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I need to vent to the only people who will understand...

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I need to vent to the only people who will understand...

Postby CT_Michele » Sun Feb 12, 2012 3:14 pm

Warning, this post will be long and may make me look like an ass, but I really don't care. I know some of you will understand where I am coming from.

Quick background: I met husband, he told me he was sterile, 5 yrs no protection no pregnancy. We found out it was extreme male factor and started our IVF journey. We were extremely lucky and blessed that we had success on our first try and Ella is now 3 1/2 years old. We started trying for number 2 pretty soon after Ella was born. Not so lucky the second time around.

We just had our 4th failed attempt, which included a super failed 3rd TESE procedure. There was practically nothing there, a couple dead sperm. Our journey for another biological child was officially over. We had exhausted all options and went down fighting hard.

DH has always said he didn't like the idea of donor sperm, and quite honestly, I wasn't willing to consider it until all options were exhausted. After this last failed attempt, DH made it clear he just didn't think he wanted to raise a child that was not biologically his. I took a few days of being really upset and then started coming to terms with it all. This is it for us, one child. One beautiful child that I love to pieces and will always be grateful for. But my hopes and dreams of a large family are over. My daughter will never have an awesome sibling connection like I have with my two brothers and all those stupid "big sister" shirts that I bought and she has outgrown along the way, I can finally throw them away. I sold the crib and changing table, started listing all the baby stuff on craigslist and giving away all the baby clothes.

Fast forward to 2 nights ago. We were eating dinner, DH with Ella on his lap says "what about donor embryos." This came out of no where. No prompting, I haven't said a word about this situation, I had actually accepted our situation. But now I am thinking does this mean he is open to other options?? I immediately thought this might be a good option for us because I REALLY want to carry and be pregnant again.

But the more I thought about it, the more reservations I had about embryo donation, and none of what I am about to say is meant to offend anyone considering embryo donation, I think my feelings would be much different if I didn't already have one biological child. I starting researching and found that of course embryo donations is much more expensive than using donor sperm. Also, my guess is that most embryos up for adoption are left from IVF attempts, probably success. Which means that if I were to adopt embryos and have success then my child would likely have a full biological sibling(s) out there somewhere and I would feel bad that they are apart, just my own opinion b/c of my bond with my own brothers.

My last reservation is the big one. What about when the child grows up and looks like no one in their family, especially their sibling (Ella). Ella looks EXACTLY like me and I am sure another child from my eggs (regardless of who's sperm) would also resemble me, which means they would resemble Ella. If this entire situation were flipped around and eggs were our issue, I would be happy to use his sperm and look for donor eggs, because if a 100% biological child were no longer an option, I would be happy to have a 50% biological child. DH seems to be viewing donor sperm as a child that would be 100% me and 0% him, while I view it as 50% US/OURS. If he would be open to the possibility of donor embryos, why not donor sperm? I feel like it is so selfish, like he is saying well if I can't have it then you shouldn't either. I feel like he is saying I am not ok with a child not being biologically mine except if it is not biologically yours either.

I wish he had never said anything about the donor embryos, because then none of this would have come up. I would have just accepted giving up my dreams of more children. He came into this relationship thinking he would never have kids, so having one is a huge bonus for him. But I have dreamed of being a mom and teacher, surrounding myself with children for the rest of my life, for as long as I can remember. I always picture my many kids coming over with all my grandkids for a big happy thanksgiving dinner. DH never had a great relationship with his brother, so he doesn't see how being an only child would be bad (which I agree, it doesn't HAVE to be bad, it could be great). But on the flip side, my brothers are my best friends and I could not imagine growing up without them or not having them by my side now as adults. I feel like I accepted our fate, and now I feel like he is selfishly taking away my dreams. How am I supposed to not harbor resentment? Knowing that raising a non-biological child is fine, as long as it is not biologically mine too?

I am sorry if any of this came across the wrong way to anyone. I am just upset and venting. Those of you who know me well, know that I am the most grateful and appreciative person you will ever know. I count my blessings everyday. But I needed to talk to someone, and you ladies are truly the only ones who will understand this. Thanks for lending a listening ear, as always.
Me- 28 DH- 33 Male Factor
1st IVF- 12/07- BFP! Ella Michele was born 8/26/8
2nd IVF- 04/09 - BFN
1st FET- 09/09 - Chemical
3rd IVF - 04/11 - Embies didn't make it to ET
4th IVF - Fall 2011??
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Re: I need to vent to the only people who will understand...

