I had a great donor experience
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12/17/2009 11:48 AM
Thanks Hoping. I certainly don't want to imply in any way that I think either choice (to tell or not to tell) is right or wrong. I'm sure I will continue to struggle with it a bit, and I completely understand the decisions for the "no tell" group as well. If I were younger, and it were more realistic that I could have just done regular IVF, the circle of those in the know would probably be much, much smaller. But you're so right that the media gives us this false hope that you can easily get pregnant in your forties, when, for many women, that's just not true! I have many friends in their late thirties/early forties and I feel some sort of obligation to let them learn from my experiences so that they aren't as devastated as I was to find that window of fertility slammed shut. We're meeting with our therapist in late December to discuss all of this more, and I think after that will feel ready to move forward, start looking at profiles (our clinics gives childhood photos, but no current ones), and get the process going. Thanks for letting me vent some of my feelings here with you gals. I'm already feeling less sad about my eggs and more excited about the possibilities of creating our family thanks to some generous young woman willing to donate her eggs.

12/16/2009 10:39 PM
Wannabe - Wow... I cannot believe your donor was that anonymous. I actually saw pictures and short profiles online and choose from them. From the ladies we chose we got a 20-25 page profile on each one, including more pictures and even pictures of the donor's family (mom, dad, siblings). We narrowed it down to 10 and then 2 from there. One of the two was not available, so that made out choice.

Sal - When we saw the therapist who specializes in donor therapy, she stated Stanford University did a study with children who found out they were products of donation (either egg or sperm) and what they found was that all of the children were well adjusted, so the "tell club" is a good thing. My reasons for not telling have to do more with the judgments around me. I am 39 and I suppose it could be possible for someone my age to get pregnant without donor egg. I commend your choice, especially as to not mislead any other older women. I often think of writing to Oprah and telling her to do a show, so more women can find out the realities of this. So many women in Hollywood are getting pregnant as "older" women that it makes it seem like the norm, but the truth is many of them are using donor egg and not disclosing that. Those who did not use donor egg are certainly using Reproductive Therapy to help them. I could have benefited from such a show several years ago. Who knows, maybe I would have decided to try earlier and avoided all this heartache. Keep in touch how things are going for you. As always I am happy to share my experiences. Good luck moving forward.

12/16/2009 5:08 PM
Here's the link to the article I mentioned. http://www.fitpregnancy.com/yourpregnancy/fertility_conception/40722747.html
It's a really great article about the joys of having babies via egg donation. Reading it gives me hope. (as does reading posts from those of you who've already gone down this road.)

12/16/2009 12:29 PM
Thank you both so much for your thoughts. It makes me feel much better knowing that I'm not alone out here with all these conflicting emotions! My husband gets it to a point, but he's also so incredibly practical that once the doctor gave us those dismal stats for my own eggs, his brain is able to just move on to the next option. I am also able to do that to a point, but the emotional part keeps slipping back in and clouding my judgement. We've talked about it a bit and I think we'd be in the "tell" camp. I've already discussed the possibility with several friends, and we'd definitely tell our families. I guess for me, it's partly just reality. I will turn 45 by the time we try (and hopefully get pregnant) with donor eggs. And I hate to perpetuate the myth that you really could have a healthy baby any other way at that age. But it is such a personal decision, and I don't think there is any right answer. There is a wonderful article in Fit Pregnancy on line about a woman who had twins via egg donor. I'll try to find the link and post it here. Every time I read it I feel a little bit better about the idea of making our family that way.

12/13/2009 3:12 PM
Hi Hoping2.....as of right now, we are thinking that we will likely not ever tell anyone. It's a tough choice. We've so far decided this route because our donor is completely anonymous. We have very little information on her, nothing that would ever lead our kids to her, so what is the point really. Her medical history shows nothing out of the norm that would need to be disclosed in the future so that end is covered also. The only person that knows is my OB and we have asked her to not even include that in our medical charts which she agreed to. She did not have me do an amnio since our donor is 23.

