When my second IVF cycle failed, I didn't even know if I wanted to try again. Despite my low AMH, despite not having any embryos to freeze after the first two cycles, our doctor still thought we could possibly have a baby with my eggs.
We sat there absorbing this news.
That was 5-8 more rounds of stimulation medications.
5 to 8 more retrievals.
5 to 8 more transfers.
5-8 more two week waits.
My mind starting reeling...could this even be happening? How is this possible? WHY isn’t my body working?
Then, she started talking about using donor eggs. And instantly I shut down.
No WAY could I ever do that! How on earth would a child who was created using donor eggs be mine?
I walked out of that appointment defeated.
I didn’t want to do 5 to 8 more rounds of IVF. I knew my heart and our wallets couldn’t handle it.
I couldn’t imagine using donor eggs.
But I still wanted a baby. I wanted a child.
Have you been at this crossroads before? Where you think...I can’t imagine using donor eggs but I can’t imagine not having a child either?
Here are 4 things I did to become comfortable using donor eggs.
Processing my grief–if you’re not working through the grief of losing your own genetics, there is no way to successfully move forward with donor eggs. When you decide to step away from using your own eggs and shift towards using donor eggs, there is a loss there. Genetic loss is real and you must allow yourself the time and space to grieve that loss.
Gave myself time to learn and figure out what life would look like - It took me awhile to learn and sort out what my life would look like. I wanted to know what I was getting into when I chose to use donor eggs. What my child would be facing in terms of being donor conceived. What our family would face in terms of having donor conceived children. And I wanted to understand how I could get everything ready for success as quickly as possible.
Tried one more time with my own eggs - I gave it a lot of thought and I felt like I had to give my own eggs one more chance. We could afford one more IVF cycle with my eggs and I wanted to do everything I could on this last try. I cleaned up my diet, took the supplements, and went into this round knowing that it was my last try. When the third (and last try) failed, it hurt. It hurt a lot. But it also gave me the confidence that our next step was donor egg and I wasn’t left with “what ifs”.
Talked lots with my partner about our decision and how we were going to move forward together: Yes, we were using donor eggs, but Michael’s opinion and how we went about moving forward together was equally important. Michael and I had lots of conversations about how we felt about it, how we were going to be talking about it with our kids, how we were going to be sharing this with our friends and family, and how this decision was going to affect our future children. Knowing that Michael and I were on the same team made moving forward a lot easier.
Having kids that were born through donor eggs wasn’t an easy process. It didn’t happen overnight. It took a lot of soul searching, processing and learning to feel comfortable. But now that I’m on the other side, as a mom of kids who were donated-conceived, I know it was the right decision for our family. Are there still challenges ahead? Absolutely. Because life happens. But I am comfortable and confident in our decision and know we can handle those challenges as they come.