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October 21, 2014

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Don't Count Your Eggs

Hi TJ. Welcome and congrats on your upcoming transfer! So nice to know others who are building their family through embryo donation! It's so true that looking for parts of the parents in a child is the first thing people do--perhaps because babies don't do much so commenting on their looks seems appropriate. I'm guilty of doing this too at times but have become more sensitive about it for obvious reasons. With over five million babies born through ART and many babies born using donor parts, we just don't know whose feelings we might be hurting. Anyway. Best of luck to you!

TJ

I just found your blog yesterday and have been reading through many of your posts since. Thank you for sharing your journey with the rest of the world.

I will be transferring one of four embryos that have been anonymously donated to us next month. One thing I have struggled with is how everyone seems to talk about babies and kids and how s/he inherited this feature from dad and that feature from mom. I love when you said, "I have no idea what or who Momo will look like, so she will just have to look like herself." Somehow it made me feel better, so thank you!

Congratulations to you and Noah!

Lisa

Thank you Kristie! That was so nice of you to provide that answer - I had no idea the different options of egg donor. Amazing!

Don't Count Your Eggs

Oh Meliss-- one day you'll be holding you baby and thinking about the never ending lining saga. You and your Hubs will be arguing about whether you had to cancel once or twice and neither of you will remember the details of it. But for now, it's the most frustrating and painful thing in the world. I hope you don't get cancelled but if you do, you still know your babies are there, just waiting for the right time. Maybe your body needs to reset--who knows. It is heartbreaking. So much effort and work and meds and so disappointing. I get it. Good luck. Keep us posted. I'm thinking about you.

meliss

SO so true as always...I often feel like if I was not in this position of being stuck on IF island that I would be able to be much more involved and invested, not just physically, but emotionally as well with so many of my close friends and relatives who have had babies. I'm an already an auntie x 5 and while I absolutely love my nieces and nephews...in the recent years of their birth..it has been very very rough. I also do feel like I created this wedge between myself and some of my loved ones with babies because of this frustration/jealousy/feeling of unfairness and it makes me feel like a terrible person because I want so badly to be wholly there for them and their little ones. Anyway, thanks as always for basically reading my mind :) Wish I had good news to report on my front...we are trying one more week with the estrogen to see if my lining thickens (will have been on high dose for 6 weeks at that point and it's dangerous to keep going after that). If not...third attempt at IVF is again...cancelled. Don't know how my heart could possibly break any more but I'm sure it will if this happens. I am truly so happy that all is going well for you and I can't wait until you have start thinking of Momo coming out because that will mean its really happening! :) Xoxoxo

Don't Count Your Eggs

Hi Anne, so sorry about you unsuccessful cycle. It's so heartbreaking and hard to know what to do next. I actually just came across this link on twitter today http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/2270556 about an online tutorial on embryo donation. Maybe it will be helpful. You're right. There are a few ways to go about it. There is a national embryo donation registry that helps "match" couples and does treat it all like traditional adoption, and there is going through a private clinic, which is usually totally anonymous but less of a process. I don't know of any clinic that advertises embryo donation, it's not a big money maker for clinics. Usually embryos at specific clinics go to patients of that clinic who have been unsuccessful with other attempts at IVF. I started searching for frozen egg banks and donated embryos at the same time and eventually found our embryo out of state. I called various clinics starting with my local area and asked to be put on a wait list for donated embryos. This is not the most efficient process but my feeling was to just throw it all out into the universe and see if something comes back. Once we found the embryo the time frame was on us. I had to coordinate with my RE out in LA and begin the process of preparing for an FET, but really the legalities etc were fairly simple. I had to do a few more tests that clinic required but it was not much. I would suggest checking out the embryo donation registries to see how that feels and contacting some local clinics. Then talk to the nurse about some leads and see if your own clinic has some embryos. I hope that article helps a little, I haven't read it all, just saw it now. Good luck and let me know if you have any other questions. I wish it was easier to find an embryo-- if anyone else has more info please share. I can only go off my own experience.

