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Donor conception

Thinking of using egg donor but struggling with idea

51 replies

Kali75 · 06/06/2019 12:50

Hi all I've had a difficult 2 1/2 years after initially getting pregnant within a couple of months after getting married, which I was absolutely thrilled about at 41 years old. Sadly I found out that I had suffered a silent miscarriage 3 days before my 12 week scan. There followed 6 months of complications and numerous procedures and operations to try to clear left over miscarriage tissue. After getting the all clear we began trying naturally once again, and I expected to get pregnant again quickly as it had happened so quick the first time round. I also had a couple of friends my age that had experienced a miscarriage and then got pregnant within a couple of months, but sadly this didn't happen for us. Eventually a year after getting the all clear we began our IVF journey and a year later we've had 3 failed rounds of IVF.

We have now been told to consider egg donation as I am now 43 years old and will turn 44 this October, and because although over this time I've had numerous eggs mature, only 1 egg in each cycle fertilised, but not one ever made it to blastocyst stage. The consultants have said this is due to my egg quality and our best option now is egg donation.

I am utterly devastated and haven't been coping very well through out this whole 2 1/2 year experience and I am now trying to get my head around using an egg donor.

I know logically this will be the best chance for me to become a mum, which is something I have dreamt about and longed for, for such along time and being pregnant and carrying my baby has also been such an important part of this dream. I'm just struggling with the idea of giving up the thought of having my own biological child and I dont know how to get over this?

Just wondering how others have got over this huge hurdle and would be happy to share their thoughts and experiences and offer me any advice?

I just cant stop crying today as we've been trying to conceive naturally the last couple of months following our last failed IVF round, and yesterday my pregnancy test was negative! Feel like I'm running out of time and need to get over this hurdle so can have my much longed for family.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this.

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Teddybear45 · 06/06/2019 12:53

Could they not have implanted 3 day embryos instead? It seems a waste for them not to consider it when blastocysts are unlikely for older women.

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Kali75 · 06/06/2019 14:17

Dont believe that's their policy and because of the difficulty with my miscarriage and the complications I experienced they are concerned in case of more complications with another miscarriage, so the best chance was to implant at blastocyst stage I understand.

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Persipan · 06/06/2019 20:00

Hello! What a tough road you've had so far - I'm so sorry.

So, I'm 42 and moved to donor eggs a while ago. (Not successful yet, unfortunately; just gearing up for another round.)

It basically became evident that my eggs weren't going to get anywhere, so it seemed sensible to make the jump. Emotionally, it took a while to get my head round - what eventually got me there was reading the accounts of parents of donor-conceived children. Basically, they all said how much they loved their child, and how they couldn't imagine being parents to some other child.

Donor eggs aren't going anywhere, though. So, don't be afraid to take a little time to work through your feelings to see if this is the right option for you. Have you had any counselling around the topic?

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Lauren83 · 07/06/2019 07:39

I had a baby from donor eggs last year at 35, I know it's such a brave thing to do making the change to donor eggs but for me my need for a baby was greater than my needed for a bio child, my chance of success with my eggs was around 5-8% and moving to donor it was 50%, you need to consider too that even if pregnancy with own eggs occurs there's a very high chance of aneuploidy in your age group and whilst donor eggs doesn't completely remove the chance of aneuploidy it will hugely reduce it.

I can honestly say hand on heart throughout the pregnancy and the 16 months since he was born it doesn't even occur to me he is from donor eggs, apart from being grateful to my donor of course, I wouldn't change a thing about him and if I used my eggs I know he would be a different baby and I'm sure you would feel the same

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Kali75 · 07/06/2019 13:38

Thank you Persipan. I have had one counselling session on this subject but think I will need a few more sessions before I can emotionally let go of the idea of having my own biological child and I know this is the route which I will take eventually as I am so desperate to have my own child. Guess I'm just mourning that idea right now! I have started researching and its brought up allot more questions and issues than I had previously thought, like whether to get an egg donor in Europe where the donor is anonymous thus the child will never be able to find their genetic mother and the UK where they can if they want and whether I want to keep this info private from family and friends and even the child. So many questions have now opened up!

What are your thoughts on these matters? I would really love to know and I wish you all the very best of luck with your journey and hope that you will be successful very soon. X

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Kali75 · 07/06/2019 13:48

Thank you Lauren83 for sharing your amazing story with me and congratulations on your baby son! Just wondering if you have any recommendations for clinics and your thoughts on using Europe or UK and the issue I highlighted in my previous response to Persipan on confidentiality and telling the child when it grows up and family and friends. I would be very much interested to know your thoughts and experiences on this subject and would appreciate any advice. Thanks again for sharing your story x

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Lauren83 · 07/06/2019 15:04

Thankyou! I know how lucky we are to have him, he was my 5th cycle and I thought I would never get there, we did use a clinic abroad in Athens Greece and I do hope I don't regret the fact we won't be able to give him more info on the donor, I actually work in a clinic myself but couldn't use my own clinic for donor treatment so that's one of my reasons for going abroad, I do hope he understands my reasons for doing so.

