I was 22 with two miscarriages in my history when I found out I would probably need to use donor eggs. So while I was just getting used to the fact that I could buy my own alcohol, I was told that any preconception of an idea I had for a family would probably not happen. Over 9 years I grew, I changed, over and over again. I found myself, and lost myself, and found myself again. I experienced life, loss, and more of the same. Through all that time, whether we were actively thinking of TTC or not, the thought was never far from my mind that I may never have the child I had longed dreamed of.
When we started our journey over 9 years ago we never expected to have two losses very quickly and to be told to make the choice between enduring the risks of using my eggs or making the choice to use donor eggs. We never expected that when we finally took the leap of IVF with donor eggs that we would then endure two more losses.
But here I am. All struggles, and current risks aside, I am pregnant, and my baby girl is possible because of a woman, who chose selflessly, to give her eggs to a faceless couple she had never met. She chose to put her body through more than necessary in order to give us 25 eggs. Out of those 25 eggs, 10 embryos thrived, and after three transfers, 7 of those embryos were given the possibility of life, while the other three remain cryopreserved. Out of those 7 transferred embryos, we are now carrying our one miracle baby.
A little girl. My daughter.
Infertility brings us all to the point where we have to decide what our limits are. Some women stop at the line of pursuing medications, some never want to consider IVF, donor eggs, donor sperm, adoption, etc. Everyone has to make the decision that they can live with.
For us, using donor eggs was never something we struggled with. I won’t lie and tell you there hasn’t been moments of sadness that I will not see what my genetics will look like mixed with my husbands, it is just not something I typically put much thought into.
I do not shy away from talking about our donor, or my child’s link to her. I am open and up front with telling anyone who makes comments like “she will probably have (insert one of my features here)”, about the donor that made her possible. While I respect that some people can’t, or won’t be as open about their donor egg journey as I’ve been, I am incredibly grateful to have a very supportive family and circle of people in my life, and I want to share this part of our journey openly with anyone who will listen.
When I remind people of the donor, I often get replies like, “I just don’t think of that” or my least favorite, “Well that really doesn’t matter, she is still YOURS,”. I cringe at this one, because it DOES matter, and the fact that it does matter, does not make her less “mine”. I am thankful for the technology that makes all this possible, I am obviously undoubtedly thankful for the donor who gave her eggs, and I am immeasurably thankful to God for this life I have been given.
I want my daughter to grow up knowing that someone in this world, was kind enough to give her the gift of life. I want her to know that there is good in the world. I want her to know about all the pain and struggle we endured for her to be here, and I want her to know that despite it all that she is a reality. I want her to know that it doesn’t make her any less “mine”, or any less herself. That who she is will not be defined by the physical traits that do or do not look like the ones around her. She will never have to know what it feels like to fear being herself. She will never have to hide her truth from me. She will never have to question if my love for her will withstand the mistakes she will make.
She will not have my eyes, but she will have my unconditional love.
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