As couples begin the daunting search for their perfect egg donor, so many questions come to mind! What criteria are the most important to me? Do I want someone who physically resembles me or someone in my family? Does the donor have musical talents like I do or can she swing a tennis racquet the way my partner does? Did she achieve those SAT scores in high school that we are looking for and has she achieved good grades during her college years? Does she have a sense of humor and kind heart? Such a difficult and unique decision to be making. Only you and your partner can know what are the most important criteria for you.
The night before my second son was born, I drank two glasses of red wine and ate half a pizza. I woke from a lovely nap when labor started about 4 a.m., and then welcomed my baby into the world two hours later, tears sprinkling his soft, warm head. And when I finally stopped crying, I walked to the hospital bed where my surrogate was recovering, kissed her forehead, and whispered the most heartfelt “thank you” of my life.
When I was going through fertility treatments, I had a friend’s bachelorette party one weekend. Leading up to the weekend there were a flurry of emails about our plans and excitement, but one email knocked the wind out of me. It was from one of my closest friends remarking how she couldn’t make the party because she was pregnant so “have a drink for me!”
Elizabeth Banks, the 37-year-old star of "The Hunger Games" and "What to Expect when You're Expecting" has been talking to the media recently about her infertility and having her son via gestational carrier. The actress, who also has a recurring role in 30 Rock, has a son, Felix, who was born in March 2011.
In recounting friends' advice while she was battling infertility, Banks said something very profound:
I remember when Mother’s Day went from being special to dreaded. I remember seeing homemade cards stuck to my friend’s refrigerators and hearing about breakfast in bed served in bed by small, earnest waiters. I remember celebrating with my mother during those dark years when becoming a mom myself seemed about as likely as winning American Idol—and thinking, “This is not how it’s supposed to be.”
You just never know — a new study finds that being labeled "infertile" does not necessarily mean you will never have a baby naturally. French researchers published in the Fertility and Sterility that helps clarify those anecdotes about people having a successful or failed in vitro fertilization (IVF) and then going on to have a baby naturally.
Because of advances in egg freezing technology, donor egg banks, similar to sperm banks, have been developed over the last few years.
In the past, the survival of eggs following the older, slow-freezing technique was very low, as were pregnancy rates, often due to damage to the egg cells caused by ice crystal formation during the freezing process. Today, vitrification of eggs involves a new flash-freezing technique where the delicate egg, once unfreezable without damage, can now be safely preserved for future use. In the process of vitrification, an oocyte is placed in a small volume of the vitrification medium and is then cooled at an extremely rapid rate. This fast freezing eliminates the formation of ice crystals in the eggs. Following this freeze, the egg is stored in liquid nitrogen until such time as it is to be thawed and fertilized by a sperm.
Gonadotropins are ovulation inducing fertility drugs, sold under the brand names Follistim and Gonal-f. These injectable drugs contain genetically engineered FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) and are used to stimulate ovulation and help the ovaries produce multiple eggs.
At the beginning of our third IVF try, feeling beaten by repeated miscarriages and the financial suck of infertility, my husband and I went to Palm Springs for the weekend. We thought perhaps that starting the parade of baby-making shots in a warm, stress-free environment would help us succeed. But that night, just imagine my surprise (and stress!) when we discovered that instead of grabbing the Gonal-F vial from the fridge on our way out the door, my sweet hubby had grabbed the dog’s ear medicine instead. Back he drove to LA, faster than a drug runner at the U.S. border, returning at 2 a.m. to first jab a needle into my butt cheek and then pass out cold. For the rest of the cycle, we laughed about it — and that felt good.
This past week was the first week I have felt normal in about a month. I have so much to look forward to in the coming months, and it just occurred to me this week that I don’t always have to have my guard up in fear of being let down again.