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Donor conception

What made you decide you go ahead with DE after failed IVF?

32 replies

Lightningrain · 16/11/2020 19:34

I’m currently having difficulty coming to terms with the idea of IVF using donor eggs and hoping I might get some help and reassurance by hearing others’ experiences.

I’m 34 and had a round of IVF two months ago which resulted in a failed egg collection (only one mature egg was showing on the scan but we decided to go to egg collection anyway as there was no guarantee of a better result next time).

I have low AMH and low AFC. No issues with DP’s sperm.

I have another NHS round but the consultant didn’t seem optimistic that there would be any improvement on last time. He broached the subject of donor eggs and I just don’t know how I feel about it.

Initially I thought I couldn’t possibly consider it. I didn’t want a child that ‘wasn’t mine’.

I’m now coming round to the idea that this might be my only chance to have a child but I still have a lot of doubts and wonder whether I’ll always be questioning the decision.

Will I look at the baby and be upset if he or she doesn’t bear any physical resemblance to me?

Will it upset me if someone mentions a resemblance (or lack of) to me or DP?

Will I always wonder whether it would have eventually been possible with my own eggs?

What will I tell the child, and what if it affects them in a negative way?

If I want a second child will I be bothered about my children having genetic links to different donors?

Do we have to tell family and friends as presumably we wouldn’t tell the child it’s to be kept secret? So far we’ve only told my DM that we’re having IVF.

On the other hand if I don’t consider it I I might regret it. I’ll probably feel horrendously guilty about stopping DP from having children even though he insists he is happy with whatever I decide.

Did anyone else have any of these thoughts? Does anyone have any suggestions to help me come to a decision.

I’m really hoping for success with my own eggs on the next cycle but feel like I need to come to a decision on the way forward if it’s not successful.

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GrumpyHoonMain · 29/11/2020 06:52

@Lightningrain

I’m currently having difficulty coming to terms with the idea of IVF using donor eggs and hoping I might get some help and reassurance by hearing others’ experiences.

I’m 34 and had a round of IVF two months ago which resulted in a failed egg collection (only one mature egg was showing on the scan but we decided to go to egg collection anyway as there was no guarantee of a better result next time).

I have low AMH and low AFC. No issues with DP’s sperm.

I have another NHS round but the consultant didn’t seem optimistic that there would be any improvement on last time. He broached the subject of donor eggs and I just don’t know how I feel about it.

Initially I thought I couldn’t possibly consider it. I didn’t want a child that ‘wasn’t mine’.

I’m now coming round to the idea that this might be my only chance to have a child but I still have a lot of doubts and wonder whether I’ll always be questioning the decision.

Will I look at the baby and be upset if he or she doesn’t bear any physical resemblance to me?

Will it upset me if someone mentions a resemblance (or lack of) to me or DP?

Will I always wonder whether it would have eventually been possible with my own eggs?

What will I tell the child, and what if it affects them in a negative way?

If I want a second child will I be bothered about my children having genetic links to different donors?

Do we have to tell family and friends as presumably we wouldn’t tell the child it’s to be kept secret? So far we’ve only told my DM that we’re having IVF.

On the other hand if I don’t consider it I I might regret it. I’ll probably feel horrendously guilty about stopping DP from having children even though he insists he is happy with whatever I decide.

Did anyone else have any of these thoughts? Does anyone have any suggestions to help me come to a decision.

I’m really hoping for success with my own eggs on the next cycle but feel like I need to come to a decision on the way forward if it’s not successful.

NHS rounds often use rubbish drugs and have strict (and rubbish) limits in how much to provide. My NHS round produced 4 eggs and none suitable for freezing. Thankfully we only got 1. The next round was totally different - stronger drugs were used and I produced 14 fertilized eggs with 4 to freeze and after three transfers I had my ds.

I think the protocol you were on needs to be reviewed - don’t be afraid to challenge the consultant after doing research.
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Nordman · 29/11/2020 12:30

I was told I would need to use donor eggs to conceive. I really struggled with the idea of it not being "my" child, that it wouldn't look like me, that it wouldn't feel like mine, that it would grow up and want to go off to find it's real mother, etc. I actually had ruled out the idea, then one evening I went to a fertility clinic open day which included a talk from a young woman who was herself conceived from donation. The way she talked about her origins, upbringing, parents, just clicked something for me and I really wanted to go for it then. There was also something interesting in the same event about looks, how donor conceived children look like the parents because a lot of our looks come from facial expression, and facial expression is copied and learned in the same way as speech. Not that looks matter, but I just found it interesting.
I'm actually now desperate to go ahead and TTC but unfortunately can't afford the cost, I'm not entitled to any free NHS treatment and the cost privately using DE is huge.

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Lightningrain · 30/11/2020 16:05

@ForeverAintEnough thank you, I’ll ask the question about testosterone next time I speak with the consultant.

