Former Egg Donor Undergoing IVF

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Meeting an infertile couple

I have now gone through three egg donations as a donor. I have helped three women have babies, and I   feel blessed that I could help a couple in need. I have not ever met any of the recipient couples, so it was hard for me to relate to their path to this decision. 

Yesterday, I got to meet an infertile couple face-to-face. Hearing their story brought tears to my eyes, and I knew in my heart that my decision to be a donor was the best decision I have ever made. Along with my employment in the emergency room, I am a photographer and shoot movies recreationally. I have been asked to assist shooting weddings and at one time, a reality show. Yesterday, I was asked to assist with the infertile couple making a short family video for their adoption profile. They already have adopted one child, but they are wanting to expand their family. They are hoping that this video will set them apart from the other thousands of online profiles, helping them get selected.  I hope they are selected :) 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Q&A: Can I Have Sex During the Donation Process?

Not that the whole world wants to know this, but I started my first menstrual cycle post donation today. TMI? Sorry, but this blog is all about my journey through the process, so take it or leave it.

This means that after menses, I can begin birth control, and return to normal sex life with my husband. As you know, going through the egg donation process and post-retrieval, it is required that the donor abstain from intercourse. Well, at least until the donor's next menstrual cycle.

It is so important, if you are married or are in a committed relationship, that your significant other understands that the donor must abstain from intercourse for 4-6 weeks. Sounds like a long time, eh? Well, that's because it is. So before signing that contract, talk it over with your spouse or boyfriend! :)

Friday, August 24, 2012

Future Egg Donation

When my phone rang today and the caller ID read that it was egg donor agency, I quickly picked up the phone. I anticipated good news about the couple I just donated to, or with my new couple that wanted me after this donation. My agency told me that the couple looking to use me after my 3rd cycle, had found someone else a couple of weeks ago. I guess they could not wait for me to finish off this last cycle. I am disappointed that it didn't work out, but I am fairly confident that another couple will pick me. Hopefully soon! 

-Your Egg Donor-

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Recovery: 1 Week Post 3rd Retrieval

It's been a week since retrieval. I stopped having cramps a couple days after the donation. Right now I am waiting to see if my intended parents will get pregnant via my egg donation. If a pregnancy results,a fourth couple is wanting to use me as well.

If you have been reading my blog through all three of my donations, you might remember that my appetite increases while on synthetic hormones. I become especially bloated right before retrieval. Like I thought, the weight has quickly come off since retrieval and my appetite has returned back to normal.

In another week or so, I should be starting my period. Post-period, it will be safe to have intercourse without the possibility of getting pregnant with multiple babies. I am still young and don't wish to try having children yet with my husband. There are still things we'd like to accomplish before becoming parents. For instance, I was invited to interview at a medical school. My husband is looking for a steady job that will be able to support us through medical school and future children. I've always been one to be financially ready before bringing children into this world. Anyways... I've rambled too much. Until next time!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Day 2 Post Retrieval

I don't know if I have ever had this happen before, but I haven't stopped having crazy urges to pee all the time! A small intake of water causes me to do the potty dance and head over to the nearest restroom ASAP. Other than that, this morning I was feeling fine. On our 3.5 hour flight home today though, I started having the worst cramping in my pelvic area. Our flight was also really bouncy due to lots of turbulence, and it my stomach felt kind of like my ovaries were having a dance party. It also didn't help that I had to pee so badly on the flight. I opted not to use the facilities, because the flight was so bouncy that I was afraid of my pee going against gravity and in another direction. Right when we got off the plane, I scurried off to the nearest lady's room. 

Now I'm at home and it feels great. My husband and I were so exhausted we plopped on the couch and just stared into space for awhile. I noticed that my cramps still hadn't gone away. I took 800mg of Ibuprofen, but it didn't touch the pain. I'm tempted to take another one of the twelve percocets the doc gave me. 

I will give an update later on my recovery from my egg donation and if my couple got preggers! 

