after retrieval, I was injected with a drug that erased my memory of any pain I had endured. Though I do not remember the pain I felt, it makes me feel uneasy.
I looked up my profile on the agency's site, and saw that they had increased my pay by $1,500 dollars. This is all very exciting, and I feel very blessed to have been given such a special opportunity.

Friday, October 1, 2010


I could not feel happier today... I found out my intended parents are pregnant from my eggs! She has been struggling for YEARS with infertility, so I am sure she is just as happy as I feel about this news. The very day I find out she was pregnant, my agency called and told me several couples were wanting to use my eggs. I was ecstatic to hear this news, because I wasn't sure anyone would want me with the low egg numbers I produced last time. Apparently, I was wrong... very wrong. I have a line of clients waiting! Wow!

So, it doesn't look like this will be the end of the blog... Stay tuned!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Post Retrieval: Almost 2 weeks

It's been almost two weeks since the aspiration, and I began my (eh-hem) period today... Which I am SO excited for. After a retrieval, you are supposed to start your menses within 14 days. I am excited for my period for two reasons: one, it means that everything in my body is OK post-surgery, and, two, is much too embarrassing to reveal even if this blog is anonymous... but, it basically means, it's safe to (um) 'dance' with my husband again.
I am not sure if I already mentioned this, but I received my compensation check in the mail a few days after aspiration. My initial emotion seeing the check for such a large amount was gratitude because they money could not have come at a better time for my husband and I. Then, all at once, I felt like I was stealing... Like, it really wasn't a donation. It wasn't until yesterday my husband asked me this question, and I felt better after our conversation:

Husband: "Do you feel the compensation money was more as a gift? or that you earned it?"
Me: Hm, well, giving injections to myself wasn't work to me... and surgery was not the most fun in the world... hmmm, I see it more as a gift. Like, I sacrificed some eggs, and they were thanking me. I don't feel like they paid me for my eggs.
Husband: Okay. I wanted to ask you indirectly so I would know whether or not we should pay tithing on it.

(Tithing: I am LDS (aka: Mormon).

Even though my husband was being sneaky about asking me about how I felt about the compensation money, I am really happy that I truly feel that way about my donation experience. I know there are many women that do it JUST for the money. The money was the furthest thing on my mind pre/post surgery. I constantly think about my intended parents, praying for them to get pregnant. Tomorrow will be one week since my intended mother was implanted with fertilized egg(s). Yay!

So, (If) Until my Intended parents get pregnant or until I get chosen as a donor again, this will be the last you hear from me... Hope to write sooner, rather than later! Adios

Monday, September 20, 2010

Post-Retrieval: Day 4

Yay! I am feeling back to normal. My ovaries don't feel like they are ginormous water balloons bouncing in my belly, and my bruises (where I took injections) are gone!Despite the weight gain that is stubborn to go away (or perhaps it was all the take-out food we ate during our out-of-state egg retrieval), I need to hit the gym again anyways.
I hope I get chosen to donate again, though I am skeptical any other couple will want to use me because I was only able to produce five mature eggs for my recipient. The doctor informed me that a woman can produce anywhere to 0-80 eggs as a donor, and the number varies monthly. For example, a donor may have a great cycle with 30+ eggs, but the next cycle, she may only have 5 mature eggs. I have to keep telling myself, "Quality is better than quantity." I had superior mature eggs, so despite the small number, it only takes ONE to get my recipient pregnant.
It was a beautiful experience I shared with my anonymous recipient, though I am sure egg donation is not for everyone.
I am told my recipient implants the fertilized egg today. I will keep her in my prayers that she will get pregnant.
I am now have donation experience, so comment/email any scary, uncomfortable questions you like while you are debating the same route yourself.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Post-Retrieval: Day 2

