First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage, Then Comes…Infertility?

Fairfax EggBank has partnered with Parents Via Egg Donation (PVED) to launch a blog series written by Heather, a recent egg donor recipient at Fairfax EggBank. Our hope is that through PVED, Heather’s voice can be shared with others who are just beginning their donor egg journey and are seeking authentic experiences of others who have been through it.

Stay tuned through either PVED’s website or ours to read Heather’s upcoming blogs.

Heather’s Blog Series:

#1: INTRO TO MY DONOR EGG STORY

#2: FIRST COMES LOVE, THEN COMES MARRIAGE, THEN COMES…INFERTILITY?

Tune in next week to read Heather’s next blog “How Our Needs Guided the Decision to Use Frozen Donor Eggs.” 


About PVED

Parents Via Egg Donation, or PVED, was created to provide an informational and supportive environment where parents and parents-to-be can learn and share information about all facets of the egg donation process.

Our mission is to educate, support, and empower families and individuals at any stage of the process who choose to use egg donation to build a family. We share information about agencies, legal and medical professionals, treatment centers, mental health therapists, pharmaceutical companies, and other resources.

PVED is a national, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization headquartered in Scappoose, Oregon

Their website contains a wide variety of information and ideas to help you in your family-building journey. If you can’t find what you are looking for, our listserves can link you to others who may have had similar experiences and are happy to share their knowledge.


Intro to My Donor Egg Story

Fairfax EggBank has partnered with Parents Via Egg Donation (PVED) to launch a blog series written by Heather, a recent egg donor recipient at Fairfax EggBank. Our hope is that through PVED, Heather’s voice can be shared with others who are just beginning their donor egg journey and are seeking authentic experiences of others who have been through it.

Read the first series here, and stay tuned through either PVED’s website or ours to read Heather’s upcoming blogs.

HEATHER’S BLOG SERIES #1: INTRO TO MY DONOR EGG STORY

 


About PVED

Parents Via Egg Donation, or PVED, was created to provide an informational and supportive environment where parents and parents-to-be can learn and share information about all facets of the egg donation process.

Our mission is to educate, support, and empower families and individuals at any stage of the process who choose to use egg donation to build a family. We share information about agencies, legal and medical professionals, treatment centers, mental health therapists, pharmaceutical companies, and other resources.

PVED is a national, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization headquartered in Scappoose, Oregon

Their website contains a wide variety of information and ideas to help you in your family-building journey. If you can’t find what you are looking for, our listserves can link you to others who may have had similar experiences and are happy to share their knowledge.


Our Favorite Donor Egg Blogs

At Fairfax EggBank, our team’s top priority is providing our recipients with the level of care and service they deserve. We aim to help minimize stress throughout their journey and help them achieve their goals to conceive and build a family of their own. Many of our donor egg recipients come to us looking for donor egg success stories. Below is a list of our favorite blogs that share the journeys of women who chose to share their story of starting a family through using an egg donor. While these are not all Fairfax EggBank recipients and the process and experiences they had may not be the same, their stories and advice can provide you will some insight as you pursue your own journey with IVF treatment using donor eggs.

 

Trisha’s Journeyhttps://www.fairfaxeggbank.com/blog/trishas-journey-to-motherhood/
Trisha is a donor egg mom or donor egg recipeient who shared her donor egg success story on our blog.  She is a 38 year old working professional who had gone through seven failed IUI and three failed IVF cycles using her own eggs before she decided to reach out to Fairfax EggBank. Her story is told through a series of blog posts which take readers through her decision to use frozen eggs, finding the right egg donor, and the medical processes she went through.

 

PVED (Parents Via Egg Donation) http://blog.pved.org/

Parents Via Egg Donation, or PVED, is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization created to provide an informational and supportive environment where parents and parents-to-be can learn and share information about all facets of the donor egg ivf process. They blog information about agencies, legal and medical professionals, treatment centers, mental health therapists, pharmaceutical companies, and other resources.

 

Facebook: @parentsviaeggdonation

Twitter: @pved

 

A Chick and Eggs https://chickandeggs.com/

This one is the journey of a women who states she’s “an infertile chick who made a baby with some other chick’s eggs. Which is weird,” and decided to blog about it using a good dose of humor to approach the subject of egg donation. She discusses her timeline of infertility as well as the trials and tribulations of being pregnant. One reader commented with “thanks for the laughs – I really need them.”