Friday, August 17, 2012

About My Retrieval Yesterday


Yesterday I went in for my egg retrieval. I was so nervous going in, but that's not abnormal for me. I am always  anxious before egg retrieval. For my previous egg donations, the physician's offices always gave me a Valium a couple minutes before to help me relax. I checked in two hours early for the surgery (it's required to check in that early), changed into the gown and put on these awesome, granny socks the hospital gave me. After changing into the hospital's fashion statement gowns and socks, they put me in a small room with one chair and a TV. I was too nervous to watch TV-- instead, I opted to text my husband, who was my designated companion for the trip. He had dropped me off that morning and went back to the hotel, anticipating my phone call saying that the surgery was finished. When I attempted texting my husband, I found out that there was terrible reception in same-day surgery area. Lame! My nerves kept increasing, so I finally gave in to my nerves and called the nurse into my room. I asked her if there was anything they could give me to calm my nerves. Instead, she gave me a lecture how I shouldn't be scared and how I chose to do this. She also told me that my husband should have come in with me and how it was my fault I was scared. I am normally not an emotional person, but I wanted to break down crying at that very moment. I bit my lip and held in my tears though. Other than the nurse's brutal honesty, I knew the elevation of hormones in my body were also playing a role in my emotions. Regardless of my nervousness, the nurse did not give me anything to calm my nerves. Another nurse came in and saw how scared I looked. My lips were quivering, and she mistook my body language for being cold. She brought back a dozen heated blankets and covered me. This nurse's kindness helped redeem what I was feeling towards the other nurse.

Right before surgery, both physicians that were performing the retrieval came in to talk to me. They assured me not feel nervous and that they would do their very best. Their friendliness made me ease up and release some of the tension I had been feeling. The anesthesiologist came in to prep me for anesthesia. During my first donation, they did not give me anesthesia... they only gave me a drug called Versed, but my nurses were so loving and caring, that I felt at ease. During my second retrieval, I had such a kind anesthesiologist. She assured me that she would take care of me like her own daughter and that made a couple jokes to put me at ease. The anesthesiologist I had yesterday, however, walked in the room and barely spoke a word to me. The only reason I knew she was my anesthesiologist, is because I asked after she injected me. I didn't like the rushed feeling she was putting off, so I tried to lighten the mood and say something like, "I hope whatever you're giving me helps ease my nerves." She looked at me like I was crazy and said, "Whatever." I felt like the meanest girl in high school just walked all over my feelings and stomped on them. It turns out, she was just injecting me with Zofran (a med that helps nauseousness). I wasn't  nauseous and never experienced nauseousness with anesthesia... I guess she would have known that if she would have taken the time to ask me. 

Before I knew it, it was time for surgery. I laid down in the infamous compromising position, feet in the stirrups and all, and took a deep breath. I started feeling drowsy (of course, my anesthesiologist didn't tell me she was injecting something). I always feel better knowing what and when my anesthesiologist is doing, so that I don't panic. The last thing I remember is staring at the wall, praying that everything would go well. I woke up feeling groggy and in so much pain. The nurses told me to get dressed, but I asked if I could just lay here for a little while longer. They said that was fine, and that they would call my husband to tell him I was ready to go. 

After I was dressed, one of the physicians came in and told me they had retrieved twelve excellent eggs. He also commented at how nice it was that I donating when I was so scared of surgery. He mentioned that it was such a great gift I was giving when I was so nervous. Despite my anxiousness, his words gave me a comforting feeling that everything was going to be okay. He prescribed me 12 percocet and I was grateful, because my previous donation doctor refused to give me pain medications. Instead, my second donation doctor told me to drink some red wine to relieve the pain. I tried telling her I was Mormon (LDS) and did not drink alcohol. She didn't care, I guess. 

The percocet, however, did not relieve much of the pain until today. The pain that a donor might feel is similar to severe menstrual cramps. I am starting to feel better and thinking of enjoying my last full day here by going out on an activity. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Retrieval Day for my 3rd Donation

Last night was a medication free night! What a relief, because the dosage of medications this physician had me on was out of this world. The last time I took my injections was 48 hours ago, where I injected myself with the trigger shot.

