Today’s post is a guest post provided by Heidi Hayes of Donor Egg Bank USA. She is sharing glimpses of her story as well as the emotions involved in the the process of selecting donor eggs. I know many of you who are going through a donor egg or embryo adoption cycle right now, and I can only imagine the rollercoaster of emotions you are going through. I hope that this post is useful to you. If you are considering using a donor egg in your fertility treatment in the future, I hope this post helps you prepare for what to expect as you embark on this new journey.
More than 7.4 million women face fertility challenges in the United States. Every year, thousands of couples within that group look into the option of frozen donor egg IVF, but few are prepared for the emotional whirlwind that awaits them: impatience, hope, disappointment, joy, and everything in between. However, thanks to advanced technological treatments and nation-wide donor egg banks, frozen donor egg IVF is becoming more and more common. As more couples and individuals seek this option to grow their families, and start to speak out about their experiences, the emotional journey of frozen donor egg IVF is finally becoming something we can talk about.
Knowing some of the common emotions that may come up during IVF treatment can help you identify your feelings and allow you to take better care of yourself, your relationship, and your family.
Having dealt with unexplained infertility early in my marriage and trying everything from IVF to adoption, I know what the emotional landscape of this journey looks like. There are peaks, valleys, and more than a few bumps along the way. Today, I am an advocate for women, the CEO of Donor Egg Bank USA, and mother to three beautiful children. I would like to offer you the road map that I never had. My hope is that with this knowledge, you can better prepare your heart and mind for the many emotions that come with frozen donor egg IVF.
Before You Begin Treatment
You’ve chosen to move forward with frozen donor eggs and are working with a trusted clinic. What happens next? How will this process affect you emotionally?
Before any treatment cycle has started, many women will experience a sense of grief for the biological child they will never have. It is essential that you allow yourself to mourn this loss without a time limit. Different women will come to terms with this reality at different points, and no amount of days, weeks, or months is too little or too much. Just remember that by choosing to use a frozen donor egg, you still have the opportunity to experience pregnancy and develop an unbreakable bond as your little one grows inside of your womb.
Shortly after deciding on a frozen donor egg IVF program, many couples find themselves confronting the same guarded hope and skepticism that has accompanied every prior fertilization attempt. Doctors are hopeful, close friends are encouraging, yet it can still be difficult to shake off earlier disappointments and fully embrace the very real possibility that this time could be different. It will be helpful to remember just how far technology has come during these periods of uncertainty. In today’s modern world, your chances of success are greater than they’ve ever been.
Physician consultations, diagnostic testing, medications, and nervous excitement typically occupy the month leading up to the IVF treatment. Everything can begin to feel like a threat to your pregnancy and paranoia can be a powerful temptation, but don’t give in. Just breathe deeply and try to relax. Now is the time to trust in your treatment and in your body’s ability to take care of the egg you’ve selected.
Should your frozen embryo result in a healthy, happy baby – the ending practically writes itself. You hold your baby in your arms and you know, unequivocally, that it was all worth it in the end.
If your treatment cycle does not have the outcome you hoped for, do not despair. Medical advances have come a long way, so couples should take heart that a failed first cycle is never the end.
If you are journeying through IVF and haven’t already heard it from your doctor, partner, family, and friends, then please hear it now: treat yourself kindly. Infertility is not your fault and it is not forever. Listen to your needs, temper your impatience with gentleness, and, above all, don’t give up.
Author Bio: Heidi Hayes is the CEO of Donor Egg Bank USA. She has more than 20 years of healthcare experience and has worked extensively in the field of reproductive endocrinology. Heidi and her husband are the parents of three children and have built their family through adoption and donor egg treatment. Heidi is particularly passionate about frozen donor egg because it offers the unique opportunity of immediate treatment at about half the cost of traditional donor egg. Pregnancy success rates are nearly equal to that of fresh donor egg and parents are also given the option of a money back guarantee if a baby is not delivered. Through her work, Heidi has helped hundreds of couples realize the dream of family.