I woke up with little to no pain this morning. The bleeding even stopped! It wasn't until a couple hours later that I began to feel a little sore towards the lower part of my abdomen, and there is light bleeding again. My husband and I are currently waiting at the airport, and I am waiting for the prescribed vicadin to kick in to my system, to stop the pain. The pain/soreness is nothing at all like yesterday- so, I am very grateful for that.
I went into the clinic today to drop off the sharps container, so it wouldn't be a burden to carry around anymore. Inside the container was the remainder of the medicine. I felt like I was throwing away thousands of dollars of medicines, but I was told no one could re-use them anyway. I also asked more questions about the procedure, and why only 5 mature eggs were retrieved. The answers I received were still a little vague for me though... I had more follicles, but they did not aspire them. The nurses also told me that perhaps my estrogen was not high enough, even though they were sure that my estrogen had reached its peak. I still can't help but feel disappointed in my body's biology... why it couldn't produce just a few more eggs for my recipient. Though only five eggs were aspired, the nurses told me my eggs were excellent quality. I can only hope my intended parents get pregnant! If they don't, I am tempted to donate again to them (if they want me, of course), for a fraction of the compensation money. It's not about the money... I truly want this anonymous couple to get pregnant. Am I crazy for becoming so attached to a TTC couple I have never met before in my life?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Retrieval Day

It's been 12 hours since the aspiration. The entire procedure lasted about ten minutes. I was wheeled out to our rental car, and heading to our hotel room. I slept for the majority of the day, and at around 5:30PM, decided that I needed to get some fresh air. We went out to a small, dinner joint, which turned out to be delicious. It pains me to walk (My stomach doesn't hurt... it's more my vaginal area that is extremely sore), plus I am still bleeding a good amount, so we borrowed a wheelchair from the hotel. I hope tomorrow the soreness and bleeding will decrease, especially for on our long, flight home.

Okay, so here are some details about the egg retrieval: I was not "put under," however, I was given medication that let me 'forget' all the pain I endured afterwards. My husband was in the room, and he told me that I sometimes whimpered "Ow," but that overall, I was quiet. Before I knew it, the nurse told me that the entire process was completed, and to my surprise, I could not remember a thing or pain I felt. I was told that I bled A LOT! There was blood everywhere... (sorry for the visual). I guess it's not normal to bleed as much as I did, because even the nurse stated that she even felt light headed at the sight of so much of my blood. I can't be sure at the reason I bled so profusely, but my husband thinks he heard them say it was because I had thick lining surrounding my walls. My agency advised me to pay a visit to the clinic tomorrow, about the bleeding. I had 17-19 follicles between both of my ovaries 48 hours before the procedure, however, the doctor only retrieved five eggs. I am not sure why he only aspired 5 eggs... my agency wants me to ask the clinic on why such a small amount of eggs were retrieved when I visit the clinic tomorrow. My agency resolved that it could possibly be due to the heavy bleeding I experienced during the aspiration. I'm not going to lie, but I am really disappointed in the small amount of eggs retrieved- Mainly because it will be extremely difficult for me to ever get picked again. Yes... I said it... I am strongly thinking about donating again.

Updates soon about my condition post-retrieval!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Night before the Aspiration

Wow! This process has gone by quickly. Tomorrow morning is the egg aspiration. I probably should feel more nervous, but I am not. I really trust and love the clinic's nurses, and I will actually be sad that they won't have a reason to call me anymore. I am excited, however, that I do not need to inject myself further with anymore medications. My right abdominal area has taken on a kind of blue-black color in bruises from the injections. I did not spread out the injections because the left area of my tummy simply would not accept needles without a fight.

When I went in yesterday, I was told my estrogen levels had reached its plateau at 1,182, and both my ovaries were doing well. Due to the plateau of my estrogen level, I did not have to take menopure, follistim, or Lupron yesterday. The only medication I was required to take, was an injection of the HCG hormone. This medication did not sting at all, and I was grateful. Tonight, I am excused of all medications/injections, and I am to go in for the aspiration tomorrow morning. Beginning at midnight tonight, I will be fasting until AFTER the aspiration. Fifteen minutes prior to surgery, I will take prescribed Valium to begin to "knock me out." At 9:00AM, I will check-in to the clinic, and the procedure will begin at 9:30AM. I am not sure how long the aspiration surgery is, but from what I've heard, it is not long. I will write details about this later.
Today I did not feel much pain in my tummy. Because I wasn't in pain (and I had a coupon), my husband and I went on an hour cruise. I had never been on a boat before, so I thoroughly enjoyed our little adventure. For dinner, Red Robin's "Burnin' Love burger" was a nice touch for dinner, but I found myself barely touching my food. Even though I am not in pain, my stomach still feels "full." I swore to myself that after donating, I am jumping back into the gym-scene. I feel so heavy, and bloated. At dinner, my husband asked me if I would be up to donating again. I told him that I would have the answer post-surgery. Right now, annoying, growing ovaries is not enough to keep me away from donating again, but I will have to see if the "donation weight" really does melt off and how bad/painful ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome is (if I get it).

