Wednesday, December 13, 2006

If you want to contact me, please send emails to: I am more than happy to answer your questions!

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Out of 20 follies, 16 ovums were harvested. The fertization should have happened on Thanksgiving, so maybe that's a good sign that they will result in pregnancy. The donation went pretty well, the doctor said it was pretty much textbook. While trying to put my IV in my hand, the nurse punctured my vein causing me extreme pain and swelling/bruising. That bruise is almost gone now. Unfortunately, I had a bad reaction to one of the painkillers, which caused me to pass out and vomit repeatedly for three hours. Ick.

I missed my flight home for Thanksgiving because I was in no shape to fly. Which also meant that my friend missed her Thanksgiving to take care of me. Yup, feel the guilt on that one. I was pretty swollen and sore, so much so that the next day when I was getting dressed, none of my clothes fit, so I ended up borrowing some lounge pants from my friend. My swelling pretty much as gone away now, just a little bit is left. At least I can wear my normal pants, which is good thing because it would be unacceptable to show up to work in sweats :).

Even though it was terrible (my reaction to the drugs), uncomfortable, inconvinent, and overall not what I thought it would be, I still believe that I would do it again. It might take more of everything to convince me to do it again, but I don't think that it would be much more. I feel like I helped someone and that they appreciated what I did. From what I gathered, the couple really were looking at the donationas a last resort. So, I have all my crossables crossed for them!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

I've been on the west coast for almost a week now. It's been pretty boring and a bit lonely. My companion wasn't able to get off work until tomorrow, so I haven't really had anyone to keep me company. I've tried exploring the city on my own, but I find that my cramps and soreness have really kept me from wanting to stray too far away from the hotel. I can't wait for her to get here tomorrow so that I have someone to talk to and actually interact with. My friends have been good about emailing and texting but it's still really hard being in a strange city all alone.

I have kept up with the injections and the eggs look good. Unfortunately for me, today I found out that my stay is going to be extended because the follies need to measure at 18 and some are around 13-16. Looks like my retrieval, if I am lucky, will fall on Wed. If not, that means a Thanksgiving retrieval, which may be a good sign for the IPs but not so great for me. I don't want my companion to miss her Thankgiving celebration with her family, so I am asking that they let her go home right after my retrieval on Wed. But if it's a Thursday retrieval, it looks like a sad Turkey day for us.

I feel like the everyone has been very nice to work with but I think that they are all very nonchalant about the fact that I have another life outside of this. When the doctor told me that it looked like the retrieval would be Wed or Thursday, I said something about how that would mean we would miss our own Thankgiving celebrations. He barely made any kind of acknowledgement at that. It was almost like because I am getting compensated, that it didn't matter. That I am trapped. My holiday didn't exist. That really bothered me and still does. I understand that my body will respond the way it does, but some compassion would have been nice.

I am taking this really hard because Thanksgiving is the only real holiday that I enjoy and really celebrate. And this year a bunch of my friends and I were getting together and cooking a meal for everyone. Now I am going to disappoint them. It makes me really sad and resentful to be here. I know that the rewards are going to be greater than the dinner itself, but it still doesn't make being here easier. Also, I don't want my friend to miss her own holiday with her family. It's just not a good situation and I had hoped that it would have been a a week earlier or later. I guess that's life.

To answer Summer's question, no, I won't know if they conceive as a result of my donation. I wish I did just for my own personal reasons. Not because I want to find the child someday but because I would like to know that this as worth it and that they got their happy ending.

Tomorrow, I find out my fate, whether we are doing it Wed or Thursday. I just miss home at this point but most of all, I just want this to be over so that the IPs can move on to the next stage. Keep you posted!

Monday, November 13, 2006

I started the meds this month and haven't really had much trouble. Here's what's going on.

At the beginning of the month I started the BCP. Then about two weeks ago, I started the Lupron shots in the thighs. I have found the sweet spot on my left leg...not so much on the right. Usually, I don't feel anything but the inital prick. Sometimes, and especially on the right leg, it burns. Maybe I am pushing the meds in too fast or something. My legs are starting to look spotty from all the tiny insulin needle pricks. It's gotten to the point that I could pretty much do the Lupron injection in my sleep.

