A personal journey
It would probably be a little presumptive of me to tell you how it feels to use donor eggs. After all, not everyone processes their feelings in the same way.
Not every woman aches to be a mother or finds themselves in the position where their own eggs are not viable.
I can only tell you about my story being involved in the egg donor process and the emotions that both my husband and I dealt with throughout.
Our hopes and dreams
We had often talked about starting a family and how many children we wanted to have. Never did we think that having just one child would be such a challenge.
But what we really wanted was to be a loving family; whether we had boys or girls, it did not matter, as long as they were healthy. During all of those conversations we had about children, the fact that it might not be possible never even crossed our minds.
Disappointment and bitterness
As soon as we were ready, we started trying for a family. Yet, with each passing month, my period would arrive—bringing with it a world of disappointment. Soon we found ourselves taking morning temperatures and using ovulation predictor kits. All of the fun was being drained from our marriage as we put our attention to making a baby using every scientific method we could find.
Any woman who has had trouble conceiving knows the overwhelming emptiness that follows the heart-racing, giddy moment when you take a pregnancy test—only to have it come back negative.
Suddenly, it felt like all my friends, family, colleagues and women who “weren't even trying" were getting pregnant. We were truly disappointed and were growing increasingly bitter.
For some reason, our road to fertility was destined to be rockier than most. After some considerable thought, we decided to try IUI's and then IVF. It is not easy dealing with your emotions, being pumped full of hormones or learning to inject yourself.
It was not exactly pleasant for my husband having to leave sperm samples in a cup at the clinic as well.
After 11 failed rounds of IVF treatment and frozen embryo transfers, I would be lying if I said I did not start to hate the world a little bit.
At our lowest point in the whole process, we finally decided to abandon infertility treatment and move forward with adoption. We were blessed with the opportunity to adopt our beautiful baby son. It was not the way we envisaged it for ourselves, but we know that the Lord works in mysterious ways.
I have still never seen anything as perfect—or as miraculous—as my son on the day we brought him home, but we did not want to stop there.
After all, we always knew we wanted two children, not just one.
After exploring a domestic adoption and egg donation, we decided to try once more the infertility treatment route. Maybe now that we had our first child, things would be different. Maybe I would not be so anxious. You hear stories all the time of people adopting and then getting pregnant. I was hoping that would happen to us.
Using donor eggs
After we were successful in our adoption we went back to adopt a little girl. During that time period the laws for adoptions changed and we found ourselves in the midst of a political quagmire with our baby hanging the balance. We spent 6 long years in our second adoption and became part of a group of families all trying to bring our children home. I'll never forget the last time I saw my little girl and how my heart tugged when she rejoined her foster family. A couple years after that we learned our process was over and she would never be coming home with us. There is profound grief having held a baby in your arms believing she was your child.
We went through a long period of coping with our emotions, and almost a kind of mourning for the children that we would never have together; the ones who would share my DNA, have my eyes and my husband's smile.
After losing our daughter, we knew we still wanted another child. We weighed our options. Should we consider another adoption or turn back to fertility treatments. By this time, I was approaching the age of 40 and I understood my eggs would be subpar. I was told by my physician that I would need the eggs from a donor. While I had already adopted one baby, for some reason the thought of using an egg donor felt overwhelming and created a sense of sadness within me.
We loved our son who was adopted so I knew from that experience that the moment my baby was in my arms, my heart would melt. Nonetheless, I had to make peace with the loss of my genetics which was occurring not by choice as it does in an adoption but rather because of what felt to me like my body's failure.
Taking our time
All of these feelings are normal, and it is healthy to take your time when thinking about using donor eggs. I do not know if I could have done it without my husband's continued love, support and openness.
At last we decided to move forward with donor egg treatment. Once we made the decision the process couldn't move fast enough for us. Thankfully, we were successful on our first try and had twins as a result.
Life does not always work out the way we want it to, but every day I look at my twins (conceived by using donor eggs) and our adopted son, I know that this is the way it was meant to be for us.
I simply cannot imagine a world in which our family did not exist.