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Egg donation cold feet. Please talk sense into me!

(28 Posts)
isthismummy Fri 10-Nov-17 22:02:19

My story (for those who haven't heard me banging on about it before) I'm 38, ttc for nearly two years, diagnosed with POF. I've had one early miscarriage in June this year. Irregular cycles, intermittent ovulation. My ovaries are knackered basicallysad

DH and I are flying to New Life in Greece next weekend for first part of egg donation treatment. Hoping to go for transfer in January next year.

I was SURE it was what I wanted. I thought I'd worked through the grief that I'll probably never have a biological child etc. Now I suddenly feel profoundly depressed, to the point where I don't even want to go! I should feel excited,but instead I just feel crushingly sad.

Talk sense to me please wise women of the board nobody wants to be a member of. I can't let my feelings stop me, so how do I overcome them? It just seems so terrifyingly real all of a sudden.

Persipan Sat 11-Nov-17 06:02:19

Have you had any counselling about using donor eggs? And even if you have, can you have some more? It's a big step so it's very reasonable to have complicated feelings about it, and that would be a way to explore them with some professional support.

isthismummy Sat 11-Nov-17 07:17:41

I went for a few sessions of counselling Persipan but she was useless. She didn't seem to really have any grasp of the enormity of it all. I stopped going cos it seemed like a total waste of my day off work tbh.

I'd love to go for private counselling. Ironically I can't afford it due to putting all out savings towards treatment. There's just no room for another £200+ a month.

I feel worried at the prospect of motherhood in general atm. DH isn't really pulling his weight in house despite a million discussions on the subject. I'm afraid I've got rosy view of what having a baby will be like. Whereas the reality could well be me doing nearly all the housework, cat and dog care and caring for a baby as well. I'm already stressed out and run down. I've been exhausted for months. Plus my parents are 300 miles away and we barely see DH family. I'd have nobody to help with a baby and I know nothing about them. None of my friends have them and I've only ever picked a baby up twice in my life!

I think I'm just shit scared basically.

isthismummy Sat 11-Nov-17 07:19:08

On the other hand I've wanted a baby for the last 12 years. My biggest fear in life was always not having my own children. To find out I'm actually infertile has been the cruellest blow.

zippybear Sat 11-Nov-17 08:00:24

Have you signed up to the donor conception network? I had a lovely phone call from one of their long term members who has a grown up dc son and was able to answer lots of my questions. They have meet ups and conferences which seem very useful as well. Would you consider delaying your treatment?

isthismummy Sat 11-Nov-17 08:45:49

I considered DCN zippybear but I heard that they are against anonymous ED which mine would be. Is that not correct? I'd definitely get in touch if I've been misinformed.

We can't really afford to delay. We'll lose the money on these flights and hotel and then have to find the cash again. We've had to scrimp and save as it is.

I just don't feel in a good place right now. I sort of mentally used the puppy we got four months ago as a tester for how much DH would step up. All I can say is I'm up with her again this morning just like every other morning. He says it will be different when we have a baby, but he would wouldn't he?

Just feel really bleak right nowsad

zippybear Sat 11-Nov-17 09:01:25

I think they are for the ending of anonymity but are very understanding of the time pressures some people face and the reasons a couple might still consider going abroad

zippybear Sat 11-Nov-17 09:05:27

We are taking a year out after our last failed cycle before doing donor. It has given us both time to grieve, heal, enjoy life for a bit and feel sure we want to take this route. The benefit of donor is the clock stops ticking on your own ovaries and having a break is not really a problem. You could always freeze all and then have a decent break.

isthismummy Sat 11-Nov-17 09:06:36

That makes me uncomfortable contacting them tbh. I don't want a known donor. I don't want them trying to change my mind. Everyone and his wife seems to have an opinion about my decision as it is.

Thank you for the suggestion though. I appreciate the thoughtsmile

Noteventhebestdrummer Sat 11-Nov-17 09:11:06

But you really want a child. Even if DH wouldn’t be great (and he might be) then this has to be worth a go? It’s bound to be making you grieve for what you thought you could have but this could be something wonderful in a different way. Be brave, take big breaths, carry on with your plan.

isthismummy Sat 11-Nov-17 11:12:01

I never considered a freeze all zippybear something to think about.

I hope your time out is giving you plenty of space to reflect and recharge. It really is what you need sometimes. Perhaps I need that too? I got married, had miscarriage two days later, went to Serum for painful Hysteroscopy. They fed me bullshit about not being peri menopausal, I can conceive naturally etc. I haven't even ovulated since I came back and last cycle was three monthsconfused Its just been stress after stress. I feel like a broken woman!

Best of luck for your treatment. I so hope you have successflowers

Noteventhebestdrummer I do really want a child. I just don't want to bring one into a situation where the dad doesn't pull his weight and I am permanently stressed! Honestly feel on rock bottom right now.

