Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Considering egg donation? Keep it on the down low

Recently I had a blog comment from a lady who is just starting her journey with egg donation, and her post got me thinking back to that time. I realize it's strange for a woman who blogs on the public Web about egg donation, to tell others to keep quiet about it. But bear with me, and I'll explain why.

Using donor eggs is rarely -- never? -- a woman's first choice for how to have a family. Most of us come to egg donation after a long battle with infertility. We run a grueling course of monthly disappointment, failed cycles, and sometimes the heartbreak of miscarriage. And what do women tend to do about our problems, our struggles, our tragedies?

We talk about it. We talk about it a lot.

When I first learned at age 38 that I had diminished ovarian reserve, with a Clomid Challenge FSH of 40 (you all know what that means, right?), my doctor cut straight to the chase. He told us the odds were long on having a child with my eggs. He advised us to switch to a practice that could offer IVF with donor eggs. And he warned that if I pursued pregnancy with my eggs, I would have a high risk of miscarriage.

I was devastated. This diagnosis was truly like a death in the family. It was the death of the children I would never have, and I grieved my loss. Loudly, and to anyone who would listen.

All my friends and family knew what the doctor said and how I felt about it. Anytime my girlfriends and I got together, I talked about my infertility and asked what they all thought about egg donation. Business lunch, football party, it didn't matter -- I talked about my issues. And when I felt I needed even more self-expression, I started this blog. Talking, writing, and a lot of tears: That was how I worked through the grief of never being a genetic mother. Some people hold their pain close. I let mine run wild. For me, it was a coping mechanism. It was how I got through.

To the everlasting credit of my friends, they put up with me. (My husband and family get no credit, as they are contractually obligated to endure.) Two of my dearest friends even offered to be donors.

Fast forward to today. I have two beautiful little girls born of anonymous egg donation. Everybody in my family and group of friends treats my girls the same as all the other kids getting underfoot on holidays. But...they know. In the back of my mind, I can't forget that all of them know my girls' origins.

For me, it doesn't matter any longer what people think of my choice. My girls are perfect in my eyes. If I could wave a wand and make them my genetic children, they wouldn't be themselves. And the world without Madelyn and Lilly, exactly as they are? Not to be thought of.

The problem is, I am not sure how my girls will feel about their donor egg origins. We plan to tell them about egg donation, and it's very possible they would want that part of their history to be private to our family. But it's too late for that. I took that choice from them with all my blathering.

Also, you may decide while pregnant or after your baby is born, that you would rather not tell your child about his or her egg donation origins.

I have had a purely unscientific poll running on this blog for about three years (look at the top right part of your browser.) Of the 273 people who have voted on the question "Will You Tell Your Child About DE?", a full 25% have answered no. If you've told all and sundry that you are doing a DE cycle, you won't be able to change your mind later and keep the choice private. Not without telling some whoppers.

So my advice to you, if you are just considering donor egg: Play your cards close to the vest. Don't talk about it to everyone you know. Or if you do, speak only in general terms. There are ways to get the help and counsel you need without sacrificing your children's privacy:

1. Find a good support forum like Looking to Be a Mom Thru DE, and cut loose there. Take care to maintain anonymity when creating your online persona.
2. See if there's a counselor at your infertility clinic who would talk with you for an hour.
3. Make your partner be your confidant.

I'm not saying you shouldn't tell anyone about pursuing egg donation. Each person's needs and relationships are different, and there are plenty of future donor egg moms whose donor is a friend or family member.

Just keep in mind that once you've told, you can never "un-tell." If it makes sense for you, save that choice for your children.


Anonymous said...

I appreciate your post very much. At times I think I am very selfish for not telling anyone about DE. I would not have told my husband if that were possible. I might change my mind (doubtful) about one day telling my gorgeous daughter that we do not share the same genes but for now the way I view it is that life is SO difficult without having been conceived in a non conventional way that I am opting out of telling. Reading your post reassures me that I should keep my DE story to myself as I grieved in silence 4 years ago when I was told my FSH reading of 30 was "menopausal"

millie said...

I'm reminded of all those old email and blog conversations we had back in the day. There really is a big difference between privacy and secrecy. I totally get what you're saying here.

I know the common line on the yellow board is the tell/don't tell is a choice. And both are supposed to be valid.

I do agree that you don't have to tell anyone besides your children because it's THEIR story.

But I think you have a duty to tell your children their genetic origins. They deserve to know that. They deserve to know their medical history. I think if someone isn't prepared to be open and honest with their children, recognizing it's about their children's needs and not their own, then they aren't ready to be parents.