If the case were that we had photos, names, etc. to share with our babies, I would be more inclined to tell them. But, for the extremely limited amount of info that we have, it just seems like it would be more frustrating than anything. That's our decision for now. I am an incredibly honest & forthright person, so that is the biggest challenge but think I'll be OK because I truly feel it will be best for our kids.

It's a huge decision though. Good luck with everything!

12/12/2009 7:37 PM
Wannabe - My significant other and I are also part of the "no tell" club. Other than us, two people know (my mother and my personal traniner - she's a good friend of mine). My 16 year old son does not know. In fact he was learning about genetics in school and gave me a lecture about how many things can go wrong with "older" eggs. I didn't have it in me to tell him the eggs I used were only 23 years old. We are not even sure about telling the child. How do you guys feel about that?

12/11/2009 11:07 PM
Hi Sal,

The way you are feeling is completely normal and I think really healthy. After our last IVF attempt with my own eggs resulted in a non-pregnancy, I mourned. I cried on & off for a month or so. Then, we decided to take the first step toward DE by meeting with the required phycologist. I cried through half of that appointment. It is totally natural to mourn the loss of a possible genetic child and I think a big part of the healing process. So, let the tears flow.

Now, all that said, once we decided to go forward, everything changed for me. Just prior to my transfer (a few days before) I had 1 last moment of doubt but knew it would pass. As Hoping said, the moment I saw my beautiful embryos, I became like a Mama Bear and was so excited & protective of them. I have not had a single moment or twinge even since the transfer. I am currently 18 1/2 weeks pregnant with twins. I am so eternally grateful that someone generous, unknown woman out there gave me this precious gift. These babies are mine in every way. I needed a single cell from someone to make this happen, but my body is carrying them, nurturing them, & loving them.

My husband & I are in the "no tell" group. It is something to really consider with your husband before proceeding. We are not telling anyone at this time that we used DE, they all think we just were finally successful with our own IVF cycle. We may decide to tell our children someday, or we may not. We don't know yet. It is very important to search your heart before and come to an agreement with your spouse because once you tell someone, you can't "untell".

Initially, I thought I was going to be so wrapped up in the profiles of the donors, obsessed to find the one who most looks like me. Well, in the end, that wasn't the part that mattered most to us. We saw no pictures but got a great vibe about her from our RE who thought she'd be perfect for her. In reading her personality part of her profile, so many of the things she said sounded just like me. That's what sold both of us.

It is truly heartbreaking & hard to give up on your own eggs. It's terrible that our bodies just wear down on us and we run out of time. Who knows, maybe someday that will change. But, I can honestly say from the heart, if you decide to go forward with DE, you will love that baby every bit as much as your own genetic child.

Feel free to ask questions, to vent, to rant, whatever you need to do here. It is a very excepting place to share your feelings. It's a safe place to come to where others understand exactly what you are going through.

Good luck to you & your hubby. I pray that your miracle finds you too!

12/11/2009 10:25 PM
Sal - You are most welcome for the honesty and thank you so much for your well wishes. I am here if you have any additional questions. In the meantime, try to focus on the "baby" and not where he/she will come from. My sister was adopted and my mother always said that when she was placed in her arms she instantly felt like she was hers. I always remember that. Once that baby is growing inside you, it will not matter how it happened, he/she will feel like yours. Take the time to need to process. You will know when you are ready. Keep me posted.

12/11/2009 7:37 PM
Thank you, Hoping. I appreciate your honesty. I'm sure I will feel exactly the same way. And I think you're right that I just have to give myself some time to process it in order to be ready to move on. My fingers (and toes!) are crossed for you. I hope to check back here in a couple of weeks and see a report of BFP from you!!

12/11/2009 6:49 PM
Sal- Yesterday I just had a FET with donor embryo. I can honestly say that when they showed us the pictures of the embryos before the implanted them, I never thought "oh those are my embryos with donor egg". They felt like mine. Also, when I used fresh and transferred in September, I got pregnant, but m/c'd. I felt every minute that child was mine. My feeling is that it's not where the DNA comes from that makes that baby yours. It is who will care for the baby and be its mother. I did not really go through any mourning stage when I decided to use donor. It was a little frustrating because I was 37 when I tried to get pregnant (now 39) and I thought it would easy. But my ultimate goal is to be a mommy and it doesn't matter how that happens. Give yourself sometime to process it. I assure you the excitement of it all is the same. I am happy to share my experiences I had through this process. Just let me know what you would like to know.