Until next time!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Day 8: Stimulation Meds/Day 12: Lupron

My husband and I flew into _____ yesterday. The flight went great, even though I was skeptical that security would give me a harder time about carrying my needles, syringes, and foreign liquids on an aircraft the day before 9/11. I had a written note of permission from the doctor to carry-on a large, insulated lunch box full of needles, syringes, and foreign liquids. Surprisingly, we were able to zoom on through, after flashing my permission slip.
When we arrived, we were pooped. We went straight to the hotel, and took a nap. Afterwards, not really knowing what to do in this city, we headed to a local mall. Of course, my first store was Nordstrom rack. It was difficult to shop though... Since, nothing fits me! I left the mall empty handed. I have only gained a couple pounds, but I am bloated... really, really bloated. I think it's water retention, caused by this process. We took some pictures, and after I saw the pictures of myself, I wanted to throw up. I officially look plump! I asked the clinic this morning, if this weight gain was normal. They said, it was very normal. I am glad I though ahead of time while packing... I only packed sweats.

Today, we went to a free, famous attraction here in the city. The city is gorgeous, however, very confusing. To avoid parking fees of $6.00-$10.00/per half hour, I made my husband park over 9 blocks away, where we only paid $3.00 for unlimited hours. On the way back to the car, he tried convincing me to flag a taxi, since the way back to the car, was 9+ blocks uphill. I refused, and was firm about the hike back to the car. After seeing my plump tummy, I was adamant about working my body 9 blocks uphill. Needless to say, it was an intense work out, and we were breathless by the time we reached the car. There was really nothing else to do in the city, without spending tons of money that we don't have, so we headed back to the hotel. During the long drive home, I started having tons of abdominal discomfort. Not abdominal cramping... just pure discomfort. The waist band of my sweat pants felt like they were piercing into my stomach, and I swore that my ovaries were growing that very minute. Speaking of growing ovaries, the clinic measured my ovaries to be about 20mm! Just two days ago, in my home-state monitoring clinic, my ovaries were 11mm (with an estrogen level of 548, which I am told is an awesome number!) My follicles are huge and are looking great! The clinic counted 17-19 follicles a couple days ago, so I'm really excited. One thing I was NOT excited about, was the ultrasound's "monitoring wand," not having ANY jelly on it's way up inside. It was so uncomfortable... painful even! My husband saw my face drain with blood during the ultrasound, and asked if they could put jelly on the wand. They stated that they don't like using jelly this close to the procedure. Tomorrow, I am going to demand jelly. I am in too much discomfort already... I don't need the extra grief of painful ultrasounds.

I only have one vial left of menopure left, an injection (or two) left of Follistim, and a little bit left of Lupron. Injections today were not too painful. My stomach is getting 'tough skin', I guess. I wonder when I can stop injecting myself? I hope I haven't run out too soon? Definitely a question I will bring up to the clinic tomorrow morning.

Tomorrow shows promise. We will be traveling to a city I have been wanting to visit for awhile. It's more than 3 hours away, but I figure, a 3 hr drive is better from our hotel, than a 3 day drive from my home-state. I don't know if my growing ovaries are the reason I don't want to go out too much. I really want to tour the city, but the discomfort in my stomach makes it almost impossible. Any other egg donors have/had any similar bloating/discomfort/weight gain around this time in their cycle? Do share!

*Update: I found out at an appointment at the clinic, that sleepiness is very normal with increased estrogen levels. My estrogen at the time of this post was in the upper 500's. When they measured my estrogen levels the following day, my levels had doubled (1,100's!). I have also been really forgetful... like really, really forgetful. I asked the nurse about my recent dementia symptoms, and she said forgetfulness is also normal with increased estrogen levels.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Oh Follistim... Why must you hurt me so?

Today is Day 8: Lupron
Today is Day 4: Menopure & Follistim

This morning, I weighed myself and I had gained two pounds. I'm not sure if its too soon for my ovaries to be growing, or the two pizza slices I had the night before? Due to my extra poundage, my jeans aren't quite fitting right- so, I've brought out my sweat pants. Today, was day 1 of sporting one of my Juicy Couture tracksuits.

