We consent

Deep intake of breath:

We sent off our notarized consents to RBA. Done. Did it.

I went back and forth with the business office and the nurse about the wording of some of the documents, and I made extra-sure I had all loose ends in writing (and that having printed-out emails of these loose ends was “official” enough). Even though I was a tiny bit afraid of seeming like a high-maintenance patient, I’m now glad I did all of that. For example, I got in writing that should we decide, before selecting a donor, that we no longer want to participate in the program, we will get a full refund, minus $500 (a refund, that is, of $29,500). We would like to pay the $30,000 upfront so that we don’t have to stress about getting the money to them in time to secure the donor we choose, but we also don’t want to pay that large of a sum for “sight unseen” without a guarantee of a refund if we decided that we don’t like the database selection once we get in there. Also, some of the wording on certain consents goes along with the Basic Program, not the FEA Guarantee Program, and I needed to be sure that, for example, I was not going to be responsible for paying for embryo storage during the 2 years of I’m enrolled in the FEA program (which I am not).

Also: our last test result arrived at RBA (DH’s HTLV), so now all of the screening requirements are complete. I sent in our Profile with color photo of us (photos, I should say—I created a collage of 6 photos, couldn’t resist, couldn’t choose only one image to capture what we look like, who we are). Now all that is left: Pay the $500 non-refundable deposit. They should get our notarized forms on Thursday between 10 and 11. Perhaps we will be allowed to look at the database this weekend!

After sending off the forms, DH and I went to the Sound and picnicked on salads and swam at sunset, our new favorite thing to do. When I plunged into the chilly water, I told myself: This is what you need to do now, plunge. Go forward with the DE program. Don’t second-guess. The water will fill uncomfortable for a spilt second, but then you will feel just fine. I swam 500 strokes as the gorgeous molten orange sun drifted down to the horizon and disappeared.

And now…long exhale.


Leave a comment


  1. so exciting! good luck

  2. You’ve plunged! Sending in that paperwork is your first step, and it sounds like you are an expert negotiator! I wish that I did not have to pay for embryo storage… You are well on your way to this exciting (and terrifying) new stage of things. I hope that the database brings you the donor you are meant to have. That’s interesting that you sent in pictures–do they bring your profile to prospective donors, too? Is it a two-way choosing? My process was entirely anonymous and no pictures were involved at all, but I have heard of other clinics actually having the donors provide a statement of why they are donating and what motivated them, which I really thought was neat. Anyway, congratulations on this first hurdle, cleared!

    • Thank you! Yes, actually, it is anonymous on both ends, but the nurses act as a sort of gateway between the two parties. If I want them to, they will look at my adult photos and the donor’s adult photos and tell me if we look alike or not. But no, I don’t have access to her adult photos. And she doesn’t have access to mine (and because these are frozen eggs, she actually donated her eggs some time ago). I’ve heard that RBA donors do write a bit about why they are donating, which is something we are really going to pay attention to! I hope the database has our perfect donor, too. I am trying not to have unrealistic expectations at this point.

      • Very interesting! I don’t have frozen eggs at my clinic so this process is interesting to me (and probably more and more common now that egg freezing is no longer experimental). I hope that it is a good experience looking for that donor and reading all the information. I don’t know if there is such a thing as a “perfect” donor, but I think there’s a donor out there who is right for you and you’ll know when you find her.

        • I kind of bit my lip when I got a reply from my doctor’s assistant today that after they’ve verified all my stuff is in I will get an email with link to database within 24 hours. Woah. Here we go…

  3. Congrats on consenting and plunging in! Everything happened really quickly for me once we got access to the donor database (and I did have to keep on them for the link- not sure what happened, but somehow the communication got messed up and I had to keep checking in- but maybe that isn’t typical).

    They ask for photos in case you want to have the nurses tell you which of a few donors looks the most like you (they have adult photos of the donors, you only see childhood photos). But we picked a donor on our own and never asked for their help. We chose two, one was already claimed, but the one that was available was my first choice anyway. It all worked out. I am sure it will for you too.

    I’m super excited for you and your husband!!! This is truly the start of it all!