EarlGreyT Sat 11-Nov-17 12:47:51

The way you’re feeling may be quite normal in the circumstances. You’ve been through a huge amount in a short space of time. You’ve been told you need IVF, then that you’re peri menopausal just before starting it and so you can’t start it. This alone must have been devastating and to put it bluntly a massive head fuck. Then added to this, you’ve had a miracle natural pregnancy ending in a miscarriage. On top of this you’ve also got married in the last year. Any of these alone are massively stressful events, but all happening together and in a very short space of time, it’s hardly surprising you’re feeling the way you are. Plus of course both you and your DH have to come to terms with all of this which will put a huge stress on anyone’s relationship. And the things I’ve mentioned above are only the stressful things going on in you’re life which I know about from your posts here, I don’t know about other stresses in your life which you haven’t posted about on here, which I sure there are some as everyone has them!

I think it’s totally normal to have doubts/cold feet about egg donation. In fact I’d probably say that if you didn’t, it’s because you haven’t thought about it enough. Aside from all the other feelings infertility brings, one in my case has been totally over thinking things and questioning whether a baby is actually what I really want. If I’d been one of the lucky people to get instaduffed, I’d have thought about it a lot less. Multiple failed cycles of IVF and egg donation gives masses of time to overthink things and question yourself and your decision and whether you’re doing the right thing.

When we were about to start egg donation I was obviously thought about what if it doesn’t work, but then started thinking about what if it DOES and in some ways that almost felt more frightening.

One throught I held onto and which helped keep me sane was that at any point in the process (up to the transfer), there was always the option of changing my mind about it. I don’t think I would have changed my mind, but the thought that it was an option gave me some comfort and made it feel less daunting and overwhelming a decision.

I’d agree with the suggestion that you delay it. If you can’t cancel next weekend, then go to that as planned, but delay the timing of the transfer. This will give you a bit more time to address your feelings and come to terms with it all. Delaying by doing a freeze all shouldn’t make any difference to the outcome. If anything it also makes the process less stressful as your cycle doesn’t need to be synchronised with your donor’s. And one of the positives about donor eggs (there isn’t much that’s positive in all this shite!) is that you don’t have to worry that getting a bit older will make any difference to the outcome as it doesn’t.

Wishing you lots of luck whatever you decide to do.

zippybear Sat 11-Nov-17 13:37:34

Our time out has been absolutely amazing.
I have even regained a sense of humour that I had sadly lost wink
I have a friend who did donor egg a number of years ago and they had a year off after their final oe cycle and before their successful de cycle and I could see they were like new people. (Preinfertility me noticed this was a good thing!)
The other thing that made me want to do it is I also heard you can't start the adoption process for a year after your last oe ivf cycle. I suppose they have that policy for good reason.
Infertility is such a horrendous ongoing permanent stress but it's also a grief, and I definitely think you need time to process that. And you need to be free to eat and drink what you like, make plans, enjoy life whilst you do which is impossible whilst cycling (or whilst pregnant). I would definitely recommend a freeze all then a long break. I didn't think I would need a year but I definitely did.
Also I just wanted to say your dh is probably struggling too. Don't judge him at the minute.

SeaWitchly Sat 11-Nov-17 14:00:20

I know you have already seen a counsellor who wasn’t very helpful or experienced regarding the enormity of egg donation but I wonder was this counsellor a specialist fertility counsellor or a more general practitioner? It might be worth looking at BICA (British Infertility Counselling Association) for the contact details of accredited fertility counsellors. You would be able to access the most relevant support and information re donor egg treatment abroad this way. Best of luck!

Isadora2007 Sat 11-Nov-17 14:14:35

I’m sorry I don’t know the process of egg donation well enough to know what would happen next weekend and if the January start could be pushed a little to give you some time.
I’m a counsellor, and sometimes I use timelines to help clients to see what they have been through- positive, negative and neutral events even. It’s kind of hard to explain, but if you are interested PM me and I can try to send you a diagram. Using a timeline can help people begin to have a dialogue about their lives and their differing experiences of the same event so can be used with couples.
You sound tired. And with a puppy it’s probably not surprising. I’m sure your husband would be different with a baby and even if he didn’t exactly pull his weight with feeds and nights that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t be a great dad. I breastfed all mine and dh worked. It made sense for me to do all the night stuff pretty much all round. But he came into his own once they were older babies and from age 3/4 they’ve all called out “daddy” when they need anything so I reckon we are equal now.
It sounds like the very stressful parts have been over a fairly short period... two years? So you and your husband have had a lot to get your heads round in a relatively small amount of time.
Be kind to yourself, and each other. And I hope some more useful people here can help more than me. 💕

EarlGreyT Sat 11-Nov-17 15:19:29

I totally agree with zippy.

