My in vitro journey…
In this episode I will be discussing my research and outlining my fertility process. My process included
- seeing a fertility specialist
- fertility drugs
- in vitro fertilization using donor sperm
- in vitro fertilization using donor sperm and donor egg
- contemplating adoption nationally and internationally
After trying to conceive for over a year with my ex-husband, my doctor referred me to a fertility specialist. The doctor who specializes in infertility is like any other specialist and is not a part of the private sector fertility clinics. Since I live in Vancouver, B.C., Canada, this means that this doctor is covered on our medical plan and I did not have to pay him out of pocket. This doctor ran some tests on both myself and my ex-husband then prescribed a fertility drug that I was to ingest. This was such a long time ago but it was something like a pill a day for five days based around my period. At the time this was quite exciting because taking fertility drugs increased our chances of having multiples. So not only was I excited that this pill could possibly get me pregnant, but that it could get me pregnant with multiples!
By the sixth month of trying to conceive using fertility drugs I got pregnant! The ritual of peeing on a stick every month in hopes of getting a positive reading finally came to fruition. I was so excited and happy that finally, I got pregnant. Unfortunately, five weeks later, I started bleeding and ended up miscarrying. My ex-husband ended our marriage the very next day so my fertility journey was put on hold for a few years while I re-established my life.
Fast forward a few years
My then ex-husband had fathered a daughter with his then new girlfriend and I was in a new relationship hoping to conceive. After trying for over a year I came to the realization that it must be something with me even though the doctors deemed it unexplained infertility. My ex-husband conceived and my then boyfriend had a young daughter himself. By this time I was meeting up with a private local fertility clinic and they advised me my next process would be in vitro fertilization. I had gone into the clinic with my then boyfriend in hopes that he would be the sperm part of the equation. I will discuss in more detail the in vitro process in a future episode. My first attempt at in vitro did not materialize as I did not produce multiple eggs and so the clinic inseminated me with a vile of donor sperm. This did not result in a pregnancy. My then boyfriend decided he did not want to carry through with this process. Months later I tried again but was unsuccessful at producing multiple eggs. The clinic inseminated me again with donor sperm and again this did not work.
I didn’t know what to do at this point
I thought that in vitro was expensive but a sure thing. Fortunately, this is when I met my coworker who was then pregnant using donor sperm and donor egg. She is a little older than myself and she said that she had researched adoption and said it was a waste of time for me to do the same. Her advice was to not hesitate and do the donor sperm with donor egg procedure in the U.S. The reason that I would have had to do it in the states was because I live in Canada and in Canada it is illegal for anyone to profit from selling ones eggs. The only option in Canada was to have a relative or friend give you theirs, but I wanted to this to be anonymous without any strings attached.
I did do a little internet research on adoption
My coworker was correct in stating that it is near impossible to adopt a child as a single mother in Canada. I think it is easier to adopt if you are living in the states. The adoption sites that I looked at made it difficult for couples to adopt; so near impossible for a single person. Many of the international adoption agencies are affiliated with a religion. From what I recall, one had to practice their faith, if married; been married for at least five years, if divorced then remarried; must be remarried for more than seven years. So I added up these numbers in my head. Being that I was in my late 30’s; I still needed to meet someone, marry then be married for a minimum of seven years. Well that puts me almost into my fifties if I had to give myself time to do all that! Many of the adoption agencies did not give any options for single women to adopt.
I have a cousin who is a medical specialist doctor who is married to a librarian who has her doctorate. They have been together since high school and they have been married for at least five years. They adopted both their children from China and it took them a very long time and it wasn’t easy. They first got their daughter then they got a son. The son had some concerns with his legs which needed to be operated on and corrected but is perfectly fine now. They seem to me to be the ideal family to adopt and yet they struggled with the process which took a very long time. I think the girl took five years and the boy because he was deemed special needs and they already knew the contact only took two years. If it took that long for a couple, how long for a single mom or would that be impossible? I was not willing to go down that road as I was happy with my decision to the process of in vitro using donor sperm and donor egg.
Furthermore, I wanted to have more than one child
I am from a family of four kids so I wanted to have a least two so that they would grow up together. The costs of adopting internationally are very high. I could not see myself affording to do it twice. I also felt that I wanted to conceive my children. I am quite healthy and eat right and take care of myself so I knew my children would be thoroughly healthy.
The idea of doing in vitro using donor egg and sperm seemed like my best option. Though the cost of the donor egg was high, once I had frozen embryos, the costs of any further in vitro attempts were less. My children would at least be biologically related to each other and the costs of more than one would not be as great as a double the costs of adoption. I would also be conceiving these children myself which is something I wanted to do.
Being a single woman living in Canada makes it very difficult to qualify for many international adoption agencies. I also had a desire to experience pregnancy and have more than one child. In vitro fertilization was the right choice for me in conceiving my children.
Thank you for listening and please join me on the next episode on “becoming a choice momma; my support network.”