My RE recommends donor eggs for ivf. I'm 43 and we tried with my eggs and had one failed ivf with 3 abnormal embryos, we did PGD. I don't know how I feel about having someone elses biological child. Please give me some insite. I'm very confused.
You have one child already? Is this with the same dad with whom you'd use donor eggs? (So the kids would be biologically half-siblings?)
The donor agency I used had a pretty big raft of women and their national heritage was listed, etc., so I was able to match my heritage and my looks to theirs and come up with someone pretty close. (That way, people don't look at me and my son and wonder if he was adopted, or isn't my child at all.) If you do this matching and the kids have the same dad, everyone will be busy telling you how much they look alike, all the time. And if you carry the baby, there is no way in the world you will not feel like the baby is "yours."
Especially when you first consider using a donor egg, there is a small sense of loss about not having your so-called "own" biological baby, and every now and then it pops up in some small way, though by the time the baby is born it does so only rarely. But if the choice is donor egg or no baby, it becomes a no-brainer if you want a(nother) child. I would have felt differently if I was also not going to be able to carry the child, but that wasn't the issue. If you have ever talked about adoption, a donor egg is also a no-brainer since it is closer than adopting a child whose bloodline is neither yours nor your husband's. And people do love their adopted children just fine, so it's not like ultimately the bloodline matters at all, to the love between a mother and a child.
There are some other offsetting factors to that slight feeling of loss, also. For one, some research suggests there is mitochondrial DNA transfer or other links (such as, turning on or off 'switches' for various characteristics) between the woman whose uterus carries the baby and the baby, even if the egg comes from elsewhere. That means to me that there is a genetic link at least to some extent, which makes me feel good. For another, you can improve on what you would otherwise bring to the party. That sounds kind of petty, but it really can be better than that -- every time another female in my family writes to say she is starting to see signs that the family's macular degeneration has hit her, too, I say to myself, "Thank heavens that at least my son is spared that." The women who donate eggs are heavily screened and their health profile is available to you. You can avoid things in the family line that are not desirable.
If you are sure that at 43 your eggs are pretty much not going to produce, I would definitely not hesitate to go with donor eggs. The women who do donate are saints. I don't know how they do it, of course the are remunerated for their time and pain and hassle, but it would be a hard decision for me in their shoes. (I am a beneficiary of their kindness and still say this.) I wouldn't be a mommy without them, and a mommy I sure am, so I owe everything to the science that makes this possible and the generosity of the women who are donors. In my book, the work my RE clinic does is God's work if anything is.
I think the use of donor eggs is a great way to grow a family. I think the questions lie in weither you inform the child/rest of the family of your choice. That is person, so people never tell, some tell from day 1. I think if you have enough love in your heart to want another child, that it shouldn't matter where that child comes from. Family is family, period. I am adopted, and love my parents more then I believe I could if they were genetically mine.
I say if you are ok with it... go for it!!!!! And Good Luck!!!
This is a VERY, VERY personal and sensitive issue, and it's a hard option to make, for me anyway. I'm pretty much at a crossroads also, and I'm nowhere near knowing what decision I will make.
Firstly, I have a 5yr old son & 2yr old daughter. I am the genetic mother, but I used the same sperm donor to conceive them. I had left a bad marriage, and embarked on parenthood alone, which I love!!! But, after three failed IUIs, two failed IVFs, and a third IVF resulting in an early miscarriage, I'm thinking what now to achieve my much longed for third child? I see my RE late June, but was thinking of maybe embryo or egg donation. I live in NZ, and sadly, it is illegal for sperm or egg donors to be paid anything for their donations, so that results in there being very few donors, especially egg donors. You either have to get a friend or relative to donate, or place ads and try and get a stranger to donate to you for free! Many NZers end up going overseas for treatment.
I have immune issues and an overactive thyroid which has only come about since having my daughter in 2008, so before I make any firm decisions as to whether to do more treatment with my own eggs, I need to know for sure what my problem is, as donor eggs/embryos would still not work if my immune system is rejecting them.
Anyway, back to the egg or embryo donor question. I know there are many women taking this route to motherhood, and I think it is so very valid, and seems to be making them so happy. I never question these women and am envious that they are able to take this route. For me, it is hard, because I always used to tell myself, even before I had kids, that I didn't just want a child, I wanted MY child, and I guess I'm a person who places a lot of importance on genes, bloodlines etc. I have a lot of love, and am a warm person, but I guess when I look at my child, I like to see my ancestors in them. That is just me. I believe so much in the blood. Also, I have an adopted sister, who I have always loved, but, she is very different to us in her persona. And in fact, her biological mother sought her out a few years back, and we were amazed to see that although she wasn't like her physically, they had the same personalities and traits, even though they'd never met before. They were so similar, they didn't actually get on. It may sound mean to say, but I have for much of my adult life, really wished I had a genetic sister, as I feel I would be closer to her and have more in common with her.
