I wanted to share a recap of my journey to donor eggs for any of you that are new readers or stumble upon this blog after searching for donor egg stories.
After going through a devasting and unexpected diagnosis of severe DOR (diminished ovarian reserve) at the young age of 31 which led to two failed IVF cycles before having my miracle (now toddler) on round three we decided we really wanted a sibling for him. I had always imagined a huge family and was now just hoping for one more child to love. Looking back now, the road to him was practically easy even though it felt full of pain and despair. So- in our desperate pursuit of a sibling we did the following:
1. Three failed IVf cycles ( I now think to myself ok- this next one will work, right? Still full of hope).
2. Fourth IVF a positive pregnancy test that results in early miscarriage. Heartbroken but decide to move clinics.
3. Decide to egg bank at our new clinic. Go through two full IVF stim cycles and bank 3 blastocysts to send off for testing. Only one is normal.
4. Prepare for FET- I totally ‘felt pregnant’ but BFN.
5. Decide to do another fresh IVF cycle since we don’t want to go through the drama of banking and testing. Positive pregnancy. Feel full of hope then start to bleed and miscarry a few days later.
6. Decide to sign up for one more egg banking round along with a ERA ( test to see the right window for transfer. So proceed to go through two full stim cycles, then a mock ERA cycle (came back pre receptive) so another mock ERA cycle and now we are ready to transfer one of our two genetically normal embryos.
7. Meanwhile- want to check the box on the immune stuff so spend the 3k+ to fly across the country for a Braverman consult. He recommends lap surgery to remove endometriosis.
8. Fly home and get ready to thaw and transfer embryos before our attempt down the surgery path. One embryo does not make the thaw and we transfer the lone one. Positive pregnancy test(!!) and that ended up as a chemical. Gutted.
9. Convinced I have endometriosis and need to remove it I undergo surgery. Anatomy clean and perfect- absolutely no endo. Surgery was unnecessary and I suffer mild depression recovering from something unnecessary. Then realize I am lucky to be healthy and bounce back.
10. My husband FINALLY agrees to donor eggs after telling him my heart and spirit can not keep going on like this. I am peppy and happy and joyful by nature and I can feel it slipping away.
11. Agree to one last own egg IVF cycle but pursue a donor at the same time.
12. BFN on the Hail Mary cycle one day after our donor is signed. She is our new path and our new hope.
13. I host a tequila filled ‘ovary retirement’ party with my husband and officially move on.
So there you have it. It took 10+ IVF cycles, immune testing, an ERA, surgery FETs and three pregnancy losses to finally get here. We are now 100k plus in debt but hopeful that the donor egg path will be the one that finally gives us our baby.
I was actually mentally prepared for donor eggs pretty much after those failures at our first clinic. My husband and doctor kept convincing me we could find that one good egg. I say this only to articulate how comfortable and grateful I am for donor eggs. In the back of my mind (since my first DOR diagnosis 5 years ago) I always thought this would be what we would end up doing. For me being a mother is all about the bond, not the biology. I have so much maternal love and just want to be able to share it. I feel like perhaps my ability to accept and embrace it can hopefully help anyone around me struggling quietly or beside me. Maybe I was meant to help others feel good about this way to a baby.
For any of you out there struggling with decisions, with having to move on, grieving the end of one path– I hope you are able to keep hope alive and to have an open mind and heart along this stressful and painful road. Xoxo