Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Embryo Donation

I always try to open with a picture relevant to what I'm going to be talking about. This one was pretty difficult. I found a lot of pictures of embryos, of pregnant women, of families, political cartoons about stem cell research, personhood acts, how instead of using ART people should adopt disabled orphans, but not the kind of thing I was looking for. It actually made me really sad. But I'm not here to write about how sad I am, (for once) I'm here to talk about something great: embryo donation/adoption.

I had known for a while that this existed, but it was always brought up when someone didn't know what to do with left over embryos rather than as a solution to infertility. People who do believe embryos are tiny little people may be hesitant to try IVF, so mentioning embryo donation was a reassurance that they would be given a chance at life. Finally I came to the realization that the people using these snowbabies are probably struggling with IF themselves. They were like me. So I started doing some research.

Oh, if only I knew what I know now a year and a half ago! Embryo donation is by law not considered adoption. As such you don't have to go through the same steps (home studies etc) as you do with adoption. You are legally considered the birth parents. You can do it anonymously so you don't even know who the biological parents are, just information like eye color, hair color, and medical history. That's one of the things I was hesitant about when it comes to adoption. I want to be the mom as far as everyone is concerned. Also like I've mentioned in the past I really want to experience pregnancy longer than a few days, but my husband is reluctant to use our own genetic material.

The biggest surprise though was the cost. One of the reasons I didn't look into it sooner was because I thought it would be similar to IVF or adoption which we simply cannot afford. Nope, one of the clinics within driving distance has a price list on their website of about $4,000! This is why I wish we had done the research sooner. In January of this year we went on a 7 day cruise that ended up costing about that much. So if we had known this anytime before we booked last July we could have done this instead. Isn't that a kick to the face. Then if you factor in all we've spend on TTC during the last year and a half, we're already halfway to another one if the first didn't take. A lot closer than we are now.

Even if I'm kicking myself for not researching this earlier I am still feeling very optimistic. We can do this. Maybe not right now, but soon. This is within our reach whereas a fresh IVF or adoption are not. We can do the responsible thing of not breeding more children with our health problems while still carrying our children in my womb. This is very exciting. For the first time since my endo pain became constant I am looking forward to the future. There is always the chance that this new treatment won't work and I'll end up with a hysterectomy anyway but I'm choosing not to think about that now.

So just how close are we to making this a reality? Not really that close. I'm thinking probably a year at least. First I need my pain to subside. I am going probably tomorrow to talk to someone about re-enrolling to the local college. The degree I was working on before I can't count on being able to do. It's not guaranteed even with a hysterectomy that I'll be pain free. So I'm going to take a few classes in graphic design, web design, that kind of thing. Stuff I can do from home. My DH is a graphic designer so once I get some skills I could help him anytime I'm feeling well enough. It'll be a lot easier to take classes without a baby, so once I get the basics down we will begin saving up for embryo donation. It feels good to have a plan again even if our goal is so far away.

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