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.

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

“You won’t be able to have a baby on your own”: Words that no one wishing to conceive wants to hear. Frankly, I wish no couple or individual has to hear them.

I don’t have to tell you about how this all feels like being a roller coaster; you’re most likely a reluctant rider too.

I embarked on my roller coaster ride in my late 20’s, though everything else took off as planned initially. It started by finally meeting the man I had been waiting for; the one whom I couldn’t wait to start a life with. We had a fairytale wedding and moved into our dream home together. Having a child was the next item down on our checklist. But, as months turned into a year with no pregnancy to bear, we turned to see a reproductive endocrinologist to see if he can easily fix our issue. Boy, was I wrong thinking it would be easy.

The Diagnosis

After my reproductive endocrinologist took what felt like half of my weight in blood to test for hormones and diseases, followed by a laparoscopy, he gave me my diagnosis: endometriosis. I had the severe type: the type that distorts pelvic anatomy and gets in the way of making a baby.

I still thought it wouldn’t be difficult to conceive despite this diagnosis. I figured drug treatment can help suppress endometriosis, and once I did the baby dance at the right time, BAM! I’d be pregnant.  Well, it obviously didn’t happen that way.

Months later, I developed a large ovarian cyst that caused me to be very, very sick. I couldn’t work for two months and it got so bad that I needed emergency surgery. Devastatingly, from this surgery I lost my ovary, fallopian tube, and appendix.

The pain I felt post-operation was indescribable, and it lasted over a month. Despite this, I pushed myself like heck to heal. I wanted to start IVF so badly, especially knowing my chances of conceiving naturally were that much lower with one ovary.

The Path to Donor Egg

To my excitement, in just two months after surgery, I was cleared to start IVF. However, the endometriosis and ovarian cysts still got in the way, and over the course of two years I completed two IVF cycles and one FET cycle – all resulting in BFNs (“big fat negatives” for those not on infertility boards).

My doctor explained that my egg quality was most likely being impacted by my endometriosis, and that my chance for success in future cycles was low. He recommended we look into donor egg or surrogacy.

My husband and I actually had the conversation two years prior to our journey about using potential donors on either side if we needed to. At that time, my answer was “heck no”.

But now that we were at this critical decision point, we thought about it more. If we chose surrogacy, we wouldn’t have the joy of seeing the first positive pregnancy test, or hear the dulcet sound of a heartbeat. To us, that meant the world.

We decided to pursue donor egg. And I can tell you I have never regretted this decision, not even for a second.

 

Have questions for Heather? E-mail success@fairfaxeggbank.com

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Heather’s Blog Series:

#1: Intro to my Donor Egg Story

#2: First Comes Love, then Comes Marriage, then Comes…Infertility?

#3: Our Decision to Use Frozen Donor Eggs

#4: Selecting an Egg Donor

#5: Three Resources to Use for Your Donor Egg Research


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.


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


2016 Calendar for Fertility Professionals

Need key events for 2017? Download our 2017 calendar here.

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

We created the following 2016 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.


Notable events, observances and conferences:

January

Monday, 1/4-5 – Fifth Southwest Embryology Summit

March

Wednesday, 3/9-13 – The 64th Annual Meeting of the Pacific Coast Reproductive Society

Wednesday, 3/30 – Doctor’s Day

April

Friday, 4/1-3 – New England Fertility Society 14th Annual Meeting/2nd Quarterly Meeting

Sunday, 4/24-30 – Medical Laboratory Professionals Week

Sunday, 4/24-30 – National Infertility Awareness Week®

Wednesday, 4/27 – Administrative Professionals Day

Thursday, 4/28 – The Donor Egg Meeting

May

Friday, 5/6-12 – National Nurses Week

Sunday, 5/8-14 – National Women’s Health Week

Thursday, 5/12-14 – American Association of Bioanalysts 60th Anniversary Educational Conference

June

Thursday, 6/16 – Midwest Reproductive Symposium 2016

Monday, 6/13 – Men’s Health Week

July

Sunday, 7/3-6 – ESHRE Annual Meeting

Sunday, 7/17-20 – 29th Annual IVF and Embryo Transfer Conference

Monday, 7/25 – World Embryologist Day

September

PCOS Awareness Month

October

Saturday, 10/15-19 – 72nd Annual Meeting of the ASRM

Saturday, 10/15 – Pregnancy and Infertility Loss Awareness Day

Sunday, 10/16 – Boss’ Day

November

TBD SART data due


Support and More: Infertility Resources

 

If you’re struggling with infertility, the world can feel a little lonely at times as you navigate a sea of options. But you’re not alone. Many people are going through the same thing you are, and they can offer support, advocacy, and information. Here’s a short roundup of organizations, support and educational web sites, and infertility blogs we recommend.

  • RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association is a well-known national organization advocating for and supporting infertility patients. They offer support groups around the country, publications, a directory of providers, and much more. They also advocate on a national and local level for policies and legislation that affect the infertile community. The Walk of Hope is their annual community and fundraising event; see if there’s one near you! They also sponsor National Infertility Awareness Week every year.
  • ReproductiveFacts.org is the patient-centered site from The American Society for Reproductive Medicine. It’s an exhaustive guide to fertility, with a complete topics index, lists of publications, and directories of providers. You can also keep up on the latest scientific studies and discoveries in the fertility field.
  • People dealing with infertility know how emotionally difficult it can be. The Infertility Therapist is a recently restarted blog addressing the emotional aspects of experiencing infertility. It’s written by Lisa Rouff, PhD, a clinical psychologist who specializes in infertility counseling.
  • Trained therapists can help with individual sessions, workshops, and support groups. Try asking your own clinic to see if they have any recommendations for therapists specializing in infertility issues. For example, The Genetics & IVF Institute, our parent company, offers support groups and workshops for fertility patients in Northern Virginia with professional therapist Phyllis F. Martin. RESOLVE provides a thorough list of professional services around the country aimed at infertility patients and features a directory of mental health specialists.
  • Creating a Family is the national adoption and infertility education organization, offering blogs, radio shows, and much more. They pride themselves on being an unbiased source of information about all things related to family building. Recently they hosted a radio show on Preserving Your Fertility When Diagnosed with Cancer, featuring Dr. Michelle Ottey, from Fairfax Cryobank, our sister company and Dr. Stephen Lincoln and Lauren Haring, Co-Founders of the Fertility Preservation Center for Cancer Patients at GIVF.
  • Bloggers can be a great support network if you’re feeling isolated, especially when they’re written by someone who’s already walked in your shoes. Sometimes a new perspective or a dose of humor can really help. The Infertility Voice is great jumping-off point to other blogs, more information, and support. Another blog to check out isThe Stirrup Queens. It was created by author Melissa Ford; she blogs on many topics, including infertility, and her site offers humor, insight, book reviews, links to other bloggers and peer counselors, and lots more.

These are just a few places to start looking online (and in real life) as you search for answers and hope on your infertility journey. Know of another great resource or blog to share? Please share it in our comments or on our Facebook page!