I definitely feel sore, and "heavier" in my abdominal area. The injections gifted me with another bruise on my tummy this morning and I'm running out of "non-sore" places to inject myself! For potential donors: don't be scared of the injections! They are uncomfortable, not unbearable (yet!- haha).

In just a couple of days, my husband and I fly out to *New York for 6 days! I am really excited to squeeze in some good sight-seeing days, before the egg retrieval. My excitement is also shared with a lot of nervousness. I am nervous about not being put under anesthesia for the surgery. Without anesthesia, I am worried that I will be able to feel the entire surgery.

Until next time!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Day 3 Menopure, Follistim/Day 7 Lupron

Yesterday was day 2 (today day 3) of my Menopure and Follistim injections, and my 6th day (today day 7) of Lupron. I can barely feel the injections of Lupron, however, Follistim has a little sting to it. Nothing too scary or painful though. Honestly, the shots aren't really that bad. I have very slight bruising on my abdomen since beginning Menopure and Follistim (never with Lupron), but with my ovaries increasing in size, it's not like I'm sporting a bikini, showing off my midriff.
Emotionally, I have been feeling... well, for a lack of better words, "emotional." For example, yesterday, I began crying after a party thrown by my in-laws, because my husband left my side for 15 minutes. Today, was a lot better though. I didn't feel crazy-girl emotions or anything (Thank goodness). I was told crying and moodiness were symptoms of this medication. I figure that 2 weeks of being on an emotional roller-coaster is totally worth a potential child being born to my recipients. Until retrieval, I will try to hold in any silly girl emotions ;)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

FSH, Menopure, and Lupron Injections - Day One

I began my period a couple days ago, so I was ordered to then decrease my units of Lupron from 10 to 5 units. Today, was my cycle day 4, which means, I had another ultrasound, and blood test. My results came back perfect, thus allowing me to begin my follistim and menopure injections.

Currently, my ovaries have approximately 17-19 follicles total- Yay!
On cycle day 8 (Sept. 9th), I return to my monitoring clinic, for yet another ultrasound and blood test. On September 10th, my husband and I fly to New York* for egg retrieval. It is planned that we are to retrieve September 15th or 16th. My husband and I are really excited to tour around such a fun state before the retrieval.

More importantly, I am even more estactic that the numbers of follicles I have has increased- making the chances of pregnancy for my recipients higher!

Everything is going so smoothly, and I could not be happier.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Short Post - Lupron

Tonight is the big night! I begin 10 units of Lupron shots.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Eggcited Again!

After a minor setback (see previous post), my IP has decided on a new tentative retrieval date. We have set it for around the the third week of September. I am eggcited and hope nothing goes wrong. I received another order of Lupron today in the mail. I begin Lupron shots the 30th of August. Nothing else really exciting other than that... Until next time! :)

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Starting Over

Sometimes people blog twice in one day. I've never blogged twice in, and/or my personal blog. I know there are people out there, that do feel the need to blog their emotions twice in one day. Today is the day, I will finally blog twice in one day. My emotions are running high (possibly due to the high levels of estrogen running through my veins), or possibly because I received a devastating phone call from my agency today. Basically, the blood work I completed yesterday, showed an astonishing amount of estrogen... meaning that, I am about to ovulate. Wait... what? How can I ovulate if I haven't even started my period yet for the month of July?

Story: Around mid-July, I called my agency in panic because I was spotting blood in the middle of my birth control pack. My agency assured me that it was okay, because sometimes spotting happened, but that there was no way it could be my period.
Problem: On July 20th, I should have started my "real" period. July 20th, July 21st.... July 30th came and went, and I never had a period. I found out this morning that I am about to ovulate (from my blood work done yesterday), and that my previous spotting had been my true period.
Problem 2: I feel like my body betrayed me. Why did aunt flo visit me before it should have? I feel awful, because my intended parents must be so frustrated with me. Maybe she even regrets picking me? I read many IVF future mama's blogs online, and I know how utterly stressful these kinds of set backs are. This time, unfortunately, me ovulating when I am not supposed to be, is her set back. Today, I would be the problem in her blog (if she has one, that is).
Problem 3: My intended parents still had to pay for those office visits... and will have to pay again for the same office visits again... They also might have to buy me some more Lupron... I feel like the most expensive burden for her.
Problem 4: My intended mama parent, travels a lot for her job, so she laid away August for egg retrieval. My body screwed that up for her. I feel so awful... Sick to my stomach, kind of awful.

