Have you just received the news from your IVF doctor that the best chances for you to become a parent is with the help of an egg donor? If so you’re not alone. You might be feeling bewildered, angry, sad, and definitely overwhelmed. Above all we bet you have a lot of questions.
Below you will find our final bit of advice for surviving your egg donor cycle. We hope you have enjoyed our series, and you found some helpful information for your journey to parenthood!
Repeat after me: you have options!!! Don’t stop asking questions. You are in the drivers seat. You are the decision-maker. For instance you have the right to choose to select a known egg donor or you can select to have an anonymous egg donor. No one can make you look at a photo, or you can look at as many photos as they have to offer. You have the option of having your service contract reviewed by a lawyer (one you pay for but nonetheless a lawyer). It’s really OK to ask questions – this is one of the most important decisions you are ever going to make. And make sure to GET IT ALL IN WRITING!
Let’s talk about your leftover embryos. It’s important to think about what to do with leftover embryos before you have them. You may think this is jumping the gun or putting the cart before the horse but you aren’t. Thinking about what to do with leftover embryos is something you should be thinking about now. Once your family is complete, you may have leftover frozen embryos. Again it’s all about options: would you donate your embryos to another couple who are in the same boat you are? Would you donate them to science? Would you donate them to a clinic or an agency that has an embryo donation program? Would you have them destroyed?
Think about what you want to tell your children. A lot of fear surrounds egg donation and disclosure when it comes to kids. The worry is that your children will reject you, not think of you as their real mom, which causes a lot of anxiety and worry from an intended parent perspective. The reality is that being open with your children from an early age is the healthiest way to go. The resource PVED (Parents Via Egg Donation) has an amazing mental health section that talks all about disclosure, how to tell, and when to tell. Some people, for religious reasons or cultural reasons, won’t or can’t tell their children about their origins. If you find that you’re in this small sect of people, you’ll need support because keeping a secret regardless of the reason is really hard. Talking to a mental health professional about disclosure and the challenges you may face is highly encouraged if you feel you need the extra support.
Seek education and support. Education and support are the two most important things you’ll need as you embark upon this amazing journey through egg donation. You might feel overwhelmed, scared, isolated, and even alone — like you’re the only one doing this. Think again! You and about 14,000 other intended parents a year. A great resource is PVED (Parents Via Egg Donation), which helps about 9,000 intended parents annually through their private forum, as well as via email, telephone and in person.
Take time for you! Last but not least, take time for you and your partner (if you have one). Infertility alone is incredibly stressful: it can make sex impersonal, it can cause us to feel detached, and anxious. This is one of those times in your life that it’s important to lean on each other or those in your support group. Another thing to remember (regardless of how many children you decide to have via egg donation), once you’re pregnant you then become just like the millions of other parents around the globe: tired, stressed, and often overwhelmed. Regardless of how much we love our children, and regardless of how much joy they bring sometimes we as parents can become lost in the shuffle and forget who we are. So take time for you: date each other, have sex just to have sex because it feels good. Do something nice for yourself—whether that’s a massage, a walk, or carve out some alone time. Eat well, make time for exercise, and strive to get adequate rest. Last but not least: we are all in this together. It takes a village!
For more information on IVF with egg donation, The Donor Source is here to guide you through your journey. Contact us at (949) 872-2800 or toll free in the US at: (877) 375-8888. One of our caring and highly skilled case managers will be happy to help you navigate this sometimes difficult maze.