Trisha’s Husband’s Journey: Reflections and Advice to Other Partners

[Download Trisha’s entire blog series in PDF form here]

The following blog is the sixth part to Trisha H’s journey to motherhood – but with a twist. We feature Avi, Trisha’s husband, in commemoration of Father’s Day. The words are all his own.

Trisha’s Husband’s Journey: Reflections and Advice to Other Partners

Words can’t describe the way I felt when Trisha called to say – “WE’RE PREGNANT!!”  I had wanted to hear these words for more than four years while we were trying to have a baby.  Not just because I was ready to be a father, but because I knew it was so important for Trisha.  She wanted nothing more than to grow our family and be the best wife and mom for our family. And, I have to tell you, she is killing it. She is the absolute best!

As Father’s Day approaches, I reflect back on last year.  It was during Father’s Day weekend 2015 when we had our transfer.  I can remember when it was taking place, I looked at Trisha and then up at God and said in a silent prayer, “Please let this be the one.  Amen.”  Afterwards, as we sat in IHOP, watching the other fathers celebrate the day, I only hoped that for Father’s Day 2016, I’d be right along with them… and I am.  I am a proud dad of the most special little boy!!

Our son is only a few months old and doesn’t understand what we’re celebrating today.  But, I know.  And I couldn’t be happier.  Finally, I get to enjoy this day – starting today and for the rest of our lives – eating pancakes alongside the other dads and sons.

You know what’s even more exciting?  Thinking about the years ahead when we finish the day off on a father-son boating, fishing, and hiking trip.  Just us guys, enjoying ourselves as we get dirty and eat lots of junk food that’s not approved by mom HAHAHA!!  I can’t wait!

For all of you on the dad-to-be journey, I wish you all the luck in the world.  I know the road isn’t easy, but hang in there; especially for your wife or partner’s sake.  If you’re anything like me, you almost feel powerless; you wish you can take away the tears and hurt and pain but can’t.

As men, we want to fix everything, but with infertility, you’re limited on what you can do.  To be honest, patience is your best tool.  Always remember you’re in this ‘fight’ together.  You should allow this time to bring the two of you closer by talking about the process and sharing in the decision-making that’s best for your family.  Do not ever say – “It’s whatever you want.”  Have an opinion and be her comfort.  Most importantly, never let her feel like this is her fault.

What worked well for Trisha and me was finding a hobby the two of us enjoyed together.  We would hike a few days out of the month; it was great.  She also started “collecting” puppies and, as much as I didn’t want us to have any dogs, it was what made her happy and helped with the “void” – so puppies we got.  As a matter of fact, we now have three of them.  And, to be honest, the dogs brought each of us comfort during our struggle, and I’m thankful for each them.

Other advice I can give… attend as many, if not every, appointment you can with your wife or partner.  When she cries, let her – and don’t ever say “it will be okay” because that’s not what she wants to hear right now.   She hears that enough from people outside of the home.  From you, she needs to hear that together the two of you will get through the struggle, and whatever is in store for your future, you will accept and accept together.  Remind her you didn’t marry her for the children, although they will definitely be a blessing.  Instead remind her you married her because you love her and want to spend the rest of your life with her.  No matter what, you want to be there for her.  Every. Step. Of. The. Way.

Again, from one father to one-to-be, best of luck to you.  I’m telling you, you don’t know what smiling is until you see those eyes looking up at you for the first time.  Being a father is amazing… it’s the greatest gift God (and the egg bank LOL) can give to a man.  I love my son with all of my heart, and I will teach him how to love with all of his heart, too.

 

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From Trisha – Let’s Chat!

I like to talk a lot – not only vocally but with my fingers.  Send me your thoughts and questions to success@fairfaxeggbank.com.  I promise to respond as promptly as possible.  Below is a list of planned blog topics, but if you have additional topics to suggest, as they relate to trying to conceive through donor options, please let me know.