Why: I had many questions for my clinic... "what happened?" "What did I do wrong?"
Answer: Basically, no one can be quite sure. One answer my intended parent is probably thinking that I didn't take my birth control daily. That would/could be the answer, but I DID take my birth control religiously each day. Possible answer #2: I was directed to skip the placebo pills in my birth control pack before I started Lupron. I did as I was told, and skipped the placebo pills, and immediately started a new pack. So, that's not the answer either. Possible Answer #3: Another possible answer is that my agency changed my birth control brand from Desogen to Lo-esterin last month. Lo-esterin may not have been enough for me. Possibly Answer #4: My body is making life extremely difficult for everyone.
Solution: After this upcoming period, I will begin a NEW birth control, because Lo-esterin may not be enough for me. I am to stop injections of Lupron today. Since, Lupron increases a chance for multiple births, I will have to explain to my husband to keep his distance from me... sorry babe. I am not to take any birth control until my next period (which should be coming in a week or so). When aunt flo does pay a visit soon, we will start this process all over again. *sigh* which will take another 6 weeks from the day I have my next period.

Does Lupron cause Cysts?

Where I am at:
-I began (10 units) Lupron shots on the 22nd of July.
-I took my last BCP on the 25th of July.
-I had spotting a week before my normal period. IP's clinic told me not to make an appointment with my monitoring clinic to get an ultrasound and blood work, because I was not full flow.
-I was supposed to have a full flow period by the 29th of July. It is now the 31st of July, and I haven't had a period.

Yesterday, I went into my monitoring clinic to have a baseline ultrasound and blood work done, even though I did not have my period. I find out today what my estrogen levels look like. I am not too worried about my estradiol levels because two weeks ago, the levels were nice and low. My lining is thin (perfect!) too. So why hasn't my period come??? I have never wanted my period so badly.
Two weeks ago, I had one cyst on my right ovary. The ultrasound yesterday showed that my right ovarian cyst had gone away, however, my left ovary now had one, small cyst. My agency informed me that my cycle might be delayed because they do not want me to start the follicle stimulating shots (otherwise known as follistim). they do not want me to start these injections, because, follistim can actually cause the cyst to grow bigger, and eventually burst (ouch!!).
I hope this does not delay me too much.

**Updates on my estradiol levels later**

Has anyone else had cysts that have delayed their donation process??

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Getting Hungry

I am a really active person. Whether it be Spin class, Zumba, Kickboxing etc. I'm slender, errrr, I was slender, up until a couple days ago. My weight scale numbers have been slowly creeping up on me since my third Lupron injection. Lupron makes me feel hungry all the time, and I
feel like my stomach is bulging out.

I had no idea Lupron was the medication that made me feel like raiding my fridge all the time. I thought those were different meds that came later. Am I going crazy for blaming Lupron for my scale numbers increasing? I'm not complaining... I just want to know if these are typical Lupron symptoms?
I work as a doctor's assistant, and his wife went through IV. When his wife discovered I was undergoing the donation process, she praised me at how calm and collected I was behaving at work lately. I gave her a confused look at this odd statement. She explained that when she was on Lupron during her IV, she was extremely hormonal... and, uh, "witchy." I kind of giggled at this, and told her that instead of moodiness, I must have gotten a "fattening" side effect- because no matter how much cardio I do, I gain MORE weight, and feel MORE bloated.
I googled Lupron forums, and most women mentioned how much they hate the medication, Lupron. Most said they hated it because they swore it made them hormonal, and gave them constant headaches. Hm, I haven't gotten those side effects (yet?) - *knock on wood*.
Other than that, giving myself injections of 10 units of Lupron in my stomach is super easy. I can barely feel the needle, because it is so small. If I do go out somewhere during the time I need to take my injections, I take them in an insulated lunch pack with tons of ice packs. Totally easy- not a problem at all. For you ladies that are contemplating egg donation, but are scared of injections... don't be. You won't feel a thing. I swear! :) Help a couple unable to bear kids, while you aren't using your eggs!! :)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Vagina Ultrasounds, rainbows and butterflies.

I've always had a hard time scheduling my Well-women exams, because they are not the most comfortable thing. Since I became in contract with my IP, I have had 4 vaginal ultrasounds in less than 2 months,so... putting my legs in the stirrups, in my birthday suit from the waist down, has almost become second nature to me. I'm glad my bravery about doing spread eagles more often than usual to physicians has increased. Maybe now, my well-woman exams will not be so bad for anymore next year.

