I know what it’s like to long for a child and to wait month after month for the baby that never comes. And I know firsthand the pain of infertility and the difficulties that can come with adoption.
After a full year with no success, we met with a reproductive endocrinologist, a doctor who specializes in treating infertility. After trying three intrauterine inseminations, we moved to in vitro fertilization – commonly known as IVF. With my eggs and Ruben’s sperm, embryos were created and transferred to my uterus. We experienced the exuberant joy of pregnancy twice, followed by the devastating heartbreak of miscarriage.
"Reflecting back, there is a lot I wish I had known. But with one in eight couples having trouble conceiving, I know I am not alone."
During fertility treatment we also looked into adoption. Our moment to become parents came at last when we adopted our seven-month-old son from Guatemala. The happiness and joy we felt with our new son was immeasurable. Finally, I was a mother.
The next year, we hoped to add to our family by adopting a little girl from Guatemala. After several visits and preparing for her stateside homecoming, our hopes were shattered when international adoptions in Guatemala were closed.
During this time I also took a position at a fertility center. In my new position I learned even more about infertility and how female eggs lose their quality with age. Eggs typically begin to diminish in the early 30s, with egg viability beginning to steadily decline after age 35. I was 39. With this information, I felt the prickle of realization and sadness.
We had endured several failed IVF cycles and coincidentally (or serendipitously, depending on how you look at it) our physician recommended donor eggs as an option to grow a family. After careful thought, we decided to give it a try.
The process in obtaining donor eggs is not an easy one. The donor needed to be selected, screened, placed under medication and monitored. This process can take anywhere from three to 12 months.
After retrieving eggs from the donor and creating embryos, I had two embryos transferred to my uterus. I allowed myself to be cautiously optimistic.
"Believe it or not, I got pregnant on the first try. With twins!"
For the first time, I felt the kicks and the morning sickness. The egg donor gives you one tiny precious cell. But through my body, the babies grow and thrive and flourish. Nine months later, we were blessed with a healthy baby girl and boy.
Reflecting back, there is a lot I wish I had known. But with one in eight couples having trouble conceiving, I know I am not alone. After my experiences, it became my mission to help other women know about and understand the option of donor egg when trying to have a family.
My infertility advocacy turned into an opportunity to help people on a much larger scale when I accepted a position as CEO of Donor Egg Bank USA (now Executive VP of California Cryobank's Donor Egg Bank). Since our fledgling inception, we have grown to the nation’s largest frozen donor egg bank and have helped hundreds of couples grow a family.
While we had a happy ending, it took us 10 years to get there. To help those trying to have a baby, I’d like to share some of the lessons and shortcuts I learned on my journey.
Are you ready to start looking for your donor?
Thank you for your advice. My husband and I are interested in a frozen donor egg but we are in Australia.
Do you know of any clinics in Australia that offers a similar process.
Thank you once again we will keep trying until I have a beautiful and healthy baby in my arms.
Submitted by LeeAnne 4 years, 6 months ago
It's truly a great and useful piece of information. I'm satisfied that you shared this helpful information with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.
Submitted by Smithc703 3 years, 5 months ago
We did egg donor in vitro after no pregnancies and one failed adoption. Our beautiful, healthy 3 year old daughter is a true blessing to us. We waited 14 years for her. We are so grateful to our donor and to the doctor and staff. God had to do a little work on my heart to convince me that this was an option for us, but it must have been part of his plan.
Submitted by LW 3 years, 3 months ago
Thank you. Your last two points brought tears to my eyes. We are beginning to explore egg donation.
Submitted by Tammy 3 years, 1 month ago
Thank you for this wonderful piece of information. After serious medical issues causing infertility we had begun to explore the egg donation process. Being in Australia, there is no egg bank as there is overseas. Although egg donation can still occur it is costly and expensive as you are required to travel overseas for the treatment. I am incredibly lucky as I have a live donor who has approached me and offered her eggs.... this is an absolute dream come true!!! We are now in the very early stages of planning and can not be more excited.... Your last point (number 7) was the most wonderful thing to read... having support from others in the same situation is so valuable.
Submitted by Dani 2 years, 11 months ago