What does that mean for you?
How do you come to terms with this?
Being a Donor Egg Coordinator, I deal with couples who struggle to have a baby – whether it is their first or their third. And believe it or not, women of all ages struggle with needing an egg donor.
“What do you mean I can’t have a baby of my own?”
”I don’t understand how this could have happened.”
The younger the patient is, the harder it is to deal with the need for an egg donor. For some, the journey to growing their families is not so simple – it may mean many rounds of fertility treatments such as IUI’s (inseminations) and/or several rounds of IVF (in vitro fertilization). Before you have to go through fertility treatments yourself, you don’t realize how much is truly involved in the process of conceiving a baby. But sometimes, even after several rounds of fertility treatments, your doctor tells you your best chance at having a baby is through DONOR EGG.
Sitting across from these potential recipients at their initial consult tells me that no matter how old you are or what you’ve been through…this is NOT an easy thing to hear. For some, they just want their best chance at achieving pregnancy; while other couples struggle with the fact that they won’t have a child genetically comprised of them. It’s a struggle I can’t say I would know how to handle.
Choosing an egg donor
Once you’ve come to the decision of proceeding with an egg donor, you now have to choose a donor. There are so many things to consider when choosing the woman who’s eggs you want to be the biological “mother” of your child.
Will your priority be: I want to be pregnant, I want to be pregnant now and I’ll take one of the donors who are available to cycle ASAP. OR: I need to know that she has either been pregnant or a repeat donor who has positive results. OR: She has to look just like me!! Brown hair, brown eyes, 5’5”. Keep in mind, physical appearance is tough to predict when talking about a child. You can have blonde hair and blue eyes and your partner has the same and still wind up with a brown hair, brown eyed child. Genetics come from both the mother (HER FAMILY) and the father (HIS FAMILY). So if somewhere in the family there is brown hair and brown eyes you have a chance (maybe miniscule, but it can happen) of having a brown hair, brown eyed baby. However, you would be surprised how many donor egg babies tend to look like the mother that carried them. But it’s up to you to decide what priority matters most to you. Here are some things which I hope can assist with prioritizing what is most important to you.
Just because you need an egg donor, it doesn’t mean you are giving up a connection with your child. It takes more than just an egg to be a mother. There is more than just the genetic component. You will play a HUGE part in your baby’s development from inception until many, many years after he or she is brought into this world. It will start when you carry your baby (for 9 months) where he or she will be getting the nutrients that YOU provide from YOUR body. Some even say by carrying this baby, you will be passing on some kind of DNA to your child. Being pregnant will create a bond like no other. Once the baby is born and you finally hold him, nothing will matter more than that moment when you meet YOUR baby and you become their mother.
YOU will be the one doing all hours of the night feedings, and tending to the baby’s every need. YOU will be teaching that little bundle of joy how to crawl, to walk, to talk. And only YOU will be able to understand that babble he or she will call talking. YOU will be going through the stresses and worrying like any other parent. Like “when to start solid foods?”, “how long is too long to wear a diaper?”, or when the child is 18 and stays out passed curfew, as well as the excitement and happy moments – like learning how to ride a bike, or graduating from High School and going off into college – that happen in your child’s life.
YOU will play the role in making that child become the man or woman he or she was meant to be. And YOU will take pride in saying…”that is MY child.” YOU will be a proud MOMMA! And it won’t matter that he or she came from the “egg” of another woman. All that will matter is the unconditional love you have for the child you created and cared for. These are the things that I think matter the most and aren’t inherited through genes but by the parents who are raising the child.
When choosing your requirements for an egg donor, though you may feel inclined to go for looks, or even education or hobbies, remember it is always good to have other things in mind as well, like the family medical history of your donor – to avoid diseases on both sides of the family, as well as the history of their fertility; because the rest is up to YOU as the parent. But wherever you decide to put your focus, remember that no matter what, this will be YOUR baby, you will be the mother of this child; even if you needed the assistance of someone else’s eggs to have them.
Original post Feb 6, 2016
Updated April 4, 2022