Are you considering whether or not to attend RESOLVE New England’s Donor Egg/Surrogacy Connect & Learn Seminar on June 2nd? Read on for why one RNE member found such value in our Winter Connect & Learn Seminar and what you can learn on June 2nd. Register online for our Donor Egg/Surrogacy Connect & Learn here. Financial assistance is available to cover the cost of attendance.
On January 28, 2012, I took an important step toward fulfilling my dream of being a mother; I attended RESOLVE New England’s Donor Egg/Surrogacy Connect & Learn Seminar. Earlier that month I filled out the registration with trepidation, but also with the knowledge that I had to take this step – it was time to move forward.
Our lives were busy and giving up a day to drive to Massachusetts was not easy, but I was 40 years old and six months earlier our dream of having “our own baby” had come crashing down around us (or so I thought).
Last summer we were bluntly told I could only achieve pregnancy by utilizing donor eggs. My wonderful partner asked a few questions and was ready to forge ahead. For him it was a no brainer, but for me – I was devastated. I was a zombie for days and cried all the time. I couldn’t look at a picture of my beautiful nieces (who look just like me) without thinking I will not have a child who is part-me.
Instead of researching everything I could about egg donation, I focused on how I could make my body do what it was supposed to do. I tried Traditional Chinese Medicine: going to acupuncture each week and drinking a concoction of nasty-tasting herbs twice a day. I began to feel better – no more hot flashes and night sweats – but my cycles were still crazy and I only ovulated once in six months.
Finally, my man, who doesn’t mince words, told me it was time to change course and make a decision (his words were more colorful). I yelled and cried and told him to stop forcing me to make a choice I don’t want to make, but I also signed us up for the RNE Connect & Learn Seminar… and I’m so glad I did.
Google Maps failed us that morning, so when we arrived we quietly entered and took a seat in the back. A man was addressing the group and as I leafed through the folder we were given, I learned that he was Dr. Vito Cardone. He spent most of the morning addressing the visibly-nervous group about everything concerning egg donation. I knew some of the basics before arriving, but because I had been very resistant to using an egg donor I had not educated myself the way I usually do on a topic. Dr. Cardone put all the information into easy to understand terms and talked about it like a wonderful love story. His passion for helping couples conceive was so evident; he was full of hope.
I started to relax and I started to take notes… lots of notes!
The next session featured Attorney Michael Grant who talked to us about the legal issues surrounding egg donation and surrogacy. As an attorney, I was fascinated by the topic and also a bit embarrassed that I had not considered the legal implications of this process. I was struck once again that the presentation was so positive, so full of hope and love. The professionals we listened to really care about wanting to help people have families.
As fabulous as the morning was, the afternoon was even better. We went from the science and the law to the emotional, heart-wrenching stuff. I noticed the women in the room leaning into their partners and the tears start to flow, as the hope and love intensified.
The first session featured Ellen Glazer, LICSW and author of Having Your Baby Through Egg Donation. She tackled the psychosocial issues that people using donor gametes deal with, such as sharing that information with family and friends, co-workers and acquaintances. She also covered talking to your child about his or her origins and the intricate but important difference between secrecy and privacy.
As the day was drawing to an end, I was becoming more receptive about having a baby using egg donation, but I still had reservations, until the final session. The last session was the Parent Discussion Panel, featuring three couples who have children thanks to donors. Unlike me, all three couples had experienced longer paths to parenthood, suffering through miscarriages and failed IVF cycles.
Each couple told their story and shared photos of their children. They all expressed how they resisted egg donation and how they eventually realized that what they wanted most was to be parents, not to have a baby that looked exactly like them. That sentiment resonated with me and that along with all the love and hope we experienced has moved us forward to being parents via this unique path.
This fall we will travel to the Czech Republic for our egg donation cycle. And we have RESOLVE New England to thank for being the first step on this journey.
About the Author
CzechPlease is a new RESOLVE New England member who is a doting aunt to her 3 nieces and 3 nephews. She loves knitting them cozy blankets and sweaters and hopes to start knitting for her own baby soon!