Now, the Follistim is a whole another story. The damn pen is defective, I think. My first time, no problem. On my second day, it didn't look like anything was given, which really worries me. Maybe the pens are not the best way to go. The actual injection is given in the stomach, which haven't really been painful. But sometimes when I push the meds, since the dial turns, I think the needle moves and turns too. That can hurt. My injection last night was uneventful and this time, I watched to make sure that the meds actually decreased. I hope this doesn't mess up the cycle, the one bad shot from the other day. I don't want to disappoint the parents.

The Menopur needle is probably the worse one. It hurts when it goes in, no matter which side, left or right. I hate transferring and mixing it. I always worry that I am not getting all of the meds. The needles is bigger for this one, I don't know why. I wish it wasn't. Maybe I can just mix it with the correct syringe and use the smaller insulin syringes and needles to inject it? I could ask about that.

A couple of things have been difficult. The other day, I couldn't get myself to inject the meds. My hands were getting clammy just thinking about stabbing myself. It took alot to work me up enough to do it. This went on for 3 days. Two days ago, I was trying to inject myself in the stomach and for some reason, I got the needle in and then I pulled it out. That meant that one day, I got stuck in the stomach THREE times. It was actually pretty painful. I am also having a really hard time with the no alcohol, no sex, and no over the counter meds without consent.

The alcohol is because I have been involved in may social functions in the last few weeks. It's been hard telling people that I don't want a drink because they get curious and start pestering me about it. We are young and we all go out, so it's not really something that people my age understand. Not to mention, I just don't feel the need to tell them why I am refusing a drink. The sex is hard because I am in a new relationship and find the guy I am dating very sexually appealing. I don't want to mess things up for me (and him) or for the recipients. So far this has been the harder battle. Afterall, we are at an age where we don't really have to wait, but in my case, it's all on hold. As for the OTC drugs, well, I have been battling a cold for the last week and half. Not being able to take anything is very hard. I also find that I am just too lazy to call and ask for consent, I would rather suffer ;). You don't realize how much you take for granted being able to take some pain meds for a headache or cold medicine for your cold until you can't do it anymore.

I am to leave for the retrieval in another few more days! I am really excited about it. I want and hope that my eggs will work for the IPs. I am starting to feel crampy and sore today. I hope they are growing bigger and plentiful. I want a good harvest for the recipients so that they can have the best chance possible. It's alot of money that they have spent on this. I hope the end result is a beautiful baby for them. Wish me luck!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Nothing has been happening lately, so I haven't blogged. I had a successful trip out to the clinic and was cleared to go ahead with the donation. My sonogram showed plenty of follies. The doctor believes that my FSH might have been compromised because we had to do it on day 2 and 9 not 3 and 10. This week I received contacts and the meds. The meds came in a gigantic box with ice packs. I took my goods home and am just waiting for the actual day to come to use it. I started BCP this week as well. There are additional lab tests to be ran this week to ensure that everything is completely ok for the donation. I am supposed to get my travel arrangements booked this week, as well. Which also means I have to tell my boss that I am leaving for the week of the retrieval. For some reason, I think he is going to hate it. I never take vacation days. And when I do, I usually feel guilty. Isn't that just silly?

I did try out giving myself an injection at the clinic. Surprisingly, I wasn't too freaked out and it went off without a hitch. I guess it's probably because I used to think I wanted to be a nurse or doctor that makes me less afraid of needles. My good friend is with one agency and is about to undergo the whole process as well. They are shooting for the beginning of Dec, end of Nov. I told one of my good friends what I was doing and she was extemely supportive. In fact, she told me that she had considered it herself. But the fear of needles really threw her off. Especially when she would have to give herself the shot.

The way I see it, besides the social stigma of egg donation, there is the whole fear of needles that alot of young women face. Often times these things keep them from actually extending their helping hand to a couple. If only they could make all the meds in pill form...I would suspect that that would dramatically increase the numbers of donors. I have dealt with the social aspects of it and really, it doesn't bother me. I have been honest to those that ask but I don't really volunteer the information. I guess that's a better way to go than blurting it out to anyone and everyone. New friends that I have met are not privied to this information. I am not comfortable with being judged by someone that doesn't understand the situation. It's a good thing, I wish society would stop seeing it as anyting but.