Early this morning, I checked in at my monitoring clinic for an ultrasound of my ovaries and blood work on my estradiol (estrogen) levels. I was afraid that my intended parent would delay the process after the ultrasound today, because an ovarian cyst had developed on one of my ovaries. To my relief, my fert. nurse gave me to go-ahead to begin taking 10 units of Lupron shots tonight. On the 25th, I am instructed to take my last active birth control, because these contraceptives will overlap the Lupron. From what I understand, Lupron is utilized to suppress your reproductive hormones and for the clinics to have complete control of my cycle. When I begin my cycle (which should be soon!), I will make an appointment with my monitoring clinic for a vaginal ultrasound, and also decrease my units of lupron to 5. Here is a picture of the two boxes I received earlier this week that held over $3,000 worth of medications... wowza!


Sorry... nothing else really exciting today!

Friday, July 16, 2010

I'm getting the shots next Tuesday!


I'm receiving my shot medicine next Tuesday (7/20). There will be three types of shot I will have to administer everyday, beginning the 22nd of July. The intended parent's agency has given me a tentative time on my next, and final visit to New York* for the egg aspiration (8/11).

(I found this video to watch! It's really informative!)

I'm much more excited to go with a companion for this upcoming trip. On my last day-trip to NY*, I was scared in the Big Apple by myself for the first time! I am taking my husband this time around for the week. When you become a donor, and you have to travel out of state, the intended parent's should/will pay for your rental car, approximately $50/day to the donor, and $100/week to the companion. I do think that the salary per day should be increased... During my last visit to NY, the $50 barely covered me. When I returned the rented vehicle, I had to refuel the gas tank (I didn't use much gas, so it turned out to be $5 to fill it back up... I also had to pay an extra fee of $25 because I'm under the age of 25), plus I am a cautious individual, so I purchased the 1-day insurance (17.99). I was left with just a few dollars to my name for the day... and I hadn't even eaten yet! I settled for a sub at subway (the only meal I ate the entire day). Is anyone else a donor that reads this, that gets slightly more for her daily salary while traveling? I know the entire process is EXPENSIVE for the parent, and I don't want to be greedy... but, what is a fair amount to give a donor for the day?

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Donation for Dummies

I am glad that I went to New York*. I learned a lot of about the aspiration (retrieval of eggs), and the possible dangers of donation. For instance, take a look at this picture above. I was told by my agency and by many egg donor communities, that I would be "off in la-la land" under anesthesia during the aspiration. The fert-nurse (fert=fertility nurse) informed me that their office does not like using anesthesia. Instead, they use valium, and another drug that makes me feel in-between sleep and awake. The fert-nurse told me that I would be able to feel the two pokes on either side of my vagina (see picture)... OW! I didn't want to whine or complain, so I gulped the monstrous sized ball in my throat, and nodded my head as normally and un-shakily as I could. Another scare that I was unaware of, is that after the egg retrieval, I will be given 14 days worth of antibiotics to defend my body (vagina) against infection. They did warn me that it is possible that the antibiotic will not defend against infection properly, and if that occurs, I will lose my ovary(ies)! The nurse assured me that, that particular incident occurred once in her 23 years of working there... but STILL... Scary. I don't mean to scare any potential donors out there, but know the precautions before getting picked. Here is a list of things that can go wrong for the donor:

1. Like I stated previously: your ovaries can be removed due to infection if the antibiotics don't work properly.
2. During aspiration, the doctor can pierce through an ovarian vein, or iliac artery. The ovarian vein is much easier to break due to it's thin layer. If that happens, 9-1-1 will have to be reached... and it's not pretty. (The nurse assured me that in her 23 years, that has never happened and that the doctor will avoid arteries/veins like the plague).
3. Ovarian cancer
4. Though it is not proven, some suspect that egg donation may decrease your chances of fertility.
5. Ovarian Hyper-stimulation - which I guess every donor undergoes at varying degrees of pain.

There are a lot of things in the list I have considered carefully... and though I am scared of the possible dangers, I can't help but feel that everything will go fine. The reproductive office in NY* are so kind, and knowledgeable, that I feel close to 95% safe (excluding the lack of anesthetic usage!)