 

DE Mommy http://demommy.blogspot.com/

Here is “a family’s journey to adding a sibling (or two!) through anonymous donor eggs” after trying various methods to become pregnant and experiencing a great deal of heartache. She eventually became pregnant with twins and continues to blog about her family life.

 

My Path to Mommyhood http://mypathtomommyhood.blogspot.com/2013/04/anatomy-of-egg-donor-cycle.html

Jess is a married 40 year old special education teacher who has been on the path to mommyhood for seven years. She invites readers to follow her on “the crazy, hopeful, discouraging, funny, and ultimately successful (one way or another) path to parenthood while facing infertility.” This was a 2012 Night of Hope nominee for “Best Blog.” She also shares links to “Useful Reads” about both infertility and adoption.

 

EGGtraordinary: Our Journey to Egg Donation http://journey2eggdonation.blogspot.com/

Hope was diagnosed with premature ovarian failure nine years ago but beat the odds and was able to have her own genetic child. She decided to grow her family further through egg donation, eventually having twin girls.

 

The Egg Donor http://eggciteddonor.blogspot.com/

From the perspective of a woman donating her eggs, this blog follows her journey as a four-time donor. As someone considering egg donation to start your family, it may be interesting to hear things from the point of view of the donor.

Twitter: @EggDonorDiva

 

Don’t Count Your Eggs http://dontcountyoureggs.typepad.com/blog/donor-eggs/

Maya is 35 and claims she has “tried anything and everything we could because time and options were running out.” She and her husband were able to conceive via embryo donation but her story includes posts about infertility, procedures, and coping before, during, and after she was able to start her family. Her blog was nominated in 2014 and 2015 for the Night of Hope “Best Blog.”

Twitter: @eggcountingal

 

Fairfax EggBank is confident in the quality of its egg donors, the expertise of its scientists, and the experience it has in freezing eggs. We hope that these blogs helped answer some questions about the journey of using donor eggs with ivf you may have. If you would like more information, please feel free to Contact Us.


Thank You Letter from a Recipient to Her Egg Donor

Below is a recent letter from an egg donor recipient, who wanted to express anonymously to her egg donor just how grateful she was.

Hello,

I don’t know even where to begin with my gratitude to you.  I know that you and I will never meet, but I want you to know every day I am so thankful you have given me and my husband hope to become parents.  I think about the sacrifice it took for you to be selfless to help people have a family.

When I started the donor egg process, I have to admit I was thinking I wouldn’t find someone who matched me or had the same values as me.  After reading your profile there were so many similarities.  You and I were both softball players and we have a lot of the same physical features, but the biggest reason why I chose you was how you wanted your kids to be kind.  That is what I have always wanted for my children.

I don’t think you realize what you have given to our family. We are now excited and hopeful for the future.  When I was diagnosed with my form of infertility, which was premature ovarian failure, I was so scared and anxious about the future.  We now have a plan something to look forward to.  Please know we consider you an angel.  I thank God every day for you giving us this opportunity.  Both of us have longed for a baby for so long and because of you we are one step closer.

I hope that every woman that goes through this finds an egg donor that fits them as perfect as I did.  I will continue to be thankful for you every day for the rest of my life.  Once again thank you, thank you, thank you!  I am forever grateful and you will always have a special place in our hearts.

 

Sincerely,

Your donor egg recipient


Trisha’s Journey Part VI: What We’ll Tell Others About Our Donor Egg Journey

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

The following is the final blog of Trisha H’s journey to motherhood. It is with bittersweet sadness that we conclude this series, though we are excited for the many new chapters Trisha and her family will create. Trisha, thank you so much for your invaluable contributions to sharing your voice and for the help you have provided to others going through the same journey.

Our Future – What Stories Will We Share with Friends/Family and our Child(ren)

What will we tell people about our donor egg journey?

This is a topic my husband and I discussed early on in our process.  I should probably start by letting you know that you readers know more about our journey than almost everyone in our personal lives. Apart from our mothers, my sister, and two close but not best friends, “strangers” are the only people who know our entire story.  Not that we are ashamed of our donor egg family, but because we know some people may not protect this decision with the tenderness it deserves.  It would shatter my heart if someone, especially someone we trust, ever used our family as a topic of mockery or gossip. As such, there are some parts of our story we elect to keep private to a certain degree.

Here is how we see it….