That is all for today. I will update again when there is some actual action.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Sorry for the delay and gaps in posts. I have been locked out of my account for a few days. I FINALLY found a way back into my blog! YAY!

Last time, when I left off things looked like they may be falling through. But apparently the IPs have faith in me (because of my age) so it looks like it is still on. I am going to meet the doctor soon. I am actually really nervous just because, so far, this donation has not gone smoothly. I have to admit, it was my fault. My FSH was not great. Now, all I can do is worry and hope that it all goes well. As much as I hate to admit it, I need this to go through for selfish reasons.

I have a friend that I recommended to one of the agencies. She has been matched and just did her day 3 bloodwork. I hope it works out for her too. I hope it works out for both of us.

One thing I am really annoyed with is that after talking to the coordinator, it has become blatenly obvious that my years on the pill has, indeed, effected my reproduction. Not enough that I will need to worry about my own fertility, but enough that I may not be able to donate. We need this one to work out, not as much as the IPs but enough. As bad as that sounds.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

I spoke too soon. Don't know yet what will happen. But apparently, my results came back and there is a concern.
Apparently, no news is good news. I completed my clomid challenge on Saturday. This time around, the lab was quick and had all the stuff together. I was happy to get in and out in 25 minutes. I spoke to my coordinator and she said that she hadn't heard anything from the clinic so everything is still a go. I am starting to get excited about this whole thing. I am happy that I can help someone.

This whole egg thing must be on my subconcious because I keep having dreams about it. I dreamt, recently, that I had PCOS. Not a good thing. But apparently, I could still donate in the dream. I never knew what PCOS was until I decided to donate. Ever since, I try to read other people's blogs and get as much information on the donation process and their experiences. It's been extremely helpful. I hope that this journal helps someone else in return. Nothing too exciting happening to me yet, but in the long run, I hope it helps someone.

In a while, I will be travelling to the clinic. It's exciting to know that we are just that much closer to making this happen for someone. I know there is no guarantee that a positive result will come of this. But it's good to know that there is a chance. I do have to wonder if the IPs think this way too? This is an expensive process and I hope that they do not have to do it multiple times. From what I understand, some insurance covers treatment, but there are alot others that don't. So in a way, all their eggs are in my basket.

It is a weird situation that we have set up. By we, I mean the egg donation process. The IPs know what I look like and I believe they know my first name. Years from now, if we pass on the street, won't they recognize me? Whereas, I have no idea who they are. I guess it doesn't matter. I think it would be awkward to meet your biological child while walking from the grocery store. I read somewhere that most people keep the donated egg thing a secret from the child and from everyone else. This makes sense and I can understand why some people do it. Afterall, only the couple and those that directly participated in the donation process will know the egg is not theirs. The mom will still carry the baby to term. It is a personal choice that they have to make for themselves.

Anywho, the rambling must stop. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

I went in for the blood draw on Saturday, and waited almost two hours for them to draw 3 vials of blood. The lab also misplaced my paperwork, so that was another fiasco all together. Luckily, it was done fast, hurt little, and no bruising. Now, I just have to wait for this Saturday to complete the Clomid Challenge.

I started the clomid on Monday. I didn't really notice anything, no real changes. But last night about 3 hours after I took the second dose of Clomid, I felt crampy. I did a workout tape at home and then I felt really sick. Don't know if that had anything to do with the Clomid. I read that it would be helpful to cut down on the intake of caffine, so I am doing my best, but really, today, I am dying for a big cup of coffee. Or a big glass of Dr. Pepper....ah, heaven in a can.

Didn't get much sleep last night. I did have weird baby dreams last night...that's another story. I wonder if I will ever be a good mother? Or if I will be as disoriented and forgetful as I was in the dream. My biggest hope is that my future children grow up knowing they were loved and that I always put their needs first. I hope to be that selfless someday. But right now, I am focused on myself, I guess that is what part of this whole journey is about.

