And then there were 10…

March 2016

4 days later I learn that 10 embryos have fertilized, divided and been sent for PGS screening. 

If you’re like me this is the first time you have heard of this. That’s the thing, before you experience IVF it is hard to imagine any of this. 

“Preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) for aneuploidy is a powerful genetic test that may be performed on embryos during IVF treatment to screen for numerical chromosomal abnormalities. PGS is performed on a small embryo biopsy prior to transfer and identifies which embryos are chromosomally normal.” (Courtesy of google)

This test was important to me because knowing what embryos have the correct chromosomes helps to ensure we can create a viable pregnancy. It is impossible to know without this screening. Despite using a 29 year olds eggs there is still a chance of abnormalities being present. 

Again, I wait. I will not know the results of this screening until tomorrow when I arrive for implantation. I go to bed praying that my 10 little golden embryos are strong and contain the correct chromosome makeup. I need as many of these as I can get. 

“Life is what happens when you are busy making plans.” ~John Lennon

The time had come…. or so I thought.  I guess one can only do so much at one time.  I had been looking to make a career move for 1.5 years and go figure, I get an offer the month I am supposed to do my first IUI.  Really?!?!  This isn’t just any job, this job requires me to move across country and take on a new role with more responsibility. 

 

  

So, I am faced with what to do:

  • Accept the job/ decline the job?
  • Move ahead with the IUI this month?
  • Postpone the IUI until a later day?

After much reflection and thought, I have decided to take the job AND postpone the IUI.  The job is an amazing opportunity that also happens to return me to the West Coast.  This makes sense all around in terms of having a baby alone.  Also, to be honest, I am not sure I could have done it all – new job, IUI and potentially a pregnancy.  I think being able to apply myself to my work for a few months is the smart thing to do. 

All of the preparation for baby is not lost.  I will continue my acupuncture in California, will establish myself with a new physician and continue to visualize having a healthy, happy baby. 

So, it is with great sadness I leave NYC to pursue a new dream professionally and personally. NYC, you will always have a special place in my heart and I am so thankful to have had the chance to bask in your amazing glory!

  

First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage, Then Comes The Baby In The Baby Carriage…

December 2014…

Since August I had been thinking a lot about my situation. I really had envisioned a sense of relief by freezing my eggs, but that feeling never came.  

I never in a million years thought I would be making a decision to actually have a baby by myself either via adoption or artificial insemination. 

 As little girls we are taught that when you have a baby you do this with your husband.  Your husband is by your side in a Lamaze class, your husband will tell you that you look beautiful as you carry your child, your husband will be in the delivery room encouraging you.  At least this is what I was taught and believed deep in my soul. 

 I remember being a little girl and singing, “First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage.”  Well, we see how that turned out.  I know that the times are different… blah, blah, blah.  



We are ingrained with these beliefs and when they turn out different it is scary and takes getting used to.  Changing this lens has been more difficult than I imagined. 

 I do know that I am tired of dating and if I am not willing to date then how can I meet someone?  I have been actively dating for 20 years and frankly, I am tired.  I just don’t have it in me anymore. This is a big dilemma.  One which suggests a pro-active decision must be made about a baby – either adopt or donor insemination.  Being a parent is not an option, this is something I will do. 

Of all the futures that I can imagine, I cannot image a single one that doesn’t have a child in it…

August 2014

The time has come for the retrieval. What a long process. So many needles! See attached photo (delivery one of three). I know I am preaching to the choir, especially if you’re reading this and have already gone through this. I admire women who endure this process time and time again. 



I elected to freeze my eggs at age 37. This was my choice and I am happy that I actually have that choice to make. Of the 40+ women in the waiting room each day for monitoring, most likely only five of us were doing something proactively. Again, I am happy I have the choice. 

This was also especially challenging because I also ended a relationship. Man – Gentle, smart, good values, handsome…. BUT emotionally unavailable. They say timing is everything and I believe that to be true about this situation. I wish him well and still have love in my heart for him. You can imagine this added additional emotions to the roller coaster I was on. 

I was told throughout the injections that my body was not responding and we would only get approximately 5 eggs. This scared me. What was wrong with my body?  Why wasn’t it working correctly. With an FSH of 9.11 and AMH of .28 I knew I needed this to work. This was very discouraging as a 37 year old woman. The same question came into my mind, “Why am I in this situation? Why hadn’t I met anyone sooner and started a family?”  Logically this is a good thing, I hadn’t meet the right guy. But, I still have sadness around this. 

Once all was said and done I was able to produce nine eggs. All were kept, hooray!!! When they told me I couldn’t believe it. I guess it was all worth it. 

Now, I could relax and let the love stuff find a way … Or, so I thought.

To be continued…



Sent from my iPhone

Day 1 -Egg Freezing 

Day 1 – July 2014 

Edit

The first morning has arrived. Not sure what I thought it would feel like. It is 7am and the women are reporting for blood work. I sit and watch them arrive. ‘Them’ as if I am not including myself. It kind of does feel like I am an observer from the outside looking in. 

Married, single, with a friend, one with her husband, lesbian partners. Different races and religions, brunettes, blondes. Wait, I’m the only blond… Let’s just say that highlights are my friend. Can’t get the Southern California out of me! 

Some read books, some thumb through magazines, some just stare off in the distance.

It feels somewhat like a factory. To the left you go for blood work. To the right you go to have a sonogram. What a mix of emotions is displayed in this waiting room.

I keep asking myself, “Why am I in this situation?” Not married, no kids. Is this a bad thing? Logically no, emotionally it is a different story. Hello logical mind are you there? Stop this thinking pronto!

At least I still have options. Truthfully, should have done this years ago. But, I didn’t and here I sit. 

Some women seem like they have done this before… Old hat.

$15,000 is the bill. Due before retrieval. 

 The couple and her sister (I think) have left looking defeated. They walk out in a single file line. My heart aches for them. You can see the sadness on their faces. Another couple checks out. She has tissues in her hand. More disappointed faces. 

 They call my name. The phlebotomist takes me back. Nice enough, although she doesn’t introduce herself. “Sit down, arm here,” she says with a smile. I do as I am told.

As I look around I notice a mural to the right of my head. Pictures of babies, babies, babies. I mean, really!?! They are working it! I don’t ask anything about the pictures, just sort of stare at the wall. Truthfully, the pictures kind of look old. 

 Back to the blood… ‘She’ (I still don’t know her name) proceeds to prepare me for the blood draw. In the needle goes. 15 seconds, it is over. Snap off the tourniquet and that is it.

“I will call you this afternoon,” ‘she’ says. “What is your name?” I inquire. “Jasmine (with a smile)”. Seems so transactional, but again, polite. 

Well folks, that is it. I am done. Just like that. At least I am getting service with a smile! 

 As I near the elevator I come across the man of the couple who was checking out. He stares off as he waits for his wife to come out of the restroom. I am willing to bet she is in the bathroom crying. Again, my heart hurts for her, them. 

 As I step in the elevator I remind myself that their stories are not mine, mine not theirs. I will be married and a parent one day. And hopefully they will too.

Photo credit – http://www.vogue.com