What is important is our child was made out of pure LOVE. He is our baby, who grew in my belly for 9 long months. We have an indescribable bond that is only shared between the two of us.  It is magical!  I still think about the day he was pulled (via c-section) from my belly.  The moment I heard him cry, I let out my own cry that came from a place so deep within my soul… a place I have never felt before.  I can still remember the instant and greatest love, joy, and relief that came over me… we finally got to meet our sweet baby boy, who looks exactly like his father, may I add. I am telling you, he is the number one reason I was born.

So, back to what we will tell people.  As far as family and friends are concerned, those who already know, are the only people, who are not “strangers,” we plan to tell (well, almost – keep reading about “others”).  What they know – because there is nothing more to share – is all they will know.  We trust in each of them to keep our family secret sacred.  For “others” in our lives, they will know our story about the challenges we faced when trying to conceive, and how we met our eventual success through IVF (just not the donor egg part).   With “strangers” and “others” in our lives who struggle with fertility (we will only tell other people we know in our lives – family, friends, or acquaintances – if they struggle with trying to conceive themselves), they will know our ENTIRE story.  We find it an honor to help other families make their own decision about their options to have a child, even if it means “others” in our lives knowing about our decision to use donor eggs… I believe helping families make the decision about their family is reason number two for why I was born.

Now, will we tell our son?  We still have not decided.  If we do, it will not be before he is 18 years old.  Some of the questions we ponder are – Why does he need to know?  How will it make him feel?  Will he see me differently?  Will he understand?  Will it hurt him?  Can we deal with the rejection, if it means being honest, should he decide to respond this way?  There are so many questions for which we do not have the answers right now.  And, any of what we will share will depend on his personality. Will he grow up to be an open-minded individual?  If so, and we decide to talk to him about how he was conceived, will we share our story about IVF only or the full truth regarding donor eggs?  Again, we do not have the answers at this time and do not believe it to be important right now, either.

In the end, whatever we decide to share, our son will always know he was made with lots of love sprinkled with a little bit of sugar and spice.  He will know it takes mommy parts and daddy parts to make a baby and, sometimes, when these parts are not working very well, doctors help mommies and daddies make babies like him.

 

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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

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

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


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


Trisha’s Journey Part V: Donor Egg Resources I Used

[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.

 ______________________________________________________

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

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

Part V: Resources I used throughout the decision process- Current blog

Part VI: Our future – What stories will we share with friends/family and our child(ren)


Trisha’s Journey Part IV: My Transfer and Eventual BFP

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

The following blog is the fourth 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.

The Decision Journey Part IV  My Donor Egg Transfer and Eventual BFP

Egg bank selected – CHECK! Decision made whether to use fresh or frozen donor eggs – CHECK! Perfect donor selected – CHECK! Okay, so what happens next?  Well, now that the “tough” parts are behind you (I mean pre-pregnancy tough parts because third trimester breathing while walking puts the “T” in tough), it is time to get ready for one of the BIGGEST moments you have been waiting for… transfer of your soon-to-be bundle(s) of joy. I am so excited for you just typing about it! Mainly because, fingers crossed, the Big Fat Positive (BFP) is just weeks away, but also because for this next phase, you do not have to worry about all the medication and shots like some of us did during our IVF journey, when we attempted to grow our families using our own eggs.

Now, before I get you overly excited, there are still a few medications included in your frozen-transfer protocol.  You will need the estrogen and progesterone (hopefully not the serum injections) and also valium to put your body at ease on the day of the transfer.  Oh, because of this, you need someone to accompany you to the clinic on your special transfer day.  No driving yourself while under the influence of the valium.  And, do not even think about not taking it because you need it to ensure your body is completely relaxed during the transfer procedure.  To help me relax as much as possible and get my blood flowing to the right place – meaning my uterus, I actually had an acupuncturist meet me at my clinic to poke me with needles before and after my transfer.  My doctor recommended it so check with your doctor to see what s/he thinks. Just for reassurance – the acupuncture needles do not hurt.

As you wait the days/weeks for the stars to align (AKA your mid-cycle days to approach… because remember, your transfer will be around the same time your body would have naturally ovulated), you will be a busy little bee as you prepare for the transfer.  Now, everyone’s protocol is different, but you should expect to start the estrogen – lots of it – and also visit the doctor for one or more uterine lining checks.  For those who do not know or cannot remember, during this process, the doctor is checking whether the estrogen has done its job by thickening your uterine lining… think thick!  If your lining is good to go, then your little eggs are then prepared for thawing and “mating” with the sperm.