The time out really did help us start living again too. Rather than pseudo living, but really just existing and passing time between rounds of ivf.

We had about 12-18 months break. It wasn’t really planned, but took a while to find a donor, then the clinic wanted a repeat semen analysis and then decided our chances would be better with a fresh rather than a frozen semen sample (which is what they normally use). I’d totally recommend a break if you can have one as I started to feel like a normal person again and was far less stressed about the cycle than I’d been with previous ones.

I also agree that your DH is probably struggling with it all too and is trying to deal with it all in his own way.

I’m thinking of you.

isthismummy Sat 11-Nov-17 19:36:59

You're
all so kind. Thank you so much for the caring and thoughtful responses. I really do appreciate itflowers

EarlGreyT it's so true what you say about the length of this process giving you far more time to overthink/scare the shit out of yourself. I'm having such crazy thought processes even though part of me knows I'm being ridiculous. I know that my worries about not loving an ED baby enough are unfounded. After all I adore my dog, horse and cat, and I didn't even have to squeeze any of them out of my vaginashock

It has been the most horrendous and stressful two years. I can't quite believe how much shit we have been through. I'm still very angry at the unfairness of it all. I'm not the woman I was before this started (are any of us though!?) I can't remember the last time I had a peaceful nights sleep. Waking up at 6am to the thought of my barrenness has become the norm for me.

SeaWitchly Thankyou for the BICA recommendation. I've already sent them an emailsmile My counsellor actually was from a pregnancy and infertility counselling service, which makes her basic uselessness even more shocking. She actually acted suprised when I said I was angry about having a miscarriage two days after my wedding!!! Of course I then felt I had to justify and explain my (perfectly justifiable) feelings of fury. I only went twice before realising going to ride my horse is a much more beneficial use of my day off work🙂

Isodora I've sent you a PM. Thank you so much for your kind offer of help. It is so nice of you to take the time to offerflowers

zippybear I totally hear you regarding the time our suggestions. Getting off the endless treadmill for a while does sound very appealing. I feel my situation is slightly different in so much as I haven't even had any treatment yet (apart from my miracle promising Hysteroscopy which delivered no miraclesconfused) Therefore a large part of me is anxious to get started just so I feel like I'm actually doing something concrete to help our situation.

I will also take heed of the advice to go easy on DH. It has been a terrible time for him as well. He's a lot younger than me too, so having to cope with all this shit without a great deal of life experience. The guilt that I can't give him children is crushing sometimes. I don't know why he married such an ancient crone of 38 sometimes.

Thank you all again. You are all wonderful womenflowers

spinduffy Sat 11-Nov-17 21:58:00

Good luck on your journey. I've 4 failed OE ivfs behind me and am beginning to think of just maybe having the nerve to consider DE.

It's such a massive psychological step and it's taken me 18 months of failed ivf to even allow myself to think about it. Getting to that point without the failed ivfs must be even more difficult.

Go easy on yourself and please don't rush to get there. Thankfully with de the clock isn't ticking as loudly z

EarlGreyT Sun 12-Nov-17 00:00:48

Apologies for all my typos and grammatical errors in my first post-I’ve re read it and cringed at them all.

Theres nothing wrong with crazy thought processes mummy. I think this situation drives most of us to crazy thought processes at times, I’ve definitely been driven to them, so you’re not alone with that or with your anger about it all. You’re right it is all bloody unfair.

Don’t be too hard on yourself. I can totally understand your wish to get started so you feel you’re doing something concrete to help your situation. But having said that, by going to the clinic (which given it’s in Thessaloniki is no small feat), allowing them to find you a donor and starting the process is doing a lot which is concrete to help your situation. If you’re not emotionally ready yet to complete the treatment, don’t feel bad about it. You’ve already done a lot in a pretty small timeframe.

As spinduffy says getting psychologically ready to consider/accept the idea of donor eggs must be even harder without a load of failed treatments behind you and especially when you’ve had to come to terms with it all in a relatively short space of time.

isthismummy Sun 12-Nov-17 10:16:06

Thankyou spinduffy I'm very sorry to hear of your failed cycles. You have so much courageflowers I hope very much that you reach the right decision for you regarding DE and have a successful outcome.

I didn't even notice the typos EarlGreyT My own grammar is far too dreadful to ever criticise anyone elsesmile

Perhaps it would be easier if we'd had some failed treatments. I sometimes feel I haven't tried hard enough in that respect. The most any clinic will offer us is natural cycle though which I've been told will be very hard due to my massively irregular cycles. It just seems a waste of money when I've been given such low odds of it working. We are not comfortably off by any means, so we've had to make decisions based on what treatment is most likely to work.

I suppose Thessaloniki is quite a long way away actually. I'd not really thought about it before. It was the clinic I got the best vibe from though, so I've trusted my instincts. Let's hope my instincts are right!

