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.


Top Conferences in 2017 for Donor Egg Patients

 

If you are thinking about starting a family and need help getting started, there are a variety of conferences where you can learn more about egg donation and donor egg ivf. Fertility experts, service providers, and vendors will provide insight into the options available to you as a donor egg recipient. Meanwhile you will be surrounded by people just like you who are looking to start a family.

The list of the top fertility and family-planning conferences for 2017:

Manchester Fertility Show

mancheter-fertility-show-2017Whether you are just thinking about starting a family or have been trying for a while, The Fertility Show Manchester can provide advice, information, and support to help you on your journey. Their extensive seminar program provides access to experts and a wide range of exhibitors so you can explore the best options for you and get some of your questions answered.
When: March 25th-26th, 2017
Where: Manchester Central Convention Complex, Windmill St, Manchester UK
Learn More: https://www.fertilityshow.co.uk/manchester

 

American Fertility EXPO

american-fertility-expo-2017The American Fertility Expo will offer a full day of cutting-edge seminars by top fertility professionals, interactive workshops, networking opportunities with leading medical professionals, and the space to learn, reflect, recharge, and renew in a safe and discreet venue.
When: April 29th, 2017
Where: Pasadena Conference Center, Pasadena, CA 91101
Learn More: http://www.americanfertilityexpo.com/

 

Midwest RESOLVE

resolve-fertility-conference-2017Exploring Paths of Hope: 32nd Annual Infertility & Adoption Family Building Conference. If you have been trying to conceive for over six months, this will be the conference for you.This conference is designed to address the medical and emotional issues associated with infertility and adoption. Attendees will learn about new treatments, be able to talk directly to doctors and specialists, explore parenting options and network with others experiencing infertility.
When: October 2017 (TBA)
Where: Normandale Community College, Bloomington, MN 55431
Learn More: http://www.resolve.org/Regions/midwest/midwest-family-building-conference.html

 

RESOLVE New England 24th Annual Conference

resolve-new-england-conference-2017The 24th Fertility Treatment, Donor Choices and Adoption Conference is the largest educational consumer infertility conference in the country.
When: November 4th
Where: Boston Marriott Newton Hotel, Newton, MA 02466
Learn More: http://www.resolvenewengland.org/conference/

 

 

Men Having Babies

stacks_image_18880Surrogacy workshops, seminars, and exhibitions for gay prospective parents. Men Having Babies seminars provided hundreds of gay men a comprehensive overview of surrogacy by panels of experts and peers.
When/Where: Tel Aviv – March 2-3
Chicago – April 8-9
Dallas – June 10-11
Brussels – September 23-24
New York – November (TBA)
Learn More: http://www.menhavingbabies.org/surrogacy-seminars/

 

Gay Women’s Gathering: An Evening on Lesbian Pregnancy

path-to-parenthood-conference-2017A free event hosted in various cities which will feature a doctor, attorney, and sperm bank rep discussing everything you need to know about working with sperm donors, legal safeguards for LGBT families during the Trump-era and medical procedures, like insemination and in vitro fertilization, and Zika avoidance.
When/Where: Huston – March 22
Dallas – March 30
Miami – April 19
Beverly Hills – April 26
Learn More: http://www.path2parenthood.org/events

 

While online research can teach you a lot about infertility and the egg donation process, attending a conference will give you access to medical professionals, attorneys, and people just like you who can provide first hand testimony about their experience.

These conferences are intended to be informative and supportive during your family-planning journey. Now that you have this year’s line-up for conferences, which ones will you be attending?


2017 Calendar for Fertility and IVF Professionals

The following calendar is intended for professionals serving in the fertility, reproductive medicine, and advanced reproductive technology field.

Back by popular demand, we now have the 2017 calendar for reproductive medicine and A.R.T. professionals ready for you to download!

We created this calendar to help professionals in our industry be mindful of relevant events, observances, and fertility and IVF conferences throughout the year. These events are united in their aim to spread awareness, advance education, and provide appreciation to tireless colleagues helping patients conceive.

To download the free calendar, complete with conference hyperlinks, click here. Would you prefer a calendar for your wall? E-mail us so that we can send you a professionally printed copy!