Depending on what your doctor decides, the day of thawing starts your countdown to either a Day-3 or Day-5 transfer.  I was a Day-5 transfer.  While you wait, hopefully your doctor informs you how many eggs fertilized (one day after the mating process), and then provides another report to let you know how many embryos are making their way through the healthy maturation process (2-3 days after the mating process).  Once your day (either Day-3 or Day-5) approaches, get ready for a quick and painless transfer.  If you have a Day-3 transfer, you should have one or more embryos to transfer, and if you have a Day-5 transfer, you should have one or more blastocysts to transfer.

My sweet baby was transferred on Day-5.  At this stage, he was expected to be a blastocyst but was only a Day-4 late stage morula.  We actually thought the cycle would not be successful since development was a little behind, but we were absolutely, positively wrong!  Turns out, the best place for your little one to develop is right in the mommy’s tummy.  Our Day-4 Morula continued to mature and is now a happy baby boy!!

After your successful transfer (fingers crossed), the 10-14 day wait until the day you take your blood draw pregnancy test – I am not going to lie – will seem like an eternity.  You will feel like you have every pregnancy sign in the world and you will secretly wish you had one of those “I’m done” turkey poppers on your belly button to show whether you are successfully pregnant.  Instead of obsessing (I know – that is all you will do), try to relax by doing prenatal yoga, listening to music like Mozart (highly recommended for the baby), and talking to your bundle of joy.  I used to read children’s books to my baby, while listening to Mozart baby music.  Talking about relaxing!

Getting the BFP

Finally the day arrives for your pregnancy test.  Now, when I said the 10-14 day wait between the day of your transfer and the day you get to take your pregnancy test would feel like an eternity, I should have warned you that the few hours you wait to get your pregnancy results back, would feel like an eternity times 100.  Let me tell you… the pregnancy test day was the longest day of my life.

I took my test early in the morning and my results did not get back to me until around 3:00pm that same day.  I was at work and could not concentrate on anything besides the unknown pregnancy test results.  I excused myself from the office and went on a walk for what seemed like three hours of pacing back and forth on the same short street.  Towards the end of my walk, however, I could not help but notice the CVS on the corner about 1/8 of a mile away.  So, although I received final confirmation about my results at 3:00pm from my doctor’s office, I have to be honest and say I already knew at lunchtime that I was officially pregnant.  Why you ask?  Because I broke the rule and purchased a digital early pregnancy test before receiving the doctor’s call.  Thank you, CVS!

Needless to say, I had the happiest moment of my life (at that time) when I saw the PREGNANT indicator flash on the tiny pregnancy test screen.  While completely over the moon excited, I still needed to hear it from the doctor.  Once he informed me we were positively pregnant, the surreal news had my husband and me overjoyed and nervous at the same time.  My concern then transitioned to – will it stick?  Will we get through the critical first trimester period?  What can I do to make sure everything is okay each day?  Yes, all of these questions race through your head once you know the pregnancy is real.  But who can blame you, right?  You have finally arrived at one of the greatest moments you have been waiting for, and now, as a soon-to-be-mommy, your motherly instincts kick in and you begin to worry and hope for the best.  But do not worry (haha!)… you are totally normal.  CONGRATULATIONS!!

 ______________________________________________________

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

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

Part V: Resources I used throughout the decision process

Part VI: Our future – What stories will we share with friends/family and our child(ren)

 

 


Trisha’s Journey Part III: Finding the Right Egg Donor

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

The following blog is the third 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.

The Decision Journey Part III: Finding the Right Egg Donor

Hello Ladies!

Are you still with me?  I hope, like me, you are enjoying the series so far.  It has been so rewarding chatting with so many of you and being a part of your frozen donor egg journey.  Since starting this blog series, there have even been a number of you who now have success stories of your own…and that is just awesome.

Whether you have traveled with us since the launch of this blog series, or you are just now joining, I want to take a moment to say CONGRATULATIONS for making the choice to grow your family through Fairfax EggBank.  I am nearly certain you will be satisfied with the care and attention they give to ensuring you are well taken care of throughout the entire process.  After almost a year since our relationship started, our (my husband and me) satisfaction with the Fairfax family continues to grow.  Even now, with my son nearly two weeks old, they continue to check-in on us to ensure we are doing well.  I mean, how is that for great service?!