I have all good intentions of healthy eating and I tend to manage until the evening before I cave in. I know how to eat healthy, exercise and cut sugar as I’ve done it before but it’s seemed like an impossible task this time. I think the stress of TTC end IVF has taken its toll and I had a couple of injuries which have stopped me exercising. Good idea about focusing on an end date though.

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Angliski · 08/12/2020 01:51

@Lightningrain I have a 10 month old son snoring upstairs from egg donation. I cannot thank that woman enough for her generosity and courage. I have a long history, but suffice it to say, that though we knew we might, eventually have a better result with IVF than the 3 previous failures - not even an embryo to transfer, during any of the cycles... we ultimately decided it wasn't worth the price of the relationship. So we moved onto donor eggs.

We were successful from our first transfer.

To answer your questions:


Will I look at the baby and be upset if he or she doesn’t bear any physical resemblance to me?

My son looks nothing like me. Different hair and eye colour, completely unique features. I do see this and sometimes wonder how else he might look if he came from my egg, but he didn't. He couldn't be here if it wasn't for the path we chose. And we adore him. I enjoy watching his face and features grow. They are perfect, precious and him.

Will it upset me if someone mentions a resemblance (or lack of) to me or DP?

Only one woman recently commented that he looks nothing like me. I was a bit surprised, but I agree, so... yeah!

Will I always wonder whether it would have eventually been possible with my own eggs?

Yes, probably. But you may also be very busy being a parent! Donor gametes seemed a huge thing, before he arrived. Now 98% of the things we face are just about being parents, same as any other parent, only2% is donor related, I think. I second the recommendation of the DCN.

What will I tell the child, and what if it affects them in a negative way?

See Donor Conception Network, (DCN) literature and free webinars. Smart, loving people, have been considering this question for many years and have helpful advice and experience to share.

We are already telling our DS, in our own way, about the special way he was conceived. It's nothing for him to be ashamed of. We were very, very much wanting to be a family with him.

If I want a second child will I be bothered about my children having genetic links to different donors?

Maybe you will - but you can freeze a number of embryos in advance using the same donor. Once you have healthy embryos, unless you have internal challenges e.g. with your lining, you have a good chance of having a healthy child. We knew in advance that we would have an opprortunity to give our child a genetic sibling, this was helpful to consider in advance.

I do know folk whose families are from more than one donor. Families get created in all sorts of ways, don't they?

Do we have to tell family and friends as presumably we wouldn’t tell the child it’s to be kept secret? So far we’ve only told my DM that we’re having IVF.

We did tell. I needed to share my journey from day 1 and it was a good 4 years of new discoveries and hard times, so I had a few friends and family members who travelled that journey with us. Their joy at meeting DS and our joy at his arrival is one of the peak experiences of my life.

On the other hand if I don’t consider it I I might regret it. I’ll probably feel horrendously guilty about stopping DP from having children even though he insists he is happy with whatever I decide.

Yes, you might. Being a parent is like crossing a river. There are two banks. Childfree or parent. Once you cross from one to the other, you can never return to your childfree self. I had a wonderful life prior to the fertility journey, work I loved, a DH I loved. Being a parent is the best life shift I could ever make and I love it.

Hope that helps!

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Lightningrain · 08/12/2020 08:45

@Angliski thank so you much. I think I’m slowly coming to terms with thinking about the possible future rather than being stuck in the present.

Each stage of the journey comes as such a shock when you’re hoping that each test or procedure will lead in some way to a pregnancy. Donor conception wasn’t something I had even thought about until the last couple of months.

I am coming to realise that I do really want to be a mum, no matter how I get there. Hearing your experience (and others on this thread/elsewhere) has made me consider that it’s not a donor egg baby, it’s your baby that you’ve carried, given birth to, nurtured and watched grow. The journey of becoming a mum would eventually become less significant. I don’t think I’d been able to see myself at that stage as I’d gone into a mindset of ‘it might never happen and I shouldn’t get ahead of myself imagining life as a mum’.

I’m able to try another IVF cycle with my eggs in January so if I don’t have a more positive result I think I’m now in a place mentally where I can move forward.

Thank you so much for everyone who has given advice and/or shared their own experiences. It really has helped me to see things more clearly and to think about what I’d be gaining rather than solely focussing on the doubts.

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Angliski · 08/12/2020 09:37

@Lightningrain wishing you happiness :)

Ps- if you haven’t already, applying the advice in the book - it’s starts with the egg - might be worth it for your jan try. I do know people who have had a better success rate than previous with it. I too never imagined my family creation would take this design- it’s a process over time.

Feel free to PM with any other thoughts and questions.

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LAURAPAX · 30/07/2023 13:46

How are you getting on OP? I am in a very similar position to you now. It is so so hard. I hope you are well xx

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