12/11/2009 12:02 PM
We were considering trying one round of IVF with my eggs and doing pre-implantation genetic testing so that they would only implant chromosomally normal embryos. But our doctor just told us that at my age (44) there's only 5 to 8% chance of any one embryo being chromosomally normal. I guess that answers my question about what to do. I just really felt like I wasn't ready to give up on my own eggs yet, but I'm trying to put it aside and embrace moving on to donor eggs. Our clinic has an 85% success rate with donor egg IVF, so it's a very promising option. Did any of you DE users out there go through a sort of mourning phase while trying to make this decision? Every time I try to make myself look at donor profiles I start to get so sad that I have to do that and can't just make our own baby. I know it will feel 100% ours once we do it, I just have to figure out how to get through this sadness first.

11/27/2009 1:30 PM
What insurance covers donor eggs??

11/20/2009 2:03 PM
Hi Sal22.....I did 2 rounds (3rd was canceled) of IVF with my own eggs before moving on to DE. I was blessed to get pregnant on my first round of DE and we implanted 2 grade A blasts that were both just starting to hatch. We debated on the day of transfer whether to transfer 1 or 2. My hubby really didn't want twins at that point. I knew that this may be our last chance, financially speaking, so I decided I would rather transfer 2 and risk twins than transfer 1 and not get pregnant. My RE & hubby agreed. Now that we are pregnant, my hubby & I are both thrilled that we have twins coming. We are both so close to our families and are very grateful that our babies will have a full sibling to grow up with. We still have 4 snowbabies as well.

I'm on another site that is specifically geered to DE. I see so many women on that site that do not get pregnant with DE right away. Some have multiple tries just like regular IVF. Some get pregnant with twins and then experience a "vanishing twin" and end up giving birth to a singleton. Some get pregnant and have a m/c. The other site just did a poll, btw, and it showed that the success rates were much higher with a fresh cycle and only about 50% of the time with a FET. All that said, there is no clear cut way to go. Just search your feelings and you'll know the best option for you.

Hope that helps. If you have any other questions, please just let me know. Good luck to you!!

11/19/2009 8:08 PM
I have a question for Seacoast and WannaBeAMommy--how many rounds did you do before becoming pregnant with donor eggs? And I see that both of you are expecting twins (congrats!!). Did you implant two embryos? I'm nervous about twins and wondering if you ever considered implanting just one?

11/15/2009 6:23 PM
Hi everyone! I am usually just a reader but felt compelled to post to get your valuable advise. Failed another IVF round last week and DH and I are ready to move onto another option. We have had a generous offer to receive donor embryos that have already been created with donor eggs and my brother-in-laws sperm. The donor eggs previously resulted in twins who would ultimately be biological siblings of our children (should that be the result of the embryos). What are your thoughts on this? I am struggling with long-term guidance for all of the children involved and how family and friends will accept these children.

11/15/2009 8:07 AM
Hello all - first post to this site. I am currently 14+ weeks pregnant with twins via egg donation. I am 44 (husband 40) and have been trying for 2+ years to get pregnant. We are "oldlyweds" so started this all a little late. We did a round of IUI (mostly because they were testing my "reserves" and had drugs on board), then a round of IVF (got pregnant but only made it to 6+ weeks), and a second round of IVF (never even got preggers). At that point our doctor told us our odds were just as good "the old fashioned way".

Our insurance covers nothing, but I have an extremely generous relative who's been helping us and so egg donations was an option. Our clinic gave us a list of both local (New England) and national agencies and we used their Match.com-like websites to narrow down our choices on our own. Having printed out the "contenders", we ended up using a score sheet and blind-scored between the two of us, and both chose the same donor. Obviously medical history and general "feeling" about the donor (as much as you can get from the long list of survey answers) were tops, but we also considered looks (not wanting someone my total opposite and in the hopes that I might just fool one person on a playground somewhere in my life...), education (understanding that opportunity plays a larger role than actual intelligence), etc. We also considered pregnancy history (our donor ended up having none) and donor history (likewise none) - so obviously those weren't deemed "important" by us in the end.

