Friday, August 31, 2007

Donor Update

Apparently they're just waiting for CD1 to start the protocol and from what I've been told that should start any day now, hopefully over the weekend. Once it's started, I should get a timeline for her protocol and a better idea of retrieval dates. They're still saying late September/early October alhtough our doctor says late September. I've asked what her protocol is mostly because no one has said and I don't know. I'm not sure if they'll tell me or not but I can't see why not. I was going to speculate as to what I thought it might be but decided that it would be pointless. So, we go forward anxiously waiting to hear more.

I have started wondering what we should give the donor as a thank you. I haven't talked to V. about this yet, but I will. I don't feel right not giving her something. I know we aren't allowed to identify ourselves to her, and we won't. But what does one give someone you don't know but who is giving you a very very precious gift? I've been looking at her profile again and she likes pottery and scrapbooking. Would a small piece of pottery be okay? Not being a scrapbooker I have no idea what someone might want. Should we be looking at giving her some thing from Lush, Body Shop or H2O? Or maybe a gift card someplace? I know that she will be in Toronto for probably 5 days, something like that. Do we give her a gift card to the large mall downtown for her to buy what she'd like? A gift certificate to a restaurant? It all sounds so impersonal for what she's doing for us. Help!

Anyway, that's if for now. I hope everyone has an enjoyable Labour Day weekend.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


So, as you know, I've been going for acupuncture once a week for the past 4-5 months as we waited for everything to fall into place. I went in tonight for my weekly needling and to find out what the status. Now that things are moving forward and we're looking at a late September retrieval, it was determined that it was time to move to twice a week sessions. I'm actually looking forward to it as it a) makes it all seem like things are moving forward and b) I really enjoy it. I find it totally relaxing and often drift off during treatment. My treatments have always been on my front but now that we're moving to twice a week, they'll be alternating between my front and my back. I've not been using the chinese herbs, primarily because of the cost. They can cost as much as $60 a week and are obviously not covered on my health plan. I wonder if they can be claimed as a medical expense on our taxes? In any case, they want me to start taking the herbs, at least for the 2 days before and including transfer (mostly to calm me) and then change herbs and take others for the two week wait and inwards. V. has said yes, take them, we'll make sure we have the money. But I'm so not looking forward to them. I can smell the herbs whenever I'm at the clinic for treatment, and I'm pretty sure that the taste is very much like the smell. This is going to be soooo unpleasant. Has anyone else ever used the chinese herbs?

Sunday, August 26, 2007

A quick word (maybe) and a milestone.


I don't think my DW realized it but she has hit 150 posts on this blog of hers. And to think that I had to poke and prod her to actually start it because she did "not know what to say on it". I think she knows what to say on it now and does so quite well. So, congrats my dear and looking forward to many more posts.

Quick word.

When you look at my immediate family's current make up you will find my mother, my father, my two older siblings (brother and sister respectively), myself and my little brother. My older brother and sister have a different biological father than myself and my little brother. Now, that probably comes as a surprise to some of you that are close to me and I can explain that simply as this: in my family, it does not matter.

We were well aware that our fathers were different BUT we were told as early as we could understand that there was no "half" or "step" in our house; we were brothers and sisters. Period. It is that foundation that has me detest the use of the term so much today. When TC is in school, she tells them that Pam is her mum NOT her step-mother. I did not make her say this as she simply embraced the philosophy that she learned from my upbringing. She knows that there will not be half or step used when we are blessed enough to expand our family.

So, when it comes to the question of DNA and such with this child we hope to be blessed with via the usage of donated eggs, it really is a moot point in my personal opinion. Plain and simple, the way I see things is this: my wife is going through the trouble of the procedure to become impregnated. My wife will be the whole waddling like a penguin for nine months. My wife's feet and back with be the ones swollen and sore during that time. My wife's womb will be the chamber that new life will grow in. My wife's vijayjay will be the conduit for the new life to enter the known world. And it is the cord they cut from my wife to my second (or more) child(ren) that kept them alive with nourishment from her system.

For anyone listening, let me be perfectly clear, this child will be OUR child. Nuff said.

