The ad, in the Sunday paper, which I never normally read, was from a couple who needed a third person.
They needed what they could not fulfill by themselves.
They needed eggs.
They had a precious little girl via a previous donor but now so dearly wanted to complete their family.
I had eggs. But I also had a husband who generally doesn't go and do random things for complete strangers. I casually mentioned the ad to him, and his reply was "Yes! I saw that too and thought of you. Do you want to call them?"
Miracle No 1.
I have 4 children and my last baby was a special IVF baby (note to ALL readers - 25 is TOO young to decide to have your fallopian tubes tied!) I was so lucky to only need one cycle of IVF - with one miscarried transfer then our beautiful girl. Because I had already been through IVF I knew what to expect and how my body would cope.
Miracle No 2.
But I was also 34, well past the preferred age for donors, so when I rang and spoke to S I was really trying to encourage her and to tell her and her husband that I was thinking of them. I was more than happy to put my name on the list of possibilities but didn't think I would be what they wanted.
Later that evening S called. She was sweet and lovely and so very unexpectedly said they wanted my eggs. Now this might seem weird but I didn't feel any trepidation or regret, no fear or worry. I was absolutely thrilled and delighted.
We talked for over an hour. Then the next night and the next. I described my physical appearance (LOL ... just on 5 foot, weird frizzy hair, little squinty eyes, but I'm AWESOME). They responded with "We don't care if you look like a monkey! We want you!". Husband R rang to have a chat and we talked about important things.
We discussed what would happen if the baby was born with a disability. They would love it regardless. We discussed what would happen if there were leftover embryos. They promised to either use them or donate them. We discussed normal life, heartache, marriage, toddlers, crazy hormones and everything inbetween. I committed to one cycle of IVF.
Miracle No 3.
The Man I Married had to officially give me permission to donate. In front of witnesses. And sign documents giving me permission. HOW bizarre. Legally I can terminate a pregnancy without his knowledge, but I can't give life without it.
We went to mandatory counselling sessions where we obediently answered questions which we had already discussed and decided upon. We signed on the dotted line.
We began IVF - sprays up the nostril for 10 days ( Both me and S so we were in sync) then injections to make my ovaries produce more eggs. At this point you may want to wince but actually the needle is tiny and it was ok. I was maybe a little moody but that's normal for me anyway :-)
They scanned my ovaries and found gorgeous fat eggs developing.
I went to Melbourne for the retrieval - fast asleep, and woke up to learn that there were 9 beautiful eggs waiting to fertilise with R's contribution in a little glass dish
6 had fertilised by morning. FANTASTIC !
Miracle No 4.
Not all fertilised eggs make it through the first few days, but by transfer day there were still 4 healthy embryos.
One was transferred.
It didn't stay
The next one transferred,
It didn't stay
The last two were thawed but only one made it through the defrost.
This transfer had to work, and it did... for a little while. After a wonderful positive pregnancy, heartbreak. That little precious embryo just couldn't hold on.
I can't tell you how many tears were shed, it was truly awful. How cruel to have had your dream in sight only to have it disappear.
I had only agreed to one cycle but I remember saying to R "It's not the end, not until one of us says we are done."
We did another cycle. More sprays, injections and retrievals. Less eggs this time, but still 3 fertilised. Three.
The transfer, the 17th for S, went ahead and she was, understandably, a ball of negativity. I can't imagine having my heart broken 17 times.
"It hasn't worked...." she said, in the wee small hours, on the phone.
But it had.
It really, really had.
Miracle No 5.
Nine months later the most perfect little boy came into the world.
He was gorgeous and wonderful and healthy and perfect.
Miracle No 6.
21 April 2009
I have never once felt a twinge of regret. I never ever thought I was doing the wrong thing. I am not jealous or sad, wistful or wishful. I don't think of this little boy as any part of mine, he is special and wonderful and the son of two of my friends. S and I chat on the phone, she sends photos all the time and I struggle to see any resemblance. All I can see is his daddy, and a whole lot of love.
He turns 3 today. He sang "Happy Birthday To You" to me on the phone today. He's hilarious and solemn, stubborn and snuggly. He is busy and hard work and crazy and adored.
Happy birthday P-man. You are everything we dreamed of. xxxx
Miracle No 7.