Once we'd made our selection and confirmed her availability (which was delayed slightly as she is a schoolteacher with a new job and wanted to wait for the summer break), our practice was then tasked with approving her - through medical, fertility, and social-psych appointments. They, in fact, had the final say on our donor - and gratefully she passed with flying colors.

As for the emotions of this all, again we've not been at it as long as some so this has not been a "very long road" in my mind. While initially I was very saddened to not be able to lend my own genes to the mix, the concept of being the "biological" parent and getting to (having to?) go through the pregnancy was great consolation - though of course slightly feels like a "consolation prize" at the same time... Adoption, to that point, had not been an option for my husband - still feeling that "must create my own progeny" type thang for himself, being fertile and without issue. However, having embarked on this process, he has since decided that further family growth could include adoption.

Hopefully, however, with two on board and seemingly growing fine and hearts a'beating just fine, we will indeed parent twins and have our family complete.

For anyone debating the donor thing - please know that there are an incredibly wide choice of amazing young women out there who are willing to go through this for you (anonymously or not) and with that choice comes the ability to do some pretty cool (though creepy...) "genetic selection" of women that don't show obesity, cancer, diabetes, etc. in their family trees. We feel like we've given our children a bit of an edge over my stale old genes which do, in fact, have those likely possibilities.

Now, here's to hoping these two stick around for another 6 months or so!

11/7/2009 3:28 PM
Hi Trying2StayPositive--Not sure why my discussion of IVF and donor eggs ended up on the "success stories" page, but you should look there for WannaBeAMommy's inspiring post about her donor experience. My husband and I are also considering using a donor egg. I'm 44. I recently got pregnant on our third round of IUI, but miscarried at 9 weeks--turns out the baby had Turner's Syndrome. Knowing how likely my eggs at this age are to have those sorts of abnormalities, I'm starting to embrace the idea of using an anonymous donor (our clinic pre-screens them before we even start looking at profiles). In an ideal world, I'd want a baby that is genetically both of ours, but I also know that getting to experience pregnancy and childbirth will make that child feel 100% mine. It's a very personal decision though. We're seeing a counsellor who is helping us figure out what it means to both us and make sure we really are completely okay with it before we move forward. Whatever you decide, good luck!

11/7/2009 1:26 PM
Hi trying2staypositive...... I just posted a response to a couple of other gals under the "Success Stories" forum that I thought you might want to read as it's about DE. I've had a wonderful experience with it and am now 13 1/2 weeks pregnant with twins. I also posted the website that I had mentioned on here before regarding DE. If you have any other thoughts or questions you want to discuss, please feel free to ask. I know others on this site are exploring the DE option but not sure if anyone else has actually made the leap yet. I hope you are doing well in your decision making process. Good luck and I wish you success!

10/30/2009 11:06 AM
Hi Ladies-

Trying2StayPositive here--I'm new to this thread. I am 44 and have had one successful IVF (with a 2 yr old daughter) and subsequently two unsuccessful cycles this year. We want to have another baby and are thinking about giving it one more shot with ED. My DH is (almost) on board with the ED. His biggest concern seem to be how the kids (assuming it works) will handle the fact that they don't have the same biological parents. I think he is also concerned I may freak out down the road about the fact that the ED child is not 'mine'. I love kids and want more children; I want a sibling for our daughter. Adoption would be fine with me but he won't even talk about this option. I see the ED route as being better than adoption because I get to carry the baby, nurse him/her and be his/her mom in every possible way aside from providing their initial genetic material. I feel like an ED child would be my child.

I'd like to talk to any of you -- off list if desired -- about ED, how you approached it, how you feel about it, whether the issue of 'are these my kids?' ever entered into the psychological equation. I'm also curious to hear whether anyone else had to have a 'fight' with their DH about the ED option. My DH was very very opposed but is considering it now. Still not sure we'll do it though.