I learned how to give myself the shots. There are three total that I must take at the same time every night: Menopur, Lupron, and FSH. The shots all go in a specific spot on my tummy. It's not that bad. I injected a practice shot full of water, and I couldn't even feel it (promise!). I will begin these shots when I get my next period (so, around the end of July).

Until the next exciting occurrence happens...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Shots in New York*

As an egg donor, I have to undergo genetic testing. This test is important for all potential egg donors, as to not pass on bad genes like cystic fibrosis and/or fragile X syndrome. Plus, I am curious to know if I have any "wrong" genes. My maternal family has some cases of cancer, but all kids on both sides are pretty darn healthy.
More to tell later after my trip to New York* where the intentional parent's reproductive doctor will teach me how to do these things called Lupron shots (Lupron shots = a subcutaneous injection of a medication called Lupron. Taken once daily), and other types of hormonal level stuff. Lupron shots in my tummy are not my favorite thing to think about, but it's for a good cause.
On a side note, some people who have found out about my donation decision have been giving me a bad time about me being selfish by decreasing my chances for fertility... I would be lying to say that it hasn't affected me, but my heart is set on my decision. I have over 200,000 eggs that are going down the toilet once a month!! I can spare some for this family who is unable to bear children. Yes, I decrease my chances of fertility, because after donating I will only have 199,950 eggs or more left (insert sarcasm here). Some advice to those thinking about donating: I have chosen to not really tell anyone about my decision to donate... I advise you to do the same. It's personal anyways.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Donor in New York*

I couldn't help but feel just a bit overwhelmed after receiving a call from my agency today. I will be traveling alone to New York* in just a couple weeks, for one day to get a physical, blood work, "shot" training, and other tests done at intended parents (IP) fertility clinic. I'm not really sure why I can't do that all in my home state, but my agency said it was more for the clinic to see who they will be working with. That's fine with me, except- I wasn't aware that there were required traveling without a companion (i.e. my husband). My agency told me that since it was not an overnight trip, that they would not pay his flight fare. I've been on airplanes many times by myself, but when I land, there has always been someone to greet me and help me familiarize myself with the city. New York* is a huge city and I'm afraid I'll be swallowed whole by myself. My husband is extremely jealous that I get to visit such an awesome city without him- but I assured him that he will be able to come with me in August for an entire week (not just a measly day) for the actual retrieval.

I went to see my primary physician for a regular check-up last week, and I asked him about the birth control I was taking: Desogen. I am taking Desogen daily as the specified pill for the donation process. I told him I was having trouble sleeping, having headaches constantly, and gaining weight like crazy! He told me that Desogen was a horrible birth control to be on, because my symptoms were common side effects. As soon as I got home, I phoned my agency and they switched my birth control for next month to Lo-Estrogen. It has a lower dose of Estrogen, so they think that will improve my symptoms. I'll cross my fingers and see what this new birth control can do for me.

(*) = I reserve the right to lie about my whereabouts and where my agency is sending me... duh, this is all about anonymity, right?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Test Confirms I'm "Normal;" Now Onto the Donation Process

mmmat43regvd.jpg image by salviaforme

Being a first time donor, I had to take the MMPI test, containing 500 questions. MMPI stands for "Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory" and is often used by trained professionals to identify the test-taker's personality structure in mental health and psycho-pathology. Along with this exam, I received a call from a LMFT (Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist). The LMFT called me and asked me really basic questions like, "What do you like most about yourself? Is your family supportive?" blah, blah, blah. The LMFT sent me an email later that night saying that I was perfectly normal and told me that my results were on its way to my agency for their records. Yay! I am "normal!"
I have 6 days left of my birth control Desogen (excluding my white, sugar pills). My agency asked me to contact them once I was close to my sugar pills, to make another appointment... I think? I'm not really sure what happens after my first round of birth control, actually? We'll see when the time comes.
Speaking of birth control, I emailed my agency about my weight gain. They told me that was not normal, and if it continues, to contact them. My "normal" victory with the MMPI was short-lived I guess... because I'm abnormal with the weight gain I had with Desogen. I gained another three pounds in one day. I am really annoyed with this weight gain, but I kind of expected these weight nuisances sometime or another with egg donation process. One of the questions the LMFT asked was my plans for the compensation. I told her it was all going into savings... I change my mind today, I need to take a couple hundred out to buy a whole new wardrobe for my bigger waistline :(

Friday, May 14, 2010

Still on Birth Control and blood test results

Nothing really egg-citing going on around here... I am still on their specified birth control. The new birth control, Desogen, is making me have the craziest mood swings, and I swear has affected my eating habits. I am ALWAYS hungry now. I am always so hungry, that I am afraid my Zumba video won't be able to eliminate my excess calories. I have noticed weight gain... but, for $5,000 compensation, I am alright with it. Normally, I am a 5'8 female that weighed about 140'ishlbs. I am now a whopping 155lbs.

