Part II: I’ve got a secret…

So, directed Embryo Donation…what do you think about that? It’s an opportunity that appears to be in my cards, yet no psychic ever mentioned it. Seriously, NEVER did I think this could be part of my story.

(If you are scratching your head,  please read Part I).

That December day when my friend told me her friends were interested in donating embryos to us, it feels like a far off dream now. Maybe because she was phoning to tell me at 6:00AM, or maybe it was because it was Christmas and my icing sugar intake was through the roof.  Either way, I remember hanging up and thinking “huh!”…but in the back of my mind the infertile cynic also thought “as if!”  

Some would have jumped for joy or anxiously waited for the clinic to open that day to call…but I know it took me several days to call the clinic to see if they would even allow me to jump the line with a directed donation. I had read the Embryo Donation (ED) Program packet thoroughly, and in 5 pages there was one short sentence saying it was possible….but I didn’t believe it. There had to be more small print or a “but” clause I had missed, right?  The call with the coordinator was pleasant, the only “but” was that the donating couple needed to make their intentions known and also make the first move by calling her. *Sigh*…Yet another thing out of our control.

As Christmas interrupted regular work weeks and clinic staff took their holidays, I let it go. The New Year came and my hopefulness was in place, but it remained solely directed at adoption. I was eager to follow up with the agency and see when our home study could start. By the second week of January the first home study appointment was in place, and I thought…well, I guess I should also check in with the clinic….so, I called.

The ED Program is run differently than the IVF or IUI programs. For this small exclusive club, there is only one nurse who coordinates items. I was relieved I wasn’t calling just a general voicemail box that had you praying anyone would call you back in a timely manner. This program had a person…and when I spoke with her…she was happy to hear from me and was a most comforting voice. She informed me that things were moving along as she had received the donating couples paperwork. Next steps were for us to meet with the psychologist, do a home study (yes, one for this too), get our highly infectious disease blood tests done, and for lucky ole me…I would likely need another sonohystogram. Oh yeah, and of course we would need to pay the ED Program registration fee ($$$).

Just a few hoops… but, even with a doctors appointment and a psychologist appointment in the books for March, nothing was real. There was still time for the couple to say, “yeah, we changed our minds.”  So, our life went on and our energy stayed focused on the adoption home study. Luckily, the clinic is happy for us to use the same home study the agency is doing (finally, one small break on the pocketbook).

Skip ahead to last week…March 1st….our big date with the clinic rolled around. Even sitting in the waiting room I was still a skeptic.  Even when we sat down with the psychologist, I was honest and I told her, we didn’t believe any of this was true. She nodded her head and in her most professional voice explained that all that made sense as we were protecting ourselves from getting on that ugly hope/despair rollercoaster too early in the game. She also said, it was time to start believing it to be true.

The next two hours were a whirlwind…what we thought was a quick meet and greet with the psychologist and a short appointment with the doctor turned into a full morning. Mid-meeting with the psychologist…she said, “you do know you are meeting the donating couple today, right?” (WTF? Ooops!…It appears our dear nurse coordinator had forgot to tell us that nugget of news…).  In an instant, with this small detail in place, the feelings of a routine trip to the clinic was replaced with the nerves of a first date but on a whole new level.Secrets

When we all finally ended up in the little office together it was surreal and nerve-wracking. Here we were with this “magical” couple that we had only known of through a friend. We knew each others first names and the general bits and pieces the friend had shared with each of us, but that was it. As the counselor mediated, she suggested we work to build a relationship over the next few months. As we stared each other down, we discussed what this could potentially look like down the road…maybe the donating couple would be an aunt and uncle…maybe their twin daughters would be “special cousins”.  Either way, it was encouraged for us to be open with the child on who this donating family was and the role they had played in the child’s life.

So, in that small room, as we all nervously shared a bit more…an unspoken promise was made. If this treatment worked, they would be forever a part of our lives.