I pray we end up going for it because I don't want to give up!

Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

4/19/2009 11:44 AM
Hi lindylu -

I am so sorry for your pain. I truly am. I know exactly how it feels. It's just awful and the ups and downs are so difficult. On top of it, no one understands. It can make one obsessive. I know that's mainly what I think about...babies.

So tell me, are you doing your IVF cycle next month? Keep me posted.

As far as donor eggs, I would definitely get that in the works. Let me know if you go that route, since I just did it, I would be happy to share my experience on anything.

Another option you may want to consider: Embryo Adoption. That's what I'm looking into right now. The National Embryo Donation Center is a storage facility that has donated embryos. I think the cost is considerably lower than other types of IVF. They ship anywhere in the US. (That just sounded strange, but you know what I mean).

Hang in there!

4/17/2009 3:16 PM
Hi everyone, thanks for all the good thoughts and wishes. my dr actually says i'm not a good candidate, because my fsh is a little on the high side, and i won't produce enough eggs for a good retrieval.
Girlatheart, i'm so sorry about the miscarriage. everyone keeps telling me each month, well you can try again next month..." you know it's true, but it still doesn't help at all. i, personally, am a very impatient person, which doesn't help at all! i don't want to wait til next month, i want it to work now!

therefore, i won't say something to you so cliche as that, just know that i will be thinking of you for your next available cycle with the donor egg.

i am actually feeling a lot better this week. last weekend and the first part of this week were awful, knowing that i'm just sitting here doing nothing! there again, my patience problem! however, i feel much better emotionally and am once again looking forward to starting my next period, and proceeding next cycle with the meds. i too can only afford one chance with these medications, since i have no help with my crappy insurance! i am going to go ahead and get on the list for the donor, and hopefully will not have to wait too long. but, hopefully this will work and i won't need to!

again, i wish you all the best, and will be thinking of you.

4/14/2009 5:40 PM

I'm actually surprised that your doctor doesn't recommend IVF because of your age. The infertility center where I went to in California does not recommend IVF at age 45 because from I've read and during my consultation with one of the doctors, you stop producing your own egg by age 45. Did you try another fertility clinic? An ivf cycle is expensive, but good luck to you.

4/14/2009 12:43 PM
Lindylu -- Sorry, I misread your post. I understand now that your are first pursuing new protocols with IVF, THEN if that doesn't work, you'll go to donor egg.

This is great, because it gives you options (back-up plan) and a lot of hope. Good Luck!

4/13/2009 11:18 PM
Hi Lindylu,

I just read your post and am reaching out to you. I, too, am 43, and know the struggles you face with the clock ticking. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said you haven't been interested in much else and have been depressed. It can be overwhelming. I've felt the same way. It's a deep hole.

On a positive note, I am glad that you "changed your tune" and are pursuing egg donation. We had a failed IVF cycle with my eggs and then went straight to egg donation for cycle #2. (Since we had no insurance coverage, we couldn't afford to try any more cycles with my eggs. Our best chance was with donor eggs.)

I have written somewhere on this forum before that I consider having a child with donor eggs to be your biological child. It might not be your genetic baby, but it's your biological baby. You will share blood, nutrients, etc. I'd like to take credit for this, but I read it somewhere and it just "clicked" for me. It's MY child. So I'm glad you wrapped your head around that concept.

This is not to say you won't mourn the loss of a child with your DNA. I have. But I was able to move on to do donor egg IVF and felt very good about it.

I got pregnant with donor egg recently, but miscarried. They believed it was because of my husband's sperm, and not the eggs. So that was encouraging to hear.

Good luck with the process.