Despite my obvious weight gain, I do have good news! My blood test results came back successful! The next step for a first-time donor is a psychological evaluation (to make sure I'm not some crazy girl). I found out the evaluation itself is over $400 for the intended parents to pay! The test itself is a 500 questionnaire (um, wow). I am a college graduate, so I am fairly familiar with ridiculously long exams, so I'm sure I won't develop carpal tunnel or anything after taking the long evaluation. I know I am a mentally sound person, and I wish the couple did not have to shell out anymore than they need to.
My agency has told me that the couple has chosen August as an egg retrieval month. I am a little disappointed, because I wanted an earlier retrieval (to get off the birth control faster). Oh well. I am happy for the intended parents future, (whatever, the month), unborn children that will hopefully come out of the procedure :)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

1st Appointment

Today was day 3 of my menstrual cycle. I got my blood work and vaginal ultrasound completed...

I took my husband to the appointment with me because I was a little nervous for my first appointment. It was completely pointless that I took him though... He was way too fascinated at the screen visible to us, from the doctor's jelly'd probe inside his wife's va-jay-jay. I was a little uncomfortable with the feet--in-the-stirrup setup (on my period, no less) in front of a complete stranger. They counted 16 follicles total (8 follicles each) on each ovary. To be a potential donor, I am told you must have at least 12 follicles. I was hoping for more follicles, but as I take the required meds, follicle numbers increase. A fellow donor friend (the same friend who recruited me as a donor), actually has 30 or more follicles! Who knew I would be someday jealous of someone else's follicles?


Tonight, I started taking the specified birth control: Desogen. I saw online that it has horrible side effects (nausea, bloating, weight gain, mood swings...).... I hope I am an exception to one or more of these effects.

I'm not really sure what happens next... I think I need to take my 500 question psychological exam. next... so I will wait to hear from my agency to see who I call to make an appointment.

(Side note: Did you know that intended parents pay over $400 for this exam? This could be the most expensive exam you ever take!)

Other than that... I am waiting for further instructions from my donor agency.

Monday, May 3, 2010


My egg donation agency informed me last month to call them when I began menstruating so we can begin the process. On day three of my period, I am supposed to go in for blood work, and a vaginal ultrasound. They retrieve blood work from me, to check if I have normal/good hormone levels to be a donor.

For the first time in my life, I was eggcited to start my period today! I am SO ready to get this egg rollin'!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Egg Donation

Less than a year ago, I signed up to be an egg donor. With a bachelors in Biology, I thought the whole process was pretty fascinating... though, my family did not think so. When I tried to bring up the idea of donating my eggs to another family, my mother about had a stroke. She strongly discouraged my "idea" of donating, saying it would effect my fertility in the future, and how much I would regret it. To quiet her concerns, I told her I would not go through with the donation process.... yet...

My profile became available for intended parents soon after documents were signed, and I was disappointed when I wasn't picked the next day. I found out later, it usually takes 1-3 years to get picked out of an agency! I got even more discouraged when my agency coordinator would call me excitedly when a couple had asked to look at my profile and pictures. Disappointedly, intended parents were always too nervous to take a risk with a first time donor... I wasn't proven, and I didn't have children. It was for these reasons, I was eggstatic to hear that a couple was in the midst of choosing between myself and another proven donor. After what felt like centuries (only a week), I found out they had chosen me! I felt so lucky that these intended parents thought I was worth taking the risk. I promised myself when I found out the news, that I would do my absolute best to take care of myself, for these wonderful people. So, after signing 30 pages in contract with my agency, I am ready to roll!

I am told, the next step is a 500 question psychology exam (to make sure I am mentally well, I guess?), birth control pills, blood work, and a vaginal ultrasound (yay...). All this will begin on day three of my next period. I just had my menstrual cycle, so we'll have to wait another month.... I will update the blog then!