I sometimes think that I would have like to have known who the intended parents were. Not because I would want to have contact with the child, but because I would like to know what kind of people they are. It's a shot in the dark for me and for them. They don't know me at all either. Just what they read on that profile. For all they know, I could be crazy or vice versa.

Just counting down the days, nothing to do but wait and see. Hopefully I don't have any problems with the Clomid Challenge and we move forward.

Friday, August 11, 2006

At the beginning of the week, I received a rather large package from the clinic. It was filled will paperwork. I guess part of this whole process is the paperwork, a really big and long part. I finally got to it around 9pm last night. Finished it this morning and mailed it. In another package from the clinic, I received my clomid to be taken on Day 5 of my cycle through day 9. I am supposed to call the clinic and the agency case manager on the first day of my period, with a blood test on Day 3 for the initial screening. Start the clomid, then another blood test on Day 10. It's a good thing that I am not afraid of needles or we would be in trouble. I just hope that I don't have giant welts/bruises from all the blood draw. The people at my work are pretty nosy and next you know, I will be known as the drug addict.

I am traveling to the clinic towards the end of September. It will be a marathon of traveling. I will be leaving my home at 3am, returning at midnight. The schedule was much better than the one they previously gave. I have my day job obligations to fulfill and the original schedule was not conducive to that at all. Luckily, I was able to get around that. I am excited to get the process moving along. There are days that I wish I didn't feel like I was living a double life, but in many ways, I am. It is not socially acceptable to announce that you are donating your eggs, at least that is the way I see it. So when I ask for days off work to go to appointments or travel, it is always an awkward situation. At this point, I have a feeling that my supervisor thinks I am terminally ill. (I had to request days off for the previous attempt at donation too)Poor guy, he is probably wondering if I am contagious.

Since I brought up the subject, I will tell you why I say "attempted" at donating. Back in March 2006, I was matched with a couple. I was really excited because they would have been my first IPs. There were complications to begin with and things kept changing on me. I am a creature of habit. I like to know what is going on and when. But I was never kept in the loop. Eventually, things started moving along. I went through the screening, had vials and vials of blood drawn, flew out to their clinic, sonograms, etc. In May, I flew to the IP's clinic, met their RE and everything seems fine. We did a sonogram and found that because I had been on the pill for so long that my ovaries were quite surpressed.
Now, I know that had I been kept in the loop, I should have been told to discontinue use prior to the meeting (this is information I gathered from the internet and other fertility clinics).
They sent me on my way, saying that another sonogram will be performed when I get my period. I got my period only 2 weeks later, because at that time, they had me discontinue BCP.

I don't know why people would assume that after 2 weeks, my ovaries would be 100% normal again. But apparently, I had 7 follies. The program dropped me because they usually want to see 8. I was 1 short. I had to call repeatedly to find out why, no one was telling me anything. I got a random email saying "thanks" and that was it. I eventually spoke to the ovum donation coordinator and she told me that she did not believe it would be a permanent thing for me, the low follie count, because I had just gotten off the pill and my age. But they would not use me because they didn't want to wait and that their clinic was more interested in a "sure thing" because numbers are what bring in patients. I understood, but was deeply disappointed. Even more so, when I found out that my agency dropped me. They were supposed to get back to me and never have. I don't know why a simple email cannot be replied. Or a phone call. But everyone has their way of doing things. I do feel like that particular agency, though I really thought they had a wonderful staff, was extremely un-organized. I always had to be the one calling and setting up my appointments and etc.

I also had another experience that was also very disappointing. I was matched through another agency and I was very happy about it. But I had work and other obligates to tend to first. I asked for an extention to sign the contract, I said I would get back to them that day. Yes, it was my fault that I got caught up at work and didn't fax it before I left. But I went online an hour later to find that the case manager decided to email me and tell me that she will not use me because she felt that was taking too long. And she lectured me about how it was wrong for me to be signed to more than one agency. I can understand this point of view, but at the same time, once I commit, I commit all the way. It shouldn't matter how many agencies I am signed with. I tell them immediately that I am unavailable the second I am entertaining an match. I felt really badly for the IPs because I don't know what was said to them as to why we didn't match. I had every intention of matching with them. But alas, it didn't work out.

