You don’t have to grow up dreaming of starting a family. In fact, for many women it simply isn’t like that anymore. Some women dream about running corporations, not households. They want a university degree, a career, and to travel before even thinking about kids, others can’t wait to start.
Even so, finding out that the option of having a baby is no longer on the table is still one of the biggest blows any woman will ever have to suffer.
If you’ve been having problems trying to conceive or have found out that your eggs are no longer viable, you may have started researching the egg donor process. It’s not a journey you should go down alone, so make sure that you and your partner are on the same page about your feelings.
A Tidal Wave of Emotions
Before you can even consider using a donor egg to start the family you’re suddenly terrified you’ll never have – make sure you pause for a moment. It’s not the same as being told those shoes you want don’t come in your size, or that you’ll probably never be a catwalk model.
Every woman processes her emotions in different ways, and it’s not only necessary, but healthy to take the time to talk through yours. Even if you’re one of those people who can take whatever life throws their way – be honest with yourself. How do you feel?
If you’ve had several failed rounds of IVF with your own eggs, hormone therapy, or just spent months or years trying to conceive; the chances are, you feel pretty damn furious. The world is an unfair place in which some women get pregnant at the drop of a hat, while others aren’t so lucky.
So if you’re angry, jealous, enraged, grief-stricken, just know this: it’s OK. You wouldn’t be human if you weren’t. There are many different causes of infertility and some may never even discover the “real” reason they are unable to get pregnant. But thanks to donor eggs, you can still experience the joy of pregnancy and the miracle of birth. It might feel like the end of the world right now, but there is hope around the corner.
The best way to deal with your emotions is to confront them head on and be honest about how you feel. You and your partner should be able to discuss your fears, anxieties and sorrows openly. You may find that counselling helps you, or trying alternative therapies like mindfulness or meditation. But whatever you do, make sure you deal with that tidal wave of emotions and take as much time as you need.
Weigh Up Your Options
As soon as you both feel ready to move on, take some time to consider your options. Adoption works for some couples, but it can be a very lengthy and costly process. Sometimes the agreed upon adoption falls through at the last moment and the pain can be too much for some couples to bear. So, if that’s not an option for you, then you’ll want to look at using donor eggs.
You may struggle at first with the idea of carrying a child who doesn’t share your DNA. But while there’s nothing that can change that, using a donor egg gives you the chance to experience pregnancy– to feel your baby move and kick inside you, to nourish them and feel them grow, and to give birth. As any mother will tell you, the maternal bond begins long before birth, and only gets stronger and stronger as your child grows, regardless of their genetic makeup. There’s no feeling on earth that outweighs the joy of holding your baby in your arms for the first time.
Frozen Donor Eggs
Frozen donor eggs are becoming a more popular fertility choice for couples over fresh donor eggs, for various reasons. There have been major scientific advancements in a technique called “vitrification,” which means that this fertility treatment now has a much higher success rate than it used to.
Using frozen donor eggs also removes the need for the donor and recipient’s menstrual cycles to be synched up. This makes the whole process much more convenient and less emotional for both parties. You no longer have to have any involvement with the donor, or give yourself high amounts of hormone medication in order to achieve cycle synchronization. You can start as soon as you’re ready, after your next period.
You’ll also have access to a larger national donor sample bank. Which means that if it’s important that your child share similar traits as you, you can find a donor with your hair and eye colour, or whatever other qualities are most important to you.
No one can make this difficult personal decision for you. But just as your luck can change with the wind, you can go from infertility to birth using frozen donor eggs.
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post, all opinions are my own
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