Notable events, observances and conferences:

January

1/6-7 (Fri-Sat): Sixth Southwest Embryology Summit

March

3/22-26 (Wed-Sun): The 65th Annual Meeting of the Pacific Coast Reproductive Society

3/30 (Thurs): National Doctors’ Day

April

4/23-29 (Sun-Sat): Medical Laboratory Professionals Week

4/23-29 (Sun-Sat): National Infertility Awareness Week®

4/26 (Wed): Administrative Professionals’ Day

4/28-29 (Fri-Sat): Embryologist’s Summit Conference

4/27-30 (Thurs-Sun): The Donor Egg Meeting

May

5/5-6(Fri-Sat): New England Fertility Society 15th Annual Meeting/2nd Quarterly Meeting

 

5/6-12 (Sat-Fri): National Nurses Week

5/14-20 (Sun-Sat): National Women’s Health Week

5/18-20 (Thurs-Sat): American Association of Bioanalysts Educational Conference

June

6/15-17 (Thurs-Sat): Midwest Reproductive Symposium 2017

6/12-18 (Mon-Sun): Men’s Health Week

July

7/2-5 (Sun-Wed): ESHRE Annual Meeting

7/16-19 (Sun-Wed): 30th Annual IVF and Embryo Transfer Conference

September

PCOS Awareness Month

9/14-16 (Thurs-Sat): Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society 61st Annual Meeting

October

10/4-8 (Wed-Sun): 19th World Congress on IVF

10/28-11/1 (Sat-Wed): 73rd Annual Meeting of the ASRM

10/15 (Sun): Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

10/16 (Mon): Boss’ Day

November

SART data due


Books for Children Conceived through Egg Donation

 

For parents gifted with children conceived through egg donation, it’s important to tell them about their origins. However, it might be a hard or awkward conversation to start. Parents may worry how to present many subjects surrounding donated eggs—sperm, eggs, egg donors, pregnancy, IVF, surrogacy—in language that children can understand, while also taking their age into account.

Fortunately, many children’s authors and illustrators have created a wide range of books to help parents of egg donor children start the conversation. We’ve put together a beginning list of recommended books for parents of donor offspring to share with their kids.

 

Books for Children Conceived through Egg Donation

  • One More Giraffe by Kim Noble. Ages 5 and under.A board book that introduces the key concepts about babies and egg donation, and how some people (or in this case giraffes) need help to be able to be a Mommy or a Daddy.
  • donor conceived childrens book one more giraffeThe Pea That Was Me: An Egg Donation Story by Kimberly Kluger-Bell. Ages 3-5. With age appropriate language and clear but simple concepts, the story talks about how it takes an egg, a sperm and a “tummy” to make a baby; that Mommy’s eggs weren’t working quite right; and why Mommy and Daddy needed the help of a very special person: an egg donor. Psychotherapist and reproductive specialist Kim Kluger-Bell has written a series of other books addressing reproduction topics for younger children, including The Pea That Was Me: A Two Dads’ Egg Donation and Surrogacy Story.donor egg childrens book the pea that was me
  • A Part Was Given and an Angel Was Born by Rozanne Nathalie. Ages 4-8. By using phrases such as “a part in mommy just didn’t work as it should,” this book tries to lighten the “heaviness” that an accompany the topic of egg donation by emphasizing the love that surrounds it.Donor conceived childrens book-part was given angel was born
  • Mommy, Was Your Tummy Big? by Caroline Nadel. Ages 5 and under. A mother elephant explains her use of donor eggs to her child. With vivid illustrations and simple language (“Mommy, was your tummy big?”) this book can help parents who used in vitro fertilization and donor eggs begin to explain the process to small children. The book has been praised by many mental health professionals who work with fertility issues. A Spanish version is available through the author’s website.Mommy was your tummy big - Donor conceived children's book
  • Phoebe’s Family: A Story about Egg Donation by Linda Stamm and Joan Clipp. Ages 5-10. Phoebe’s mom tells her the wonderful and unique story of how she came to be through egg donation. Along the way, Phoebe hears about the challenges her parents faced in trying to have a baby, as well as the ultimate good news of her birth into a warm and loving family. Great for elementary school-aged kids.Donor conceived childrens book - A story about egg donation
  • The Twin Kangaroo Treasure Hunt: A Gay Parenting Story by Carmen Martinez Jover. Ages 2-6. An introduction to the concepts of donor eggs and surrogacy for children with gay dads.Donor egg conceived childrens book - Kangaroo treasure hunt
  • A Tiny Itsy Bitsy Gift of Life, an Egg Donor Story by Carmen Martinez Jover. Ages 2-6. A donor story about a happy rabbit couple who have everything—except a baby bunny. One day a good lady rabbit brings them a tiny itsy bitsy gift of life: an egg. A Spanish edition is also available.Donor conceived children's book - Tiny itsy bitsy gift of life

 

With the holiday season upon us, a book that the whole family can share is a wonderful gift.For children conceived with the help of donor eggs, books are a great way to begin their journey of self-discovery. Do you have any more books you’d like to add to this list?