Now, if you are just joining us on this journey, I highly encourage you to go back and read the other blogs (links below).  As you do, please feel free to send your questions and share your own story.  I promise to respond to you as quickly as possible.

My Approach to ‘Donor Mommy Shopping’

I tell you, having been a mother for only 12 days now, it is hard to imagine what life was like before our little Micah made his early “Leap Day” arrival into our lives.  As I am sure you can imagine, we are extremely excited, thankful, and overwhelmed with joy when it comes to our newest addition to the family. He is the most adorable little ‘son-shine’ a mommy can ever ask for.  If I could, I would give our ‘donor mommy’ the BIGGEST hug for this most special gift she has given our family.  I love him!  I love him!  I love him!

It is funny because looking back at when we first started our journey, I remember how conflicted I was about the idea of using donor eggs.  All I kept saying was… NO WAY, JOSE!  Initially, I did not think I could ever embrace the idea of having a baby that was not made with my own egg.  Knowing what I know now and being the mommy of this most precious little baby of mine, I think my feelings were attributed to the lack of knowledge about donor eggs and the lack of awareness about my options – fresh v. frozen.  Now that we are here, I have absolutely no regrets and even laugh when I think of the mild resistance I had about frozen donor eggs.  Silly me!  Well, hopefully through my experiences I share with you, I can help you quickly get past that barrier – if it is one – for yourself and family.

Once we decided to go with a frozen egg donor, I immediately began reading through different profiles and viewing pictures of the many donors in the Fairfax EggBank egg donor database.  What I thought was going to be a drag of a task, actually ended being a really fun process.  I mean, it was shopping for crying out loud… who doesn’t love to shop?  Using the Fairfax EggBank database, you have the option of selecting different egg donor characteristics – race, height, education-level, etc.  It is like the eBay of ‘donor mommy’ shopping – easy to filter through to find exactly what you need (but minus the price-bidding war).

While trying not to be too picky (yeah right… I was very picky!), there were certain requirements our ‘donor mommy’ had to meet:

  • Physically, she had to look like similar to me.
  • Educationally, she had to have completed at least a Bachelor’s degree.
  • Health was not an issue because Fairfax EggBank ensures the ladies meet thorough and strict health standards before being accepted as a client.
  • Proven success, whether she had her own children or a recipient was successful using her eggs through a frozen or fresh cycle.

After a few days of viewing profiles, I finally narrowed my list to about 10 egg donors.  At the top of the list was a beautiful and intelligent young lady, who is the same bi-racial blend as me – Black and Filipino.  She was perfect!  My husband also agreed. However, just when I thought my decision was made, I learned my “perfect” egg donor had no proven successes.

We know the logic that at some point, every proven egg donor was a first-time egg donor at some point. Furthermore, we know that many recipients have gone on to become a parent through the help of a first-time egg donor. However just like with my debate of considering a known or unknown donor, choosing proven vs. unproven was another personal preference of mine – so please, look inwards towards your own feelings if you’re in this phase of the donor egg process – especially if you find an egg donor who you felt was meant for you. Also look to your Fairfax EggBank coordinator to seek additional guidance – they are there for you all the way! For us, we just decided not to go with our first option.

Instead, we opted for the next perfect lady on our list.  After learning she has two children of her own and two other recipients were successful using her eggs, we knew, without a doubt, we found our perfect ‘donor mommy.’  Even if she was not the same bi-racial mix as me, she was still beyond perfect.  Besides, she and I share some of the same features, which was a major plus.  Now, if anyone were to ever say to me – he has your smile, eyes, or hair, I can say, YES – he sure does!

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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 – CURRENT BLOG

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

Part V: Resources I used throughout the decision process

Part VI: Our future – What stories will we share with friends/family and our child(ren)


Trisha’s Journey Part II: Deliberating Fresh v. Frozen Eggs

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

The following blog is the second part to Trisha H’s journey to motherhood.  The words are all her own. Read 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

Fresh versus frozen… no longer a choice you only make when trying to decide which veggies to buy.  Believe it or not, you have this choice when it comes to donor eggs. Another easy decision to make, right?

The truth is, it is not an easy decision for everyone, if at all. But hopefully, I can share enough of my story and details around the options that will help you in your decision-making.