 

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20 thoughts on “Part II: I’ve got a secret…

  1. It must be so amazing and so nerve wracking. So many thoughts to entertain – how will you all get along? How will it be having them in your lives? What if it doesn’t work – which is quite possible with two embryos… What if it does work?! Balancing your feelings between hope and self-protection must be so difficult…

    Liked by 1 person

      • It’s absolutely worth a shot! It also dawns on me that with adoption you will also have many similar issues to mull over, so in some ways there’s a lot of cross over… Wouldn’t it be amazing if it works! All the best and good luck.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. So excited part 2 came so speedily! I’ve had to go back and reread part 1 the other day – I am just so excited for this incredible opportunity and chance at this unique path for you.
    But wtf about forgetting to tell you that you were meeting the donors?? That’s huge!
    How were you emotionally in this meeting?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know! I was fine during the meeting…other than the nerves. 🙂 Excited and disbelief all at the same time. We had coffee with them after and it was like all the nerves from a first date. I thought those days were done… But, I guess not!

      It was a lovely situation to be in…sort of glad it was sprung on us. I likely would have been more nervous if I had known.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s a little bit different (just flipped in that we have the biological component but lost the pregnancy part), but I have felt many of these same feelings through the surrogacy process. It is also an exclusive club through our clinic and we had to jump through a lot of hoops with disease testing and making sure we were “worthy” of being parents as well. Very different from regular IVF. We also had the same nerves prior to meeting our gestational carrier and her husband for the first time. Everything was totally dependent on them liking us and I was terrified they would decide they didn’t want to continue with us after all. It was surreal to meet our “magical” couple then, and it is amazing to look at our son and know that he is only here with us because of someone else’s incredible sacrifice for a couple they didn’t (initially) know. It feels so humbling and overwhelming at times. They are now a special aunt and uncle to our child as well, which I believe is a huge blessing for him. Although we may have missed out on what it would have been like to have him without help, he has gained so much by having them in his life.

    I am so happy as I read these posts and hear of your renewed hope and excitement. Sometimes things just come together and feel… right, and that’s how I feel about this. It is an amazing story that I hope and believe you will someday recount for your child.

    Have you heard they call infants born from donated embryos “snowflake babies”? I love that! ❄️

    Looking forward to hearing more about this journey and wishing you only the best along the way. 💗

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your well wishes!
      Surrogacy was never an option for us so I have never really thought about that relationship, but yes…you’re right, there are many similarities. I am so open to it too…with my head so focused on adoption, I was looking forward to potentially having this unique bond/shared experience with a birth parent. I never dreamed that we would get a similar experience with an embryo donation, but now that we are in it, it all makes sense.

      Glad to have your support as we tackle this new adventure! ❤

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  4. So it sounds like for now, you guys are going with ‘open’ but boundaries – so they’d be special aunts/cousins but identified as donors all along? Or just ‘special’ until a certain age and then the nature of the relationship would be clarified?

    We’ve gotten some great embryo donation kids books, btw as we plan to tell Smoocheroo from the beginning that he was a special gift from very loving people. There are so many great resources out there ☺️.

    In our case, we don’t know our donor. We can get in touch through our counsellor but the arrangement is to wait until the kids are 18, or earlier if any of the kids is struggling and contact needs to be made. We’ll also exchange cards, pictures, letters. My son is the youngest of the group (holy shit, typing that sentence was emotional….), all boys.

    I’m really curious about how you guys will work things out, I find the variations really interesting. Good luck!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, our plan is to be open from the beginning with it all. My brother was adopted and from age 0 he knew that and grew up accepting that little fact. Never was a big deal that way.

      We will definitely identify them as the donating couple/family and depending on how our relationship grows I see us getting together from time to time. From there we will see what titles we are most comfortable with.

      At this point, I can’t even imagine if we will try for more … Let’s just hope for 1!!! So I really like that on some level this could mean and only child could have access to an extended sibling relationship of sorts.

      I got a recommendation for a book from our counsellor and I was also directed to an online community that was started in the UK. Are u familiar with it?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yea!!! The U.K. Group is where I get 95% of my info. We signed up to get access to the articles and how-tos etc. One of the best pieces of advice we’ve gotten from them so far was the idea of practicing the family origin story from day one, out loud with the baby. DH and I had tried to say it out loud to one another but we stumbled quite a bit! We have a rough script now (nicely echoed by the kids books) and then we’ll practice telling him out loud as an infant so we get all the awkward word choice stumbles out of the way and start framing the story for the lil person who needs to understand it most!

        We’re in the same boat re: siblings. I’m 38 and in the fence about a second. I want two but don’t know if I can handle another pregnancy at 40 or financially – though it’s early days. We did a single embryo transfer – first one in March 2015 ended in a mc. Second took. Will you do an SET or put both in?

        Liked by 1 person

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