Coming to Terms with Egg Donation

Having worked with thousands of hopeful future parents, the hardest part for a woman is when she has just been told to consider egg donation as an option. It is not easy. For most, it is devastating. In the beginning you may leave your doctor's care to seek a second opinion, someone who offers you hope. You spend years trying several more IVF cycles with new doctors and thousands of dollars only to come back to the same conclusion - a donor egg may be your best avenue for having a baby.

When you first start to explore using an egg donor be prepared to:

• Cry - I know you’ve probably already shed more tears than you thought you had but you will likely shed more as you start looking at profiles.

• Be angry - with yourself, your partner, your doctor, your nurse and those smiling donors and anyone else who looks at you

• Be frustrated –You may not see yourself as being special or unique and think it will be easy to find a donor only to start looking and realize that none of them look or feel right to you. They don’t look like anyone in your family. As soon as you see a donor you like she isn’t available!

• Mistrust –How do you know these girls, these donors are telling the truth, what kind of women chose to be donors anyway? Can they be trusted?

• Feel that life is unfair - The universe is not fair how could this happen to me? I’m healthy, I work out, eat organic and I look like I’m 30

All of these thoughts and feelings are normal. You may have a few that are unique to you and you may feel that you are the only woman in her 40’s who is considering having a baby at 43, 45, 48 or 50 but you are not alone. The median age of our clients is mid-40s. Many of these women can carry but their eggs are no longer viable. You have been lead astray by the myth that women in their 40s are having babies. They may be having babies, but the myth is that they are doing so with their own eggs. The truth is over the age of 40 you have less than a 10% chance of becoming pregnant with your own eggs and having a healthy pregnancy and no chromosomal abnormalities.

Women are having children in their 40s and giving birth to children they love more than life itself. But most of the time, this is achieved via egg donation. And once they reach the turning point in their acceptance of using an egg donor and find a donor they can relate to they don’t look back. They forge ahead in their life as proud parents. Motherhood is not tested via DNA - families are built with love.

Coming to that place can be a slow evolution. Give yourself time. It’s possible you may decide not to have children but it’s also possible, and I’ve seen it happen thousands of time, that your desire to be a parent will overcome your reservations. You want to share your life and your love with a child, which is one of life’s most precious gifts - to love and be loved by a child.

  • Gail Sexton Anderson is the founder of Donor Concierge
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