4/12/2009 8:54 AM
hi everyone, this is my first time here. today is my 43rd birthday, and it's probably the worst one ever. my husband and i have been trying for a little over 2 years. he is 9 years younger than me. this is my second marriage and my first husband and i tried for around 4 years, but did nothing but clomid. i was going to an office that i feel was just not interested due to my age. i have changed drs, and they have been more aggressive. i'm not really a good candidate for ivf due to age. my new dr said he was going to throw everything he could at me the next cycle, so i got letrazole, follistem, and ovidrel. i was so excited to be trying something new. i have been in a pretty deep depression over all this, and was actually feeling excited about something. i haven't really cared about anything for a while. i went friday for my ultrasound, and cysts. so after spending $3000 for the meds, (my insurance covers absolutely nothing to do with any fertility treatments) i can't do anything. i'm a complete wreck. i will see what happens next month, but as they told me, every month that passes at my age, my chances of conceiving my genetic child go down.

since i have been having such a hard time coping, i went to see the psychologist at my office. we discussed donor egg, which i was against at first. I want my and my husbands child. biological.
the psychologist said something very interesting to me, that has helped me see this as a new option. she said, that it really would be my biological child. i will have it in my body, i will nourish it, i will feel it, i will be pregnant with it, and give birth to it. there will be some genetic differences, but it would be mine.

my dr wants to give his new plan of treatment 2-3 cycles, then i'm not hesitating. i will go straight for the donor egg.

i wish everyone on this forum good luck and best wishes.

4/11/2009 3:02 PM
My seven-year-old is a one-cycle, IUI baby, and I've been trying to have another since he was two. I was 40 when I had him, and I tried seven cycles with my own eggs, 5 IUI and two IVF. No luck. When I was 45, we maxed out our insurance benefit, so I got my own policy from my employer, which covered egg donation. My husband's policy does not cover egg donation IVF cycles, but they will cover sperm donation IVF cycles. How unfair is that? We used thousands of dollars of my husbands benefits doing cycles with my own eggs when a donor cycle would probably been successful. Then, four months into my new policy and treatment toward a donor cycle, the state law mandating fertility treatment for women up to age 45 kicked in, and my treatment was interrupted because I was over 45. I appealed, and won, one cycle. In the meantime, I have asked three women, two relatives and one friend, for eggs. The relatives said no, the friend said yes, but she has apparently changed her mind since I haven't seen or talked with her (she doesn't return my calls) since Valentines Day. So now I am back looking for an anonymous donor at my clinic which has a donor bank. They had a donor for me in December, but my friend called then to say yes, so we didn't do it. I'm glad we didn't rush into any cycles, either with my friend or anonymously, because we moved to our newly built house at the end of December; only now are we getting settled in and ready emotionally and financially for an IVF cycle. And it's good to know finally what a flake my friend was; who would want a biological relative who is as unreliable and inconsiderate as her? I'm going with anonymous eggs ASAP. My only problem now is that my stock portfolio is so battered, I am reluctant to cash out for the money I need for the cycle. Anyone else too broke to do this now?

4/10/2009 7:24 PM
Although, I guess, the donor egg program is great if that is what you are ready for, no matter how low the percentage, I wouldn't give up on using my own eggs, until I knew there was no hope. I only produced 2 eggs in my IVF cycle, but my doctor still went forward and tried his best. Our embryo started growing properly, but didn't make it. Still, I am happy I gave it a shot. My goal was never to be able to say I got pregnant and gave birth, but to say I had my own biological child. I'm floored by these doctors and some women that say, "But you get to be pregnant." I would rather have a surrogate and have my own biological child, then have a donor egg just to say I'm pregnant. I know once moving forward with the donor egg women probably don't focus on the biological part. But in the beginning, isn't that why we're all paying so much money to do this. There are so many babies already on this earth to love. The only reason to do donor egg is to at least give the child the opportunity to grow up with one biological parent, to still in some way, have your husband's child. To the woman who wonders at the age of 31 should she give up on her own eggs because she's only producing 6, please don't, unless there's more to the story and you really know there's no hope. But if I were you, I wouldn't give up, unless that's really what you want to do.

