So let’s start with the good news, we are pregnant 🙂 xox yayyyyy 19 weeks heading into our 20th week… UPDATE … ok so I started this almost 10 weeks ago and now we are 30 weeks..
Gosh it was another crazy year again… after last year our IVF clinic killing our 11 embryo’s, transferring our one remaining one in Melbourne to get to 6 weeks and no heartbeat or fetal pole 🙁 and then our wonderful friend offering to be our donor but sadly she was unable to give us any mature or viable eggs, which was just heartbreaking for all of us… we knew we still wanted this dream xox
And during all of this my Mum’s health continued to decline rapidly with her dementia, lung cancer and other health issues and sadly we lost her on the 5th March 2015. We were going down to Melbourne as much as we could to see her knowing that each trip might be the last time we see her.. it was so hard to say goodbye each time. I didn’t have the heart we weren’t still pregnant from the one we lost at 6-7 weeks late 2014. The wonderful thing was we were down in Melbourne visiting her again and I feel she waited for us to say goodbye.. whilst it’s devastating and heartbreaking to lose her, she was a skeleton of her former self, it was no life for this feisty, strong dominant woman who had fought many battles and won valiantly and so her passing was peaceful and a time to know that she was at rest xox
It hasn’t been an easy time with other “family issues”, every family has that one person that causes trouble and oh yeah I mean trouble since childhood and it’s only escalated so that’s been rather stressful to deal with especially when you need to sort out your Mum’s stuff and you can’t just make that decision to not have to communicate with someone as sadly you have to, to close the door 🙁
So after more failed egg donor cycles, we started to seriously look at overseas egg donation and agencies…. if you had asked me a year or more ago would I have considered this, it would have probably been a no.. of course at that time we thought we had 11 little wonderful snow babies thanks to my gorgeous cousin whom means the world to me now and always and I only wish that we had been successful with her help 🙁 xox
I had met a few recipients through my website and Facebook page/groups that were going overseas or were considering it and it opened up my eyes to another option
So after my last post where sadly we had no success with our friends eggs I started to read more about going overseas for an Egg Donor Angel. Quite a few on my Facebook groups had been successful and when I looked into it, I realised that it wasn’t that scary or that expensive compared to doing it in Australia. Also the main difference was that you could find and choose an Egg Donor Angel quickly. This was really important to us as with all of our setbacks, time was ticking and we just wanted to make it happen.
I looked at South Africa as it was getting the most positive reviews and successes… and I looked at Greece as well…. I started looking at dates that Shane had available to travel and from that chose egg donors that were also available for those dates.. within days we had found a potential Egg Donor Angel and were corresponding with the agency and the IVF clinic as well as organising a skype link up with a clinic in Greece as well.. I believe in doing your due diligence and looking at all options, without doing your head in, lol..
Whilst we really liked the Dr and clinic in Greece, our instinct was to go to South Africa. We didn’t choose it on a holiday destination but did say it’s somewhere that we would not necessarily normally consider but more importantly we were able to approach egg donor agencies and choose our own donor and again their success rates were really good. With Greece we were told that the clinic and the Dr would choose our egg donor for us, not a control freak lol but I wanted to choose and I’m so glad we did.
After short listing a few donors, one just stood out to us, we only had one image of her as a child – donors in South Africa are anonymous and can only supply baby/childhood photos. Her photo reminded me of myself and in her full profile there were just so many things that she wrote/answered that we connected with and showed her true nature, maturity, strength, selflessness and love. She wasn’t what they call a “proven” donor but we decided to take the risk, she was in her early 20’s so her eggs should be good and that was the advice I received from several embryologists, choose someone young as hard as that is to be picky.
So we went full steam ahead, gave the clinic all the tests/information they needed, looked into flights/accommodation, paid our deposit and waited to hear that she was all ready to go. We got the go ahead about 3 weeks out and booked our flights/accommodation and started to get eggcited and scared/nervous at the same time.. of course you think of all the “what if’s” it’s a long way to go if it doesn’t work but considering her age we felt quite confident about it all.
So off we went in June 2015 to South Africa, you know I’m pretty ok with doing things outside my comfort zone but I have to say I was so proud of Shane, this was his first trip overseas ever and to somewhere that many think is a dangerous place. He took it all in his stride and trusted me and everyone else, he’s such an amazing person and I’m so glad to have him by my side. Of course we also decided just before we left to set our wedding date, August 29th and that we would have it in our garden but would organise and plan it when we got home, again were we crazy lol..
We got to Cape Town and explored our first day and the next day went to the IVF clinic; Cape Fertility to meet our Dr and discuss the progress. Dr Matabese was just gorgeous and of course we chatted heaps about egg donation :). We found out our egg donor had not responded well to the hormones initially and the gorgeous girl cried when the Dr told her it wasn’t looking great. They adjusted her meds and a few days later the ultrasound showed more promise to which our “little helper” beamed, just this made us know her heart was actually in it xox
We got my medications and had more chats with the lovely nurse Jenny and other staff about egg donation, lol, I can’t help myself 😉 and then spent the next week sightseeing and enjoying Cape Town. It’s a beautiful place and we felt safe the whole time we were there. We did stay in a safer part of the city but truly we drove around and didn’t feel scared at all.. well except for some of the drivers lol. The people are lovely and friendly and the sad part was the “inequality” and the poor. Of course I got really sick with the flu and went on antibiotics and did acupuncture to try and get me well for the transfer. But we managed to do some amazing things like a safari and overnight stay at Inverdorn which was amazing and I can’t wait to go back one day. The landscape is amazing, the food awesome and the people just delightful, I highly recommend going there to anyone. We also did a Meerkat experience, this I will never forget, we got to cuddle Sebastian and I could and would have taken him home if possible.
