I remember playing dolls as a little girl. I would rock my babies to sleep, and dream of a time when playing mommy would no longer be a game.
If I’d known then what I know now, I would tell my younger self one thing – having a baby is not always a fairytale. Sometimes it takes many, many tries to conceive a child. Sometimes a woman’s eggs simply will not work. Sometimes, you have to look at other options.
My journey to motherhood was filled with unexpected road blocks, but DonorEggBankUSA.com cleared the path when I thought all hope was lost.
Egg Viability…or Lack Thereof
After my husband and I were married in 2011, we settled into newlywed life with ease. We survived home-buying, career changes, and even in-laws with nothing but grace. If the first year of marriage is the hardest, we were set for life.
In July of 2013 we decided to try and have a baby. Little did we know, our blissful marital bubble was about to pop. We tried for months without even the inkling of a pregnancy. A sense of nervousness began to set in. I tried to maintain my calm, but when we reached July of 2014 and still weren’t pregnant, I decided we needed help.
Imagine my dismay when our fertility doctor told me that my eggs weren’t viable for pregnancy.
There did not seem to be any rhyme or reason to the diagnosis. I was a healthy 26-year old woman. I’d never smoked, I exercised, ate right, and was an overall happy, calm person. How did this happen to me?
But whether it was genetics or a random occurrence, the fact of the matter was that my eggs were unusable for pregnancy. We would need to find another option.
An Emotional Battle with My Diagnosis
To say I was crushed would be an understatement. I felt abandoned by my own body.
I tried to keep a level-head about the diagnosis and approach our next steps with logic instead of emotion, but it was impossible. I would be fine one moment, and then suddenly find myself wracked by a multitude of feelings. Depression, check. Anger, check. Anxiety, check, check, check.
My husband was an amazing support, but even he couldn’t relate to what I was feeling.
Over time, and with the help of an infertility counselor, I began to feel more normal… hopeful even. While I still had bouts of sadness from time to time, I remembered that what I really wanted was to be a mother. Not having a genetic link to my future child did not have to hinder that dream.
We started looking for a frozen egg donor.
Finding the “Right” Egg Donor
What a strange sensation to choose your child’s biological mother. With the help of a wonderful company called Donor Egg Bank USA, we were presented with a database of potential candidates. Each of their donors had been thoroughly screened and we were able to look through medical histories, background information, and professional and educational achievements.
But what were we actually looking for? Physical resemblance? Ethnic similarities? Overachievers that had done well in school?
It took some time, but we finally found the perfect donor. Since the eggs were already frozen, within two weeks they had been shipped to my clinic, and were ready to start our IVF cycle.
Our Donor Egg IVF Cycle
My cycle began with a series of lab work and tests to screen my current reproductive health. When this testing was finished, I began a regimen of medications, primarily estrogen and progesterone, to prepare my body for implantation.
Once my body was ready, our selected donor eggs were thawed and fertilized with my husband’s sperm. The doctor monitored the development of the embryos over a few days, and then we were ready for our embryo transfer.
Nothing can describe the moment we watched our doctor place this sweet, little embryo into my uterus on an ultrasound machine. Walking out of the clinic, I felt renewed with possibilities and grateful for this experience. Genetic connection or not, this was our baby.
Two weeks later, we received the best phone call of our lives. The transfer had worked. In nine months, we would become parents.
My Fairytale Ending
At night, when I sit rocking my newborn daughter to sleep, I think back to my childhood self. I wish I could warn her of what was to come so it could have been less of a shock. I would have told her that she had other options. But I would never give away the ending. Holding this sweet girl in my arms is the most incredible gift I’d even been given.
When I found out my eggs weren’t useable, I was lost in sadness and thought I was out of options. Thanks to a selfless, beautiful donor, however, I received the greatest blessing of my life. My husband and I will forever be thankful for our journey.