So here we are, at long last I finally get my A into G and finish off my Donor Egg post. Before I go back and scratch out everything I’ve written and rewrite it I just want to say, that these are MY feelings on the matter. If they don’t match yours well that’s fine too, I am not writing this to seek permission for how I feel, but to give another opinion on what is an incredible option for family building.
Once upon a time in a land not unlike this one, I had my I want a family meltdown. Hairy being the uber sweetheart that he is said “ok” and off we went. From word go we knew we’d need IVF with ICSI. Thank you vasectomy that seemed like a good idea at the time. Not to get side tracked we started our cycling.
I responded like a champ with eggs retrieved by the dozens. A normal retrieval would yield between 16-28 eggs. Fert rates were none too shabby either, always sitting around the 85% mark. But and here it starts to relate to age, our Day3 haul was usually around 25% drop that down to 10% for a Day5 try. My eggs were shit. 18cycles worth of shit in fact.
Every RE we saw, and oh yes we clinic hopped 4 clinics 5 RE’s all said the same thing. Jen you produce a lot of eggs it’s a numbers game. Stay in the game long enough and we’ll hit the jackpot. Like a fool I listened, even when my heart and head were saying, Run run away try DE this cycling with my eggs is an expensive time intensive joke.
Eventually having had enough of the merry-go-round I said Enough is enough. Time to move on. Our choices were childfree or Donor Egg. Hairy was right beside me and would have happily supported my decision either way. I chose donor egg, stating it was to be only one go round, just to end this ride and resume our lives. I needed closure. We needed closure.
In Australia unlike many countries, Donors are not paid for giving up their eggs. At all. Yes we pay for the cycle and any out of pocket the donor may incur, but there is no fee to be paid to the women who do this. That is all to say that donors are generally found amongst friends and family, who else would do this for another woman for no profit? My donor was a friend R. I’d known her about 4 years at that point and she offered, I couldn’t ask anyone directly for their eggs. I spoke with another friend N and said that this was something we’d have to do if we were to have a hope of having a child. My friend N did my leg work for me without me knowing. I was lucky enough to have 2 offers come seemingly out of the blue.
R contacted me and offered me her eggs, at that point in time I wasn’t ready so I put it all on hold. 6 months later I contacted R and asked if she still felt willing to donate. She did and we started the donor dance. I traveled out of state and Hairy flew up for his bit and returned home the next day. 12eggs 10fertilised. 8 were perfect on Day2.
I did my best to talk my RE into transferring 3 embryos. No go, he relented enough to allow me 2. Both took. Am I thankful we didn’t transfer 3? You bet.
I was ill very very ill during the 2ww and ended up in hospital having gained 17kilo in just under 10days. I found out I had 2 ute dwellers at 11 Days past Ovulation when a high res ultrasound was done (sometimes I take out that film and just look at the 2 black blobs and it’s awe inspiring). I had a LOT of tests to find where the fluid was coming from. A pos beta put a stop to the more invasive and dangerous testing.
From the moment my pos beta number was given to me, these were my babies. I spent 5 months on bedrest, My body gained more fluid, I gave up having toes and legs at around 4 months. I took drugs to stop contractions from week 20 onwards. I was checked regularly by my OB and did my best to grow my babies for as long as possible. When they were born early by emergency C/Section and I was released home, I was only here to shower and change clothes the rest of my time was spent in the NICU and later the SCN. I slept under sufferance and only because it was “good for my milk supply” my reason for breathing was to be with my babies and be there for them.
For me, Donor egg can be likened to donating blood. I have given blood and I’ve received blood, doesn’t mean I am someone else’s daughter/sister/mother, and does not make the person who has received my blood anything to me. I am alive because of that blood still doesn’t change the fact that I am my mothers daughter/brother’s sister etc. A few cells were given to me by a friend, 2 babies resulted (lets not address the frozens in this post) they are my babies. They do not share my DNA but apparently portions of their DNA can be found in my blood. DNA is to me a bunch of numbers dots and dashes on a pretty graph. It does not define me as a mother and does not take away from the fact that these two blobbies are my babies in every sense of the word.
I read, when I have time, blogs by other DE mums, and at times, I am honestly sickened by phrases like “I still long to have MY BABIES” as tho the little lives they are raising are somehow inferior models. Part of me wonders if having such easy access to donor eggs is a bad thing. For years I knew my eggs were crap but we had no other option but to use them, 12 months of yakking with R before retrieval day gave me plenty of time to sort out any lingering doubts I may have had. And brutal honesty between Hairy and me when we spoke of this cycle ironed out the what ifs.
If I could go back in time, knowing what I know now I wouldn’t change a thing. These are my babies, my son and my daughter, giving birth to them was a bonus I honestly didn’t think I’d ever get. As I said a hail mary cycle and we got lucky real lucky.
The only time I think about their origins as donor eggs is when I speak with other DE women and that isn’t often at all. I look at these 4 blue eyes and chubby bubba bodies and hand on heart swear there isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for my babies. MY babies.