So the journey has been long for me. It is nowhere near as difficult for the IPs. I feel badly for those that I weren't able to help. I hope that this cycle goes well and a pregnancy can result. I know that those that explore this route are often at the end of the road and they deserve a healthy and happy child.

We will end that here, I don't want to say anything bad about either agency, and hope I did not. It just didn't work out and I have moved on. I hope they did find someone that could work for them (the IPs). I also hope that the agencies helping the IPs find their match have their best interest at heart at all times.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

So far, not much has happened. I did receive a letter with insurance information, travel agency business card, and my case manager card the other day. I am a bit disturbed because I recently found out that this agency might not be 100% ethical, 100% of the time. I don't want to be any part of something like that. But I want to make sure that I don't disappoint the IP either. Right now, I am just opting to be optimistic and believe that there are good people in the agency. For the sake of myself and for the sake of the parents. I have thought about asking for some form of communication, but I fear that I might not be able to convey my worries to the IP without the agency interferring (if they really are as bad as I have read.) I also wonder if the cases were isolated instances? Lots to think about.

But other than all that drama...we are just waiting for the period to start so that we can move forward. Should be in another 2 weeks or so.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

In the past few months, I have read a lot of blogs and articles about the donation process. The one question that seems to be on most people's minds is, "Who would do something like this and why?" It is unconventional and controversial, the jury is still out on this one. But here is my take on it: "Why not?" The mix of reactions that I have seen and experience with just the mere mentioning of this topic was pretty shocking. I always thought that we, Americans, were pretty open to things. But it seems just the reverse. Everything, no matter what good may result, is often seen as taboo.

It doesn't hurt anyone and both parties benefit from it. Those that use donor eggs are turning to it as a last resort, not as a way to genetically engineer a super baby. Those that donate (like myself) see how it can help someone as well as themselves. Two birds with one stone kind of thing. The money that the donor receives can be used for anything--I would hope that most people would use it for something good, instead of blowing it all on designer clothes or a fancy car. In my case, I would like to use the money to pay off my student loans send some overseas to support my family.

So who am I? Well, I would like to think of myself as just another woman, trying to make it in the world. I am in my mid-twenties, Asian, college and graduate school educated, average person. I do work full-time, doing my "real" job, donation money is actually an after thought. I don't live to do it, nor do I plan on doing it forever. It is not a means to an end for me. It strikes me as very funny when I read some of the mispreceptions of egg donors. One that was pretty consistent was that you had to be 5'10, blonde, super model, with Einstein IQ. I am far from blonde and far from super model. I am tall for an Asian female and I believe I am easy on the eyes, so those are pluses for me. But most couples, from what I understand, are not looking for the next great engineer, they are looking for someone that looks like them--or at least, has the best chance to look like them. Yes, intelligence does matter to some, I have taken an IQ test for one couple, and yes, I did score really high...But that is probably true for most people that continue on beyond the four years of college.

Being taller, prettier, smarter doesn't guarantee that your eggs are any better or worse than someone else's. But one thing I did notice is that there is a shortage of "ethnic" donors. Meaning those that are not Caucasians. I hear it is because other cultures, like those in Asian cultures, donation is not viewed in a positive light. This is probably true. I donated blood in high school. I never saw anything wrong in it and always hoped that one day someone would do the same for me. If years down the road, when we are ready for a family and we can't, I would hope that there is some young woman out there that is willing to help us.

I view egg donations in the same way. The possible child that may result will never be "my child". It's parents will be those that raised and loved them. The people who were there the first time they took their first steps. They will be the people unable to sleep because the child has a cold. And their parents are the ones that will be there, taking their pictures the day they go off to their Senior prom, to college. It will never be me. In the same since, I would never ask that the person that received my blood to give it back later in life when I have leukemia.

Enough about me for now.

The papers have been drawn. An agreement has been signed. The journey is beginning.