Both my partner and I are from Europe, and we started trying to get pregnant when we came to the US 4 years ago to live and work here. Infertility impacted my life in many ways. The most profound impact was the process of letting go of the picture in my head of how things should be and learning to accept how things actually turned out. The first thing I had to painfully learn on this journey was that the chances of me having a biological baby were extremely low. This came as a shock and felt like waking up to a nightmare.
I knew that being 39 years old could be an issue, but being too old for babies? I felt like a failure… a failure to my partner, a failure as a woman. I even felt like I failed myself. Another thing I’ve learned is that I am not alone. A pivotal moment came when I was sitting at Starbucks because I couldn’t stand being at work. I didn’t know what to do anymore, I felt so lonely due to my infertility. I was so isolated and far away from home. I started googling and I don’t know how it happened, but suddenly I found the RESOLVE organization, which I had never heard of before. Looking further, I found a support group leader named Sue Johnston, who offered a group close to me. I immediately wrote an email to her and she responded back to me within minutes. I was so touched and understood. Tears ran down my face and I realized I was no longer alone.
Over the course of 1.5 years, we did two IVFs with two different clinics. Both failed, due to too few eggs and poor egg quality. The devastation and pain I felt were hard to bear. But at the same time my problems opened the door to something I so far refused to even consider… donor eggs. It was not at all what I had in mind. But the failed IVFs, my numbers and particularly my age were important factors that were not in my favor. How much longer should we go down the IVF road, with so little chance of success, while I was getting older and older? I felt like running against time with each day making it less likely for me to have a baby.
Deep inside, I wished I could go on trying naturally, as this is what I wanted the most. I am vegan. I am a yogi. I love nature. I try to go with the flow. Sticking three needles inside my belly each night is so unnatural to me, as are donor eggs. I asked myself if I should accept that we wouldn’t have kids at all? But at the same time, did we explore all options, did we try hard and often enough? Maybe we shoud go back to Europe?
My beloved friend and RESOLVE support group leader, Sue Johnston shared some profound advise with me. “The line in the sand is different for everyone, and it can change for you as well.“ And lo and behold it changed for me after the second failed attempt. I did a lot of research on donor eggs and donor offspring. With a very heavy heart, yet at the same time hopeful for the promise of motherhood, I decided to search for a donor.
Our daughter was born in December 2019. I love her so much, it‘s hard to find sufficient words. I don’t want any other baby than our special little angel. At the same time, I have to reconcile with my feelings of loss. The loss of my vision to have an easy, natural conception. (You know those people who tell you…”We just started trying and I was pregnant right away,“ right?). The loss of not having been able to produce my own eggs to make our baby still haunts me. The loss of recognizing my features. For example, she has my nose, she has my mouth. My worst fear is one day having to tell my precious child that I am not her biological mum. I will very likely be living in a country where donor eggs are illegal. These fears are real and I have yet to make peace with them. Unconditional love, joy, and happiness combined with loss, sadness and anxiety, that‘s how infertility has impacted me. It is and will always be a part in my life.
I have come a long way on my journey. Now I want to connect with other donor egg mums, so we can all find strength through one another. We are not alone but we’re together on our unique journeys toward motherhood. I don’t know how I will exactly find my voice, as I want to stay anonymous. I don’t want the world to know my baby is a donor egg baby before I’ve had the chance to tell my daughter about how she came to be. But I do know how loved and wanted she is. I want my story to be an inspiration of hope to others who use donor eggs to fulfill their dreams of motherhood.