Gestational Surrogacy and Frozen Donor Eggs

 

For some families hoping for a child of their own, donor eggs may not be enough. Some couples need to also rely on a gestational surrogate for a successful pregnancy. A gestational surrogate is a woman who carries a pregnancy and delivers a baby for another family. This surrogate if often not related to the baby she carries; the pregnancy is achieved through IVF with another egg, which can be a donor egg.

So when is a gestational surrogate the best option, and how does it relate to the use of donor eggs — especially frozen donor eggs?

 

Surrogacy for Women Facing Infertility

A woman may have an issue with her uterus that prevents a pregnancy from being carried safely to term, this includes a missing uterus due to surgery or other health difficulties. At the same time, she may also have problems with her eggs due to age, ovarian health, or other genetic factors. The decision to use donor eggs, as well as a surrogate to carry the pregnancy, is a difficult decision. But for couples faced with these fertility problems, surrogacy with donor eggs represents their best chance at parenthood.

 

Surrogacy for Gay Males Couples Building Families

Male couples longing for their own children now have the option to use donor eggs with a surrogate. The definition of family is expanding, yet sometimes adoption can be a daunting process for male couples. Instead, surrogacy with donor eggs offers the chance to start their own family.

 

How Do Families Find a Surrogate?

Find a surrogate is not an easy process. Some couples go through agencies to find a healthy, screened young woman to act as a gestational surrogate. Some go through private channels to find one on their own. Both routes to find a gestational surrogate are emotionally and legally complicated, and take time, patience, and money.

 

What’s Involved with Using Donor Eggs and a Gestational Surrogate?

The steps involved with donated eggs and surrogacy are time-consuming and complex, especially if families decide to use fresh donor eggs from a live donor.

  • Both women have to find time in their busy lives for what is, after all, a major commitment for both (but especially for the surrogate).
  • Legal documents have to be signed.
  • In-depth screening must be completed for donor and surrogate.
  • Both women’s menstrual cycles have be synchronized through medication.
  • There are also travel arrangements and expenses for the couple, the donor, and the surrogate.
  • There’s no guarantee how the donor will respond to the medication, or how many eggs will be retrieved.

All the time and expense involved with a gestational surrogate can be very difficult for couples seeking a chance at parenthood through this method.

 

How Frozen Donor Eggs Can Help

Frozen donor eggs from a donor egg bank such as Fairfax EggBank have already been retrieved from rigorously screened donors, extraordinary women who have already taken the time and effort to donate their eggs. What does this mean for the surrogacy process?

  • Less time. With frozen donor eggs, the screening and retrieval have already been completed.
  • Less worry. Families only need to focus on the needs and scheduling of one special woman, the surrogate.
  • Less expense. No travel and legal expenses for the egg donor are required with frozen eggs.
  • Less surprise. When a couple purchases frozen donor eggs, the eggs are shipped in a cohort, or a set number of eggs. There’s no surprises about the number of eggs retrieved.

For couples hoping to build their families with the help of a gestational surrogate and donor eggs, frozen donor eggs can be a more affordable way to make their wishes come true. Please contact us if you have more questions about surrogacy with frozen eggs.

 


Who Uses Frozen Donor Eggs?

 

Donor eggs are a fast-growing option for those dealing with infertility to reach their family dreams and others wanting to have a child. Advances in egg freezing technology give the choice of frozen donor eggs—but when is this the best choice for them? In an earlier post, we explored why fresh donor eggs might be a better decision for some. So who uses frozen donor eggs, and why is it their best option?

 

Those Tired of Waiting

The old cliché says that “good things come to those who wait.” Those who arrive at the decision to use donor eggs have waited a long time already. We help many types of people, from couples who have struggled with infertility for many years, same sex couples using a surrogate, to individuals ready to do single-parenthood. For them, using fresh donor eggs means a process of finding and screening an egg donor, working with her schedule and availability, arranging travel, and syncing menstrual cycles. This can take time, but some families simply can’t wait any longer. Frozen donor eggs have already been retrieved from highly screened donors, and are ready to be shipped, thawed, and used without waiting on another person’s schedule. No need to wait any longer than you need to.

 

Those Who Need Choices

Choosing a donor can be fraught with emotion for recipients, with many physical and emotional criteria to think about. Is there such a thing as too many choices? Not when it comes to this important personal decision. Couples turn to frozen donor eggs if a wide variety and choice of donors is important. Fairfax EggBank allows you to look in our egg donor database without paying or registering, so you can see the special women who have decided to donate to our egg bank. These women, who have already undergone an extremely rigorous screening process, come from diverse backgrounds, and, most importantly, have already donated their eggs.