Anne

Congrats Maya! I have been reading your blog for a while now and am astounded by your courage, patience, and persistence.
My husband and I just completed our 2nd failed IVF. We had no fertilization and the doctor now thinks I have an egg quality issue. He is recommending using an egg or embryo donor. We are most interested in embryo adoption but I am not sure where to start. We have a meeting set up with the coordinating nurse at our center but it is not for a few weeks. If you have a moment and feel up to it, will you please share a bit about your process of embryo adoption? How did you decide where to adopt the embryo and what was time frame? It seems some agencies treat it just like a live birth infant adoption (require a home study etc.)while others are a little more relaxed. Any info you are comfortable sharing would be so appreciated. Please know you are in our thoughts and sending lots of love your way.
Thanks again.
Anne

Don't Count Your Eggs

Kristie, thank you SO much for your response to Lisa's comment. Your unique perspective as an egg donor is really helpful, and the gift that you give people is incredible. Cost is a big part of the infertility world, but the help and community and extended family and generosity of people on the Island and people willing to help people get off the Island is priceless. I sound like a credit card ad. But you all know what I mean. I think I'm a little emotional today. Without this anonymous egg donor that contributed to Momo, I wouldn't have the opportunity I do. Anyway, Lisa, my experience with researching egg donors is that agency fees are about $6,000 plus other insurance costs etc. A donor can be between $6-10,000. Then there are meds for both of you (approx. $5,000) then there is whatever your clinic charges for IVF with a donor (often it's between $13-18,000). Soooo.... yeah. Not cheap. A few places do shared donors like Kristie said--Shady Groves is a big one Noah and I looked into because they also had a refund policy--or a guarantee policy. There are also a few more frozen donor egg banks now where you share a donor but the eggs are frozen already so it is cheaper as you don't have to pay for donor meds etc. I have heard frozen eggs are not as good as fresh but the clinics I looked at claimed high success rated with new ways the eggs are being frozen. That program I found out of state was about $20,000 not including meds for me. There is a lot of variation but it's safe to say none of it cheap. Good luck for the next week. Sewing is a great idea! Fingers are crossed for you. And thanks Tami and Jojo, as always! #IHEARTPPROBLEMS.

Kristie

Hi Lisa,

I thought I would take a minute to answer your questions regarding egg donation. My perspective is a little bit different since I am actually an egg donor (3 Xs). Like other infertility treatments, prices can vary widely dependent upon a variety of factors. The procedure itself is the same that a woman would undergo for IFV using her own eggs. The intended mother is given birth control pills along with the donor to sync cycles with the donor. The intended mother will also be given medication to prepare her uterus for conception. For the sake of convenience, many couples are also opting to freeze embryos for future use.

Working with an egg donation agency will certainly cost you more since you will have to pay an agency fee AND the egg donor compensation. Most egg donors are compensated 5k-10k. Agency fees are also in the same range. If your selected donor lives in another area, you would also be responsible for travel costs (usually around 2k-3k).

Many fertility clinics offer their own database of egg donors. If you are able to find a suitable donor through your clinic, you will be spared the exorbitant agency fee. The only drawback I've found with Clinic databases is that they usually offer very little information on the donor. You may or may not even get a pictures. I suspect that this is why many intended parents turn to agencies. Some larger clinics also offer "shared donor cycles." Since many donors are capable of producing 10-20+ eggs, two couples are able to "share" the eggs produced by the donor and split the costs. This is a newer service that may or may not be offered in your area.

I have been so touched by my experiences as an egg donor. Each cycle was beautiful and unique in its own way. I have actually been following Maya's blog for months now because I have been so touched by infertility community. I am continually astounded by the perseverance of you brave women (and men) in your quest to build your families.

Lisa, I so wish that you never need a donor. I just wanted to provide some answers from my perspective as a donor and maybe offer some comfort. Sending you all much love and positive energy from New Orleans.

Jojo

Yay for 17 weeks and for worrying about labor. #Pproblems XO

Tami

Great updates Maya! Much love sent your way:)

Lisa

Auntie Maya! Congrats!! So glad to hear the placenta previa is clearing up. So, personal question, how much does an egg donor cost anyways? As expensive as IVF? And how many eggs does one get? I am hoping I won't need one, but want to be realistic at the same time too.

1 week left in the 2ww, and I don't know if I'll buy 99 cent store tests or not (I won't splurge on the other "expensive tests") or just wait until my blood test on the 28th. I don't know what's worse, seeing only one line on the pregnancy test, or opening up my lab results online to see the "<0" number on my beta results...

Trying to stay busy (I have a sewing class tonight) and positive!!!

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