Saturday, 22 January 2011

What's the point?

After a few comments on the blog, I sat down and tried to work through some things in my head. I was getting quite down about it all, and those negative feelings were influencing how I was thinking about the whole donor situation. So let's break it down.

Someone has come on my blog, and said that people know who I am, where I work, and who P is. What I would like to say in return is - what is your point? Is that meant to be a negative comment? Is having a donor meant to be something to be ashamed of? Or is it meant to be an attempt at intimidating me that people at work will know about our situation?

I'm not sure I see any positive out of that comment, but let's try and take it that way for a minute. Good point - people do know who I am. I have never hidden who I am on this blog, I don't use an alias, I make my email and facebook details available for people to communicate with me, I share intimate details of my life and conception journey. But I know all of this and am comfortable with it.

I was even featured in the major daily WA paper on our IVF treatment when we were lobbying against cuts in government funding for fertility treatment. Half page photo, with my name and intimate details spread for the world (or at least the city) to read. Instead of snide comments or negativity, I instead received emails of support from over a dozen people at my workplace, supporting me and telling of similar stories that they or their friends had been through. So I do have experience with my workplace knowing my story.

The only other thing I can assume you are inferring is that P will be identified through my blog. Firstly P & his wife both have the link to my blog. Secondly P's wife also has an online presence through a local message board, so is aware of how 'heart on the sleeve' the internet world can be. And thirdly, if you hadn't read the initial message, while we don't plan on shouting it from the rooftops so every employee knows our situation, we don't have an issue with people at work knowing.

I don't know who you are. I have some idea but whether it is the person I am thinking about or not, ask yourself - why are you here? Are you here to be supportive? To check on my progress? Do you wish me the best? Or are you here because this is how you get your thrills, seeing us have to make emotional decisions, watching us as we experience the pain of childlessness. If you aren't here to wish me well, I would say to you - Look at yourself and the person you are and if this is the person you want to be. I can't stop you from being here and reading my words.. But you can.

If there is another point to your comment that you would like to make - go ahead, please. I am taking this as a blessing in disguise, as it has given me the opportunity to work through some things in my head and made me stronger in my resolve to continue blogging, openly and honestly.

Through the last two days, I kept thinking - What's the point? What is the point of the anonymous comments, the baring of my soul on this blog, the pain, the fragile times, the emotions, the lot.

So what's the point?

The point is that we know our child is out there. Whether through adoption, IVF or naturally, we know that God has a plan for us to be parents. So whatever is thrown at us, it is worth it. It will all be worth it.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

A meeting of the minds

We met with P & his wife today to talk about the possibility of P donating sperm to us. Murray & I were both really nervous leading up to tonight, and I was about 50/50 whether or not we would accept the offer. Once we got there though and we met his wife and little boy, it calmed us down and we were able to have a really good conversation about everything.

My main two concerns were that firstly we could still work together professionally without it interfering. We basically decided that at work things would still be normal, but if someone asked the question, or if either of us wanted to divulge at work, that we were okay with it. But as a general rule it would be our business not anyone elses.

The second thing is that they are comfortable with having an ongoing relationship with us and the child, not formalised as such, but just a general understanding that if our kids want to spend time together, or know more about backgrounds, that is okay. They were happy with that which is good. My main reason for wanting a known donor over an unknown donor, is that if you go the anonymous route, the revealing of the donor details at age 16 or 18 becomes this big event, something that is built up through a child or teenagers formative years, and then it becomes a big deal. Whereas if our child knows its biological background from the beginning (which of course it would anyway), but specifically being able to see a photo of the person or ask questions etc, then it's just part of their life story.

We talked a bit about P's family, their interests, genetic history etc. P has a very musical family apparently, he is also a bookworm and comes from quite a smart family. He is originally from South Africa. His wife and him love water sports, and often go scuba diving and snorkelling. They tried for 12 years to have their little boy, and they used a donor egg to have him along with P's sperm. He does have late-onset diabetes in his family and has eye strain, neither of which worry us.

Before their son was born, P decided to become a donor through their clinic (which also happens to be our clinic), so his sperm has already been tested, quarantined and they have been through counselling, which means the usual three and six month waiting periods aren't required for us. However we will still need to do a counselling session together as it is a different scenario to anonymous donation, and they are very happy to do that.

There is one catch to all of this. They have said that they offered for altruistic reasons initially, but they are also wanting to try again for another baby which means they need to find an egg donor. They would like us to consider that, if and when we should fall pregnant successfully and give birth, that we might like to donate some of the remaining embryos to them to try to conceive. They have said that that would only be after we had a baby, not while we are still trying.

I was a little taken aback at first, but after thinking about it, it honestly sounds like a good idea. I have always said that I wanted to donate my eggs after I completed IVF, and this lets me kill two birds with one stone, so to speak. The only real issue it raises is that if we both fall pregnant, that our children will be full-blood siblings. I probably need to speak to a specialist counsellor or find someone to talk to who has been in this situation, because while I can't see any major issues with it, there may be things that I haven't considered that could be issues there. (PS - if you know of anyone who has done this - please leave their details below - Ta!)

They made it clear that the egg donation was not a condition of them donating sperm, it was just something to consider.

We have talked it over, and we will talk some more over the coming weekend just to make sure we aren't getting swept away with everything, but so far so good.

The plan at this stage is to do set up counselling appointments over the next three weeks, do the ovarian drilling, and then do DIVF in April.

Wow - a new plan in less than a week!

Monday, 17 January 2011

Donated Blessings

Somebody I work with (let's call him P) has just approached me an offer for him to be our donor.
I don't work directly with P, however I often have to get information from him or consult on certain issues. He is a nice guy who has always helped me out with my work where he can.

P & I were chatting before Christmas about his little boy and how it took them 10 years and many IVF attempts to have him. I mentioned our AC journey and he was quite upbeat and positive about us having a child.

He just approached me at my desk and said that, he wasn't quite sure the right way to do this, but him and his wife had spoken about it and they would like to offer to be our sperm donor so we can have a child.

I am just blown away that somebody would offer to do that for us. We had always hoped that we would find a known donor, so that our child could grow up knowing their biology and information, rather than an anonymous donor where you can't find anything out until the child is 18. This is so out of the blue but so beautiful.

Murray and I have only briefly spoken on the phone, but he is very happy to go down this path. Although we are also happy with our current donor (matched through the clinic), the clinic donor is not suitable for IUI, and as mentioned above, we only have rudimentary information on his background. It would be awesome to known who the donor is, and have a photo for our child, for themt o be able to meet if all parties are happy to, that sort of thing.

As for the logistics - P is quite tall, medium build, dark blondish hair, no idea what colour eyes! More importantly he is very genuine, intelligent (he is an engineer), and a honest to goodness nice guy.

I feel so blessed right now just to have this option. I think the first thing we would like to do is sit down with both of them and just get to know them both a bit better and make sure they are really happy to do this. But I think that this could be a go-er for us!

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Delurk yourself

Yup - it's my first official delurk-athon. OK I am coming to the party a little late, but here goes. Delurk yourself below, and tell me something about yourself - where you are from, your favourite colour, and what your big goal is for yourself in 2011. Looking forward to hearing from you all!

PS - I promise there is a new post coming, thoughts are brewing, just need to get them down on paper.