My husband and I have two wonderful, healthy children via egg donation. We are extremely grateful that this was a possibility for us, and we are eager to share our story, especially with others experiencing infertility.
I was diagnosed with high FSH at age 33, and my doctor encouraged us to try IVF immediately. We did 5 cycles in which we had 3 transfers, and never a positive pregnancy. All along our journey to have kids we tried to stay as positive as possible, and to remind ourselves that we’d be parents no matter what. There were many, many difficult times but we got through them together along with the loving support of our families. With the passing of each cycle and learning the reality of our chances to conceive on our own, we managed to get through by keeping our hearts and minds open to Plan B and Plan C – donor egg and adoption. I attended many Resolve talks and also joined a Resolve support group. The talks were extremely informative and made me feel less alone. And through the support group I made friends who were going through all the same ups and downs as I was… unlike many of my friends and family who so wanted to help, but just couldn’t relate as well to the challenges I faced.
Before our 5th cycle, I learned a lot about egg donation and attended a Resolve seminar on the topic. I happened to sit next to the group facilitator who had an adopted son and a daughter via egg donation. I remember thinking… wow, she did it, and she seems so happy, I can do this too… There was also a panel made up of recipient parents and egg donors. They shared their experiences and answered our questions – all of which made the idea of egg donation less daunting.
In our 5th cycle we did not have viable embryos to transfer. With that news, we were of course heartbroken, but not entirely shocked. We immediately began the process of searching for donor egg agencies and a donor. Although we ended up going through a west coast agency, we took the time to visit some local agencies. This helped us to become more familiar with the process, to meet the people working at the agency, and to study some donor profiles. I poured through websites viewing donors and narrowed my choice to 3-4 women. Then my husband looked at the sites on his own. We both agreed that health was one of the most important criteria, and that it would be ideal if she had a similar background to me, and similar physical features. We got a great feeling from the woman we chose as we learned more about her in her hand-written profile. Another thing that was very important to us was that she had experience with egg donation. We were comforted by the fact that she had previously gone through the process which resulted in live births for the recipient couples.
Our two sons are now 5 and 3.5 years old. We are so incredibly grateful for them and cannot imagine our lives without them. We will never forget the years of struggle and pain, but that pain has truly become a distant and vague memory. I remember thinking often during those hard times that I didn’t want to look back at those important years of my life and think of them as primarily sad and challenging. As a couple, we planned getaways to spend time together and to really enjoy each other. These trips kept us strong, and took our minds off the doctors and the cycles. And now we look back and feel extremely fortunate that we had that time together.
Life is busy with young children, and there is little time to focus on how they actually came into this world. Six years ago, it was hard to imagine that HOW our sons were conceived would now be so unimportant to us. And sometimes we remark about how infrequently we think about the donor and their genetic origin. We plan to be completely honest and open with our children about their genetics in hopes that they never feel strange or different. And being open with our family and sharing our story with close friends also reminds us of how lucky we are to be parents, and how grateful we are that egg donation was an option for us.