How we got our Egg Donor :-)

So as you may have already read, we had egg donation IVF last year, and I though I’d tell the story of how we went from ‘let’s go ahead with egg donation’ to actually doing it. Because it’s yet another thing to get your head round.

From the moment we decided to go ahead with ED (egg donation) I knew I had to fully understand what I was doing, and what the implications were for me as a woman. We had been to the Fertility Show in London and attended seminars that covered ED and listened to other people’s experiences and advice. This was all extremely helpful and I can’t recommend enough that you do as much research and digging as you can (if you’re considering ED) as it really shows you aspects that you may not originally have considered. I therefore knew that I had to ‘grieve’ for the biological child that I would now never have, but my logical and sturdy brain tried to reason this away. I thought that ED was just a straight-forward progression on our quest for a child, and I tried to not think too deeply about what was actually going to happen. This was a mistake. The harsh fact was that I was going to be carrying another woman’s baby that had been fertilised by my husband. It wouldn’t inherit any of my features, I could never compare my childhood behaviour to its and I would probably flinch everytime someone said ‘hasn’t she/he got your eyes?’ or some such remark. I could foresee visits to the doctor with situations where I’m asked for my medical history, and how I would have to explain that our family doesn’t quite work like that. As the law stands though, strangely, this child would be more mine than anyone else’s. The donor has no legal hold, as in the eyes of the law the woman who gives birth is known as the mother (which complicates things in surrogacy). But as time went on, I did pine for my own biological child, I don’t like being told I can’t have something and it tends to make me more determined and stubborn. But this wasn’t something that I could do much about. Sadly, I think the realisation that the donated embryo was truly mine, the moment when I realised that the little life did in fact belong to me and I would completely be its mother, only came when I miscarried and lost my little one. Only then did everything fall in to place. Life can be evil when some lessons can only be learnt through tragedy.

Anyway! Back to how we found our donor. After our decision-making discussion, I went through the documentation we had gathered from the Fertility Show and found the National Gamete Donation Trust leaflet. The next day I emailed them and was really impressed with how quickly they started things going and how friendly they were. They basically add you to their register as someone looking for a donor and contact you when any are located, as near to your area as possible. We were also given posters advertising that ‘someone in your area needs your help’ and all the NGDT contact details (we were anonymous so there was no panic about advertising your personal business to your local town). I trotted off one afternoon armed with numerous posters and a positive attitude. Within an hour I was an emotional wreck though, and couldn’t quite believe something seemingly so simple turned out to be an arduous nightmare! The first shop I went to I suddenly realised that I hadn’t properly thought this through; what do I say, more importantly what is the first thing I should say, how do I break the ice?

‘Hi. I need some eggs, could you put this in your window?’ if only it was that easy. All at once I realised that I would have to share my personal and painful infertility situation with a complete stranger…..and then watch their reaction!! I definitely wasn’t expecting the reactions. First there is the sadness in the eyes, quickly followed by the confusion of what I am actually asking for, and then sometimes, unfortunately, there is a judgemental glare. As if I am taking this too far and shouldn’t meddle with nature or something, at least that’s how I felt.
Neither Mothercare nor Boots put my poster up. Shame on them! One local small shop did put my poster up and I will be forever grateful to Ruby Moon for doing so and showing me such love and kindness.

Now moving on a few weeks and one evening I light-heartedly went through my Facebook friend list to see if I knew someone who could fit the bill as a donor. Originally we had thought that an anonymous donor would be best, but the more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea of knowing her. Only one person fit the criteria (under 35) and resembled me physically and I giggled when I thought about how I would approach her. She is a work colleague, and a close one, she actually came to my Hen Party, so I knew I could bring the subject up with her without embarrassing either of us. The next day I saw her in a corridor and pulled her aside. Here is how the conversation went;

‘Hi Sue (false name). I’ve got the strangest compliment to give you. You know how I am going through IVF etc.? Well, we decided to look into egg donation, and last night I went through Facebook to see who I knew who would be worthy enough for such an honour {giggles and blushes} and you were the only one!’

Her reply: ‘Well funny you should say that because when I found out that you were having trouble conceiving, I asked my partner how he’d feel if I could donate my eggs to you, should you need them. He said it was fine. So you can have my eggs! {big beaming smile}’

SHE HAD ALREADY DECIDED TO BE MY EGG DONOR BEFORE I HAD DECIDED TO HAVE DONATED EGGS!!! (there isn’t a smiley face image big enough to display here).

And this my friends is what they call the light at the end of the tunnel, the silver lining in every cloud, the frown that has been turned upside down and just the awesome realisation that life always has something wonderful for you around the next corner. The love that Sue showed me in that moment alone is something I will never forget and never be able to thank her enough for. That moment, and the moments to follow where we laughed about the injections we were both getting and when we took her for her Egg Collection, and all the other shared experiences, are the upside stories on this infertility journey. They fill you with a warmth that makes you realise that humans are capable of wonderful things. I will love her forever, quite simply.

There followed months of tests and consultations and even counselling for all of us, and then the IVF went ahead. It worked, although sadly ended in a miscarriage BUT we have 4 frozen embryos to try again with later this year 🙂

AND……she’s only gone and told me that she’d do it all again for me!!!

I might be unlikely with my ovaries, but boy, am I one lucky human being to have people like Sue in my life.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. WOW! That is an amazing, beautiful story. This is exactly the type of thing that makes me see the blessings of infertility. This person has given you the most precious gift imaginable. Thank you for sharing your story.

    Reply

  2. OMG! What a wonderful story. I’m so sorry for your miscarriage, it’s tough to loose when you waited so long.

    Also this: ‘I don’t like being told I can’t have something and it tends to make me more determined and stubborn.’
    What can I say, I’m much the same. Hope it will get us what we want in the end.

    Reply

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