I plan on being fully open with him and everyone knows he was donor conceived, I think if you don't plan on telling then you really do have to consider not telling anyone as it's a huge thing to have hanging over you if a few people know no matter how close.

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Kali75 · 07/06/2019 15:33

I have been considering Spain as this is where my heritage is from and I know the waiting list is shorter and donors more readily available so waiting times for finding a suitable donor is shorter than UK, so for me it makes sense to go there, however I'm now struggling with the idea of whether to tell the people or not and the guilt if my child should later wish to find the donor. I still have so much to figure out and its so overwhelming!

Thanks again for sharing! X

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Lauren83 · 07/06/2019 15:57

We chose Greece too as both DP and I are dark haired although both have blue eyes, we took a brown eyed donor as we knew we would be open about using a donor, DS does have really dark brown eyes like the donor, has olive skin but blonde hair so he is a real mix, I do have another son due in 2 weeks from a bizarre natural miracle conception who is most likely going to have blue eyes and maybe freckles like me so it's a good job we planned on telling! Will be interesting to see if they look alike. I can honestly say to you this natural pregnancy has felt no different to the donor one

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Kali75 · 07/06/2019 16:22

Wow Lauren83 that's amazing news many congratulations! Yes I too have dark hair blue eyes and olive skin and my husband is blonde and blue eyed with fair skin, and my mums side of the family are originally from Spain so I think it will be easier to find a matching suitable donor in Spain. I'm particularly looking at Madrid because that's the clinic which has been recommended to me by my local fertility clinic, however a friends sister has recommended Cape Town in South Africa as having the best clinic in the world but seems a bit far away and I think it would be more difficult to find a suitable matching donor as I'm of Mediterranean decent.

Wishing you all the very best with your impending arrival! :) x

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Lauren83 · 07/06/2019 16:29

Thankyou that's very kind, if you haven't already do look on Fertility Friends at the clinic boards for different countries as there's loads of info on there, that's what helped me choose Serum, a lot of clinics abroad offer free Skype consultations so speak to a few and get a feel for them, there were a lot of clinics from Spain at the Fertility show who seemed very popular x

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Kali75 · 07/06/2019 16:44

Sorry this is probably going to sound stupid but what's the clinic boards and fertility friends? X

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Lauren83 · 07/06/2019 17:05

I don't know how to link sorry but it's a Fertility forum, fertilityfriends.co.uk, there's huge sections on treatment at clinics abroad separated into countries and also loads of info on treatment with donated eggs

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Kali75 · 07/06/2019 17:50

Ok thanks I will go on their website and take a look. Thanks again for all your help and advice! It's very much appreciated X

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Persipan · 07/06/2019 19:50

So, for me, I'd definitely plan to tell any child I might have about their being donor conceived.

Apart from anything else, I just think they'd find out sooner or later anyway. There are people out there who are very determined not to tell their children about their donor origins, and this of course is their choice, but my observation has been that they often seem extremely worried about, for example, the increasing availability of home DNA testing through services like Ancestry. But really, even quirks of blood type, eye colour, chin-cleft, tongue rolling or whatever could be the thing to give that information away - and imagine learning that your parents had concealed it from you... I just think that would be very difficult to process. So, I subscribe to the view that it's best to tell, and to do it so early and in such a matter-of-fact way that it's never something a child 'learns'; they've just always known, a perfectly normal part of their life.

And generally, my strong personal opinion is that it's better for a person to have all the knowledge about their life that they can. That knowledge may be incomplete - and that can be true of people conceived naturally, just as those who are donor conceived - but it's only fair to have it, if it exists to be had.

So with that in mind, I've prioritised having UK treatment, thus far, because I'd very much prefer to use non-anonymous donors. I wouldn't 100% rule out treatment in Europe at some point in the future, but it does feel like a compromise to me; something I'd have to later explain to a potential child. And I think I could, up to a point, but I'd rather give them more straightforward opportunities of knowing about their genetic origins.

I hope that helps a bit!

