Friday, February 11, 2011

Cracking The Questions

I still have a lot of unanswered questions about this whole thing, as I'm sure you do too. Hopefully as I go through this process, I will be able to get more information to share with you. Here's a list of the biggest concerns/questions I have:

1. Will this hurt?
Stabbing myself daily with needles and multiple blood tests... sure, but I think this is quite bearable considering I'm not the one having a baby exit my body (yet). I can imagine the transvaginal ultrasound will be a little uncomfortable, maybe a little embarrassing even, but I don't expect it to be any worse than my annual ob/gyn appointment. As for the egg retrieval, I'll be under light sedation and some type of anesthesia so I won't feel a thing! My clinician informed me that I should expect some bleeding afterwards and moderate cramping, which again is nothing out of the ordinary... I hope.

2. Will you have a teenager knocking on your door in 18 years calling you Mom?
Most likely - No. I will be an anonymous donor. The couple receiving my eggs will have no present pictures of me, only baby photos to judge how lovely their bundle of joy will come out to be. My mom is going to LOVE digging out the old photo albums to pick the most embarrassing shots. Luckily for me and my ego, I will ultimately be the one choosing which to reveal to the couple.

The recipients will have no revealing information about me, and vice versa. I'll actually never know if a baby was even successfully conceived by them! In case of dire emergencies, like if I or the couple was in need of bone marrow or a kidney transplant, the clinic may contact either party in the future. However, there will never be any direct contact between me, the recipients, or the genetically privileged baby.

3. What happens to the unused embryos/eggs?
This I'm not 100% sure of. I know that unused eggs may be donated for stem cell research. Whether they're embryos or unfertilized eggs... that is yet to be discovered. I'm personally accepting of this fact, but I understand the controversy.

4. What are the risks involved?
Well, pregnancy on my part for one. While it may be challenging, Chris and I have agreed to practice abstinence the second I stop taking birth control pills. With so many ripened eggs floating around, we are NOT ready to risk me getting pregnant. The risks of ectopic pregnancy (when embryos develop in the fallopian tube instead of the uterus) is also great. The best way to avoid these risks is to play it safe! Hey it's only a month after all.

I can imagine pumping myself full of follicle stimulating hormones may also make me a little uncomfortable. The biggest risk concerning the hormone injections is ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. Basically, the ovaries can become swollen, which is quite painful from what I have read. If this happens, I'll have to stop taking the hormones and close up shop. After ridding myself of the hormones, OHS should resolve itself.

5. Will donating affect your own fertility?
From the research I've read - Nope! The average woman has millions of eggs... I think I have enough to share. In a study conducted in 1992-2001 with 169 donors, none of the women who participated had any trouble conceiving if they tried. In fact, half of the donors were able to get pregnant within 3 months of donating! 84% were able to conceive within a year of donating. Check out the study in more detail here:

Have any additional thoughts or questions you think I should ask at my initial appointment?

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