3/23/2009 8:17 PM
Hello! I am new here. This imformation that you ladies have shared is great. I thought I would share my story. I have PCOS and pretty much knew I would have trouble getting pregnant since I have irregualr periods. After TTC for just a few months my GYN did a precedure called ovarian drilling. This was suppose to help me relaease my eggs. After the precedure he sent me to a fertitlty specialist. We have gone through 3 IVF cycles and I never even make it to retrival. I only produced 1-2 eggs per cycle and they said they would not go in for only 2 eggs. My Dr. told me I am going through premature ovarion failure. I just turned 31 this month. He recommends we get an egg donor. Right now we are just trying to get the last round paid off. It is just so hard to make that decsion. My husband is all for the donor but I am still in limbo. I am still just praying for a mircle!

3/18/2009 1:09 AM
Hi JJ,

You said you were getting beat up with all the cycles you've done. It has crossed my mind about these drugs we've pumped into our bodies. Right after I started Lupron, my knees started to hurt. They haven't returned to normal since I've stopped it, and that sort of worries me. I hope it's just a coincidence and not some lasting side-effect.

As far as tips for picking a donor, all I can say is medical-medical-medical. At first, I was selfishly wishing for a "pretty" donor with good physical stats, then once we got the profiles in front of us, I realized the medical history was what really mattered. To this day, I have trouble recalling our donor's physical attributes, but I sure can recite her medical background. We also went for someone who seemed smart (good GPA or career). Some of the profiles we looked at were incomplete and we passed on them; ask to have any gaps or missing information clarified by your clinic.

(Oh - I forgot to mention, we did have a decent selection, so as far as physical, we chose someone who was in the ballpark for my features and not someone who was totally opposite me in appearance.)

Another important point for us was to choose a donor who was a proven donor - someone who has been a donor before and has had babies delivered from her eggs.

Once we got the profiles (our coordinator culled the list down to about 25, because she got to know us and had a sense of what we were looking for), we took them home. We kept doing the Yes-No-Maybe piles and rearranged the stacks and made lots of post-it note comments. Once we ditched the definite No group, we put the profiles all together again and did another Yes-No-Maybe pile. We kept doing this until we had about 10 and then got down to two we liked. We went with the one that stood out initially in our coordinator meeting. Isn't that funny? We both liked her profile, but didn't say anything to one another. We found out later at home.

Well, write me back if you have any other questions about the donor process. Hope this helps.

3/17/2009 1:54 PM
Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and personal experiences, AJMom and GirlAtHeart. I am so very sorry to hear about your loss, GirlAtHeart.

After our third failed IVF attempt, I could not even get myself to think about an egg donor. As time goes by, however, I am easing up to the idea. My husband is not open to the idea of adoption so it seems that an egg donor might be the best compromise. Our RE told us that we were not getting pregnant with my eggs simply because the quality of the eggs were not very good (due to age). My husband thinks that since we are still getting several embryos in a given cycle we should continue, but I am so beat up by all the ART. I know it sounds whimpy since I've only done 3 cycles, but each time I have suffered from ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome which takes me out for at least 5 days.

Do you ladies have any tips on how to pick a donor, or what questions I should be asking? Thanks for all you shared experience, strength, and hope!!

3/13/2009 11:52 AM
Hi AJMom and JJ -

If you feel like you've done enough cycles with your own eggs and are running out of money (as we have), you might want to consider an egg donor.

I just had a miscarriage using egg donor, but I would do it again if we had more money. I found out that the failure was probably due to my husband's sperm. The clinic said that he had low motility and the morphology wasn't great. I was upset when I learned this this because this is the second time we used his sperm and they never said anything before! I point this out just to say the donor eggs were good, but maybe the sperm wasn't. But I became pregnant with donor eggs, and that's more progress than before.

I say go for it with donor eggs...unless you have more time and money. I was weird about it at first (when we were still trying with my eggs), but my mind changed later. Once we committed to donor eggs, I never felt different during the process. I felt like it was my baby. Our donor was anonymous.

Good luck to you both. Hope this helps a little.

3/13/2009 11:27 AM
JJ, I'd be happy to give you my thoughts about this...as I am sort of going through the same thing. I just happened to find this web site and just joined. This is my first post and I figured I would share what's been going on with me.