That includes all those who voted "no" on your poll. And those folks on the yellow board.

If you can't be honest with your children then I don't think donor gametes are a good option until you can be honest with them. Doesn't mean you have to tell the world but your children deserve to know their origins.

IVF Girl said...

How old are your children now? When do you think you will tell them about how they came to be?

We are about to go through our first cycle of IVF with Donor eggs in May or June. We've told quite a few close friends & family already. We hope to start telling our kid(s) very early on in life as soon as we start reading to them. I don't want there to be any secrets...plus if possible, I'd like to avoid having people tell me that they can see my eyes in our child. I feel like that would upset me. Do comments like that upset you?

Midlife mommy said...

Good advice. We told everyone, but oddly, four years later most have forgotten. I think it's more important to us than to people outside of the family.

Beth Gray said...

My girls are 3 years old and 1 year old, and Maddy (my older daughter) is just now old enough to have a conversation with. I'm going to buy some of the kids' storybooks that are out there and start the "conversation" about donor egg that way. I think it is something we'll talk about many times over the years as the girls reach different levels of understanding. I'm nervous in a weird way. I do feel the girls have the right to know their origins. But having that belief and putting it into practice...well, it's stressful.

But in my view, it's got to be done. And if the girls grow up with the idea of donor egg in their heads even before they understand it, I think it will be easier for them than if it's some "big reveal" at a certain age. We'll see!

I live in such a non-traditional family, it's comical. Are there any other donor egg special needs stepfamilies out there? If so, throw me a rope! (grin)

Anonymous said...

Hi Bee

I've lived in adoption-land for so long where the idea of avoiding genetic origins is seen as unhealthy, I hear much commentary from adoptees about how those who use donor gametes should always be honest with their child about their genetic origins. Pretending makes things easier for the parents but ends up cheating the children of their truth. The feelings are pretty passionate about the rights of children to know their genetic origins.

Yet when you consider that about 12% of babies are not the genetic child of the father listed on the birth certificate, it does give one pause.

Glad to see you posting again.

Roni said...

I have an 18 yr old biological son and a 2.4 yr old son from donor egg. We plan on telling my little guy and will set up some time with counselors at our local fertility center to assist us in the right way/right time to start introducing the concept to him. I worry about how he will feel about it when he's older, but not enough not to tell him. I feel strongly that he deserves to know his origins. That said, I have told some and kept silent with most. Our parents know but no one else in our families. Some of my friends know, but I've drifted away from some of them in the last years becuase I've been too busy to maintain the relationships (which stinks but is a fact when those friends don't have young kids). He can choose to tell whomever he wants when he is old enough to know and to talk about it.

While it matters so much, frankly it doesn't matter at all, if that makes any sense.

We'll deal with any issues when we are faced with them, and we will work to overcome them.

Sorry if I blathered a bit!

Beth Gray said...

Everybody gets to blather here, Roni! And hi, teendoc. Interesting points being raised. I have to confess...I am not sure WHY I feel as I do about telling my girls. I'd like to take the high road and say that my main motivater is their best interest: That they deserve to know their genetics. And I do believe that -- I know I'd want to know, if it were me. But when I look at my feelings on the issue, I am humbled to say it's more about fear. That they'd find out from one of the people I already told...or who knows, in 20 years one's genetic code might be downloadable in Excel format from the doctor's Web site. I think if donor egg were allowed to be a secret in our family, and they "found me out," they would feel betrayed...and our family relationships destroyed. I won't risk that. Just being honest.

Jo said...

Thank you for this insight. My RE has recently suggested that I consider donating my eggs, as I am young and healthy, and there is a great need. I am in the process of gathering more information and hearing the "other" side is extremely helpful.


Bee Cee said...

Thanks for the great post.

I am heading for my first DE cycle in Aug and although I have mentioned to friends that we might look at DE eventually, not many know that we are booked in for a cycle. I might not tell them having read your post.

Certainly food for thought.

robinziel said...