One thing that worries me about some of the overseas donations is that many seem to not have any laws by which future children from donated eggs or sperm can find out who their genetic parents are. I believe it is a human right for everyone to know who their genetic mother and father are, for many different reasons. In my country, donors have to be registered and available to meet any offspring once the child is a certain age, and I believe this is how it should be. Being open about donation and adoption is a priority I feel. I used an anonymous sperm donor from the clinic, but we have since met up with the help of the clinic, and are now family friends, and I think this is great. My donor is no longer a mystery man, but someone I like and can see has a great family of his own, and is a good person with a good heritage.
My situation is like yours in that I already have genetic children, and that in itself raises different issues. I absolutely love my children, and they have taken after my side of the family. I am of Italian heritage, and so is our sperm donor. However, in NZ, many people are of fairer complexions, and I worry that if I do use a donated egg or embryo here, I could potentially have a very obviously different looking child. I don't really imagine I would be capable of loving a child that had grown in my own body, but for the moment, I'm not sure about all of this, and that is me being honest. I don't like to seem like I am taking away the absolute delight of women on here who have become mamas through donation, but I think there is too often a lot being said in that women who don't want to accept donated eggs or embryos just don't have enough love or aren't desperate enough to be mothers, and I think that is wrong. We can only take on what we are comfortable with. I've been discussing the options with my RE, and he surprisingly said to me 'remember, this wouldn't be your genetic child, so it wouldn't be the same'!! Also, two childless friends of mine said told pretty much told me that I shouldn't go down the donor road, as it would be too freakish. I told them that once they're gone through the pain and anguish of two years of fertility treatment, used up $50k, then they may too decide to use donor eggs! People who haven't gone through infertility just DON'T UNDERSTAND!!!!
Anyway my dear, no doubt you can see from this message that I'm very confused also!!! I so want another baby, so I can feel complete, but I'm scared that using a donated egg or embryo may just be one step too far. No doubt though, the desire for a child will come through stronger. But it's not going to be an easy ride!!! Good Luck to you. If you ever want to talk more, just PM me:0) XOX
GOODNESS, I've made a HUGE typo here!! I meant to say in paragraph 6:
I don't really imagine I WOULDN'T be capable of loving a child that had grown in my own body, but for the moment, I'm not sure about all of this, and that is me being honest.
Marietta is in a different spot, since she has no reliable way to find a donor who looks similar to either herself or the dad (unless she can use the same guy), in order to increase the chances that the kids will look alike physically. I could point out that children who are full blood siblings don't always look much alike, and also that kids do learn many of their mannerisms and speech patterns from their parents, and people pick this up and say they look alike. But if being unable to find someone who looks like you to be the donor would also be your situation, and if this would be a deal-breaker for you, that should be that. Every person has her own set of criteria for what feels right in making this decision, and her own reasons are the only ones that matter. Though I was very happy with my choice to use donor eggs, I'd be the first to say that nobody should have a baby (by biology or by adoption or anything in between) if she is going to feel regretful in some significant way.
Yes, it all comes down to how we feel inside, but of course, none of us can be 100% of our feelings sometimes, until we've actually taken the step. I can't imagine I'd ever not be able to love a baby, but, I'm no doubt one of those people who feels an innate need inside to have procreated, and to have my genes carry on. We're all so different, and also, going through the pain of infertility often makes us choose options we'd never have imagined ourselves choose initially. Talking to people 'outside' who have never struggled to conceive, it's obvious many of them see the donor option as one they'd never take, but that is easy in their position. I was even surprised by my RE giving caution to me about considering donor eggs or embryos, due to the genetic 'problem' as he put it.
Annie, I'm still giving things lots and lots of thought. I see my RE next Friday, and will discuss my immune problems. I know that if I do have immune problems, then donor eggs or embryos won't help me. But, I just wondered, you were stating about the clinic you went to having a wide genetic pool so to speak. My children do look very much alike, and they look very much like me, so it would be important to find that specific look if possible. If I do opt for donated eggs, it won't be without very long and deep thought. I could try and recruit in NZ, but it will be very hard, and no doubt most of the women coming forward would be in their 30's. But, the good thing about finding an egg donor here would be that I could use the same sperm so any potential child would be a half sibling to my children. So, NZ would be a plus in that respect. Also, I would prefer a woman to want to give because it came from her heart, and not because she would be financially rewarded, however, needs must, and if I do go down the track of donated eggs, I'm wondering if you could give me some info about your clinic. Donor sperm is very expensive to ship overseas so I believe, so if I go to the States I would be using an egg donor and a sperm donor. Most people in my country seem to go over to San Diego for donor treatment, I'm not sure what the draw card is with the clinic over there.
Any help would be so appreciated. This is all such a hard decision, and I have other things to look at too (immune testing), I really feel I don't know which way to go. All I do know is that I'd love one more sibling for my darling kids!!!
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