Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Waiting Mode

We're in waiting mode over here at the DE Mommy household. I start Lupron on Sunday and come off BCPs 5 days after that and estrogen 8 days after that. Really, there's not much going on except starting the medication.

Of course, now I'm not as naive about the medication and I'm concerned that the estrogen patches look fewer in number and change over a greater number of days, but I think I'm on them for a longer period of time. So I guess everything is ok. I assume if it isn't they will let me know.

We continue to stalk the clinic's donor board. Although our current donor remains our favorite, we're still seeing if someone comes up looking exactly like me and absolutely ready to go in 3 weeks. It's not likely, but cognitively, it makes us like our current donor more.

We're also deciding what to do in case we have the exciting outcome of having "extras." Our clinic only fertilizes the first 20 eggs and then they freeze the rest. We have decided to offer these frozen eggs to a friend of ours who is having a hard time starting her family. It's sort of a pay it forward considering how we got here in the first place. And since our friend lives in California and is relatively close to our clinic, we will strongly encourage her to use this clinic to defrost and fertilize the eggs.

I'm still looking forward to posting on disclosure (what I've found in the literature) and the contributions of genetics to behavior (from an academic standpoint). But right now, I'd kind of like to be pregnant while that is happening. I'm not too keen on putting the cart before the horse in figuring out how we'll tell our child(ren) about egg donation before there's even a possibility of children.

Nonetheless, I have been pondering what we know and what we don't know about how genetics are affected in utero. I have a friend who just had her twins from egg donation (HOOORAY!!!!) and we're thinking that one of the twin's nose doesn't look like her husband's, doesn't look like the donor's, and may well look like hers! I keep thinking "wouldn't it be ironic to learn in 30 years time when we have enough surrogate and donor egg babies to learn that certain characteristics such as noses or curly hair come from certain genes being turned on or off or even just favored in utero and not prescribed from the moment of conception?"

We don't know. We just don't know. Until the last 20 years, we've never been able to tease apart the influence of the mother's genes and the influence of the uterus on fetal development. We may find out that there is more of an influence than was expected after some good research.

I am not saying that genes aren't important. But I think we don't yet know how much the womb affects genes in their development. And that may be something that's exciting for DE mommies and freaks the freak out of couples who use gestational surrogates.

Just my rambling to pass the time until I have something really exciting to post about.


Pam said...

I think it's great things are moving along so well. It just doesn't sit right though, that the clinic arbitrarily decides they're only going to fertilize the first 20 eggs. Who is to say that a) they're all good or b) they remaining ones are the best ones? You're spending a shitload of money. You should be able to keep them all. I think it's great you're choosing to donate anything over twenty to your friend though.

As for the genetics question, I had a post on this back in August/07 (http://baby-wanted-apply-within.blogspot.com/2007/08/stuff.html).

I couldn't find the actual article I referred to, but here's one on epigenetics and the study with mice (http://www.biotech-info.net/moms_diet.html) It's quite interesting.

Kami said...

I've seen some studies on epigenetics too that are both encouraging and scary. The scary: a study that found male mice who were exposed in utero to a toxin that causes cancer in male offspring by turning on/off a gene at the wrong time - they tracked it over 3 generations.

Now that our little one is here, I no longer feel the strong need for a "mini-me". She is who she is. I hope the feeling lasts.

Thanks for your support on my blog and lots of luck to you.

Kate said...

Good to hear you're moving right along! I've been doing research on nature vs. nurture as well and there is some amazing stuff out there! How many estrogen patches are you started on? I hated those damn things! They ripped my skin apart!

stacyb said...

yes, the nature vs. nurture is an interesting question...i read something this past week about how what we eat when pregnant very much influences the future weight and health of a child...another thought to tuck into the file.