My girlfriend and I have been trying to have a baby together for the last four years. She's 32 and I'm 25 so we made a mutual decision for her to try first since she felt she was "wasting time". Well after 3 IUI attempts and 2 IVF cycles stopped early because of poor ovarian response, the doc finally tells us that we need to start discussing other options. We're at the point now where we've drained our entire savings trying all of these procedures with nothing to show for it. After much discussion, we've decided to donate my eggs to her. I'm more optimistic than my girlfriend when it comes to this stuff and she's always the more realistic one. We haven't gotten any specifics from the doctor because we're still waiting for my fertility blood panel but after one spontaneous (i say spontaneous because it really was "out of nowhere") ultrasound, the doc found 15 eggs in my left ovary and 12 in my right! Compared to her total of 3, I think this procedure should go quite well. I'm very excited and honestly I'm not very good at hiding it, but I can tell she's bummed out since she couldn't use her own. However, I feel like this is the best way to go since it'll make us both feel like we played a part in the creation of our son/daughter. What can I say or how can I help with the depression that comes along with this news that she needs an egg donation? I feel horrible being so happy that I have so many eggs to give when she just got the horrible news that she's close to having none at this point. Any success stories or just positive feedback will be greatly appreciated!
Well, as a recipient of a donated egg myself, I can tell you that joyous as it is to be able to have a baby, I don't think I could have been happy about it if I was still thinking my eggs would do it if we only tried harder. I was satisfied by the time we did it that my eggs were "timed out," because I was over 40 and knew the odds of Downs and all. But at 32, even with poor ovarian response, it's clear that your girlfriend has not come to that place yet. One has to give up, and to grieve, before donor eggs look like a wonderful possibility.
Don't rush her. She and you have plenty of time.
Also, if you are trying with a sperm donor who is a friend, there is nothing wrong with keeping track of her cycles and trying that way at home for a few months more. Just because her system didn't like the hormones she was shot up with from the clinic to try to get her to ovulate, it doesn't mean she isn't ovulating. At least she will feel like she is still trying, which is a lot of where the sadness comes in. Nobody wants to stop trying at only 32.
ps -- For your own future childbearing possibilities and hers also, you might go forward with the IVF doc and the sperm donor and produce some embryos now and freeze them. Then both of you will have a reserve in case you decide later in your reproductive lives to use them. She has (at most IVF clinics) until she is 50 or 52 before she is timed out, and you would probably like to have your youngest possible eggs involved in any embryos that are produced, whether you ultimately carry the baby or she does.
Another thing to keep in mind, with your excitement that your eggs will have solved her problem and you can both be involved in creating the pregnancy, etc., is that right now to her, the suggestion to use your eggs sounds to her like it means she will have no part in creating the baby. Soft-pedal your excitement, it doesn't sound like a solution to her. It might later, not yet though.
Thank you so much for your insight. It puts a lot of things into perspective. Freezing my eggs is definitely going to happen once we get to that point. Even if we end up with twins this time around, I'm certain we're trying again later in the future. Unfortunately we couldn't use a friend as a donor, we had done that once before for about a year on and off and she never took to the sperm. That's when we decided to go for an IUI. The clinic we went to at the beginning never gave us a follicle count or anything, being our first time, we didn't ask for one either. It would have been great to know she wasn't producing how she should be, would have saved a lot of money in the long run! This doctor, however, tells us everything we need to know and looks at the financial view as well as the main objective. I wish our donor friend was still available but not only did he move across the country, but he found himself a loving girlfriend and they're trying for a family of their own. We've decided to use frozen donor sperm from a California Cryobank. We've used the same donor for a couple of years now. We've bought his entire package which includes a childhood photo, biography, and all family health information. He's also open to someday meeting us and has had successful pregnancies before. He sounds like a great guy and the doctor is excited about how high his sperm count is! :)
I've been trying my hardest to keep my excitement to a minimum since last night when I walked out of the shower and found her in tears on the bed. I was at a loss for words. I just don't know what to say or how to console her during this time. She said things like that she felt inadequate, less of a woman, and like a failure. I just don't know how to respond to that. I feel like saying nothing at all might be the best thing.
Regarding donors: a female relation of mine and her partner needed a donor. They mentioned it at a luncheon where my aunts were present. (I have a very large family full of women.) All my aunts immediately began offering their sons and the husbands of their daughters. There was even a little genteel vying with each other about who would be the best candidate, based on his having already had kids or being tall, smart, etc. It was hilarious and sweet. They wound up using the ex-husband of one of the cousins. How are the two of you at family support? How much does the family know of what you are doing? You might be amazed what is out there if you simply discuss your dilemma.
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