I pretty much take this all as close to fact. I may have transcribed it incorrectly or misheard something, but I took notes during the conversation. I guess it is my cheap disclaimer and invitation for challenges or corrections.
I talked at length with my RE last night. Funny, I avoided saying her name. I still want to call her by the formal title of "Dr. Fantastic", but we are now in the Mostly Friends stage of our relationship. Add the fact that I was documenting every word that came out of her mouth... well, it felt like old times. I just don't feel worthy of being on a first name basis with her.
I adore my RE. Every patient should be so lucky to have such a dedicated person in her corner. She talked about embryo donation as a physician, a mother, and as a woman who has her own embryos on ice. Yes, the Good Doctor is not only the President but a member too. Of course she is.
On my road to the crib, I asked my RE about donor embryos. It seemed like it was a lifetime ago. The only thing I could remember about the conversation was her reaction: negative.
I had to go back there. I had to turn over that rock. I have been in knots waiting for this conversation. If anyone could shake my commitment to donating our embryos, it would be her. I don't know what to make of that statement. I am not wavering in my decision, but I could easily be knocked off the rails by the right arguments from her. I have consistently put so much faith in her guidance. What would I do if she pulled back the curtain to show me all the ugliness I didn't know about embryo adoption. How could I turn my back on the information.
In summary, her negativity about embryo donation was from a recipient's point of view, mostly centered on the poor quality of the available embryos. Recipient couples wait to be matched, process the adoption, prepare for the transfer and often find the embryos do not survive the thaw. Can you imagine. What a brutal crusher.
She said that embryo donors are typically in their 40's. Now of course I got all fired up about what woman in her 40's is spitting out excess embryos, but that is beside the point. Ever the jealous Infertile, I am.
Most embryos are still sitting on ice. Tens of thousands. The ones couples want are going nowhere slow. The optimal efficacy for embryos is less than five years. As couples decide what comes next, each passing year lessens the likelihood of implantation.
Success rates are also greatly impacted in the whole process of creating the embryo. My clinic is very selective about what is worthy to freeze but many clinics are freezing day 1 or day 6 embryos. Just because it is a frozen embryo doesn't mean they were all created equally.
I wonder why the older couples are the ones donating the embryos.
She said our types of embryos are very rare. The caliber of the clinic, the youth egg, the quality of the blast, the freezing process. Not just rare, very rare.
I am glad I confronted the fear of what my RE would say about the donation process. If anything, it helps to strengthen my intent to donate. I don't know that the recipient couple that sparked the research will be the right match for us. Rocco and I both felt like the wind was knocked out of us when the donation felt more immediate. Need to understand why. We need to make sure this is still our plan, but I feel a little stronger about it today.