[Download Trisha’s entire blog series in PDF form here]
The following blog is the fifth part to Trisha H’s journey to motherhood. The words are all her own.
To read about her fertility journey that led her to the decision to use donor eggs, click here.
If you want to learn more about how she evaluated using fresh vs. frozen donor eggs, click here.
To learn how she decided on her donor, click here.
To see what the process was after she purchased her donor’s cohort of eggs, click here.
Resources I Used Throughout the Donor Egg Process
Okay – I am probably telling you something you already know, but I will just go ahead and share it again… going through the process of deciding which donor egg options to select is NOT an easy task. For some of us, when we opt for a donor egg cycle, we are literally putting all of our eggs in one basket. As such, the last thing we want to do is make a wrong decision, right? However, with so many choices and so many protocols that result successfully for other women, how do we know which are the right and wrong decisions for ourselves? While I don’t have the answer to this question, especially because I second-guessed every decision I ever made for myself, I can tell you a good old, healthy scream worked for me whenever I encountered an indecisive moment.
So, what resources did I use throughout the donor egg process? Let me preface this response by assuring you I do NOT work for Google. But yes, Google was my very best friend throughout this process (Obviously, if your preference is another web browser, that option is equally as fine). I “Googled” nearly every aspect of my donor egg process.
Finding the Right Donor Egg Bank/Agency
I would be remiss if I do not let you know that before deciding to use Fairfax EggBank, I researched other donor egg banks and donor egg agencies as well. This research provided me the knowledge I needed to make the decision between frozen and fresh donor eggs. It also helped to confirm Fairfax as the best choice for me. As mentioned in one of the earlier blogs, before realizing we would need to use donor eggs, I was oblivious to our different options, although I notice other women mentioned donor eggs in a few IVF blogs. Still, I did not realize this to be an option for me.
Before deciding to use Fairfax EggBank, I contacted perhaps a dozen other donor egg banks and donor egg agencies, and reviewed profiles of hundreds and hundreds of donors – in America and other countries. I kept a log of each clinic and donor I was interested in learning more about. By keeping all the information on a single spreadsheet, I was able to prioritize and eliminate donors more easily, many being fresh donors… which equaled an even longer wait and more costs.
Deciding on a Reproductive Endocrinologist and IVF Clinic
Another topic I Googled heavily is the research on different doctors. First, I narrowed my list down to the top doctors, who have notable IVF success rates. Next, I ordered them by donor egg program costs. Because this was perhaps our one shot, I looked at doctors nationwide. Although we live in Georgia, we decided to use a doctor in Arizona. From what I gathered, in addition to their impressive success rates, the doctor worked with many other PCOS patients. This was thumbs up in my book.
My research in this area started with the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART), and once I had the list of doctors that interested me, I did a more granular review of each of the top doctors and their fertility programs, while also meeting face-to-face with most of the doctors. I did this because I also wanted the chemistry to be a good match,,, I mean, if we were going to make a baby together, we had to make sure we loved him/her (our doctor) too, right?
Figuring out How to Pay for Donor Egg Costs
The cost involved in fertility treatments can be enough to make you lose your breath, even if you have outstanding medical insurance. I have top-notch insurance, but it does not cover the donor egg portion of the process. We had to purchase the eggs outright before our insurance actually kicked in. To ensure we would have enough money to cover all expenses, we researched different options for financing, even high interest loans, because we wanted to understand all of our financing options should we not be able to get one through our personal bank.
ARC Fertility was the first financing firm we contacted. They are an excellent source for financing, offering a variety of packages that are nearly tailor-made for all approved applicants. The issue, however, is while they offer a donor package with a money back guarantee option, it is only available for fresh egg cycles.
Online crowd funding, like GoFundMe, is also an option. We actually used this and raised more than $10K. In addition to sending the fundraiser link to our family and friends, we had ‘request for donation’ postcards made with our picture and a snippet of our story printed on the front, and sent them to celebrities (seriously!), who have also experienced fertility issues and to the different medical doctors (offices) within a 10-mile radius of our home. I am not sure if any of the postcard solicitations worked, but I can tell you we had several anonymous donors – so who knows?!
If the personal bank or crowdfunding options do not work and you still need financing, there are other lenders. Fairfax EggBank offers financing through CapEx and Prosper. There are also other options you can consider such as Lending Tree, Lending Club, and Avant.
Through the Internet, you have all the information you need at your fingertips. I can only stress to you, do your research and try not to stress. Perhaps the most vital resource you will have and not yet mentioned is your own doctor. Ask him/her about options related to funding and other helpful resources. Through my doctor, I not only found Fairfax EggBank but also my acupuncturist, who came to the doctor’s office to give me two treatments on the day of transfer. My doctor was a rich source of information.