Postby Sunshine1576 » Sun Feb 12, 2012 4:48 pm

Wow Michelle, dh knew in the beginning that having a biological child wasn't going to be a walk in the park, but he doesn't seem to undersand where you are coming from. Why use donor embryo when it's male IF and ridicously expensive. Why would he even out of his right mind bring that up? Maybe he trying to make this a two sided coin, but we know deep down it's complicated and personal and you're just trying to find a way to make something happen. Maybe he wasn't thinking, maybe he was resentful and thinking this is the end of the road for him but at the same time he needs to be fair and openly explain his reasoning and come to terms whether or not if he could love that child as his own. We understand this might of been different if this was the first child but is he worried that people might wonder why this child looks nothing like him, but at the same time this baby would have a greater chance of favoring the big sister, yet we know dh has to be on the same page. Honestly there are many options out there... I had a good friend who set up an appt with a family therpist counselor that helped them come to a resolution for their next steps catered just for them. Never give up just yet on your dream to having the big family! He may be a little stubborn like my dh, but we know in the end he only want what's best for the family. So I encourage you two to meet with a counselor and certainly keep us posted here. x
Married 13 yrs
36, unexplained
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(2010-2012) 4 IUIs, 2 IVFs
FET cycle 2/25/2013
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4/10 HR 184
4/17 Released from RE
6/21 Found out we are having a BOY!
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Re: I need to vent to the only people who will understand...

Postby Ghost » Sun Feb 12, 2012 5:59 pm

CT_Michele wrote:I starting researching and found that of course embryo donations is much more expensive than using donor sperm.


A cycle using donated embryos is typically about the cost of an FET cycle. Much less than an IVF cycle with donor sperm, but perhaps more than an IUI with donor sperm.

Also, my guess is that most embryos up for adoption are left from IVF attempts, probably success. Which means that if I were to adopt embryos and have success then my child would likely have a full biological sibling(s) out there somewhere and I would feel bad that they are apart, just my own opinion b/c of my bond with my own brothers.


True. Their family would be yours.

My last reservation is the big one. What about when the child grows up and looks like no one in their family, especially their sibling (Ella).


Very valid concern. With a little luck, a clinic might get a reasonably close match (hair color of parents, etc.), but the child will look at least a little different than Ella.

I wonder if your DH is competing with you biologically (50/50 or 0/0 is ok, but no 0/50 child), or perhaps is not comfortable with bringing another man's sperm into this equation? Just some thoughts.
Note: I am not an MD and not an expert.
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Re: I need to vent to the only people who will understand...

Postby CT_Michele » Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:04 pm

Ghost wrote:A cycle using donated embryos is typically about the cost of an FET cycle. Much less than an IVF cycle with donor sperm, but perhaps more than an IUI with donor sperm.


Except that my insurance will cover all the procedures. So it would be the cost of buying sperm versus the cost of buying embryos.

I wonder if your DH is competing with you biologically (50/50 or 0/0 is ok, but no 0/50 child), or perhaps is not comfortable with bringing another man's sperm into this equation? Just some thoughts.


Valid thought. My only issue is that no matter which option we choose (donor sperm for iui, donor embryos for fet, or straight up adoption) it will not be his sperm. He mentioned last night that no one ever said they wouldn't operate again (as in TESE), but he is nuts if he thinks the RE or Urologist would recommend another TESE, there is just no way. So if the issue is for real "I won't be connected to a child that is not biologically mine" then our journey needs to be over and we will be parents to a single child. But if he is somewhat ok with donor embryo, he should be somewhat ok with donor sperm, in my opinion.

Yes, I will be seeking counseling for us. We love each other to pieces and have a daughter we want the best for. IVF has taken a toll on us, and obviously still is. We both have psychology degrees and agree on the importance of counseling. We will get through this, I am just really perturbed and disappointed.
Me- 28 DH- 33 Male Factor
1st IVF- 12/07- BFP! Ella Michele was born 8/26/8
2nd IVF- 04/09 - BFN
1st FET- 09/09 - Chemical
3rd IVF - 04/11 - Embies didn't make it to ET
4th IVF - Fall 2011??
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Re: I need to vent to the only people who will understand...

Postby Happy Bunny » Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:12 pm

You've both suffered a lot of heart ache with failed IVF cycles... Perhaps some healing time would be best before trying to figure out the next step.

Some men feel weird about donor sperm. In some ways, I can empathize with their feelings but in other ways, I'll simply never really understand because I'm not them. Again, time might help him build a bridge to the idea.

Best wishes for you and yours.
Barbara
Me: 38 2X Ectopic; DH: 38 MF
IVF #1 ET 10/11/10 BFP Brooke Marie
IVF #2 ET 11/11/11 BFP Travis James

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Re: I need to vent to the only people who will understand...

