How do you get your head around donor eggs? Please help :(

(15 Posts)
Littlebee76 Tue 13-Sep-16 06:27:52

Hello

Firstly I want to start by saying that i am writing this to try and get my head around if i can go down the donor egg route as a personal choice, and i really hope that i dont offend anyone in any way - that really isnt my intention.

I have recently turned 40 and now had 3 x BFN IVF attempts. Ive been TTC for over 17 years and not once had even a positive pregnancy test.
The last 2 attempts of IVF ive been a very poor responder. Last cycle i had 3 eggs (only 1 fertilised) the cycle before i only got 1 egg full stop!

So im going for my review appointment next week with a different consultant and Im going to ask for the Immune tests before we cycle again. BUT im 99% certain they will suggest i try donor eggs seeing as im such a poor responder plus my Mum went through the menopause at 40 and looks like im not far off it myself.

Now the problem i have is that i think and analyse things far too much and im struggling to get my head around the donor egg situation so id really like to hear from anyone going through a similar situation and hear how you felt/feel about the process.

Ive thought about it for quite a while and although im pretty sure i would feel differently once the embryo was back inside me, its getting to that point that scares me. The thought of another womans eggs with my husbands sperm freaks me out somewhat. I know that the lady will be 'gifting' me those eggs, but until those eggs are in me then i cant see them as mine.

Also I have thought about if the cycle was successful and there was a child born from it, then telling that child about the donor egg would be very important to me as I always bang on about the importance of honestly & openess in a family & relationship... but then i keep visualising a 'Long lost family' type scenrio in 18 years time and that would break my heart.

Sorry for going on, i just thought it might put a few things into perspective if i heard from people receiving DE & also giving eggs too.

I know this will probably be my last best attempt to be a mum so i need to go into this feeling 100% positive and need some help getting to that stage sad

Bee x

MaybeDoctor Tue 13-Sep-16 06:46:32

Your child would learn your language, your voice and your mannerisms.

Research shows that what parents do with young children (in terms of interaction and activities) has a massive impact.

I also understood that there is some exchange of genetic material via the placenta too.

Hope that helps.

Littlebee76 Wed 14-Sep-16 07:44:56

Thanks maybedoctor.
It's so hard to get my head around and I'm feeling like such a failures the mo sad

Bear2014 Wed 14-Sep-16 13:36:52

Hi Littlebee. My perspective is coming from a bit of a different angle to yours but may be helpful.

I am a lesbian and my partner and I have a 2.5 year old daughter together. From the get go, we obviously knew that in order to have a child, only one of us would be able to be the 'bio' mum. We decided to go down the reciprocal IVF route, meaning that my partner effectively donated her eggs to me, and we used a sperm donor.

I think that given our circumstances and the fact that we never expected to both be genetically related to our daughter, it was easier to accept. We put some careful thought into choosing a sperm donor, but had relative freedom as we didn't feel the need to 'match' him with me, like you might do for a male partner.

I can honestly say that from the moment I got pregnant to now, I have only thought about this a handful of times. I was too busy enjoying my beautiful baby! The fact that I carried her for 9 months, fed her my milk and became her primary caregiver for the first year of her life, means that she was and always will be my baby. She looks nothing like me, and instead looks like my OH. It's pretty common in general for kids to look like only one parent. But she has 2 parents who love her which is all that matters!

We have tried IUI and IVF using my eggs in order to try for a sibling. It's not worked out so we are going to use my partner's eggs again. I'm only just 36 so not sure what the problem is but we are lucky that we have that option, and I'm not sad about it. The main thing is trying to give DD a sibling by any method possible.

Littlebee76 Wed 14-Sep-16 14:51:04

That's lovely bear2014! I think it makes your babies even more special as they really are part of you both which is so nice.

I think the problem I'm having is that it's my husbands sperm with another woman's eggs.. I feel that even though it would turn into a baby until my body accepts it, I'm still cut out the loop somewhat. Although I am coming round to the idea more and more as time goes on.. I just wish we didn't need that third person in the mix.

Deux Wed 14-Sep-16 15:04:46

Have a google for epigenetics.

It's believed that the uterine environment affects what genes are switched on?

