Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The List

I've been away from my blog for a few days now and it's given me a chance to reflect back on what I've written. Most of my posts have had sort of a negative tone to them and I'm afraid that I may have depressed a few people. That was not my intention, so in order to brighten up the mood, I am going to tell our story of getting put on the list.

After our second failed attempt to get pregnant through IVF, we met with the doctors. We of course had many questions to ask them. I didn't know where to start. My main question was why wasn't this working and what could I be doing to help better our medical situation. The answer I got was that there was no answer and that I was doing everything that I should be doing. Well, thanks for telling me the obvious, but can't you just lie to me and tell me something I can work on?

What they did end up telling us was that after looking at all the information they had gained through the course of our treatment at the clinic, was that we were both reproductively healthy. Individually we were just fine, but put us together and we were not compatible. If you have ever watched the TV show Friends, you might remember the episode where Monica and Chandler find out that their sperm and eggs don't get along. Well, that is essentially what we were told. I guess my eggs are just bitchy and won't let the sperm come to their party!

We will never really know if the eggs don't like the sperm or if the sperm just plain don't like my eggs. What we do know though is that there are other ways of going about becoming parents. At our last meeting with our doctors, they asked us if we would like to try IVF again. Immediately we said no. We had many discussions at home before meeting with the doctors with us ultimately deciding that neither one of us wanted to put ourselves through the torture of it all again.

They did tell us though that we are perfect candidates for a donor embryo. Because I can completely be pregnant and can carry a baby just fine, all I need is a healthy embryo. We decided to go for it and they put us on their waiting list. How it works is that there are five lists, with list one having the most priority. List one is for people that are young, healthy, and do not currently have any children. We made it on list one and are number 5 on that list. I'm hoping by now that we have made it higher up (we were put on the list several months ago), but we'll just have to wait and see.

It can take about 18 months or so to get to the top of the list. Of course, we're hoping the list moves a little faster! When you get to the top of the list, you get to look through a binder full of information about people who have donated embryos. Thank goodness there are people out there willing to share the embryos that they did not use during their own IVF procedures! When you have more than enough to use, you can choose to freeze them. Once frozen they are yours to use in the future or you can donate them to another couple going through the clinic or to the clinic to use for research purposes.

The binder contains all sorts of information about each male and female attached to the embryo. You will know their age, hair color, eye color, religion, jobs, family medical history, level of education, success with other pregnancies, etc. It's amazing to me the way science works and how people have even figured out how to do all this, but thank goodness some doctor was interested enough in the subject of reproduction to work on creating a way to take a frozen embryo, thaw it out, implant it, and have it produce a beautiful healthy baby.

Once we get to the top of the list, the U of I will call us and ask us if we would like to choose an embryo. Some people decline due to many reasons like getting pregnant on their own while waiting or adopting. If we decide to do it, we can choose an embryo that has the characteristics that we want. We could even choose one that has a mother similar to me and a father similar to my husband. How weird is that!

Right now we're playing the waiting game with the list. In the meantime we are also exploring our options with adoption. Whatever road we choose to go down, our journey is definitely not over!


  1. I know whatever road you do choose you both will be amazing parents and I can not wait!