Our very own Case Manager shares an update on her current egg donation cycle.
Moving Right Along!
Sunday morning I started my period and called the clinic right away to let them know. The clinic has an answering service that takes calls on the weekend so I let them know that I started my period and I needed to schedule an appointment for the 3rd day of my period. I wasn’t sure if I would get a call back later Sunday but I wanted to leave a message anyway. I received a call on Monday morning to schedule my appointment. When I went in for my appointment, the doctor performed a vaginal ultrasound and told me that I had at least 10 resting follicles in each ovary. Then I proceeded to have my blood drawn. I noticed that they were going to take 10 vials of blood so I inquired as to what they were testing for. I was told that they were doing my FDA, hormone and genetic testing. They would be testing me for Cystic Fibrosis, Fragile X as well as Karyotype testing (testing for chromosomal abnormalities). These results may take about two weeks to come back. They are very important tests because they would be a great indicator as to whether or not my genetic offspring would face an increased risk of carrying or having a genetic abnormality. While it’s great information for the recipients to have, it’s also valuable knowledge for myself as I plan on having children of my own one day.
The nurse then gave me instructions to call the psychologist to set up my psychological evaluation and gave me a pack of birth control pills to start on the 3rd day of my period. I called the psychologist and set up my appointment for Saturday. I will be driving to her office and the testing will take 2 hours because they will administer the MMPI-II test as well as a psychological consultation with the psychologist. I’ve taken the test in the past, for my first donation, and while it is very long (a few hundred questions), it’s fairly straight forward. There is sometimes a pen-and-paper version but I will be taking the test on a computer.
Yesterday I also received a copy of the contract. Working in this field, I know what to look for in the contract that may not be commonly included. It is very important, especially for a first time donor, to read through the contract carefully as there are things that you, as a donor, are responsible for in the future (relaying important medical information to the intended parents, information on how I could be in “breech of contract” and how that could effect me, etc). I’ve read through the contract carefully and scheduled a time to review the contract with my attorney early next week. During our consultation, he will go over the contract with me and answer any questions that I may have. Once I’ve received the final copy of the contract, I will fax my attorney the signature pages and mail in the original. Once both parties have signed the contract, we will have legal clearance.
Seeing my recipient’s first names on the contract really put things into perspective for me. Going through this process I’ve been completely focused on my responsibilities and while I understand that there is a whole other side to this process and a couple on the other end that I’m helping in a very big way, seeing their first names was very meaningful to me.
The nurse told me that since I was now on birth control pills, she would be able to set up a tentative calendar of dates. I hope to have that by next week. I was told that, because of the holidays, I would start the injectable medications with my next cycle. So, I will continue on my birth control pills, have a period, and start the medications sometime after my next period. Some clinics instruct donors to stay on the active birth control pills ONLY, and not have a period, so it’s very important to follow instructions given by the clinic.
It’s important for me to know when my estimated retrieval date will be so that I can find a companion for the day of retrieval. I will need someone to take me to the clinic and take me back home because I won’t be able to drive after being under anesthesia. The retrieval date will depend on how my body responds to the medications so there will be a window of a few days that the retrieval might fall on. I have several family members and close friends who will make themselves available during that week. Having a support system during this process is very important not only because I will need a ride on the day of retrieval but having someone to talk to about this process is important as well.
So, for now, I’m waiting for my genetic results to come back, I’m taking the birth control pills as directed, will go to my psychological appointment on Saturday and will consult with my attorney on Tuesday. I’ll have another update next week so stay tuned!
*Please note that all cycles are a bit different and each physician has his or her own protocol. Instructions for each individual donation will be provided by the physician that is coordinating the cycle.