No one dreams about starting a family by choosing a donor or going through endless cycles of IVF. What I want you to know is that it gets better, and more importantly, it can be better than you ever imagined. I was 42 years old when I ended a relationship and decided to become a single mother by choice. The fear of never being a mom far outweighed the fear of doing it on my own, and luckily (or so I thought), I had frozen my eggs when I was 38.
Unfortunately for me, those eggs and the additional “fresh cycles,” I opted for to increase my chances didn’t produce any viable blastocysts. I was devastated and cried endlessly over the children I would never have. I blamed myself and was haunted by every major decision I had made – from career to relationships, timing and everything in between – how I could have prevented this and who I should have married (I still have no answer to that one, by the way)!
My reproductive endocrinologist (RE) told me that I was a good candidate for using an egg donor. But, after what seemed like an endless search for a sperm donor, I could not fathom researching the egg donor process too. So, I did nothing for a while. Then, I mourned the loss of how I thought things would be and finally, came to realize that my desire to be a mom was larger than my desire to share DNA with my future child.
After some more soul searching (and research), I found an amazing egg donor. When people ask me what she is like, I simply say that she is just like me, only much prettier and much younger! I had a beautiful son at 46 years old who everyone thinks looks just like me; people see what they want to. What I want you to know is that our ability to love deeply and unconditionally is not dependent on genetics. I can’t imagine being a mom to anyone but my son; he is the baby of my dreams, and I was meant to be his mom. I did not picture myself becoming a mom on my own after seven rounds of IVF, an egg donor, a sperm donor and yet, I am complete and filled with joy – every day.
Fertility treatments can make you feel like you are running in place, that the destination is far-off, and that motherhood is an elusive concept. When I was overwhelmed, I tried to keep the end goal in sight; my deep desire to become a parent and then, I just kept taking the next immediate step to move in that direction. My hope is that one day, like me, you find yourself utterly astonished, laughing and crying over a positive pregnancy test because it really can happen to you.