Egg collection was delayed by a few days in the middle of our sightseeing but we got 14 eggs and waited to see how many fertlised and then survived to the 5 day blastocyst stage for transfer. Our transfer was delayed as well due to the donor not responding as well and if you are considering doing an overseas cycle, allow a few extra days after your proposed embyro transfer for these kind of delays.. luckily we had so our transfer was the day before we were due to fly out where originally we had about 2-3 days to relax after the transfer. On the day of transfer we sadly ended up with only one good embryo and 3 other ho hum ones. We had the goodie transferred and the best one of the 3 ho hum ones transferred and prayed it would work. The gorgeous Kimenthra from Egg Donation South Africa EDSA did our transfer and I was so glad we got to meet her and chat. We also got to meet the lovely Kinny from EDSA as well… As a back up plan we decided that Shane would leave a sperm sample in the freezer as well in case we needed to go back, this would enable us to do another egg donor cycle without him/us there and I could always go over on my own to do a transfer.
I can highly recommend the whole process and the IVF clinic and the donor agency there, it was easy, seamless and the communication was fantastic in fact I would say that we knew more about our donor and her history than we find out here (for the most part), the clinics instructions and communications were clear and easy to follow and in fact again I found they guided me more than I had found here in Australia.
And we loved Cape Town and would definitely go back and recommend it… some highlights were Baked Bistro near Camps Bay, awesome food, coffee and staff.. if you are there, please don’t miss out on this place, it’s a local haunt and not on the main strip but oh my its so worth it. Also Hussar Grill again awesome food, service and at a great price.. we ended up eating here and at Baked most days as it was just too good.
We did a stopover in Singapore for 5 days and had a great time looking around and swimming and relaxing.. silly me did a pregnancy test too early on our last day there and it was negative, it broke my heart but then I realised that it was a wee bit too early.. so I waited till about 3-4 days after we got home around day 12 or so and oh yeah it was a faint positive. Of course I was ecstatic especially since we only ended up with one good embie, I was really sick with the flu and of course we had major problems with our Singapore flight going home (was delayed for almost 24 hours, we had to wait around in the airport lounge then on the plane) and of course they ran out of food as it was spoiled due to the delay and so on and so on.. we were exhausted when we finally got home..
Now we know that whilst a positive pregnancy test is great, there’s still a few hurdles.. but my HCG levels were great, they rose and continued to do so and by the time we got to 12 weeks everything was looking good so we got to officially announce it at our wedding on the 29th August..yayyy that was amazing. We had an amazing wedding and got to share it with so many we love and cherish and to share this news made it even better. We did our 12 week scan a few days after our wedding and he was looking great.. and we did our DS blood test as well and then went off to Hawaii for our honeymoon.. where we relaxed and swam and saw the sights.. we got to swim with the dolphins, drive a Ford Mustang around the island and do the Pearl Harbour tour.
All during this that one family member was still giving us grief but I have to say most of Mum’s stuff has now been sorted and sadly that door will now be closed.
So upon getting home we found out that we were having a little boy, yayyy and so we started to really get excited…. once we got to about 25 weeks we then got super excited as this was what we felt was our “safe” time.. of course things can still happen..
We have an amazing team at the University of Sydney High Risk pregnancy unit at Nepean, we love them! I’ve had no real complications, yay, just some high blood pressure but most likely due to the family member and its now good..
We have purchased or have most things we need for him now and just need to set up the nursery properly so we can be ready just in case he comes a bit early. He’s kicking and punching and rolling a lot and it’s an amazing feeling even though it’s a wee bit uncomfortable when he’s bouncing on my bladder lol.. .my belly is growing of course and I feel great, of course still get really really tired side effect of my BC treatment/chemo and now pregnancy but can’t complain…
And the great news is if all goes well, we have decided to try for a sibling.. our gorgeous donor was doing a cycle for another recipient in October last year but for whatever reason they pulled out and the clinic and agency offered the cycle to us, we were a bit concerned about the low success from the last one but they assured us they had adjusted her meds and it was looking great. So we did it and we now have one excellent embie, two really good embies and two not sure’s on ice waiting for us to hopefully go back end of this year, yayyy.
We are truly happy with one but when we thought about him and our families and us being a bit older we want him to have a sibling so they can be there for each other when sadly we aren’t. Will keep you updated on that one.
So here he is at 12 weeks…
and here he is at 18 weeks, so cute xox
Here’s me around 20 weeks and Shane
And here we are Christmas Day at 28 weeks with Shane and his 96 year old Nan who is just gorgeous and of course Scout one of our fur babies xox
The last scan he got shy and wouldn’t let us take his picture, his feet, legs and arms were all in front of his face..
But I have a scan this Thursday and hopefully will get some good photos that I will post on here. And of course there will be more once he is born lol.
Thanks again for reading, I will try and post more often, it was just such a crazy year with so much going on and I’ve only told some of it.
If you are looking for your Egg Donor Angel but want to chat about it or chat about overseas egg donors, I’m more than happy to chat, just email me firstname.lastname@example.org
and I have quite a few Facebook groups for support including one for overseas egg donation cycles, one for donors only, one for recipients, one for USA, one for UK and one for parents of donor conceived children… they are all listed on my website.
Here’s to a fabulous 2016 and I hope that your dreams will come true for you too and please let me know if I can help you make them come true xox
Lots of love from me (Dianne), Shane, Bubs and all our furry kids xoxox