The day of and before retrieval, I'm usually feeling heavy, nauseous and extremely tired. At least these were my symptoms for my past 2 donations. Yesterday and today, I feel fine. I'm actually nervous and scared because I feel just fine. I'm still pretty bloated, so that symptom is still similar feeling to my previous donations.
This morning, it was required to check in 2 hours prior to surgery. I still have about an hour to go before they put me under anesthesia and my body is forced to go in a less than modest position for all the see. I always get really nervous before retrieval. It may be a "same-day surgery process" but I can't help my stomach's butterflies right before. I also get scared for the pain that I might feel a couple hours after surgery.
Wish me luck and I'll update later!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Trigger Shot: Ovidrel

What Today Looks Like: 
Last Day of Lupron Injection
Ovidrel Trigger Shot at 11:15PM
No more Follistim or Menopur

This morning, I had my last ultrasound and blood work done. Thank goodness, because ultrasounds are not my favorite thing to do when I first wake up in the morning. According to the doctor's office, everything is looking perfect and they will be retrieving my eggs on Thursday at 11:15AM. When the retrieval date is set, the time and date of the trigger shot is also scheduled. This must be taken at a specific time. My trigger shot was scheduled tonight at 11:15PM. I took Ovidrel tonight. Though I have previously donated two other times, I have never taken this brand. I looked it up online, and most girls claimed that their Ovidrel shot was pre-made. Mine was not premade, and I had to mix it myself. 
I hate mixing things myself. All my other trigger shots were always pre-made, so I was a little nervous mixing such an important medication myself. 
The procedure they informed me to do consisted of 1cc of bacteriostatic fluid mixed with 10,000units of Ovidrel in a 3cc syringe. According to many websites, this medication can be taken subcutaneously (SQ) or intramuscularly. My clinic wanted me to take it SQ, as well as my last injection of Lupron.
After taking Ovidrel, I noticed an immediate sting afterwards. I felt sick and wanted to topple over with stomach pain. This was really unusual for me, considering the trigger has never hurt me before. However, I need to remember, I have never taken Ovidrel before. 

Besides the awful sting I experienced with Ovidrel, I felt so bloated today, that even my PJ's felt a little snug! I woke up this morning, and my husband said there was definitely a difference in the appearance of my stomach. These symptoms for me are normal though. I tend to bloat a lot, whereas, other donor friends of mine barely bloat at all. I guess I'm just one of the lucky ones... 
I'm not sure what my current hormone level, but whatever it is, I was extremely fatigued today. I slept for hours. The only reason I woke up, was because I had my an appointment with the clinic's doctors. There will be two physicians performing my surgery on Thursday. I met one of the physicians on Monday. Today, I met Dr. ______. He kind of reminded me on an elderly Santa Clause. He seemed sweet and genuine. During our meeting, he asked me what my future plans were and when I planned to have children myself. I told him that I had just applied to medical school and received some interviews at their schools. I also said that I would be ready to have my own kids after schooling. He advised me to hurry and have kids, because if I wait too long, I will need a donor myself. Let me assure you, that I am well below the age of 30!!! It was an awkward topic, that's for sure. Luckily, I changed the topic of my egg count and how many he thought he would retrieve. He estimated the number of eggs to be about six. Now, this number probably does not sound impressive, but let me remind you that my eggs are GREAT! In my previous cycles, all of my eggs are viable and have succeeded in getting my intended mother preggers. A nurse once told me that during IVF, it's all about "QUALITY not QUANTITY." I can only hope my proven streak can help another couple out! 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Scrambled Eggs... I mean, "thoughts."

Where I'm at it today: 
Day 7: Follistim 300IU
Day 7: Menopure: 1 NaCl mixed with 2 Menopure vials. 
Day 22: Lupron 5IU

Yesterday, my husband and I had a blast sightseeing around the city. We like to do active activities really early in the week prior to retrieval because as the target date approaches, I start feeling really heavy and sick. 
Since my estrogen levels are rising, I am expecting to sleep more frequently. Today, I feel the symptoms of sleepiness though. My results are not back from my monitoring appointment this morning, but I am sure my estrogen levels will be through the roof, the way I am feeling right now. 

