Anyone who has ever spent time trying – and failing- to conceive understands the emotional heartache that comes along with it. It took me and my husband six years to conceive our son. During that time, we went through more ups and downs (mostly downs) that I can even describe. While I was finally able to conceive almost “naturally” (I had a small bit of help from fertility meds), there was a point where we were considering all our options, including donor eggs. Today I have a great guest post from Heidi of Donor Egg Bank that talks about the emotional side of frozen donor egg IVF. I’ll turn this over to her now!
The Emotional Journey That is Frozen Donor Egg IVF
I’m going to be honest with you. No woman wants to be in the position of finding out that her eggs are not viable or struggling to conceive for whatever reason. Starting a family should be an exciting and magical time filled with hope and expectation about bringing a child into the world. It shouldn’t involve worrying about how and when to start saving for the cost of a donor egg.
But as we all know from experience, not everything works out the way we plan it to. Sometimes you just have to grab the bull by the horns and make the best with what you have. If you and your partner are battling infertility and finding it difficult to go on, I want you to know that there is hope.
The Emotional Rollercoaster
Not every woman’s journey towards frozen donor egg IVF is the same. Some of us find out early on that conceiving a child using our own eggs won’t be possible. Other women, like myself, come down a longer path to get here. The one thing we all have in common is the white-knuckle emotional rollercoaster ride that brought us.
When I first realized that my husband and I were having problems that no morning basal temperature checks or ovulation predictor tools seemed to help, I was heartbroken. We were desperate to have children of our own. I felt like I was going crazy every month when I got my period. Any woman who’s ever wanted a baby and gotten negative pregnancy test after negative pregnancy test knows that sinking feeling staring at the stick.
It’s hard to join the rest of the world, go to work in the morning and watch all your friends announcing their pregnancies on Facebook. We underwent eleven failed IVF and frozen embryo transfers before finally deciding to adopt.
Whatever emotions you’re feeling now – anger, bitterness, jealousy, rage, grief – I’m pretty sure I’ve felt all of those. We decided on adoption. After all, plenty of women get pregnant when they stop trying, right? We’ve all heard stories of that happening. And I wanted a baby so badly.
My husband and I were lucky enough to adopt our beautiful son from Guatemala. But we wanted two children and our second attempt to adopt was unsuccessful. Laws had changed. Doors were closing. And after multiple trips to Central America, we had to come to terms with the fact that we could no longer go down that road.
Donor egg usage can be extremely costly as well as emotionally draining, and it isn’t for every couple. But even if you’ve come to terms your decision to use frozen donor eggs, you’ll probably struggle with it at times. You may feel scared that your child won’t feel like “yours,” or worry about how they’ll react when they’re older and you tell them.
I took a long time to make peace with my feelings, and it’s healthier that way. I also took comfort from the genetic connection that my child would have to my husband and the thought of carrying my own baby through pregnancy.
If you’re worried about not feeling an emotional connection to your child…don’t. You’ll experience the mother-child bond that begins in the womb right from the start. Every moment of your pregnancy – the ups and downs – will help forge a connection between you and your baby.
Of course, not everyone’s experiences are the same, and I can’t speak for all women. All I can say is that I wouldn’t change my beautiful family for anything in the world. We went through a lot to get here. I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t still have fantasies about what my twins would have looked like if they shared my DNA. I still feel sad sometimes if I think about the child I never had. But then I see my kids smiling and know that they’re here because of me.
So don’t give up if you’re struggling to start the family you always wanted. Using frozen donor eggs will allow you to fulfill your dreams. And don’t worry about your feelings. We’re supposed to have those. Starting a family is an emotional journey whichever way you do it.