Sorry to sound vague but remember reading about it in the press.

Bear2014 Wed 14-Sep-16 16:11:07

The good thing about donor eggs is that they are generally very high quality. So providing your uterine environment is ok, and most are, the phase when you are not involved should be short! I just see the donor sperm as a vehicle to facilitate us having my partner's bio child. Donors are altruistic by nature, so if my DD chooses to contact him at age 18 I hope it will be a positive experience. She may not even be interested. In no way is he a parent to her.

Be kind to yourself and maybe see a counsellor associated with your clinic?

Fazza1976 Fri 16-Sep-16 05:59:24

I'm currently going through a donor egg cycle and it did take me quite a bit of time to get my head around it but for me, my clinic insisted on me talking to the counsellor which I highly recommend.

In my eyes, Im using a cake scenario. I'm baking a cake, one ingredient missing and have borrowed some eggs from someone but the rest of the ingredients are mine and my partners and that cake will cook in my oven and will always be my cake.

Weigh up all the pros and cons and get as much support as your clinic can offer but ultimately the baby will be yours and you will feel it growing inside you and you'll give birth to it and it will be your blood that grows it and keeps it alive.

Always around to chat it you need me.

F xx

Littlebee76 Fri 16-Sep-16 06:43:41

Fazza that really helps thank you!
I like the cake scenario, I've been trying to think of it in a positive way so that helps to put things into perspective somewhat.
It's all such a hard emotional journey as it is! X

ncayley115 Wed 21-Sep-16 15:13:18

Hello Littlebee. We have a 20 month old little boy conceived with a donor egg, I have a genetic condition which had a 50/50 chance of being passed on so we decided to give our child the best chance and have a donor egg. We had all of our treatment in the UK apart from the fertilisation and embryo transfer which took place in Spain. Under Spanish law any resulting child cannot trace the donor. We only know her age and characteristics. I can understand why you feel funny about the sperm and another womans egg but its not like they are having sex together! My husband held my hand as we watched as our embryo was put into my womb. This was our second cycle and I knew I was pregnant quite quickly. I loved growing our little boy and that first kick is magical. He is in every way my son and wouldn't be here without me. He looks a lot like his Daddy but some people have said he looks like me! People see what they want to see.

You will have to have counselling anyway before you are accepted for this.

We haven't decided whether we will tell our son about how he came into this world yet - I'm his mummy and he runs to me for comfort and that's what matters. Good luck x

5madthings Wed 21-Sep-16 15:27:23

From a donors perspective I have always used the cake analogy, I just donated one ingredient there was a bit if help mixing together but mum did all the baking, no oven, no cake. You will grow that baby, feel it move, it will hear and feel your heart and know your smell and touch. It will be your baby.

Good luck on your journey xxx

badg3r Wed 21-Sep-16 15:44:54

At the moment the embryo is implanted, it is only a handful of cells. The minute it is inside you, all the energy it needs to come continue dividing into 16, 32, 64 cells comes from you. From energy you have eaten, that your body has stored and converted. The first initial cell may have come from someone else, but by the time your baby is born, every atom that makes them up will have come from your body. The way some of those atoms have been arranged will have been decided by one of your husband's sperm cells, some by the one donor egg cell, and some by you. But it will have been your body that made your baby. All you, all by yourself.

WootyWoo Wed 21-Sep-16 19:32:08

Hi Bee,
I'm so glad you're asking this question because I'm in the same situation and I'm very interested in the responses.

Firstly I'm so sorry you've not been able to conceive yet. Failed ivf is awful (as is years of failed TTC the usual method!). I've had both and am now moving forward with DE at age 42. I've been pregnant twice but neither have worked out.

I have struggled massively with the concept of de ivf over the last 2 years whilst undergoing oe IVF (knowing that oe ivf had a success rate of 1 or 2% for me - diminished ovarian reserve). I have reached a point where I'm flogging a dead horse though - oe IVF is not working.

I've had a mini breakdown and done lots of soul searching and essentially what I crave is a little person (or people!) in our lives.

What I've picked up on from much googling is a recurring theme of thought in de recipients. They all wish they'd done it sooner! Also I'd built it into this massive thing in my head that the child would be in some way traumatised by their history. Another comfort from much googling is that for the most part they seem to only have a mild curiosity about their 'story'. And as long as you are open and positive about it with them them they also feel the same way.

