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Plunging in

August 15, 2010

Sitting up in bed one night late in June, My Young Man and I made the decision to use donor eggs. When I made my original appointment with the “reproductive endocrinologist,” or as I like to call her, Dr. Frankengenius, it was a three-month wait to get in. (Now that I think about it, I bet that’s when my eggs went bad. Had the bitch taken me in August, we’d have a bouncing baby something or other right now. That 12-week window will get you every time, women, so be careful.)

I called her the night after our conversation, so that I could get in sometime in September. She had a cancellation the next day — could I be there at 10 a.m.? Uh…yeah? I think so? It was both a sign from the universe that this was the right thing to do, AND a terrifying acceleration.

They took a little blood (FYI: They always take a little blood. By now, I fully expect the burristas at Qdoba to draw blood). We talked to the doc. We went over the process, and the cost, an amount more than I will earn this year. And a week later, I drove 45 minutes to meet at the nation’s most famous center of reproductive assistance (since fertility is clearly no longer an applicable term in my case).

Swimmin’ pools, movie stars…

You know how you go to the doctor, you park in a lot, and you check the directory to see which suite she’s in? This place owns the whole fucking building. There is a waterfall in the lobby. There is a tree of life with leaves engraved with the names of happy families. Not surprisingly, the tree was donated by Jews, since it’s a fundraising method right out of shuls and JCCs. The lobby has chairs with the most tasteful complementary patterns in shades of lime green, navy and violet. I stopped thinking about filling my uterus and started thinking about redecorating my living room.

I  wanted to ask if I could sit on the porch in a folding chair in exchange for a grand off the price. If I needed waterfalls, I’d find an egg donor in New Zealand.

Then you get to meet with “your” donor nurse. She’s “your” donor nurse, but when you call or e-mail her, you may hear back from any of four nurses. No one will ever pick up the phone directly. Sometimes it feels like concierge service; sometimes it feels like you’re wandering the aisles at Home Depot yelling, “Excuse me? Does anyone work here?” (I did, in fact, do that this weekend.) You tell yourself that the results are the point.

The donor nurse gave me a binder that was no less than 200 pages long. As she ran through the dizzying process, involving careful calibrations of hormones, constant “level” checking, birth control pills and a psych consult, I realized that I was done reading. I had decided to do this; I no longer cared about the why or how, just the when. I told her: “I’m taking four grad school classes right now. I cannot hold this in my head. I need you to tell me where to be and when. If I can possibly just FedEx my body to you, that will be even better.”

Fortunately, she was not offended, and did not flinch when I cursed a blue streak.

She told me we could start looking at egg donors once I had gotten my next period (almost a month away), passed the psych consult (yeah, good luck with that) and dropped about $1,400 on assorted meds. From the day I got to look at the book in August, it would take two to three months to find a donor, she said.

No. Can’t do. I’m not even thrilled with the whole part about waiting nine months ’til birth. Why so long?

“Well, people want to find just the right person. We get new donors on board every week. It takes awhile to find the right one.”

Not me. I’ll be fast. All I need is healthy and intelligent.

That is proving more difficult than it seems.

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