Frozen donor egg recipients have been through so many obstacles on the path to becoming parents. Those obstacles often create strength when we need it most. After more than 10 years working closely with donor egg parents, our Fairfax EggBank team has had the privilege of hearing their stories of resilience and hope. During a global pandemic, knowing you are not alone in your frustration can help create perspective.
One of our recipients*, like many others struggling with infertility, had to make a difficult decision to pause her plans, but is using the time to her advantage.
“This has taught me that I can’t control much of anything (I mean seriously! A pandemic!? A global shutdown? Talk about not being in control!).
But I can control what I do next. So instead of having a meltdown thinking this is the universe’s way of telling me “NO! Bad idea! Stop!”, I will choose again. I will believe that this is the universe giving me that much-needed time-out I’ve been craving… I can use this time to become the mom I want to be before I’m even pregnant.”
“I thought of a half million things that might stop me from becoming a mom again. But a global pandemic? That honestly was not on the list.
But now it’s my reality.
This chapter in the history books is affecting everyone, on countless levels. Many people face horrific life-and-death situations, while others question if they have the virus or seasonal allergies. Others don’t have enough money for rent, others are terrified their loved ones will contract the virus as they work the front lines every day, and others don’t know if they’ll have a job next month.
So viewed under that lens, being terrified a baby might not happen seems shallow. But if I’ve learned anything in this eight-year infertility journey, it’s that a longing for a child, be it your first or your fifth, is legitimate, it is primal and it is justified. Most every person in America right now is facing sacrifice of some sort. And for us, the intended parents, our sacrifice is to wait.
By the time most of us get to this stage of the journey, we are exhausted. I can guarantee you not one of us decided from the very beginning this was our first and favorite choice to complete or start our families. It has been a long and expensive road to get to this point, full of questions, grief, hope and doubt. Especially doubt. It’s hard to know what to do when you are going rebel and doing something that is very different from what your friends have done or what society says you “should” do. It’s hard not to doubt when you think you “know” the answer, only to fail once again. Doubt becomes your best frenemy.
But once I made my decision, and realized that families are made in every different way possible these days, and one cell does not a child make, I pushed doubt aside for the time being. I was ready and rearing to go.
This decision took me years. Literally. And all the while I tried naturally to complete my family. That means every single month for eight years—96 times—I faced disappointment and heartbreak. Every single one. Then I found my donor, told doubt to shut up, and (for the first time in a long time) I felt hope. That it might actually work. That we might finally hold our missing family member after all this time. Things started moving. I ordered medicine. I figured out when would be a good time for the transfer. Next step: getting the eggs to my doctor’s lab. Tests were done on me and my husband, all was great, and we were ready to go.
And then the pandemic.
I mean, seriously. A global pandemic that shut the world down. Are you kidding me? Was this the universe telling me no? In my dark hours, that’s exactly what I thought. I mean, an international shutdown sure doesn’t seem like a big positive hug from the universe letting you know you’re on the right track and supported now, does it?
After all the obstacles I had to overcome, from insurance approvals to countless doctor appointments, endless hours of therapy, soul searching, grief counseling, miscarriages, every medical intervention I could do, to be sidelined by a virus in the 11th hour when I finally give this a green light and feel some hope? This is where I throw my hands up to the sky and scream obscenities.
My doctor told me we could keep going with the plan, but I would have to sign a waiver stating that at any minute, things could get called off if the situation regarding COVID-19 gets worse, and I would be out any money I put in. There are so many moving parts to this process—from doctors to labs to pharmacies to hospitals to egg banks to even the postal service—it just means there are too many parts that could be negatively affected by this virus and subsequent shutdown. It’s too big a risk.
Not to mention, the stress and fear of this pandemic surely would have detrimental effects on me and my body. Aren’t we supposed to be as stress-free as possible when going through an IVF? And aren’t we supposed to be self-isolating during this pandemic too? That’s a bit impossible, with blood draws and ultrasounds constantly. If anything went wrong or if it was unsuccessful, I would never know if it just wasn’t healthy, or if the stress and environment caused it. I have six eggs only to make this work. I can’t take that kind of chance.
And so, we wait.
I’ve waited for 96 months. What’s a few more? I’m now WELL past the age I wanted to be having another baby. My current children are WAY older now and thus the age gap between them all will be much larger than I wanted. I am beating myself up for waiting so long to go the donor route in the first place.
But I can’t chew on the what ifs or beat myself up over the should haves. This is what I have now. A pandemic, 6 eggs on ice, a birthday closer to 50 than 40, an unknown future and a huge, burning desire to be a new mom one last time. This has taught me that I can’t control much of anything (I mean seriously! A pandemic!? A global shutdown? Talk about not being in control!).
But I can control what I do next. So instead of having a meltdown thinking this is the universe’s way of telling me “NO! Bad idea! Stop!”, I will choose again. I will believe that this is the universe giving me that much-needed time-out I’ve been craving. A chance to get my head on straight, a chance to stop worrying about how old I’ll be when I have a baby, or how old my kids are, or how XYZ bad thing will happen if I “push my luck” and try to achieve my dream. I can use this time to become the mom I want to be before I’m even pregnant. There is nothing else I can do right now. All I can do is try and cultivate some faith that the universe is telling me “You’ve got this. It’s time to rest, regroup, renew.”
Because my baby is out there waiting for me. I can wait a few more months to meet her.”
We are here for you through this current crisis. Our dedicated Customer Relations Team is prepared to help you reserve a donor and answer any questions you have about how to plan ahead.
*When requested, Fairfax EggBank protects the names of our donor egg recipients to ensure a level of privacy for their families.
Fairfax EggBank is a leader in advanced techniques for frozen donor eggs for fertility. Our commitment to donor quality and service excellence makes us a premier, yet cost-effective, solution for intended parents. We work closely with all of our donor egg recipients through each stage of the process, and is a proud supporter of the LGBTQ+ community.
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Register to gain full access into our comprehensive donor profiles, including adulthood photos (upon submitting a photo consent form), family medical history, and personal essays. You‘ll also be able to “favorite” donors you like, print donor profiles, and more!
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