I think a lot of the reason I am starting to feel sick today, is the crazy morning I had. I don't know if the medication is messing with my ovaries AND my mind, because I am losing it. My clinic specifically told me to meet with the assisting physician at another hospital today, but I got that mixed up, and went to the main physician's office. My scheduled time was at 9AM, however, there was a LONG line for an ultrasound. Long, like, over 2 hours long! While I waited to be called in for ultrasound, I went in to get my blood drawn to check my hCG, FSH, LH and estrogen levels. Once those results are in, the doc will be able to tell me whether or not to decrease or increase my medication. 
My ultrasound tech told me that since Friday, my ovaries have increased a lot in size. I know that's a good sign- I just hope I'm at where I'm supposed to be. 
I need to have another good cycle, because another set of parents are looking at me for another donation. My past two cycles were good! My eggs were able to help two other women have successful pregnancies. 

Sorry, my writing in this post is all over the place. We are on our way out, and I rushed through all the details and my thoughts might not all make sense. More detailed and ordered thoughts later! 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Follistim Pen is MIA?

What today looks like: 
Lupron: 5 IU
Menopur: Day 2, 150UI (1cc mixed with 2 vials)
Follistim: Day 2, 300IU

I feel like my vagina has taken a beating with all these daily pelvic exams and a pap smear today. Sorry, were those details too intimate for you to read? Welcome to my blog. I'm open and want to share everything I have been going through so that other prospective donors can understand the whole process. Three years ago when I tried doing research on this topic, there wasn't a whole lot of detailed donor experiences. Yeah, there were handfuls of YouTube "how to" videos on injections and medications... but I really just wanted to know what the donor was going through on a daily basis.

Anyways, last night I had a falling out with my follistim pen. Meaning, it was MIA from the box it was delivered from. I began freaking out, because I did not know how I was going to inject myself with Follistim! This medication is pretty much what feeds your ovarian follicles, so it's pretty important not to miss a dose. Luckily, I remembered that my sister-in-law was currently undergoing fertility treatments for herself and was using the follistim pen.

I am pretty secretive about egg donation (hence, the name of this blog), so I was extremely nervous about having to break the news to her for the first time. I didn't know how she was going to react, especially when she is having such a difficult time having her own babies. All worked out well, thanks to her sharing her pen. However, I did NOT like having to spill the beans about my egg donation secrets.

I called the on-call nurse at the clinic last night to tell them they needed to send me a new Follistim pen ASAP. They said would send me one immediately. It never arrived today, so I had to call my sister-in-law to loan her follistim pen again to me.

More on adventures of egg donation tomorrow! 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Oh the joys of feeling menopausal

What today looks like: 
Blood work this morning
Got my uterus and ovaries checked out this morning too
Still taking Lupron
Start stimulation injections tonight

I headed out to the monitoring clinic to see how Bonnie and Clyde were doing... eh-em, my ovaries. The doc was happy to share that my ovaries were cyst free and uterine lining was thin (in other words, my uterine lining was perfect). I love to hear that my body is cooperating with the medications. If you've been a past reader, I died a little inside when I found out I had a cyst on an ovary, causing the intended parents to wait an additional month for their eggs. 

The only part of me that died a little this morning was my left arm. The tech drawing my blood today did NOT know what the heck she was doing. I have excellent veins, so I consider myself a phlebotomist's dream. She inserted a butterfly into the antecubital (AC) part of my arm, however, blood was barely coming out. She shoved the needle further in my arm and then rotated it in all directions. I wanted to scream &%$#*, but I decided to fight against the Lupron telling me to go crazy. I took a deep breath and told her that she should try to draw blood from the top of my hand. Drawing blood from there is more painful than the AC area, but I needed her to get her needle out asap. About a million minutes later, she was finally done. 