First, let me say, initially I had no idea there was a frozen donor egg option.  Actually, once we realized my eggs weren’t viable and having a baby naturally was probably never going to happen or, if it did, the struggle – emotionally and financially – would make it difficult to find happiness through the process, we thought adoption was the only or most likely option.  I thought to myself “What does it really mean to use donor eggs?  Where would we get the eggs?  Do we ask a stranger?  Do we ask someone we know? How do you do that and get them to still love you, knowing the process you are about to put them through with all of the medication, appointments, and procedures? ”  I know that there are plenty of recipients out there who have fantastic outcomes using a known donor – but personally, I preferred going through a professional donor egg bank to find my egg donor, especially knowing that these donors would be thoroughly screened for medical and genetic conditions. Furthermore, I felt that this route made the legal and donor-recipient relationship guidelines a lot cleaner.

Okay, let’s get down to what you really want to know.  We will start with fresh donor eggs.  As I am sure you can imagine (and gathered through the previous blog), I was really excited when I learned my dream of carrying my own baby could still be a reality.  A new kind of energy hit me – knowing I can still experience pregnancy with our very own child and shop around for the one who would give us the most special gift we could ever ask for, made life and the process of becoming a mom fun again. Over the next few weeks, I spent countless hours searching egg donor sites and combing through their databases of pictures and profiles.  There were so many options; it was like being a kid in a candy store.

As I searched egg donor sites, I stumbled across the option for frozen donor eggs.  My first thoughts were – what is the difference between fresh and frozen (besides the obvious), and how does the frozen donor egg process work?  Again, whose eggs would I use?  Without getting too deep, here is what I can tell you about the two separate options.

With the fresh option, there are more opportunities for you to hit some ‘thumbs down’ situations, many of which require you to wait longer than patience will sometimes allow (at least for me).  Let’s be honest, after all of the waiting we have already been through, what is the last thing we want to do when we approach a new ‘promising’ process?  That is right – WAIT!  Without a doubt and no matter how you receive your eggs, fresh will take longer than frozen.  Period.  Why?  There are several reasons, but for now I will name just a few.

  • First, you have to find your egg donor match, and then you need to ensure that the match is available. This can take weeks, even months, and several candidates before you find the ‘perfect’ match.
  • Also, while donors typically get some pre-screening tests done, it is only after they’re selected when they undergo the more thorough medical and genetic testing – so there’s the risk that you ‘perfect’ match may not work out if she doesn’t pass screening or an unfavorable medical/genetic condition manifests.
  • If your fresh egg donor does pass the screening with flying colors then, like your own IVF cycle, she then has to prepare her body for the process, using medication over a period of a few weeks/months before she begins her monitoring and collection process. You’ll also need to coordinate your own cycle so that it synchronizes with hers, which can add additional time.
  • You then need to cross your fingers that the donor complies with taking all her medications correctly and shows up to all her appointments. On top of that, you’ll have to pray that she’ll avoid any complications such as over-stimulation or premature ovulation, and that she’ll produce plenty of healthy, mature eggs.

In our ‘perfect’ world, all the steps above will just go according to plan though, right?  There I go with the sarcasm, again.

Another thought to consider is the cost of a fresh egg donor; it’s about twice the price of using frozen donor eggs.  Maybe this is because with a fresh cycle, a clinic would have to cover the costs for medication and appointments to synchronize the cycles of the recipient and donor, and compensate the donor for traveling and accommodations.  I’m not sure, but whatever is the reason, all your ears will hear is Cha-ching! Cha-ching! Cha-ching!

Frozen donor eggs, on the other hand, are much more affordable, which takes away some of the stress.  But what I really like about the frozen option is you can get started IMMEDIATELY because the eggs are already ready to go.  Oh yes, you heard me correctly – IMMEDIATELY!  If you find the donor eggs you want today, you can move through the process and get pregnant as early as your next cycle.  Why?  Because all of the work the fresh donor has to go through is already done.  There is no screening of the donor, no stimulation, monitoring, or collection requirements… the eggs are already on ice waiting for you.  All you need to do is search through the photos and profiles and make your selection.  Yes, it is just that easy.  And trust me, you have several wonderful options to choose from with the egg banks that actually offer this as an option like Fairfax EggBank.

So, do I have your attention yet? Stay tuned for my next blog on how I went about choosing my egg donor.

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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

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

Part V: Resources I used throughout the decision process

Part VI: Our future – What stories will we share with friends/family and our child(ren)