Being an “Older” Mom: My Egg Donor Story
At Donor Concierge, we love to highlight parents’ egg donation stories. Thank you Georgia* for sharing your experience with us, and allowing us to be a part of your journey.
I had my first child at 42 years old, which in this day and age, I thought was “no big deal.” But little did I know that with my age, FSH levels and stressful lifestyle… He was literally a miracle baby. When we learned all that, we had to consider our options. Egg stimulation wasn’t a good way to go given my age, but I was devoted to my son having siblings, so we began looking for donors.
The egg donor process was complicated, but throughout it all, I learned three important things.
First, I was picking a donor for my son as much as for us parents. Second, I wanted to meet our donor in person for a “gut check.” And third, I realized that as much as we try to “line everything up,” there is no magic formula to guarantee having a child. It’s in God’s hands. I believed that regardless of the medical intervention, these were MY children, and I had faith that God would give us children if he chose.
Having faith throughout the process was key for me, because we did four cycles, all to no avail. Luckily, our donor agreed to do another round for us, and thank goodness she said OK!
On the first transfer of the second round, I did the one thing I had never done before: After the transfer, I immediately took a cab to the nearest hotel in San Francisco and I literally LAID DOWN FOR 24 HOURS. Literally. I got room service, so I got up to answer the door and had them put the tray on the bed so I could lay back down and eat. It might be crazy, but… it worked!
We got pregnant at first with triplets! My doctor talked with me about "reduction." I said NO WAY! But I did start praying that God would only allow two, since I thought triplets could be a huge strain on our family. A month later there were only two embryos. We went 39 weeks and they were born 7lb 5oz and 6lb 11oz - two baby girls! And I was 46 years old. It was awesome!!
During all these attempts, we leaned on the support of friends. I kept asking for more and more prayers. However, this had one negative effect – a LOT of people knew our business. First, a good friend came to see us at the hospital, and asked, “What does their mom think?” I said, “"I think they are awesome! I am their mom. The other person is a donor." Wow.
Second, a few weeks after my girls were born, a friend came to me. She said she had run into someone in the grocery store and said, "Georgia had her babies!!" To which the other woman remarked, "You know those aren't hers, right? She used a donor." This INFURIATED me! So I called that gal later in the day and said nicely, "Please do not discuss my personal information with anyone. How could you do such a thing? These are MY babies!” What a ding dong! She apologized and learned something new that day, if only to keep her mouth closed. NO ONE Had gone to more trouble than us to have those babies. Goodness gracious!
To others going through this process, be mindful of how many people know about your story and how you foresee it playing out in the future. The two situations above made me believe that I needed to be forthcoming with my girls to avoid a "bombshell" incident later in life. (Such as, "You know she isn't your real mom, right?) So I always told them there was a woman who "helped us have you."
When they got older, into middle school, this came up and I always treated it as if it were no big deal, just matter-of-fact – yeah, this great woman helped daddy and I have you.
One day one of the girls said, "But she didn't give you an EGG, right?” I said, "Yes, she did." OH. MY. GOSH. BIG. ISSUE.
After that conversation, we had a few months of "You're not my real mom!" when they were angry, to which I would always answer, "Yes, I am honey. In every way. I am as real as it gets."
Later I said, "You know that really hurts me when you say that. No one wanted you girls more than me. And I am so blessed that someone helped me to have you!" And within 6 months or so, they never said this again.
My donor lives about 40 miles away and we are friends on Facebook. She is now married and has two boys about 7-8 years younger than my girls, and her husband knows about the donation. She is so gracious and has said if my girls want to meet her someday, she is open to it.
Anyway - after I got pregnant and they were just little tiny beads-with-heartbeats, I never looked back. They were always mine. MY gifts from God to me as a mother, to their brother as siblings and to us as a family. That someone else contributed a microscopic piece of DNA was a blessing, but made them no less my own.