Secondary Infertility and Egg Donation
Secondary infertility is often overlooked or, sadly, dismissed as a 'real' infertility struggle. After all, if you have a child shouldn’t you be satisfied? If you have ever had difficulty conceiving your second or third child when you have always longed to have at least two or more children, you know it can be painful and depressing. Parents often feel guilty or think they are being selfish for wanting more. Infertile couples with no children get more understanding and support than those who have one child but then can’t achieve a second pregnancy on their own.
In the field of infertility, where I help parents find donor eggs, I have found that parents who have a child or children are some of the hardest to match. Expectations are much higher to have the egg donor look like the mother and the child she already has. Once you have a child that you love with all of your heart it is hard to imagine that any other child can ever be as wonderful as the first. This is true regardless of biological connection.
I remember when I finally became pregnant with our second child, having a conversation with my husband, hoping that our second child would be a girl since our first child was a boy. Because, after all, our son was the most wonderful boy in the world so how could there be two most wonderful boys? The laws of physics tell us that only one can truly be best, because two things cannot occupy the same space at the same time. But a parent’s love is not physics and our hearts have room for many more than just one no mater how each child comes into our family we love and appreciate each child for who they are as individuals.
I usually say that time helps parents adjust and mourn the loss of their biological child helping them to get over the pain of not having a biological connection. Though, in the case of secondary infertility, I’m not sure that is always the case. Sometimes I think the older their biological child is the harder it is to choose an egg donor. At Donor Concierge, we have done many searches for parents who are hoping to have a second child and most are thrilled with the selection of donors presented. But for some parents there may be a lot of anger, which is part of the grieving process that causes them to find fault in each donor presented. They simply can’t see themselves or their child in any of the donors.
For parents who are looking to add to their families and need the aid of an egg donor they may need additional counseling to help them to grieve not only the loss of a biological connection to themselves, but the biological connection to their first born. But keep in mind; we all know siblings from the same parents who don’t look or act a like yet get along beautifully, we also know siblings from the same genetic parents who look very much alike but can’t tolerate each other for two minutes. There are dozens of ways to form families and any combination can be wonderful.
Whenever an intended parent decide on using an egg donor they need to be able to leave themselves behind enough that they are not looking to replace themselves. To move forward successfully with choosing an egg donor who they can appreciate for who they are and the qualities the egg donor has to offer. My best advice is always to look for a donor who you like and who looks like she could fit into your family. No matter whose genetics are blended to make a child there is no way of predicting outcome. Our children will be different from our fantasies, and we will love them for who they are, and even for who they are not. Being a parent is about raising people who are different than we are.