Goodnight. :-)

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Not much to report

I went in to see the doctor today. When I finally saw him, he went off to check the donor's file and confirmed that we will be doing retrieval late September. He couldn't tell me anything more than that. I'm on CD15, but day 14 of the 21 pill Marvel0n pack, so he's told me to finish the pack and gave me another one which I am to begin as soon as the current one is finished, so no period for me now (yippee!!). He said to come back in September 5th and we should know more then. Since he asked me if I was Estrace yet (easier than checking the file) I am expecting him to start me on that in 11 days or at least give me the prescription to start shortly after that. I'm not sure if I mentioned this before but I've got to do some travelling for work in September/October/November to the last three of our sites that need upgrading. It's Murphy's Law that of course the first site is scheduled for September. Thankfully my manager knows what's going on, although not in detail, and will work around my clinic requirements. So, I confirmed with the doctor that I could travel the week of September 16th. I think this will likely be the week before the donor comes up to Toronto as I'm thinking retrieval could be quite close to my birthday on the 26th. I'll consider that good luck, thank you. :)

So, it looks like I'll be in Bardstown, Kentucky the week of the 17th for about 5 days. Oh joy. I was going to say I could look on the bright side because I was told by the plant manager at the site that it's Bourbon Festival week, but I just checked and it's September 11-16. :( Maybe we can get in early enough on the 16th to partake. Either way, I've been instructed by several people that I MUST bring them back some Kentucky bourbon. Think customs will notice if I buy a separate bag just for the liquor? ;)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


There's really nothing to update you all with as I am just waiting for Saturday to arrive so I can go in for my CD15 check as he requested.

I can't believe it's already August 21st. The summer is nearly over. TC starts school in 2 weeks. Her Sweet 16 party is in 3 weeks. Lots going on. I've been reading blogs daily. In fact, I checked my Bloglines and I have 99 feeds listed!!! And I believe that 90% of them are actively updating on a semi-regular basis. That's a lot of blogs. But importantly, that's a lot of infertility. These blogs range from people (men and women) who have only been trying a short time, to those who are veterans and have had multiple IVFs. There are adoption blogs in the list. There are a number of Donor Egg blogs. And there are a number of blogs of those who have come out the other side of IF with a healthy baby or babies. I read them all with a variety of emotion. I am thrilled and joyful when someone gets a positive pregnancy test and even more thrilled when they are able to carry that pregnancy through to a live baby. I read all of my feeds because I feel I have a vested interest in what happens. In all cases I've read each blog since it's inception, going back through the archives to follow their journeys on how they have gotten where they are today. I find with the DE blogs, that I'm able to relate more readily to what they are experiencing as it is similar to myself. We may not have arrived at the idea of using donor eggs by the same path but we all have the same emotions when it comes to how it feels.

Many couples who make the decision to use donor eggs usually are doing so because of the age of the woman, or poor response to stims with their own eggs, or in some cases because of previous illness which prevents them from conceiving naturally. As you know, we made the choice because, well, I am old at (now) 46. When we began this journey, I was old by reproductive standards anyway. So, to make the choice, for me, was a no brainer. I wanted to have a child with V.

So, where am I going with this? Lately there have been a number of posts by people who are mourning the loss of the genetic connection to their future child. I understand that loss. And, yes, I too wish that I would be able to look into the face of our children and see my father's nose (poor child), or my mother's eyes, or any other genetic link that I carry from my parents and with my siblings. But I accepted long ago, that this just wasn't going to happen. I know that once I hold that child it won't matter because he/she will be my child. V. and I also feel (as warped as some may think) that since I am carrying the child for 9 months, that some essence of me is transferred to that child, even if it's not my DNA. :)

V. will say "why haven't you ever said anything about this?". But, you know, I'm fine with it. Why lament what I cannot change. I've used this quote of V. before, and I think it applies here too. "I may not where I wanted to be, but I am where I’m supposed to be". This is what we've been working towards for the last 4-5 years. This is how we are supposed to build our family. :) I've embraced it all and am anxiously looking forward to cycling next month. :)


Monday, August 13, 2007

Latest Update

Okay, this is short. The agency emailed an update on the donor.

Just wanted to let you know that we will be looking forward to a late September retrieval for your donor. I will keep you updated when we set her medical protocol which will be in the next two weeks. Talk with you soon!

This actually fits more along the line about what I figured it would be based on what the date is now and where I am. I think our doctor actually means late August/early September for when our protocol is set to begin when he says we're on track. That would make more sense since it's about 6 weeks from beginning to transfer. I don't see how we could be at retrieval in 3 weeks if the donor hasn't begun her protocol. So, again, I'll know better in a week and a half when I see the doctor.

That's it for now.

Ok, so don't tell the wife, but...

