This is a guest post written by Samantha R, a 42-year-old woman that went through the process of Donor Egg IVF. I thought it would be interesting to share her story and perhaps could help people who might be looking into choosing this path too.
When you want nothing more than to start a family with your partner, one negative pregnancy test can feel like a letdown. What happens when one negative test turns into dozens? The constant disappointment can leave you feeling haunted and empty. This was the reality for my husband and me after a year of trying desperately to conceive. Those twelve months of failure left us searching for answers.
Sitting in the doctor’s office one day, I saw a brochure with the words “Infertility Treatment Helps Families Grow” written across the front cover. Little did we know, those five little words would become our answer.
My Nonviable Eggs: The Diagnosis that Led Us to Donor Egg IVF
When we first started seeing our fertility specialist, I had hope, the cause of our infertility was simple. I was ready to be told I needed to exercise more, add more good fats to my diet, or try an acupuncture session. I was not prepared to hear my eggs weren’t viable for pregnancy.
Not viable – it’s amazing the way such a short phrase can carry so much weight. I felt like a failure. My sweet husband whispered doting words of encouragement into my ears, but all I heard was you can’t get pregnant – you can’t have a baby of your own.
Sitting in that doctor’s office smelling of antiseptic and broken dreams, I was so lost in my own thoughts, I barely heard the doctor utter the words “donor egg IVF.” Looking up, I considered what he was telling me.
There was a chance I could still carry a baby of my own. While my child wouldn’t be conceived from my own egg, I would still be the one to bring my child into the world. I would still feel my baby’s kicks and watch my belly grow. Despite the loss I was feeling, I knew this was the path I would choose.
How Do You Choose an Egg Donor?
Never in my wildest dreams did I foresee needing to choose the DNA donor of my baby. While the online bank provided incredible insight and information about each donor, choosing a donor is not as easy as ordering off the drive-thru menu.
Thankfully, egg banks rigorously screen each of their donors prior to donation. We were guaranteed every donor had passed drug tests, psychological screenings, and general health evaluations – but none of these things helped us pick one amongst the others.
My husband and I deliberated for weeks over our criteria. Was a similarity in appearance more important, or did their educational and professional background mean more?
We weighed our options and eventually decided on the perfect donor – a combination of similar looks, background, and good education. We were ready to begin.
Starting Our Family with Frozen Donor Egg IVF
Finding an egg donor was just the beginning of our process. Next, it was time to begin treatment. It was explained to me the most important part of a successful IVF cycle was ensuring my body was in the best condition possible to accept a developing embryo.
Preparing my body for IVF wasn’t just about eating the right foods and taking the right vitamins. I was required to undergo various tests, including ultrasounds and blood work, which would offer my doctor insight into my current reproductive health.
Also, I needed the help of hormonal supplements such as progesterone and estrogen to guarantee my uterus was in the best possible state for my upcoming embryo transfer. With the help of transvaginal ultrasounds and bloodwork, my doctors and nurses evaluated my body’s response to these medications and determined exactly when my uterus was best prepared for the embryo transfer.
Early one morning, we made the drive to our clinic’s surgery centre. I laid back and watched as our beautiful embryo was transferred into my uterus. Two weeks later, my husband and I received the news we’d been waiting for. Our donor egg IVF cycle was a success – we were having a baby!
Becoming the Mother I’d Always Hoped to Be
While I was pregnant with my baby girl, I sometimes wondered if she would feel like a stranger when she arrived. I wondered whether I’d suffer from the loss of a genetic connection and not bond with our little girl.
Oh, how wrong I was. The moment my daughter was laid on my chest, I didn’t see DNA and chromosomes. I saw rosy cheeks and long, beautiful eyelashes. I saw ten sweet fingers and ten beautiful toes. In the instant my eyes landed on her face, I knew she was mine. No amount of biology could tell me otherwise.
Have you heard of Donor Egg IVF? Is it a path that you would choose if needed? What do you think of Samantha’s story?
*Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.
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