 

Those Wanting to Keep the Family Small

Family size is another factor in the frozen donor egg decision. When fresh donor eggs are retrieved from a donor for immediate use, there’s no guarantee on the number of eggs or resulting embryos. How will she respond to the medication? Will she donate too few—or too many? For families who want only one or two children, too many eggs can present a problem. At Fairfax EggBank, this element of surprise is no longer in play. Frozen eggs from a single donor are shipped in cohorts of 6-8 eggs. For families who want to complete their family by adding only one or two children to their future, frozen donor eggs are a good choice.

 

Those Who Want to Limit the Number of Embryos

With a fresh egg donor who ends up donating many eggs, there might be more embryos than needed for a couple that wants a smaller family. Some families are concerned about multiple births and would prefer to avoid transferring multiple embryos, or freezing them for the future. Frozen eggs are more desirable for families who want to limit the number of extra embryos they may have, and the often difficult decisions that go along with those embryos.

 

When using donor eggs, there are multiple options and choices—there’s no one right answer. If time and donor variety are major concerns, or if you require a smaller number of embryos, frozen eggs may be the better, more affordable choice. Are frozen donor eggs right for you? Please read more about frozen donor eggs, or contact us.


The Fairfax EggBank Egg Donor Screening Process – Step by Step

 

If you’re thinking about using frozen donor eggs to conceive, you need to feel secure in your choice. What is the screening process for our egg donors? How can you know you’re receiving the best quality donor eggs as you begin your journey of becoming a parent?  The answer lies in Fairfax EggBank’s rigorous screening process. We know how much is at stake for you and your family. Let’s break down the steps involved in our screening process for a prospective egg donor, from beginning to end.

 

The Journey Begins:  Multiple Locations, One Process

The donor’s journey begins at one of our clinic locations around the country, ensuring a varied range of donors. We recruit at multiple locations, but it’s important to understand that our processes are entirely centralized. Fairfax EggBank manages all recruiting and screening to ensure that every egg donor goes through the same standard of screening and testing procedures, no matter where she starts. This ensures the highest standard of accuracy, control, and quality when it comes to your precious donor eggs.

 

Complete Evaluation of Medical History and Genetics

Our team of reproductive endocrinologists, geneticists, nurses, genetic counselors and donor coordinators studies the donor’s individual and family health histories. We look very closely all aspects of her own medical history: medications, surgeries, or hospitalizations, including any previous pregnancies.

We also study her detailed three-generation family medical history. All of our screening is in accordance with stringent FDA requirements.

 

Medical Testing and Screening

After this evaluation, our donor goes through pre-testing and review by a medical director. Here we perform infectious disease screening, along with detailed genetic carrier screening for a long list of disorders. What does this involve for the donor?

  • Physical exam
  • Blood test
  • Urine drug screen
  • AMH level (evaluates a hormone affecting egg supply)
  • Cycle day 3 FSH and AFC ultrasound (evaluates hormones that stimulate egg follicles in the ovaries and their maturation and release)
  • Recent pap smear report

 

Psychological Screening and Counseling

At this stage, we conduct a psychological exam in order to assess our prospective donor’s mental health fitness, her commitment to the program, and whether or not she’s an appropriate candidate. We care about our egg donors—they’re very special people! We counsel each applicant at length on the egg donation process and how it affects her. Our donor learns about:

  • The time commitment and logistical concerns.
  • Medication and how to perform injections.
  • Physical symptoms and side effects.
  • Medical risks involved in the procedure.

 

Acceptance! The Donation Process Begins

After that intense screening process, you won’t be surprised to learn that less than .5% of our applicants are accepted into the donor program. This ensures our patients receive the highest quality donor eggs from the most committed, motivated egg donors. The egg donation process happens at one of our regional clinics. Then, thanks to our efficient, centralized process, the frozen donor eggs are shipped to our headquarters in Fairfax, VA…ready to be shipped to a recipient when she selects them.

 

Donating Again

Donors can choose to donate eggs more than once after a successful cycle. We carefully evaluate our donors to make sure they’re ready to go through the process again—their well-being is a top concern.

 

It’s a long journey for a potential egg donor…but that journey is worth it to help those struggling to have families. Our egg donors and their donated eggs have gone through tough screening requirements to ensure our recipient’s success. Want more details about our screening process? Please read our comprehensive list of screening requirements. Or please contact us to learn more about donor screening and testing.


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.

 

 ______________________________________________________

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


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.