Last Q & A with RBA

Thought you all might be interested in this: My last Q & A with RBA, conducted via email, pasted below. They will be back in touch with me around my due date to complete my file, but other than that, the relationship is pretty much over. They were a great clinic, overall, professional and prompt and expert. I would recommend Dr. Shapiro to anyone who is considering RBA–you want someone as smart and confident as he is at the helm. (He is also funny and nice.) I’ve had my qualms with the clinic here and there, mostly with the nursing staff, but the vast majority of those problems were due to the miscommunications that inevitably happen in a long-distance medical-care situation. I still can’t quite believe I have been “released.”

Last Q & A:

  • Would you be able to tell me if there are other ongoing pregnancies with this donor? I know of the one you told me about. Are there others? There are 5 reported positive tests, unless noted otherwise the egg bank assumes these are ongoing.
  • Were there other pregnancy losses with this donor? No, currently the only loss documented is your pregnancy loss.
  • I’m assuming we will never know for sure what caused the first donor egg pregnancy loss in my case (normal karyotype boy). But now that this pregnancy is working out, does Dr. Shapiro have any further educated guesses about what went wrong with our first RBA pregnancy? Still no explanation
  • Would it be okay if I occasionally send you updates throughout the months? You are welcome to send updates; however we are unable to provide any medical information since you are released from our care.

Rereading this note, I’m not sure if “five reported positive tests” includes me or does not include me. In any case, possibly five or four half-siblings out there, and so far, my pregnancy has been the only loss.

As far as my having the only loss so far, I feel both good (I’m always relieved to hear when women are NOT miscarrying, and also it signifies that this donor’s eggs are generally great) and bad (what was it about me and my situation that gave me the loss? Does this point to more “lightning strike” theory, or to the sperm, or something with me? No way to tell).

As far as the four or five half-siblings go: I won’t find out until around my due date if all of these ongoing pregnancies have made it to live births. If they do, I’m okay with this number. I’ve heard of numbers much higher. Considering that I went from 8 eggs, to 6 fertilized, to 3 embryos, to 1 baby, I’m not worried about more and more half-siblings to come. I’m glad her eggs were healthy. And I love to think of those other happy parents out there, am curious about their stories.

One of the added advantages of going to the Atlanta clinic is that we’ve greatly reduced the already highly, highly unlikely scenario that the half-siblings will meet (well, meeting would not be a problem; falling in love would). Couples fly to that popular clinic from all over the country (and the world), as happens with CCRM.

As for the donor, I assume, perhaps wrongly, that she was going to college somewhere around Atlanta. Or maybe she was home near or in Atlanta during her summer break (which was when she donated). When I think of her, I remember that she had the voice of a strong feminist in her profile, that she obviously believed in empowering women—and it seemed to me that that was partly why she was donating. To give women choice. I like that very much. I had assumed I would be thinking of her artistic talents, her love of writing, her athleticism, but it is her feminism that I find myself thinking about the most. I consider her, in some ways, a sister in arms. I hope she can sense, somehow, through the mysterious waves of the universe, how deeply grateful I am for what she has done.

Leave a comment


  1. AndiePants

     /  May 17, 2014

    I LOVE that it is your donors “feminist voice” that you feel most connected to. It makes me very happy we are blog friends

  2. I don’t know if it’s standard practice but the two clinics I’ve worked with consider a positive beta a positive and a miscarriage subsequent to that positive a miscarriage and report it as such in their own website/clinic stats. Not sure how that works for SART or CDC reporting.

  3. Tess

     /  May 18, 2014

    Thank you for the posts on RBA! I’ve been thinking about going to them for a frozen DE cycle and your blog has been very helpful in the decision-making process.

    I was wondering — about how many donors did you have to choose between? And did you have any thoughts about how diverse they were in terms of ethnicity?

    I also love, love, love that she had a strong feminist voice.

    Congrats on “graduating” from RBA!

  4. Congratulations on your graduation! I love that you had a Q&A session. So much to consider with all this collaborative reproduction… I’m glad they had answers for some of your questions. Some questions have no answers, I guess, as frustrating as that is. Hooray for graduation, and hooray for a connection to your donor that is meaningful. I love her “feminist voice.” So perfect. Congrats!

  5. I went to a women’s college in Atlanta more than a decade ago. Smiling to myself to think your donor might be from Agnes Scott :)


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