Grooooooooow babies!!

How 2 men + 2 women - sex + science = 2 babies!!

This is the funny, heart-warming, tearful, inspiring, and shocking truth about my journey to have a child.

How a man, another man, a woman, another woman, a couple lawyers, a few doctors, a psychologist, a couple social workers and some agencies make a baby.

Friday, August 20, 2010

August 21st: It's the Day of the Retrieval, Y'all!

My poor donor. She keeps going in for more and more testing. I'm sure she is anxious to get back to her life. She is living out of town now and had to come back to Chicago for the retrieval. The original plan was to retrieve the eggs Wednesday, Thursday or Friday. The final decision is to retrieve the eggs on Saturday since the medications had to be adjusted as we went along and that caused her to be a few days behind the predicted schedule.

At last count the donor had 10 follicles in the ideal size range and 5 more that are small. Not a bad number, but I wouldn't have minded a few more. Here's the to-do list over the next few days

- eat brunch (probably eggs)
- get phone call about how many eggs were retrieved
- cry (from either good news or bad news)

- sleep in
- get a call about how many eggs were fertilized
- cry (from either good news or bad news)

- get oil change
- get a call about when embryo transfer will happen (either Tuesday or Thursday)
- buy more tissues in anticipation of crying

- go to the fertility clinic and watch embryos be inserted into a stranger's uterus

- use up all the tissues I bought on Monday and hope to hear the fetal heartbeat

The transfer day will be either Tuesday or Thursday. It is always 3 or 5 days after fertilization. Most times the parents go to the clinic, but the doctor can call me if I can't make it. I will hopefully be able to go in person. Plus, if the surrogate agrees, I can be in the room with her when they do the transfer. Everything can be seen on the monitor. How amazing is that??? I thought it would be neat to videotape it and then I realized the surrogate probably doesn't want a video of her uterus on YouTube or Facebook. I'll probably have to be content with just watching it myself if she allows me to come into the room.

My current nurse is much better than the mean one I had to deal with in the first part of the process. She noticed some decisions I made on some paperwork that didn't make sense. I think it was because the first nurse did a lousy job explaining the procedures to me. There are two techniques that can increase my chances of fertilization. ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) is allowing the embryologists to hand pick the sperm and insert it into each egg. If I don't do that the sperm and eggs all mix in a dish and we hope the meet. Doing ICSI ensures that the sperm that inseminates the eggs all look good and healthy and nothing odd happens like two sperm entering one egg. The second technique is egg hatching. Women's eggs have a shell on the outside. The shell has to be removed at some point during the process. If I understood it correctly the embryologist doesn't actually remove the shell but will crack it to help the process. I told the nurse to please use both techniques to increase my chances.

Fun fact of the day: human sperm is fertile for 24-48 hours. A bat's sperm is fertile for 135 days. Could you imagine having sex once and then finding out four months later that you're pregnant???

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