EarlGreyT Sun 12-Nov-17 10:56:13

I sometimes feel I haven't tried hard enough in that respect.

I think you have. I actually think that in some ways it’s harder and braver to accept its time to give up on your own eggs rather than pursue futile treatments with them. I think about it the other way- that I often wish we’d given up on my eggs sooner rather than spent loads of money on failed treatments.

Don’t be so hard on yourself as I think you’ve tried more than hard enough and often the bigger and braver decision is to accept that treatments with minimal chances of success are pointless and it’s a waste of time, effort, money and emotion to try them.

I hope your instincts are right too. I went to Thessaloniki as well, (but not the same clinic) and it’s fine.

isthismummy Mon 13-Nov-17 07:19:25

EarlGreyT It's interesting to hear that you wish you'd given up sooner on own egg treatments. I did agonise long and hard about going for "just one" natural cycle abroad. I discussed it with New Life via Skype and the relief on my surgeons face was almost comical when I said I felt DE was a better option for mesmile

The doubts are still there though, especially as I did actually manage to get pregnant in June. However my body has been even more buggered up then usual since that Hysteroscopy in July, so I don't hold out much hope of that happening again!

I didn't know you went to Thessaloniki as well! Was it Embryolab? I think it's on the same street as New Life isn't it? I've heard they are very good. I did consider them very strongly when researching.

I think I'm just going to have to accept I'll be a bundle of nerves this week. I just keep thinking of everything that can go wrong. I seem to be the woman that treatment has the opposite effect than promised on. I was told Hysteroscopy would help sort out my cycles and now they are worse than ever. It's mentally exhausting!

EarlGreyT Tue 14-Nov-17 07:48:28

I discussed it with New Life via Skype and the relief on my surgeons face was almost comical when I said I felt DE was a better option for me
I think that says it all about trying with your own eggs! You’ve made a big, brave and very difficult decision which is the right one in your situation. You should be proud of yourself for accepting things as they are and doing what’s most likely to give you success rather than trying to change things you can’t change by pursuing treatment with your own eggs just in case you haven’t tried hard enough.

I think it’s totally normal to have some doubts about your decision as no one can say with absolute certainty what the outcome of the alternative one would be. They can say with some degree of certainty that the alternative is unlikely to be successful, but not with absolute certainty. There’s a small part of me that thinks maybe the 6th round with my eggs would have been the one. I’m sure it wouldn’t have been the one, but I can’t know for certain since I didn’t try it can I?

Yes, we did use embryolab. I didn’t realise until I actually went there that new life are literally next door to them. Had I known this at the time, I’d probably have looked into new life a bit more as well as could easily have visited both in the same trip (and before having to give anyone a whole load of money!). I’m very happy with embryolab though. I spent as (I’m sure most of us do) endless hours researching different clinics in different countries all over the world and felt I needed to narrow my options down rather than expand them. So, once we’d done the Skype call with embryolab and were happy with them we decided to go there and I didn’t look into anywhere else after that. And so far so good with the result from our treatment there, although I think I’d still say they were a really good clinic even if that wasn’t the case.

Good luck at the weekend. Totally normal to be a bundle of nerves, but I’m sure you will feel happier with it all when you get there.

isthismummy Wed 15-Nov-17 16:03:55

Thank you so much EarlGreyT you've been so very kind to me on this thread and it's so appreciatedflowers

You've really helped me to make peace in my mind with the decision I've made. I wouldn't quite say I'm feeling positive (surely the most hated phrase for any infertile) about the trip next week, but I'm definitely feeling less despairing.

I'll report back on what New Life were like next week. I've read that both they and Embryolab are both fab clinics. It was quite a leap of faith to choose them tbh. I had been leaning towards Gest due to it's Frosties guarantee. However New Life were far superior during our Skype chat, so I've put my trust in them.

I'm assuming your DE cycle was successful and you're pregnant at the moment? Was it your first round? I've mentally tried to prepare for a couple of gos (don't know where the money is coming from if this attempt doesn't workconfused) It would be so wonderful if we had first time success though. I hardly dare think about it too much!

EarlGreyT Fri 17-Nov-17 13:39:45

Just to let you know I’m thinking of you. Wishing you lots of luck this weekend. Hope you have a safe and constructive trip.

Sorry to have taken over your thread a bit. I’ve almost posted on here more than you have!

Your assumption regarding my cycle being successful and (I’m whispering with my fingers crossed here) that I am pregnant is correct. It was the first round. I also tried to mentally prepare for a few transfers too though and did hardly dare to think about what if it worked.

I just wanted to add that, my feelings about having often wished I’d given up on my own eggs sooner stood before we started the donor treatment and that I haven’t formed that opinion since the donor treatment has (so far) been successful- I’d say the same if it hadn’t been.

Hope the trip goes as well as possible.

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