While the doc was playing paparazzi to my lovely ovaries, he was talking to me about how I was feeling on Lupron. I mentioned that I had been going through some mood swings, difficulty sleeping, night sweats and weight gain. He mentioned that those were all common symptoms, because Lupron makes the body feel like that of a menopausal woman. I've donated twice before, but had never heard a doctor describe it like that before. My craziness lately felt so validated. I forgot to mention to the doc that I have been having really bad stomach cramps. Cramps aren't anything new though. I just don't know if the cramping is normal. I guess I'll find out when we fly to ______ and see the doc.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

My Fat Pants Aren't Fitting Me

What today looks like: 
Lupron: Day 11
Receive my Stim Meds Tomorrow
Begin Stim Meds August 6th
Target Day Retrieval: August 17th

This morning I hopped onto the weight scale to see how severe the damage was since I've been taking Lupron. The damage was pretty bad. Lupron definitely facilitated the rapid weight gain. I have to keep telling myself that the weight will come off.... eventually. I am going to try not to give in to any of my irrational food cravings. 

The apothecary (a specialty pharmacy) is having my stimulation medications delivered to my home tomorrow. These stimulation medications will be a combination of hormones that will stimulate my ovaries to produce eggs. After a couple of days of injecting these hormones, I will inject hCG (Human chorionic gonadotropin) to force me to ovulate (release the eggs)-- just in time for the retrieval on August 17th. 

I am crossing my fingers this couple will have a successful outcome like I had the previous two donations! 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Cranky Pants

What today looks like: 
Day 7: Lupron
Day 1: Period
Stopped taking BCPs on 7/26

I am trying to remember how grumpy I got around this time, by looking back and reading some of my older posts. I was pretty cranky and constantly complaining about my increasing appetite. Well, nothing has changed this time around. I felt bad today because I asked my husband why I was even donating any more when it caused me this much pain and weight gain. 

Today, I started spotting, though I don't think my clinic would define it as a period. They define day 1 of the menstrual cycle at its heaviest flow. They have asked that I contact them on the first day of my period. I shot the agency an email informing them I was spotting. We'll see what happens then. Other than that, I am hopefully still on point to undergo retrieval mid-August. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Lupron Injection Day 2

What today looks like:
Day 2 Lupron injection 
Still taking active birth control
I'm moody as heck! 

So I started the Lupron injections again. Next Monday, it's time to pay a visit to my monitoring clinic for blood tests and for a check up... "up there." For the past two cycles, I've used another Doctor. This time, however, I found another monitoring doc closer. I was really nervous to have new hands... 
"up there," but as it turns out, he is incredibly nice. 

I am about a day late starting my period, but I am not too worried. I have been unnaturally cranky the past 48 hours, which means, Aunt Dot is coming to town. 

More news later! 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Third Donation: Retrieval Date

I will be flying out to _______ next month for one week with my husband for egg retrieval. My medications arrived already and I immediately stored them in my fridge. I won't have to begin medications, like Lupron, until the clinic tells me to do so. I will update later as soon as something more interesting comes up!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Third Donation

It has been a very long time since my last post! It hasn't been because I haven't wanted to donate. My agency told me business has been slow, as a result of the economy. Recently, I have been selected to donate again. I went in for my baseline ultra sound, and the physician rated my ovaries FIVE stars and something about my uterine lining being the best...? I'll take it as a compliment though :) My target retrieval date is in late July. Currently, I am on birth control, waiting for my injections to arrive in a week or two. Until then, it is a waiting game. While I wait for my injections, I am waiting to hear back from another couple that is interested in using me. I am extremely excited if I get chosen! I can't tell you the wonderful feeling that I feel when I receive notice that my IP (intended parents) are pregnant! I have donated twice previously, and both times resulted in successful pregnancies. This donation will mark as my third, which means... I only have 4 more times to donate. The maximum amount of donations that I can do is 7, according to my agency. I am up for a total of 7 donations... but we'll see what happens.