I've been thinking a lot these days; more of an off and on passing set of thoughts of a random nature on various topics. However, after this weekend, a few thoughts are no longer random and I think it is because when you come face to face with something, it moves it from your sub-conscience to your conscience.

Our daughter is away at camp for a couple of weeks in Huntsville. We surprised her on the weekend by going up for Visitor's Day when we told her that we would not be as it was too hard to go up there three consecutive weekends in a row. Needless to say, she was super excited when we showed up (even after being so down when Patti tricked her by saying she didn't think we were coming). I think her reaction meant more to me than she will ever know. All a parent ever wants is to know they are loved, wanted, needed and appreciated by their child(ren). And though we have had some doozy moments in the very recent past, we still see that little girl in her that wants and appreciates her mother and father being there for her.

We saw lots of examples of that theme echoed throughout the camp as parents and kids were reunited for a few hours of a wet Sunday afternoon. Younger kids and older teenagers held court as parents invaded their turf and shared a little in what they get to experience 24-7 for varying lengths of time during the summer. One particular group though showed this even more than the others; this was the special needs children.

There was one girl, whose condition we do not know and did not recognize, that was incredibly energetic and extremely strong. This was evident by the effort exerted by her father as he tried his best to keep her from running off and either hurting someone or hurting herself even more (there was a large bruise/cut on her left leg from an obvious earlier mishap). While being able to communicate in some way, she was unable to speak, had a short attention span and moved in rapid, but jerky movements that was determined but not flailing. There were a few kids that have Down's Syndrome and a few others we were introduced to that did not have any appearances that pointed out differences, but the way the staff spoke with them indicated that they were special needs. We had a student join my class in high school that was in a wheelchair due to cerebral palsy so I am not unfamiliar with the challenges a special need imposes on the person's life and those around them. However, seeing that father struggling with holding his young daughter back (she may be about 15) hit me visually, emotionally and spiritually. It took everything to hold back tears. Naturally, I lied to my wife when she asked if anything was wrong. Actually, I take that back because nothing was wrong. What it was can only be explained as "real".

We are an older couple, using a scientific and medical procedure to create the greatest miracle there is. Even at its most natural and most pure, anything can happen. Introduce new factors into the mix and you have the potential of issues escalate exponentially. Now, I am not being a negative ninny or looking only at everything that could happen. I am simply facing the reality that was put before me and wondering what we would do. Naturally we want the best possible outcome and we will keep focussed and optimistic for that result. For the first time, I do not want to be the realist in this process because it means dealing with an area I don't want to deal with. I will have the strength should that time come. I just hope it never does.

To all those parents with special needs children, I admire and salute you for your dedication and strength. Your child may never be able to properly express their gratitude to you but I believe they understand and appreciate all you do for them. I saw that yesterday and I understand that today. I pray for the strength tomorrow and I hope that I won't need it.


Saturday, August 11, 2007

Lazy Saturday

Today was one of the first weekends in a while where V. and I could actually sleep in. TC is up at camp for two weeks so it's been quiet around here. I was able to relax until about 10am which for me is late. :) After we got ourselves organized and such, we hooked up with E and BB and headed down to the Tas.te of the Dan.forth which is an annual street food festival here in Toronto. The weather was perfect. Hot and sunny. We stopped in at our favourite Cuban restaurant for some Mojitos and then made our way to one of our favourite greek restaurants for some calamari and lamb souvlaki. After this, although all of us were quite full, we made our way slowly back to the car and then headed out along the Dan.forth to the Ice Cr.eam Fact.ory for, of course, some ice cream. Huge scoops for $2.50. Can't beat that!!

(Warning, TMI coming up now for all you male/squeamish readers. Skip the next paragraph.)

Anyway, so, I think CD1 is here. It's hard to tell to be honest. It's been probably 15 years since I've been on the pill. So, when I took the last pill on Monday I wasn't sure how many days would pass before my cycle would start. Being the geek that I am, I went and googled for the info and confirmed what I thought, that it would be 2-3 days after I took the last pill. That would make it Wednesday or Thursday. Well, I actually started spotting on Friday. Usually my cycle starts like that, but by the evening I've essentially got a reasonable, red flow. And by the next day, it's very definitely CD1. However, this morning, there wasn't much of a flow, and it was this brown sludge (I warned you guys) The only reason I really need to know which day is CD1 is because I've got to start the birth control pills again on CD2. I was figuring that today actually is CD1 even though I don't have a regular heavy flow as normal but I consulted with BB today and she concurred. She said that it's because I was on the pill and this is how it would until I was completely off it. So, based on her expert opinion, I'm considering today CD1 and I'm going to start the pill tomorrow.

