You Asked, I Answer: Infertility Questions

By Keiko Zoll (Hannah Wept, Sarah Laughed, August 27, 2011)

Our Infertility Journey So Far

Keiko and Larry, High School SweetheartsThat’s us from when we dated in high school, circa 1997 or 1998.

Where are you on your infertility path right now? Are you still leaning more towards a DE cycle than adoption at this point? And when can we look forward to your cycle?
There have been a few things since my last infertility journey update in June. Right now we are still leaning very heavily toward donor egg, although, and this is totally random: I may have ovulated on my own this week, but because I’m rocking the Zombie Leper Shingles, not so much with the sex this week. We are going to continue our “experiments in natural babymaking” again. And just in time for the hurricane: a light period. So no “we’re stuck inside and there’s nothing else to do” sex either. Awesome.

Right. So, still leaning toward donor egg but adoption is not off the table as a second option. The challenge right now is that everything depends on my insurance. I have, very luckily, rockin’ insurance that will cover basically half of our total costs. Right now, we’re looking at about $15K out of pocket.

The original game plan was to select a donor by the end of this year, get the ball rolling, and aim for an April/May transfer if everything went swimmingly. And right now, things are up in the air because I need to make a game plan should I leave my job, which is a very real possibility and soon. I promise next to my immediate family, my blog readers will be the first to know when things get off the ground.

How does your husband feel about you being so public about your emotions and your relationship? Has the blog affected your relationship? If so, how?

I started this blog as a way to cope and initially, wrote under a pseudonym. I’d ask, and then nag my husband: “Did you read my blog today?” Sometimes the answer was yes, of course, and other times he’d play catch up the same way I do with other blogs I follow. There’s a certain degree of self-censorship that occurs; rarely do I write about some of the more intimate details of say, our sex life. But I have written about some nasty fights.

When I broached the subject of doing my video and revealing my name and face, I of course ran it by him. He was more than supportive and has continued to be even more so since then. Larry gets that my blog is more than just dumping my emotions for the world to read (which yeah, a lot of times it can be). He gets that this fuels a sense of impassioned personal fulfillment for me. And that as much as this blog is my space, Larry is very much a part of it. Sometimes, I even let him write here (and I hope to have him do it more in the future).

It’s hard to say if this blog has affected our relationship; it certainly factors into our life together, say, watching an episode of Castle together versus writing a blog post. Larry understands that my blog has become a platform for me to finally start figuring out just what the heck I want to do with my life, and in being supportive of me, my goals, and this blog, then it’s fair to say that yes, in that sense, my blog has affected our relationship for the better.

Infertility Support & Resources

Keiko Baby PictureMe at three months old. Chubby cheeks you could pinch right off.

I am unfamiliar with the donor egg process. How do you choose donor eggs? Do they have photos of potential donors? Are there specific requirements that you and your husband have for the potential donor?

There’s definitely a lot to answer in this one question. So first, let me point you to a couple of posts that might be helpful. The first is this helpful overview of the donor egg process from RESOLVE, the National Infertility Association. The second is a mish-mash of helpful info from RESOLVE of New England’s Donor Egg Decision-Making Seminar back in June, that I live-tweeted. The third is a post I wrote early last year about wrapping my brain around choosing donor egg as our option: A Donor For Your Thoughts. That post might help answer how we chose donor eggs.

As far as what we’re looking for in a donor… we’re looking at three basic characteristics:

  1. Brunette
  2. Caucasian*
  3. College educated with good academic history

That’s pretty much it. The * indicates that ideally, we’d love a donor of Japanse or Asian descent, as I’m half-Japanese. And to make things in a really nice neat little bow, it would be awesome if she were Jewish. But finding a Japanese-Jewish donor is a bit of a challenge, so we’ll settle on those top three for now.

Keiko, I’m a twenty three year old woman who desperately wants to conceive someday. I have poly-cystic ovarian syndrome and have been told that I’ll likely never have children of my own. Help.

First of all, I just want to say that I’m so sorry you’ve gotten this diagnosis. PCOS can be a very overwhelming disease when you’re first diagnosed, but take solace in knowing there is a huge online community out there for support and education.

So here’s my advice.

  • Do you like your doctor? Trust them? Feel comfortable at your appointments? If not, consider seeking a second-opinion from a doctor you are more comfortable with. You want to make sure that not only you have an accurate diagnosis, but a professional who’s willing to work with you whom you trust.
  • Do your homework, but do it in moderation. It’s easy to don the Dr. Google hat and get sucked into the self-diagnosis and worrying vortex. Pick up a couple of trusted PCOS resources. Check out a few online communities. But give yourself only an hour or less a day to do it- you don’t want to overwhelm yourself.
  • From what I know of PCOS, diet plays heavily into the disease, so it’s worth making an appointment with a nutritionist. I know there are also implications for other health issues so you want to make sure you’re giving your body the best nutrition you can.
  • Find other PCOS bloggers. Read their blogs, reach out, and connect with them. And find those online PCOS communities – I know they’re out there.
  • Seek out IRL support, too. Whether it’s a private therapist, a clergy member, a friend you can count on, or even a support group – it’s important to talk about how it’s affecting you emotionally.

That’s all I’ve really got. Since I was originally diagnosed with PCOS in 2000 but then went to college and had my head up my ass, I don’t actually have any good PCOS resources off-hand. I’m more in the POF/POI camp at this point. That said, I know I have many readers here who are in the PCOS boat.

1 Comment

Filed under adoption, Hannah Wept Sarah Laughed, Infertility, Keiko Zoll, Reproductive Health

One response to “You Asked, I Answer: Infertility Questions

  1. Keiko,
    Thank you for sharing so openly on this topic. As a woman, I think it is so important to talk to each other about these unspoken experiences and know that we are not alone in our struggles. I wish you the best in your journey for a baby.
    Karynn

    Like

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