Postby annashope » Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:36 pm

Michelle
I wish I had some words of wisdom but I don't. I did want to tell you that I understand your frustration completely and that I think you have every right to be upset. DH and I also have Male factor issues and it took so many fights before DH finally agreed to using donor sperm. Unfortunately for some reason it did not help us and we did end up getting pregnant from DH's sperm but I remember there were so many heater discussions and ultimately his desire to have a baby "at least half mine" won. We also did an FET with Donor embies and I have to tell you that from the moment they were transferred into me I felt like they were mine. Sadly that FET ended in a BFN but I think I would have loved them as much as my biological kids even though at first I also had reservations. Lastly unto your concern of kids not looking alike I think even if your kids are your biological they can sometimes look so different. My siblings and I are so different people never imagine we are related but we are. My sister looks like my great-grandmother with dark hair and super fair skin, deep brown eyes and a round face. I look different all together with lighter hair, green eyes and olive skin and our brother is blond with blue eyes and yet we are biological. Its the same with my two boys. My older boy clearly inherited some of the Cherokee blood from his great-grandmother but my baby Paul is blond and gray eyed. With all of that said I have to tell you I understand your frustration very well and all I can say is keep talking and maybe he will rethink donor sperm and they can match a donor to look like DH. Good luck to you
Me 30
DH 30
DS 10 from previous marriage
ttc 5 yrs, Cervical cancer- in remission
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FET Nov 2010 BFN
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Re: I need to vent to the only people who will understand...

Postby sunshine.12 » Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:54 pm

CT_Michele wrote:
My last reservation is the big one. What about when the child grows up and looks like no one in their family, especially their sibling (Ella). Ella looks EXACTLY like me and I am sure another child from my eggs (regardless of who's sperm) would also resemble me, which means they would resemble Ella. If this entire situation were flipped around and eggs were our issue, I would be happy to use his sperm and look for donor eggs, because if a 100% biological child were no longer an option, I would be happy to have a 50% biological child. DH seems to be viewing donor sperm as a child that would be 100% me and 0% him, while I view it as 50% US/OURS. If he would be open to the possibility of donor embryos, why not donor sperm? I feel like it is so selfish, like he is saying well if I can't have it then you shouldn't either. I feel like he is saying I am not ok with a child not being biologically mine except if it is not biologically yours either.



what if the child from the donor sperm cycle completely resembles the biological father and not you? that is also possible,right?

i hope you and your husband be able to come to an agreement.i know it is not easy. whatever you decide - donor embryo/sperm, i wish your family all the best.

my cousin adopted a girl after she couldn't conceive after having her first child. the kids are so close to each other and they look very much alike and it is very hard to tell that they are not biologically related.
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Re: I need to vent to the only people who will understand...

Postby Ghost » Sun Feb 12, 2012 8:15 pm

CT_Michele wrote:Except that my insurance will cover all the procedures. So it would be the cost of buying sperm versus the cost of buying embryos.


Buying embryos? At my clinic, it's just an FET cycle that happens to use somebody else's embryos. The cost is for the service of an FET. A clinic cannot charge for the embryos themselves. Perhaps your insurance does not cover FET if the embryos are not your own?

We both have psychology degrees and agree on the importance of counseling.


Excellent.
Note: I am not an MD and not an expert.
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Re: I need to vent to the only people who will understand...

Postby CT_Michele » Sun Feb 12, 2012 8:16 pm

sunshine.12 wrote:what if the child from the donor sperm cycle completely resembles the biological father and not you? that is also possible,right?


Totally possible, and I am fine with that. This is not mostly about "needing to look like" us. But if the option is there for the child to have part of our dna, then why not? The child could at least know half of the family medical background, and quite honestly, my DH doesn't have a lot of family and barely knows his own history anyway.

Thank you all for your comments. Again, the part that bothers me the most is the mentality of if I can't then you can't either. I always viewed us as a team in this process, not a you and me. I mean, I went through all of this because we are a couple, facing infertility, even though it is a male factor issue and I appear to be reproductively healthy and "normal." I just wish he viewed this as "us" and not just him.

I am sure the end result will be the same as before he brought up the donor embryos a couple nights ago. I am sure I will go back to just accepting this is over for us. I just hope some good counseling will either help him view things differently, or help me to not be resentful towards him and rebuild the connection we had many years ago before starting our ivf journey.
Me- 28 DH- 33 Male Factor
1st IVF- 12/07- BFP! Ella Michele was born 8/26/8
2nd IVF- 04/09 - BFN
1st FET- 09/09 - Chemical
3rd IVF - 04/11 - Embies didn't make it to ET
4th IVF - Fall 2011??
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Re: I need to vent to the only people who will understand...

Postby CT_Michele » Sun Feb 12, 2012 8:19 pm

Ghost wrote:Buying embryos? At my clinic, it's just an FET cycle that happens to use somebody else's embryos. The cost is for the service of an FET. A clinic cannot charge for the embryos themselves. Perhaps your insurance does not cover FET if the embryos are not your own?


