Archive for February, 2009
Wednesday, February 25th, 2009
I went to FPNC today at 9:00AM for the first ultrasound, and Dr. Abusief showed me on the TV screen that there are two babies growing, each with a nice heartbeat and a “diamond ring” which means something like the cells are growing very well. When she started, she immediately said that she could see “two sacks”, but I had no idea what that meant. Then, she spent five minutes showing me the heartbeat in one of the sacks but not being about to find the heartbeat in the other. This was a touch five minutes, with her saying things like, “this is normal…sometimes it just takes some time for the other one to start growing…” Then, Dr. Abusief finally was able to see the other heartbeat, and we all saw it really clearly. It had been over at one side. Dr. Abusief was very happy with everything she saw, and said that the risk now of a “problem” is down to 15%. We’ll go back in two weeks for another ultrasound, and will know at that point if Baby A and Baby B are boys, girls, or one of each.
I’ve got a print-out of photos of both Baby A and Baby B.
I am so happy!!! I cried until my makeup ran down my face and I had to get back to work.
Thanks everyone for your help and support, especially to Lisa and Ellie from Beverly Hills Egg Donation for being such great advocates for us.
This has been a long and miserable journey for Adam and me, and hopefully we’ll now have the joy of parenthood.
Monday, February 23rd, 2009
It’s been a couple of days since my egg retrieval and I’m still having a little bit of cramping and tenderness, but other than that I feel great. I received my egg donor fee check in the mail. Really, honestly, all I can say to sum up this whole experience is that I am just honored to be a part of such an amazing organization, and to help make a family for someone who deserves it. BHED (Beverly Hills Egg Donation) and Dr. Sahakian and his staff made the process a joy, and I cannot wait to be more involved with BHED. I hope you have enjoyed my blog. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask! Take Care!
[Editor's Note]: Thanks so much to Lisa for all of her contributions over the past week and for giving us a peek into the time leading up to her retrieval. If anyone has any questions for her regarding her cycle, please feel free to leave them in the comments section.
Sunday, February 22nd, 2009
It’s the day after my retrieval and I’m feeling fine. Other than a few occasional cramps, I still feel great. Overall this whole experience has really opened my eyes and my heart. BHED and the staff of Pacific Fertility made it easy every step of the way!
Saturday, February 21st, 2009
I just got home from my egg retrieval. I went into Dr. Sahakian’s office at 7AM, and we got down to business right away. His extremely friendly nurses got me ready to go, then his anesthesiologist got my IV started. Before I knew it, I was awake and the procedure was over! There were some immediate abdominal cramps, but no worse than what I would experience on my period. Two Extra Strength Tylenol were all I needed. Now I’m back in bed and about to eat some french toast. So, all in all, everything turned out great. I’ll update you on how I’m feeling tomorrow!
Friday, February 20th, 2009
I came back to Dr. Sahakian’s yesterday morning for my second ultrasound. We took a look and everything came back fine. The follicle count didn’t go up, so now we just had to take another round of blood work to make sure my levels were still stable. If they were, then it would be a green light to go ahead for my retrieval. The doctor’s office said they would call me back before 4PM. Happily, I heard back from them at 2:30 and was told that everything was fine and to go ahead with my final shot, my HCG shot, at 7:30PM. So next is my egg retrieval! I’m a little nervous, but I know I will be in good hands. I will report back after retrieval and let everyone know how it went! Until next time!
Wednesday, February 18th, 2009
So, I’ve been going through my last week of shots and went in for my ultrasound. I got a bit of a surprise –Dr. Sahakian told me that I might have too many follicles, and that I had a 50/50 chance of cancellation. So we took some blood work to determine whether or not my estrogen levels were too high. He told me to skip the follistim pen shot tonight and come back for another ultrasound tomorrow. My first thought after hearing that was definitely worry. I felt like there was nothing I could do, it was just my body reacting TOO well to the hormones, but I’m still keeping my hopes up.
-Lisa, Egg Donor
Tuesday, February 17th, 2009
After I was matched I had about a month of waiting while all of the paper work got signed, then I just had to wait for my next period. With that, my cycle calendar was created by Dr. Sahakian. The calendar makes it clear what to do and when to do it. Now we were getting started. Soon came the part of the process that must make a few a little uncomfortable … the shots! Luckily for me my mom is a RN and has been for more than 20 years, so she got me really comfortable with the whole process. Trust me, I don’t like needles any more than the next person, but what I can say is this– the needle is tiny! It’s really little and you can barely feel a thing. I took my first shot of Lupron on Friday January 30th.
Now I am starting my third week of hormone shots and I am taking 3 shots a day. As far as side effects of hormones go, I have been feeling slightly more emotional than usual but nothing more than I would feel on my period. Trust me, I’m not acting like a crazy, hormone-filled person! I go in for my ultra sound tomorrow. I will continue to write this blog through my retrieval and after. Hopefully my experience will help ease the minds of future egg donors. Until tomorrow, everybody!
