I turn 40 next week.
I remember my mother when she was 40. I was 18, so it’s not hard to recall. She still turned heads with her beauty and sexy stylishness, but 40 was when she started to seem old to me. Her skin especially. Her hands were softer, almost rubbery. I remember pinching her elbows and counting how long it would take for the skin to bounce back. Sometimes it took a full two seconds.
“Look how old your skin is,” I would tell her.
“I know,” she’d say. “I’m very old.”
My elbow skin takes less than a second to bounce back, which makes me luckier than her, I suppose. On the other hand, my mother was still fertile at 40. I know she was fertile because the summer before I went away to college, my dad told me that she had become pregnant, had an abortion, and had her tubes tied.
She was too old for a baby.
In 40 days, I begin Delestrogen injections for my donor egg cycle.
In related news, I learned that my donor works at a gardening store, which is why May is the earliest that she can travel for the retrieval. March and April are very busy months for her at the nursery.
There’s a critical timeline for sowing seeds, and Spring only lasts so long.
There are 40 women on the PVED Spring 2012 thread who are cycling with donor eggs around the same time as me.
Out of these 40 women, several have cycled in the past. Some were successful, and some weren’t. A few women had positives but then miscarried as late as 15 weeks. Two women gave birth around 25 weeks, held their babies for a few days, and then watched them die.
40 women on the thread means 40 stories of infertility. 40 versions of grief and loss. 40 shades of hope that no one hopes for.
We’re 40 women cycling through a medical procedure with a 50% success rate, which means that 20 of us will fall on the wrong side of the odds. And as it happens, the first woman in our group transferred two embryos last week, and her pregnancy test came back yesterday. It was negative.
1 down. 39 to go.
40 is the number of dollars this cycle costs – that is, if you take that number, put a comma after it, and then add three zeros.
I don’t know how we managed to throw that kind of money together, and I don’t have a back-up plan for what to do if this doesn’t work. I just can’t think about it.
Someone on PVED recently asked if anyone is afraid that their donor egg cycle won’t work.
Um … yes.