    • thank you!!
      Yeah, I’ve noticed here and there having some little communication issues, but for the most part, it has been vastly, hugely better than communicating with CCRM! I hope all goes smoothly once I get access to the database. I’m nervous!! I’m glad they have the option of comparing adult photos to adult photos, but I imagine once we get in there and see our choices, a few will stand out, and I might not need the nurse’s to do that. What I’m most nervous about is how quickly the process goes—they say that donors sometimes disappear from the database (are chosen) within the same day they are put up. I’m a slow and methodical kind of person and don’t want to feel rushed, but also will be nervous as hell about losing a top choice due to dragging our feet.

  4. Glad to hear things are moving along for you. I’ve been thinking about you! xoxo


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  • About Me

    Me: 41
    DH: 38

    Fertility issue:
    Recurrent Pregnancy Loss
    6 pregnancy losses
    All early
    5 with my own eggs
    1 with donor egg

    Abnormal embryos

    Factor V Leiden heterozygous
    MTHFR heterozygous

    AFC: 2 - 12
    AMH: 0.2
    FSH: 6.8
    E2: 40
    LH: 2.8


    April 2011 -
    Natural conception, first try. Blighted ovum (gestational sac only). D&C to remove products of conception at 9 weeks.

    Oct 2011 -
    Natural conception, first try. Blighted ovum (gestational sac & yolk sac). Took Cytotec to induce miscarriage at 9 weeks. PTSD, depression, anxiety, insomnia, night terrors followed.

    Winter 2012 -
    Two rounds of Femara/Clomid + IUIs at Columbia and RS of NY. The idea: to produce more eggs and increase chances of catching a good one. BFNs.

    April 2012 -
    Natural conception, first try. Ultrasound showed activity in the uterus, but no complete sac. Diagnosed with "missed abortion." Natural miscarriage at 5 weeks.

    June 2012 -
    Conception after 7 mg Femara for 5 days + IUI. Diagnosed with chemical pregnancy. Natural miscarriage at 4.5 weeks.

    August 2012 -
    Natural conception, without trying. Chemical pregnancy and natural miscarriage at 5 weeks.

    October 2012 -
    ODWU at Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine (CCRM).

    January 2013 -
    IVF with Dr. Schoolcraft.
    Straight Antagonist protocol

    What he predicted:
    I will produce 11 eggs
    Good chance 1 will be normal
    30% chance 2 will be normal
    Transfer 1, then a 45% chance of success
    Transfer 2, then a 65% chance of success

    What happened:
    7 follicles stimulated
    6 mature eggs retrieved
    2 died during ICSI
    4 fertilized
    3 out of 4 embryos CCS-tested
    All abnormal

    Aug/Sept 2013-
    Frozen Donor Egg IVF at Reproductive Biology Associates (RBA)
    What Dr. Shapiro predicted:
    6 or 7 will fertilize
    1 we will transfer
    1 - 3 we will freeze

    Protocol: Lupron, Vivelle patches, Crinone

    8 frozen eggs from donor thawed
    6 fertilized
    1 Day-5 Grade A XBbb blastocyst transferred
    1 Day-5 Grade A EBbb blastocyst frozen
    1 Day-6 Grade A XBbb blastocyst frozen

    September 13, 2013: Pregnant

    Prenatal vitamins & baby aspirin,
    Vivelle patches & Crinone

    Beta #1: 171
    Beta #2: 706
    Beta #3: 7,437

    6 w 3 d: measured 6 w 1 d
    FHR: 80 bpm
    Fetus did not grow
    7 w: FHR 121 bpm
    8 w: heart stopped
    9 w: D and C

    Test results: We lost a normal karyotype male for unexplained reasons

    Quit stressful job
    Anti-inflammation diet
    Gluten-free diet
    Vit D, DHA/EPA
    Therapy/energy work
    Creative Visualization
    Art Therapy

    March 14, 2014:
    Double FET at RBA
    1 Day-5 Grade A EBbb blastocyst
    1 Day-6 Grade A XBbb blastocyst

    March 24, 2014:

    Prenatals, baby aspirin, Folgard, Vivelle, Crinone, Lovenox

    Beta #1: 295
    Beta #2: 942
    Beta #3: 12,153

    1 fetus implanted

    Measured on track

    Fetal heart rate:
    7 wk: 127 bpm, 8wk:159 bpm, 9wk: 172 bpm

    Due date: Dec, 4 2014!

    NatureMade (USP Seal) Prenatals and 4000 Vit D3
    Baby aspirin
    40 mg Lovenox
    DHA and EPA
    Folgard 2.2

    Born: One perfect baby boy 12.4.14

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