I am 39 years old and seriously considering an egg donor. Due to multiple problems on my end, my husband and I have spent the past 8 years trying to conceive. In the beginning, after having no luck on our own for a few years, we turned to Clomid IUI cycles. Those produced nothing and because we were anxious to get started on our family, we immediately turned to IVF. It seemed like although it would cost a lot, it was the sure bet. Our first round back in 2004 actually worked, and our son was born in 2005. Since his first birthday, we have tried 3 further IVF cycles with no luck. This last round (done just a few months ago) told us the reason why. We made it to the egg retrieval but because my eggs were all abnormal, could not continue with the transfer. (this was after getting 9 eggs using 600 units of Folistim for the entire cycle) It was a very hard thing to deal with when my doctor looked at me and told me that my ovaries were "tired". Basically, at the age of 39, my ovaries are shot. He had urged us to try an egg donor for that last round of IVF, but I was not interested and figured things would work with my own eggs. Now, I am struggling with the decision to either use a donor or give up on our dreams of having a bigger family. (My husband is against adoption, otherwise I would have adopted years ago, but that's another topic!)

JJ, in your situation it would depend on why your cycles are not working. I hate to say it, but age becomes a huge factor at this point. I know some doctors won't do IVF much after 40, so that is why I am currently making my decision whether or not to go for it with a donor egg or to just give up. I have a good feeling that we'd be successful with a healthy donor who has a history of positive fertility. It also depends on your desire and/or reasons to have children. Every person's situation is different, but I think that if you really want to be a mother you can see past certain issues and look for the end result. Although a few months ago I was not considering an egg donor at all, my ticking clock sure does change my outlook on things.

I hope this helped at all!

3/3/2009 3:30 PM
I am new to this site, and wanted to get some advice on what to do next. I just received news that my 3rd IVF cycle was unsuccessful (I am currently 38 y.o. but will be 39 in a couple of months), and I was wondering if my husband and I should continue repeat cycles as long as we are getting 6+ embryos, or should we consider egg donor at this time? If anyone has any thoughts or comments, it would be much appreciated. Thanks!

2/13/2009 10:57 PM
Hi Burlhb,

I had a pretty good experience. The clinic is warm and inviting. I absolutely love my IVF nurse coordinator. After my first IVF cycle came out negative, she was the first to call to say that she was disappointed.
She didn't try to do "doctor-speak" - she just came right out and said I did everything right, etc. and she was really hoping it would work (Later at a post-IVF meeting, they went over details.)

I just did my embryo transfer on 2/10/09 with donor eggs (I'll be 44 this year) and she once again said some really nice "human" things to me. She even said she was thinking positive thoughts and would say a prayer for me.

The whole donor process was smooth (anonymous donor). My coordinator even culled the list of donors down for us ahead of time (removed poor responders, first time donors, etc.) so that we had a good solid list of about 25 to go through.

One negative about the clinic -- Back to using my own eggs during cycle #1 -- I wish the doctor would have really tried to talk us out of using my eggs for that first cycle. He talked in cryptic percentages and we never quite understood the impact of using my eggs. I wish he would have said, "Almost no one your age gets pregnant." They publish statistics but it's difficult to wade through the information. I didn't feel taken advantage of, but really wish he would have looked me in the eye and say it was a crap-shoot. We would have just proceeded immediately to donor eggs during cycle #1 had we known the odds were so stacked against us.

To end on a positive with our doctor - He always made sure he was around to do my procedures personally. I was told up front by the personnel that the doctor might not do the procedures (the HSG, retirevals, transfers, dilation, cervical stitch, etc.) if he was off that day. It makes sense - they have to have a day off and it's hard to predict when someone will be ready. So anyway, my coordinator let me know that even though my doctor was scheduled to be off, that he was coming in anyway. He did everything. (I have a fibroid that slightly pushed my uterus off to the side a little.) He just wanted to make sure the whole thing went smoothly. I appreciate that. Plus, I'm sure that I'm considered an elder or "senior citizen" at the clinic since I'm over 40+ LOL!

It feels good to talk. We're keeping this a secret for now. Only my sister knows and she's out-of-state.

1/5/2009 9:12 PM
I was very fortunate to have a great donor experience.    The clinic where we go was very warm and open.
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