Series:

The decision journey Part I: The beginning of my fertility journey and the decision to use donor eggs

The decision journey Part II: Deliberating fresh v. frozen eggs

The decision journey Part III: Finding the right donor

How the process worked once I found my donor, and the cradle-to-grave (or “big fat positive” [BFP]) process

Resources I used throughout the decision process

Our future – What stories will we share with friends/family and our child(ren) – Next Blog


Fresh vs Frozen Donor Eggs

An Honest View: When Are Fresh or Frozen Donor Eggs the Best Choice?

When you’re considering using fresh vs. frozen donor eggs to reach your long-cherished dream of pregnancy, it’s a major step in your journey. You’re probably doing a lot of research and homework on egg donors and the process of donor egg IVF. The biggest decision many of our recipients struggle with is whether to try a cycle using fresh donor eggs, or frozen donor eggs from an egg bank. What’s the best option for your particular situation? By taking an honest look at your priorities, you can make a choice that’s best for you.

 

Fresh Donor Eggs and Future Children

In a fresh donor egg IVF cycle, donor eggs are retrieved and immediately fertilized with the male partner’s sperm, with the resulting fresh embryos transferred to the recipient. Remaining embryos can be frozen for future frozen embryo transfer procedures. In other words, for future children and future siblings for your family.

If it’s critical for you to have these multiple frozen embryos, a fresh donor cycle might be the best way to go. Why? It’s a simple numbers game. Recent research indicates that fresh eggs are more efficient at generating viable embryos. While egg retrieval from live donors can be inconsistent and can involve a long waiting period, there is a potential for a greater number of eggs to be retrieved per cycle, and thus a greater possible number of embryos. Frozen donor eggs are usually provided in consistent but smaller cohorts (batches of eggs). Though frozen donor eggs are as likely to result in a successful pregnancy, it might not result in as many embryos for the recipient to use for future IVF cycles because of the smaller batch of donor eggs.

 

The Waiting Game

As we’ve discussed before, one of the big disadvantages of working with fresh donor eggs is the wait. The donor’s menstrual cycle needs to be synchronized with the recipient’s, which could be a fairly time-consuming process. And then, once the process starts, there’s no guarantee that the donor will produce the number of eggs needed for success. There is an element of high risk involved.

Many patients who choose donor eggs are often coming to this decision as the last viable option for a successful pregnancy, sometimes after years of other unsuccessful infertility treatments. Sometimes, at this stage, patients simply don’t want to go through another lengthy process. Frozen donor eggs, since they’ve already been retrieved from highly screened egg donors, are ready to be shipped, thawed, and used on your schedule alone, when you’re ready. For emotional and financial reasons, frozen eggs represent a better choice if you’re not up for a protracted cycle.

 

An Affordable Option

Finally, the cost of donor eggs is no small investment. Frozen donor eggs are a more affordable option for IVF treatment with donor eggs compared to fresh donor eggs. One reason frozen is more affordable is that recipients don’t pay for the egg donor’s travel expenses. Also, there are simply more variables at play when using fresh donor eggs. Unforeseen circumstances might pop up in the egg donor’s life—life has a tendency to get in to get in the way of the best thought out plans. Even if everything goes according to your plan, there’s no guarantee on the number of donor eggs retrieved. This is also a major risk in shared donor egg programs, there is no guarantee as to how many eggs will be shared and you need to wait for 1 or 2 other people to share the egg donor with you.

Frozen donor eggs represent less risk for the cost. You receive a set, guaranteed number of donor eggs from the egg donor you choose. Many frozen egg banks offer other guarantees; at Fairfax EggBank, we offer a frozen donor egg guarantee of least one good embryo from your purchased cohorts of donor eggs with the security of a replacement cohort if the first’s quality standard is not met. Thanks to egg freezing, IVF with donor eggs is within closer reach for families who might not otherwise be able to afford it.

 

As you make the difficult choice to use an egg donor, you deserve honest information about the choices available to you. At Fairfax EggBank, it’s important to us that you make an informed decision that’s right for your circumstances. Contact us if you have any questions about frozen donor eggs or choosing a frozen egg donor.