Using donor eggs to build your family may not have been the plan, but for many potential parents, donor egg IVF offers a glimmer of hope.
However, the process can initially feel quite daunting. What should you expect before, during, and after? Will it mentally and physically take its toll?
To help you prepare for this stage in your journey to parenthood, we explore key aspects of the donor egg IVF process below.
Finding a Donor and Taking Your Time
You may select your egg donor from a frozen donor egg bank like https://donoreggbankusa.com or choose someone you know, like a friend or family member. Taking your time during this stage is crucial, as you need to feel 100% comfortable with your donor.
At first, a family member or friend may seem like the best option. It may give you peace of mind, as you’ll know exactly who your donor is and their family history.
But pause and consider this decision.
How is this immense undertaking going to affect your relationship with the donor? What sort of relationship will the donor and your child have in the future? How will you feel being around your donor with your child?
While the positives of choosing someone close to you may initially be attractive, it’s crucial for you to consider how the dynamics may change after the birth of your baby.
Additionally, you may want to investigate the other option available to you – using an egg bank. With a vast database of potential candidates, you can find someone who meets your ideal criteria. From their eye color to their personality, you can learn a significant amount about your donor before making your decision.
Preparing Yourself for the Process
The physical side of egg donation can be easily broken down into three stages.
First, you’ll begin taking a course of hormones. This will help prepare your uterus for the implantation of your embryo. If you’re using fresh donor eggs, this means your cycle will need to be need synchronized with your donor’s – a requirement that’s not necessary with frozen eggs.
Retrieval, Fertilization, Incubation, and Implantation
Once you and your donor are ready, the eggs will be retrieved and fertilized with your partner’s or donor’s sperm. These fertilized eggs will remain in an incubator for several days before your local clinic implants one or two in your womb as embryos.
The Two-Week Wait
After two weeks you’ll return to the clinic for a pregnancy test and ultrasound, hopefully confirming the news you’ve been waiting to hear for so long. Then starts the stage where you can enjoy a pregnancy like any other.
Riding an Emotional Rollercoaster
While the physical side of egg donation may be easy to digest, the emotions may not be so “textbook.”
Any emotion throughout this process is a normal one.
From absolute joy and elation at the thought of being able to carry your own baby to the sadness of knowing your eggs won’t be involved, it can often feel like you’re riding a rollercoaster.
To deal with these emotions and overcome them, it’s important to embrace each thought and feeling and acknowledge it. This may mean talking things through with friends and family, or a counselor.
Don’t hold back thoughts of negativity. Instead, face those fears and know you’re not alone in this journey.
Building Bonds and Forging Families
For many moms using donor eggs, there’s a significant fear about bonding with their baby. Will this pregnancy feel as if you’re using your own eggs? Is the thought of using an egg donor always going to be in the back of your mind? Will your baby ‘sense’ there’s no genetic link between you?
Again, these fears and thoughts are completely normal. After all, this was never part of the plan.
Yet, when your pregnancy is confirmed and you start to feel your baby growing inside you, these worries will begin to fade away. Your focus will be on loving and nurturing your child.
When your baby finally enters this world, your thoughts may linger on the egg donor as you thank her for this incredible gift, but they’ll quickly move toward caring for the family you’ve forged. Now begins the most beautiful stage of the journey – making memories as a family.