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Cutesbabasmummy · 07/06/2019 19:51

Hey! I'm 43 and have a 4 year old son conceived via donor egg. I have a genetic condition that cant be diagnosed pre implantation so we decided donor eggs were the way to go to have a healthy child. I carried my little boy for 9 months, gave birth to him, breast fed him. He is 100% my son and utterly gorgeous. I really could not love him any more. Look up epigenetics. The mother carrying the baby moulds that child into what he or she eventually is so you do have an influence in utero. We were successful on our second round at ivi Alicante. Please PM me if you want to chat more xx

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Kali75 · 11/06/2019 13:59

Thank you so much Persipan and Cutesbabasmummy for kindly sharing your stories and your thoughts with me on this matter. It's great to hear how others feel on this subject and their experiences they have had. I really appreciate it, especially being new to this forum Xx

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HappyHedgehog247 · 11/06/2019 22:23

@Kali75 have a look at the donor conceived network website. It’s a useful group and resource x

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SeaWitchly · 11/06/2019 22:57

Good luck with making your decision and best wishes for a happy outcome whatever path you choose Smile
Otherwise I second the referral to Donor Conception Network for useful information and support. Also BICA (British Infertility Counselling Association) for specialist fertility related counselling support.

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Kali75 · 12/06/2019 12:25

Thank you so much HappyHedgehog247 and SeaWitchly for the additional information. I have spent all morning researching those websites and they have so much useful content and will continue to use these. I'm not very good on the internet so everyone's advice and direction to specific websites has been invaluable to me.

Thank you all again for taking the time to help me, it's much appreciated. X

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RedPandaFluff · 12/06/2019 12:41

Hi @Kali75 - I'm sorry things have been so tough for you; it's not fair, is it?

I'm almost 40 and will be 12 weeks pregnant tomorrow with my donor egg baby. I don't have any eggs of my own and after a very early menopause I have known for years that I would need IVF with donor eggs in order to have a chance of having a family.

I think it's really important for you to take some time to grieve. I was devastated when I learned that I would never have a genetic child of my own - I found it extremely difficult to come to terms with and it took a long time for me to get my head round it. As the years passed I realised that (like PPs) my longing for a family was greater than my longing for biological children and we had four cycles of donor egg IVF to get to this point. It has been stressful and heartbreaking at times.

It rarely pops into my mind that we used donor eggs, and seeing the baby wriggling around on the scan was the most amazing moment of my life. So I'd encourage you to go for it, but make sure you're emotionally ready - continue with the counselling, and as a PP said there's less of an urgency with donor eggs so if you need some time to absorb it all then take it.

Good luck! πŸ’

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CleopatrasMum · 20/06/2019 19:15

Hi Kali75. I thought I'd add my two penceworth in case it's any help. I used donor eggs after experiencing an early menopause. Because I am a slow decision maker I was 41 by the time we had DD and 48 with DS, both conceived at the same clinic, IM in Barcelona.

Personally, I think being open with your children about their origins is best. Easier for you not having to worry about them finding out and better for them that they won't get a sudden shock years down the line if it does come out. That is just my view though and I know many would disagree. As far as other people are concerned, we have told some but not everyone. Once DD was on the way it felt like it was her information to tell, not ours, so only fairly close family and friends know.

It is worth bearing in mind though if you decide not to tell that funny things can happen that you may have to explain away For example, DH and I are both blue eyed but DD has brown eyes. Genetically that is very rare, and clinics would usually choose a blue eyed donor for a blue eyed couple for that reason. Our clinic were as surprised as we were that this happened and told us the donor is blue eyed. Still, while it can happen naturally, given its rarity I think it would have added to the stress if we were trying to avoid telling.

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Kali75 · 24/06/2019 12:05

Thank you RedPandaFluff and CleopatrasMum for your advice and sharing your experiences and huge congratulations to you both! Things have been very difficult these past weeks and I've been struggling terribly, but suddenly this weekend I have began to feel allot better about DC as the need to have a family is so much greater than having my own genetic child, although I'm still working through some of those questions about when and how to tell the child etc because I do want to be open and honest.

For now though I'm still researching and wonder if anyone has any recommendations for which clinic to use?

I have definitely ruled out the UK because of the lengthy waiting lists and I have been recommended Procrea Tec in Madrid by my consultant, but after reading reviews online I'm now not too sure as a few have had bad experiences. A friend has suggested the British Cyprus IVF clinic in Nicosia which I'm now looking into. Just wondering if anyone had any experience with this clinic or could recommend an alternative?

Thank you all again for all your comments and help! 😊

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Cutesbabasmummy · 24/06/2019 12:40

Glad you feel.you are getting there. I would really recommend IVI Alicante. They are super professional and very nice to deal with. Their success rates are very good too. We have our 4vyear old from our second cycle - he was a 5 day frostie. Good luck wherever you choose xx

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2eternities · 24/06/2019 19:24

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