Monday, February 16th, 2009
I didn’t hear a lot on any matches over the course of the following month or so, but I was reassured that sometimes it’s just a matter of time. In the meantime, I was offered the opportunity to update my online donor profile with new pictures from a complimentary BHED (Beverly Hills Egg Donation) photoshoot. I had missed the last scheduled shoot, so when I was offered the chance again, I made sure not to miss it.
The photo shoot was just as pleasant an experience as every other meeting I’d had with the friendly BHED staff and helpers. The shoot went great and the pictures came out the same. My shoot was in the middle of November, and I received a call shortly thereafter from Lisa Greer saying that I had been matched! The pictures really helped my profile and provided me the chance to be matched. I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when I got the call. I was driving to work, and Lisa had called me herself to tell me the good news. I had to pull over because I was so overwhelmed with excitement. I immediately called my mom and she was equally excited for me.
The start of the next part of the process was receiving an email from Ellie Klein, my cycle coordinator. Here is the email:
Good Morning Lisa,
I am so excited for you that you’ve been chosen by a recipient to be their egg donor! I will be working with you throughout your cycle and you can call me anytime if you have questions or concerns. We will continue to check in about appointments and the process as things move forward.
Today I will be sending information about your match to the doctor’s office (Dr Sahakian at Pacific Fertility Partners – 310.209.7700). Please call them today and schedule and appointment (tell them you are a donor w/BHED) and then let me know when your appointment will be and I’ll add it to our calendar.
I also sent your information to our genetic counselor (Andi Fishbach). You will get a call from her likely today – I’ve asked Andi to fast track this report so that we can get it to the doctor right away. Your “meeting” with Andi will be on the phone and then she will write the report.
Your psychological interview will be with Brenda Fahn Hardt and it will be in person. You will hear from Brenda as well – perhaps you can see her the same day that you are in LA for your doctors appointment.
Once the ball is rolling with those 3 appointments we’ll start the process of securing the contract between you and your recipients – more on that later
I’ll give you a call this afternoon to check in and introduce myself. Your first order of business is to call Dr Sahakian’s office and make an appointment. Norma is the receptionist and Erika is his nurse.
I look forward to working with you!
As you can see from this email, Ellie made the process clear to me and explained exactly what I needed to do. I felt really comfortable from the start and knew that I would be taken care of.
Monday, February 16th, 2009
[Editor's Note]: This is the first in a series of postings from our egg donor, Lisa. She’s a first-time donor nearing the end of her cycle and has offered to give us daily updates following her journey through her retrieval, which is anticipated to be early next week.
Hi everyone! My name is Lisa and I am an egg donor for BHED (Beverly Hills Egg Donation), currently going through my first cycle. I got involved with BHED in August 2008 when I put in an application to be an egg donor and was quickly (and happily) accepted into the program. My interest in becoming an egg donor was brought on by my amazing parents.
After seeing a segment on egg donation on the local news, they told me it was something I should look into. I started doing my research online right away and found Beverly Hills Egg Donation. It was the second website I visited, and their site felt very welcoming. I proceeded to fill out an egg donor application, which was one of the longest and most detailed I’ve ever filled out! Then again, it’s a very important job. Soon after filling out the application, I received an email saying that I was now ready for the next step of meeting with a BHED representative, and that I was being considered to be an active egg donor! I just remember being so excited and jumping up and down with my parents after getting the email!
Next, a meeting was set up with BHED’s Managing Partner, Lisa Greer. I took my parents with me for suppport. Because it was a weekend, we met for coffee in LA at the Starbucks on Wilshire Blvd. Lisa welcomed me and my parents right away and went over all the details that go into becoming a donor. It was a lot of information, but she made it easy to understand and sent us home with some documents to look over and sign. After that meeting I was officially a registed BHED donor!
I received an email from Lisa congratulating me on being accepted as a donor. The email was so welcoming, I just knew I was in the right place.
Tuesday, February 10th, 2009
When you finally make your decision and choose an egg donor it is totally natural to want to get started right away. Many recipients are anxious to find out what they can do to move the cycle along. Unfortunately, when a match is made, often it is the donor who has the most to do. All donors will meet with your doctor, have bloodwork done, and new donors will have their psychological and genetic counselor interviews.
For intended parents–there is mostly just waiting. One thing that intended parents can do right away is contact their attorney and let them know that they are in cycle with a new egg donor, or research and retain an attorney if they don’t have one. Choosing an attorney to draft your agreement is very important. You want to work with someone who specializes in reproductive law. Your attorney will be drafting the contract between you and your donor and for your protection you want that to be iron clad. It is well worth your money to work with an attorney who does all of their work in reproductive law.
Speaking of cost–how much will it cost? The average price for a contract is between $750.00 and $1000.00. Some attorneys will offer re-drafting options as well. Once retained, your attorney will write the contact and review it with you. this can all be done as they cycle is beginning. After your donor’s first visit to the doctor the contract (with your approval) will be sent to your donor’s attorney who will review it with your donor, clarify any questions that she has, and request any changes on her behalf.
Once everyone is happy, the contract is signed and you’re ready to go. Ideally all of the timing will work out perfectly and the contract will be done shortly before your donor starts medication. BHED (Beverly Hills Egg Donation) has a great list of reproductive lawyers available upon request.
-Ellie Klein, BHED Cycle Coordiator