After a failed IUI, a miscarriage through IVF, and another IVF with aneuploidy eggs my husband & I (both around 40) began talking about using donor eggs
I can’t remember who brought up the subject first, but I do remember my feelings. And those feelings didn’t include sunshine and rainbows. In fact, those feelings were rather defensive and hurt.
You see, for me, I always thought I would be able to have children. My sisters, friends, cousins, etc were all able to have children, easily. Of course, they were in their teens and twenties, but the miracle of life came easy for them. Even if they weren’t trying. My understanding was, since they could do it, so could I.
Then why was this conversation about having a baby using a donor egg so difficult for me? It’s still having children...right? What no one seems to talk about is the mourning involved when realizing YOU can’t get pregnant. Period. It’s YOUR eggs that have low quality. It’s YOUR body saying no.
When anyone, including a fertility doctor, recommended using donor eggs something inside me would break. It was the desire to procreate. Procreate means to reproduce. And unless those eggs contain my DNA then I’m not reproducing. All the things I’ve learned to love about myself, all the lessens I’ve learned based on my self image or personality...that all comes to an end. I’m not passing it on, or my family's funny gene or my link to well known ancestors or my sense of calm under pressure. And giving up the “me” in pregnancy is not only hard, it’s heartbreaking. And it’s why I felt under attack and became defensive whenever the subject arose.
BUT, after some reflection, prayer, meditation, and many tears (many, many tears) I found my “why” was stronger than my “why not”. What I mean is that my “why” was an innate desire to be a Mom, to share my love, to raise a family. And my “why not” was simply passing on my DNA. The pros and cons weren’t even comparable. And onward my husband and I went into egg donation therapy.
In retrospect, I realized while I was losing something, so was my donor. I mean, to sacrifice themself - selflessly - for someone they don’t know...they must have a heart of gold. They undergo a deep medical & mental evaluation, test upon test, medications, shots, mood swings, anesthesia, and surgery...all for me? There is a risk too, such as tangled ovaries from being stretched. And here I am feeling like using a donor egg is gonna break my heart, when I should feel like an Angel is giving me my “why”. AND with a beautiful baby boy, a donor has given me my heart - full and unbroken.
If you’re struggling with getting pregnant and using a donor is something you’re struggling with, then please know these things:
- Your feelings are completely normal and justified. Take time to dwell in your feelings before moving forward. Don’t feel pressure to move quickly, it’s a big decision.
- You’re not alone. Thousands have been where you are and many more are to come. Join a group or seek someone to talk to.
- It’s worth it. 10,000% worth it. When you realize the love you GET to pour into your child and the personality you GET to shape...everything you thought about “you” that would be lost, is just simply not true. You GET to teach your child every lesson you learned and how to be better than you ever were and that’s not something you pass through DNA.
- Our team is here to help you on your path, with experts who have not only been in the industry for years, but with advocates who have undergone the same challenges you have (such as myself). We are a free-service with a passion to help build families. We’d love to help you.