I have opted for de abroad (not my first choice, I wanted them to be able to contact the donor if they wished) and the reason for that is 'IF' we wanted a sibling. My uk clinic don't treat over 42 and I wouldn't want one child to be able to contact and the other not. Obviously this is a train of thought from 2 years ago and at my age I will be lucky to have one child! But that is the route we have chosen...

Another aspect I am currently mulling over is how open to be with family and friends. We had a donor counselling session 2 years ago which said that the child should hear their story from you first and therefore not to tell others until you start to tell the child (aged 3 years ish). I'm still a little torn as to who to tell (if we are successful). I feel I can only trust 2 members of my family but none of DH's so that seems a little unfair... Also it feels a little dishonest to not share with family but if it's family that like to blab then I really have to consider any future child's mental wellbeing over my own and other family.
Hope I've not raised more concerns with my thoughts!
Best of luck with whatever you decide. X

Cally70 Wed 21-Sep-16 20:57:17

Littlebee - have you had any immune tests done? There might be other factors at play, not just ageing eggs.

I have 2 double donor conceived children. I couldn't love them any more than I do, & wouldn't swap either one of them for 100 own egg babies.

Good luck

Andromache77 Thu 22-Sep-16 10:32:50

My story is very similar to ncayley's. I also have a genetic condition with a 50% chance of passing it on, but that is actually not the reason why I ended up needing donor eggs. My condition can be picked up by genetic screening, which we intended to do, only to find out after 5 failed IVF cycles that I am completely and utterly infertile (unexplained, and unrelated to my condition).

I responded very well to the meds, had nearly no side effects, got lots of mature eggs and our prospects looked great at first but our fertilisation rate was depressingly low and we got no blastocysts. NONE. And you can only test blasts, so no genetic screening, and certainly nothing that you could transfer (not that I would have done so without testing). After the fourth cycle we were advised to try donor eggs, which I knew made perfect sense but I really couldn't, I just needed to know that it was me, so we did a last cycle with donor sperm (there was a chance that we had male factor infertility). The result was just the same as in previous cycles, low fertilisation rate, no blasts, in short, utter failure, so clearly the problem was my eggs.

That did it for me. Knowing that it was definitely me allowed me to stop and give it a go with donor eggs and lo and behold, we got embryos and one took at the first try (I have shit eggs but my uterus appears to be very comfy and welcoming). This was the single item of good luck in the whole process, no exaggeration, but most importantly, from the moment I knew that I was pregnant, I didn't think that this little ball of cells was not genetically related to me, I just thought: I'm pregnant. And when I gave birth to my baby, I just thought: this is my baby and she’s kind of cute. No more, no less.

Once the embryo is deposited inside your womb, it starts burrowing into your lining and building itself a little nest, creating a placenta that will feed off of your blood. You feed the embryo, you get the nausea (I felt great, but many women have an awful time), the stretch marks, the heartburn, the episiotomy and the baby at the end of it. Because believe me, it's your baby, and by the time you reach this point, you've more than earned the privilege.

I will freely admit that I felt an overwhelming desire, nay, need, to breastfeed my baby. It was very important to me to give her that, a piece of me if you will, but then again I would probably have done it just the same (but for different reasons) if she had carried my genes. And we both love it. Just wait until you feel a greedy mouth around your nipple; it’s weird beyond words but also very nice, if you know what I mean. Even now that she does it for the heck of it (at 2yo) it’s such a cosy feeling. Of course if you don’t breastfeed it will be cuddles or silly games, whatever, I’m just describing my experience.

If I have any regrets, it's that there is no test to determine infertility (there are some, but many cases remain unexplained, as you well know). I would have preferred being able to “mourn” my non-existent fertility from the start, maybe even shed a tear or two, then move on and save so much time, effort and of course money. There’s no such thing at present so the journey was necessary, I just wish some day there will be a way to tell without going through so many cycles, because for me the real stumbling block was the agony of not knowing. Is it me? Is it him? Is there any other procedure that we could try? Ahh, so frustrating.

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