Infertility changed my life by taking away the ability for me to have a genetic connection with my child.

My infertility journey started as newlywed, as my husband and I started trying to conceive right away. After a few months, I pushed my OBGYN for bloodwork testing in effort to better understand my fertility. I was completely shocked to learn the results. I was diagnosed at the age of 35 with diminished ovarian reserve (DOR) and an undetectable anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) blood level. My Antral Follicle Count was also very low, less than five. This was a pretty severe case of DOR, and I was blown away once I understood the full extent of my diagnosis.

We tried one IUI before moving to IVF. The long, expensive, isolating, powerless process of IVF. We went through two back to back egg retrievals and only retrieved one egg each cycle.

Our two total eggs did result in two embryos. As with many IVF cycles, complications occurred along the way. As time passed, we grew increasingly depleted emotionally, physically, financially and mentally.

I felt myself isolating from others who didn’t understand what I was going through. I avoided baby showers, cringed when I heard of pregnancy announcements and avoided places where there would be large numbers of children. One silver lining of my journey was finding a local support group through RESOLVE. These women got it and together, a sisterhood formed that allowed a vulnerability and support which I will always be grateful for.

I did everything I could think of to try and “fix” my situation. I went to fertility acupuncture, a fertility naturopathic doctor, took handfuls of vitamins, ate healthy, exercised, listened to fertility meditations, went to a reproductive therapist, and more. I tried it all.

The first embryo transfer did not result in pregnancy. The second embryo transfer resulted in a heartbreaking miscarriage. It was a terribly painful loss and the emptiest, saddest time of my life.

After the miscarriage, my husband and I discussed what to do next. We both very much still wanted to be parents, but we weren’t convinced we would ever be successful with my own eggs. Our goal was to have a healthy baby and after soul searching, we decided egg donation would be the next step in our journey.

Saying goodbye to something you never had is a grieving process, one with many stages and periods of acceptance. The loss of never having a genetically linked child is very difficult for people to understand unless they’ve been through it. However, as I navigated through those feelings, my husband and I felt a renewed glimmer of hope in our chance to have a family.

I am immensely grateful to women who donate their eggs in effort to help other women have a chance to become mothers. Fortunately, the gift of egg donation was the answer for us. We were successful with our first transfer and incredibly proud to now be called mommy and daddy!

Julie M.