So, onward to the next hoop... lining check on the 13th. I think I'll be over-doing it on yoga and breathing techniques to relax and get the blood flowing to that part of my body so that I get a nice cushy landing place for our potential embryos..
I was also thinking that some of you may not really have any clue what a donor cycle entails, so I thought I'd lay it out here, step by step. In many respects, its very similar to an IVF cycle, except it's just split between two women. The first half of growing the eggs is done by the donor, and the second, more mentally grueling half of waiting to see if the embryo's stick inside me, is done by me, the 'intended mother'. It's no different for Tidy, the 'intended father'.... still has to go donate his swimmers on day of retrieval, and go with me to the transfer day (assuming we make it there). I guess he doesn't, however, have to deal with a loopy wife for a day after the retrieval.
Ok, so step by step, here's what it looks like from my point of view.
- Match with the anonymous donor
- Both IM (that's me, the "intended mother") and donor (We're calling her Dotty) go on BCPs to put their bodies in a holding pattern
- Work out a bunch of legal stuff... takes a while, for us, about a month
- IM starts Lupron and stops BCPs. Stay's on Lupron for 10 days; Donor stays on BCPs
- Suppression check for IM to see if all is quiet on the ovarian front (this is where my body decided to not cooperate, per usual)
- If IM is suppressed, then starts about 2 weeks of Estrogen, to grow a thick uterine lining, while staying on Lupron to keep those ovaries at bay (although, i have heard that some women don't use Lupron and instead Estrogen itself has a suppression effect). (this is where I am at right now!)
- IM goes in after 2 weeks for a lining check and if all looks good and 'cushy' and 'triple striped', the Donor will stop her BCPs and once she gets a period, will start her stims.
- Donor then does stims for 8-12 days, while IM is on Lupron and Estrogen keeping that lining all nice and happy.
- Donor then has egg retrieval and on that day, IF (intended father, Tidy in this case), goes in to donate his swimmers to do their job. Donor and IF do not meet. Donor is done with her responsibility and is paid her fee soon thereafter. IM & IF get a call the next day on how many embryos they have growing. IM starts Progesterone to mimic ovulation so that the lining is in the right phase as the age of the embryos. IM also stops Lupron but stays on Estrogen (in my case.. not sure if all doc's do this, but mine does).... so Retrieval day is a big deal.
- Depending on the quality of the embryos, 3-5 days later, the embryos (1-2 usually) are transferred back into IM.
- Then the dreaded wait begins for IM & IF... and you know the drill... wait, worry, try not to focus on symptoms in your body, try not to pee on too many sticks, and hope and pray the gobs of $$ you just spent will finally amount to a take home baby.