The Unexpected Road: One Woman's Journey to Becoming A Mother

December 18th, 2013
One Woman's Journey Donor Egg

After five disappointing attempts with fresh egg donors, Julie and Sean achieve their dream of parenthood through frozen donor egg.

When Julie and her partner, Sean, decided that they wanted to have a child together, they had no idea of the long road they would take to make that dream come true. It would turn out to be an emotional four-year journey that would include three different clinics and seven different egg donors. 

Since Julie already had a 12-year-old son that she had conceived naturally at age 33, she had thought getting pregnant again would not be difficult.

But as the months and then years passed with no pregnancy, she decided to consult a specialist. She tried IVF treatment using her own eggs, and at age 42, she got a good response. She underwent a fresh IVF cycle, but didn't get pregnant. Then the couple tried a frozen embryo transfer -- twice -- but both ended heartbreakingly in miscarriages. 

Julie and Sean decided to change clinics and try using fresh donor egg. The couple selected a donor through a donor egg agency, and paid for the donor's medical testing. Testing revealed, however, that the donor had a cystic fibrosis gene. She could not be a donor.

Undeterred, the couple chose a second donor who had been pre-screened at the clinic they were working with. Then they got a call from the clinic, saying that the donor had behavioral issues and moving forward would not be possible.

Though they were discouraged, Julie and Sean didn't give up. They decided to broaden their search, and chose a third donor who seemed a good match. The donor lived in the Boston area, which was just four hours away. That's how the couple was introduced to the fertility specialists at Boston IVF.

At Boston IVF, Julie and Sean finally received the personalized caring attention they had been hoping for. They were optimistic they would finally have the baby they had dreamed of.

Julie and the fresh egg donor they had selected went through treatment to sync their cycles, with Julie and Sean covering the donor's medical fees. Sadly, the couple learned that the donor had contracted an STD during her cycle, and could not continue as a donor.

Sean and Julie chose a fourth donor through the donor agency. Unfortunately, the donor didn't respond well to the stimulation medications. Even though the donor had children of her own, she only produced a few small follicles when stimulated. The doctors thought it was best to cancel the cycle rather than move forward and pay the donor her fee when she might produce only 0-3 eggs.

The fifth donor the couple selected through a donor egg agency produced a few eggs, which in turn produced three low quality embryos. The doctors transferred all of them (in two different cycles), but they did not result in pregnancies.

Throughout all these disappointments, Julie felt the pressure of time ticking by. Each time a failed cycle happened, several months would go by, either recovering from a miscarriage or acquiring records for a new clinic or new "labs" (blood work whose results expire after a year), or waiting for a suitable donor to emerge. Then, Julie had to wait for the donor’s personal schedule to clear so she could travel for the cycle, all the while trying to figure out how to finance another cycle. Julie was very concerned about the years going by. She also wondered if her body could really sustain a 9-month pregnancy, and weighed the pros and cons of continuing the journey or giving up.

Yet Julie and Sean had come too far to give up. After five fresh egg donors without the baby Sean and Julie had hoped for, the doctors at Boston IVF had a new suggestion - frozen donor eggs from Donor Egg Bank USA.

Donor Egg Bank USA is a frozen donor egg program that works with more than 150 top reproductive specialists throughout the United States and Canada. Donor Egg Bank USA offers immediate access to a broad donor egg pool and uses advanced freezing technology to produce success rates similar to traditional (fresh) donor egg programs.

Using frozen donor eggs takes away the risk of a cancelled cycle if a donor fails a pre-screening, has a low ovarian response or an unexpected life event.

"There were none of the pitfalls of using a fresh egg donor," says Julie. "We did a single cycle with Donor Egg Bank USA, and got one beautiful embryo, but it didn’t take."

"We decided then to go with Donor Egg Bank's Assured Refund Plan, which gives you up to six attempts for one price, and a full refund if you don't deliver a baby," Julie says.

The couple selected a new frozen egg donor. After combining Sean's sperm with the donor eggs, the couple was thrilled to hear they had four beautiful embryos.

The doctors transferred two and then the couple waited. Finally, Boston IVF called with the much-awaited news. Julie was pregnant!

"I was so surprised, "Julie says.”Sean has a photo of me scratching my head after I got the call. I almost didn’t believe it. "
When she finally got pregnant at 45, Julie braced herself for comments about her age. She was very happily surprised when her pregnancy news was met with joyous reactions from 99% of friends and family.

Today, Julie is looking forward to her baby's birth in May. "Now that we know how many stages there are to getting pregnant this just seems miraculous," she says.

Although it was a long and emotional journey, the couple has no regrets. "What bigger purpose is there in life but having a family?" Julie says.

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