**UPDATE: It's confirmed. Today is CD1. :)

(End of TMI session.)

So, since I'm starting the pill tomorrow, that means I'm due back at the clinic on August 25th which is CD15. I'm not sure what's going to happen then, but hopefully we'll have a much better idea of where the donor is in her cycle and if she's started her protocol. I'm not really sure how he says we're still on track for late August/early September but maybe he's considering that as when we can start the protocol? Based on Daisy's calendar I don't see how we can be going to retrieval or transfer that early. My guess is that we're likely to be going to retrieval/transfer later in September which would make it right around my birthday. As V. has always known, if you were to ask me what I want for my birthday there would be only one answer. This is the first year that I might actually get what I want. :) Fingers are crossed we're on schedule for transfer in early September.

That's it for now.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Life goes on

without any real change.

Well, I guess that's not entirely true. Today V. and I went to the clinic. I'd been told to come back when I was on day 20 of taking the pill. Being a holiday here in Ontario, it seems that everyone not only showed up late to the clinic but with their husbands in tow. V. and I had every intention of getting in early, but we didn't get there until just before 10 thanks to a flat tire on my car. It was packed in their very large waiting room so we sat down to wait. I was able to get my blood draw done right away, but the sign up list for the ultrasound and to see the doctor was quite long. So we settled in for a long wait. V. had brought my video iPod and caught up a three old Grey's Anatomy shows we had missed during the season while I continued with my book (and finished it while there). I don't know how long it took, but at least an hour passed before I finally had to go empty my over full bladder. Of course, as I came out to go sit back down, they called me. However, the empty (or near empty) bladder didn't pose any problem. After the u/s I went back out the waiting room and continued to read and doze off. Periodically I would check the board to see where I was and how many were ahead of us. Finally, at about 12:40 we got called. Yeah!!! However, we had another 15 minute wait while the doctor saw two people ahead of us. I think we were his last patients of the day for the monitoring and we say him at 1:05pm!!! Before you say anything about being kept waiting, we know. He's notorious for taking his time with his patients which is why you try to get in early when you're doing the monitoring as it's first come first serve.

Anyway, while we were waiting to see him at the end I got an email from the agency that said "Just wanted to let you know that we are hoping for a late September/early October retrieval and transfer time with your donor. We are needing to make sure her cycles are regulated before starting medical protocol which should be happening soon." Of course, I read this and get ticked off because it looks like we're going to be pushed a month. It's not that a month is a long time, it's just that I want to go. now. :) Anyway, V. says to email back and ask why the delay and when is the donor's cycle due to start. I told him lets wait and see what the doctor says because he's really the one who's driving this process.

So, we get in to see him. He looks at the chart and then he posed a question that V. and I can't recall right now. But it basically allowed me to let him know what we had just found out that morning regarding the delay. He was surprised and went off to check with the donor coordinator at the clinic. He came back a few minutes later and said that we were still on track for late August/early September!!! Woohoo!!!! So, I've stopped the birth control pill as of today and am waiting for CD1. I guess it should show up Wednesday or Thursday??? I'm to start the pill again on CD2 and take it for 14 days and then go back in to see him on CD15. He said we'll know better then what's going on with the donor.

So I'm still confident that we're on track with our original plan. I'll know better in two weeks.

That's all I got. Hope everyone had a great weekend and has a good week.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Finally got an update

I finally heard from the agency regarding the status of the donor's blood work. I'd emailed late Friday evening and emailed again this morning to get an update.

Apparently she's done her bloodwork and it's at my clinic for analysis. She said they are now just waiting for the donor's CD1, which she says is unknown, to begin her protocol. I'm not exactly sure what her protocol is but I will ask when V. and I go into the clinic on Monday as that's the day I'm due in. I think I might have another month on the pill in order to wait for the donor's CD1 and synch with her. I'll need to get some information from the clinic to find out the next steps. Hopefully I can get some dates from them.

I'm staying optimistic that we're still on track for the end of August beginning of September but I don't know when her CD1 is expected. Hopefully it's not too far off.

For those of you who have already embarked on your DE cycles, any idea what the donor's protocol is in terms of when her CD1 starts?