Not sure what my clinic does, I have never asked. But when researching online, I found many "agencies" that charged fees to embryo adopters. I guess I will look further into it.
Me- 28 DH- 33 Male Factor
1st IVF- 12/07- BFP! Ella Michele was born 8/26/8
2nd IVF- 04/09 - BFN
1st FET- 09/09 - Chemical
3rd IVF - 04/11 - Embies didn't make it to ET
4th IVF - Fall 2011??
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Re: I need to vent to the only people who will understand...

Postby sunshine.12 » Sun Feb 12, 2012 9:04 pm

counseling is a great idea michele. i hope you both will be able to understand and appreciate each other's position.

we also had a tough and difficult discussion like this last year. but in our case i was having egg quality issue and my husband is completely healthy. i suggested the egg donor cycle. but my husband was not comfortable with it and said that if it is not with me, he did not want to have a biological child for himself. but he was open to adoption or embryo donor cycle( when i said i want to experience the pregnancy). he knew that i had fertility issue before we got married and his support is what kept me going through this tough journey. in the end ,before our last cycle we decided that if we cannot get pregnant, we will spent a few years without thinking about the fertility treatment as we spent lot of energy on it in the last several years and later think about adoption after a break. i'm still open to any of the options he choose as it is not relevant to me anymore..all i care about is having a family together..

the ivf journey had taught me that the things that i considered very important till few years back like having a big family,being a young mom, conceiving naturally, having biological kids etc are all very small things in the big picture of life. i learnt it from my husband..he is always happy and has a very positive attitude. he is crazy about kids , and i feel guilty for being responsible for depriving him of that pleasure.but he always tries to find happiness with whatever he have. it is not very easy for me. but i try my best.

good luck in your journey to find a sibling for ella...
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Re: I need to vent to the only people who will understand...

Postby LYD10 » Sun Feb 12, 2012 9:25 pm

Michele, this is hard situation. When it comes to other men's sperm, men are fighting millions of years of evolution. He is not supposed to let you get pregnant with other guys DNA so to speak. But in this situation his rational brain needs to kick in and override his animal instincts. Maybe the donor embryo is progress? Maybe in another year he will be ready for donor sperm? It Los like he is trying to figure out a way to be ok with another guys sperm.
I don't think it's a competitive thing, like if I can't have it you can't either. I think it's just that donor embryo abstracts the sperm issue better and makes it easier to deal for him. Maybe a good male counselor can help
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Re: I need to vent to the only people who will understand...

Postby Ghost » Sun Feb 12, 2012 11:46 pm

CT_Michele wrote:
Ghost wrote:Buying embryos? At my clinic, it's just an FET cycle that happens to use somebody else's embryos. The cost is for the service of an FET. A clinic cannot charge for the embryos themselves. Perhaps your insurance does not cover FET if the embryos are not your own?


Not sure what my clinic does, I have never asked. But when researching online, I found many "agencies" that charged fees to embryo adopters. I guess I will look further into it.


I should have known agencies would get involved in this.
Note: I am not an MD and not an expert.
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Re: I need to vent to the only people who will understand...

Postby to_have_fun08 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 7:27 pm

Michelle - sorry things have to be so hard. Do the research comparing donor embryo's to donor sperm then present him with the facts. seeing that there are no issues with you and that your young, I would think that the chances are better using your eggs with donor sperm. In time, maybe he will be OK with donor sperm. I agree right now it seems like he is playing "if I can't then you can't" so It is understandable where you would be frustrated. Hopefully in the end you both can come up with some agreement. If it comes down to that he won't do donor sperm, try the donor embies. In the end what you want is a another child and a sibling for your daughter. No matter how that child comes about or what he/she looks like, it will be loved and be your child.
My DH was against donor eggs and finally agreed when there was no other way. Now that we have a baby, he doesn't care who's eggs we used. Its still our child.
Chris 40- DH 41
6 IVFs Cycles - BFN's
DE Cycle 2/2011 -BFP Jacob born 11/11/11

FET 7/2012 - BFP - Kaylee due 4/3/13

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Re: I need to vent to the only people who will understand...

Postby deftonesmo » Tue Feb 14, 2012 2:37 am

Have you googled or looked into the field of epigenetics?

My understanding of it is this: Children from donor eggs/embryos actually have three parents: Biological dad, Genetic Mom, and Biological Mom (the woman who carries the baby) . . . the theory is that Bio Mom's body expresses genes in the baby differently than other women, i.e. your daughter Ella would have a different personality if I carried her to term because my body would express genes differently than your body did . . . so in actuality, even if you don't have a genetic bond with your embryo, your body does have some say in how your baby turns out . . .

ps I have friends who have brown hair/eyes and their son has blond hair and blue eyes due to one of their parents having light eyes/hair . . . genetics are so weird!
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IVF #1: BFN =(
IVF#2: BFP! Beautiful Grace born 4.24.10
IVF#3: BFN =(
IVF#4: BFP! Beautiful Grady born 1.24.12
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