This is the million-dollar question.
How are you going to feel while you’re taking this next step in your journey to have a baby?
No emotion throughout this time is right or wrong – they’re all completely normal. From breath-taking highs to my-whole-world-is-falling-apart lows, donor egg IVF is a rollercoaster ride.
Here are just a few of the possible emotions you may experience along the way.
Grief Over What You Have Lost
While using donor eggs gives you the glimmer of hope you’ve been searching for, you may feel a sense of loss for what you’ve had to leave behind.
No one sets out on their journey to have a baby thinking about using another woman’s eggs. No mom-to-be contemplates letting go of their genetic link with their child in order to bring a baby into this world.
Coming to terms with this is hard. While you’ll feel joy from this chance to have a baby, grieving over the fact you won’t be using your own eggs is entirely natural.
Fear Over What’s to Come
This process can be incredibly daunting, from the medical procedures to the immense responsibility of carrying and giving birth to your baby.
Each step along the way may be laced with other fears that come with donor egg IVF. Will my baby resent me later on in life? Will it be obvious this baby isn’t genetically “mine ?” How do I explain this choice to my family and friends?
Working through these questions one at a time will help you answer them and put them to rest.
A baby born through a donor egg will come to know the love and dedication they’ve been brought into the world with. While they may wish to find out more about their donor (if possible), this will never detract from the love they feel for their mother – you!
As you feel your baby grow inside you, you will also forge an unbreakable bond. Most mothers who use donor eggs feel any fears about bonding or having a connection slide away as they carry and nurture their unborn child.
Finally, your family and friends will know how important having a family is to you. At first, some of them may find it difficult to understand because you didn’t conceive your baby in the “traditional” way, but they’ll come to realise this is an unbelievable opportunity for you. However, if they don’t accept your decision, you should take peace of mind in the knowledge that you made the right choice for you.
Anxiety Over Choosing an Egg Donor
Choosing an egg donor can cause a lot of anxiety. After all, how do you choose your child’s genetic donor?
Thankfully, whether you’re using someone you know or looking at donors from a donor egg bank, you’ll have full control over your decision. You’ll be able to choose someone you feel completely comfortable with. Additionally, you may even make your choice based on their unique qualities – qualities you hope your child will possess in the future, or qualities you feel you and the donor (and therefore, you and your child) will share.
It’s vital not to rush this stage, as it’s a very important part of the process. Allow several weeks or a couple of months to find the donor who’s right for you. You shouldn’t be afraid to gently turn down close family and friends’ offers, either. While this can often seem like the best solution at first, as you begin to think about the future dynamics of your relationships, you may feel it’s better to choose a donor from an egg bank.
Joy Over Hearing Your Happy News
After all of these draining emotions and stress , there comes the happiest of days and the most joyous news.
As you carry your unborn baby, feel their first movements, and watch your bump grow, all of those previous emotions will pale into insignificance. You’re about to become a mom, and that’s the best feeling in the world.
Donor Egg Bank USA
Heidi Hayes is the Executive Vice President of California Cryobank’s Donor Egg Bank USA. She has more than 20 years of healthcare experience and has worked extensively in the field of reproductive endocrinology. Having been unsuccessful at traditional IUI and IVF treatments, Heidi personally understands the struggles of infertility. After many years of trying to conceive, she ultimately built her family through adoption and donor egg treatment. She always believed that if she didn’t give up, her ultimate goal of becoming a parent would someday become a reality.