I received an egg donation 12 years ago and was blessed with twin girls. My husband and I decided at the time not to tell family and friends about our choice. But, I told my mother because I didn't want her wondering who look like our side of the family and my husband did the same. My daughters to this day don't know. My husband and I have had discussions over the years whether to tell them or not. In school they are learning about genetics and eye and hair color from your parents and start asking questions. I have curly hair and am a strawberry blond. My girls both have straight hair and dirty blond in color. Just last night my daughter said to me that her hands look like mine but not her face. I am left speechless at this. I guess I am afaid of what would happen if they found out? I do know that fertility clinic's can distroy records after 7 to 10 years. My records should be gone by now. So their is no chance of them trying to find their DNA donor. I'm afaid of what they will say and feel. I am their mother, I gave birth to them. They are a part of me. I couldn't love them more even if they were from my own DNA. Maybe some day I'll tell them! I don't know. Just thinking about it makes me cry. They are my only children. I tried for 7yrs to have a baby. I was 39 when I gave birth and I am 51 yrs old now.
They are the best thing I have ever done.

Beth Gray said...

Bee Cee, it's totally up to you but if I had it to do over again like I said in my post, I'd have kept my DE decision more private so it would be the girls' decision later in their lives. It's not all or nothing either -- you could pick a few people you really want to share with. I just wish I had not told EVERYbody. *sigh*

Robinziel, you are facing a different issue -- whether to tell your children, and if you decide to, when and how. When life is a little less hectic I'm going to blog about this decision extensively, so I can get all kind of comments that are so useful to me. I am like you, so terribly afraid that when they girls know -- and more importantly, understand -- about their donor egg origins, that their feelings for me will change. But I also feel instinctively that keeping such a huge secret would be terribly damaging -- to me while I was keeping the secret, and to my girls, if they somehow found out suddenly and from somebody besides me and their dad. And that's just the emotional part of it -- I also feel a duty to tell them. I feel as if it is their right to have the truth of their origins. None of that means I'm not scared to death about it. I think one thing that might help both of us is to do some research and reading about adoptive children and how they react when they learn of their origins. I think it would be useful! Meanwhile, please keep in touch...and hang on to that feeling that your girls are the best thing you've ever done. I so, so agree with you -- that's how I feel about mine.

Anne said...

I had my first visit with the fertility doctor today and he told me that our best chance (really only chance) to have a child would be through a DE. I am 43, recently married for the first time and, shockingly, it never occurred to me that a DE would be needed. Reading your post and comments has hit on so many of the feelings I had walking out of the office.

My husband and I agree that adoption is an option so why am I having trouble wrapping my brain around DE? All the things I had hoped I could experience could possibly be mine if I am able to get pregnant with DE yet I have this slight hesitation.

I so appreciate hearing that your children are YOURS, regardless of genetics, as that is one of my emotional points today. Mine but not mine...but MINE. Hard to explain so I hope you know what I mean.

Sorry for the ramble...and thanks.

Anonymous said...


Thanks you so much for your blog. I am so so sorry about your first baby. I have been dealing with "infertility" for years and I am now considering donor eggs.

Thank you for this post, it has helped me a lot.

God bless you

Anonymous said...

I have tried with my own egg, I tried with a donor, and am getting ready to implant with my second donor next week. After it didn't work with my egg (44yrs young), I struggled with the DE choice for over a year, now I am 46, going for the last time. I have decided not to tell anyone yet, if I do get pregnant, I will most likely share the DE story, but only to immediate family. I will tell the child at some later date, but always tell them that they picked up my traits as they grew inside of me. This has been a very hard road, and an even harder decision, but if I am blessed, it will be worth it.

TracyK said...

I'm so glad to see this discussion on here. I agree that it's important to really think about it before you start talking with everyone in your life. I learned the hard way.

Last year, I got married for the 2nd time at age 40 and we immediately started fertility treatment. We went through 2 IUI cycles and were paying out of our pocket and after hearing about our options (one being DE) from our dr, we started thinking it may be a good option for us. I started discussing the pros and cons with way too many people. My husband says I don't have a filter - it's true.

One night, I was talking with my two best friends from high school about it. One is adopted. I couldn't believe her strong opinions about it. She is adopted and felt that it was terrible I wouldn't adopt and would even consider DE. I was very upset that instead of supporting me and recognizing that I had some difficult decisions to make, she was so judgmental. I tried to contact her a while back and she just said that she felt the same way.

Right after this discussion, we put our treatment on hold because we found out we had access to insurance that covered fertility treatment starting this year. During the hiatus, we decided definitively to do DE and decided at that time to keep it to ourselves. We've actually had to lie to some people who we had told of our options. But we realized that there's no reason for others to know. We will tell our child someday and they can decide that for themselves.

We just started our side of the treatment last night - getting my uterus ready for the embryo and we are so excited. We never really have felt a loss. I will carry and raise this child and I doubt I'll think much about the genetics of it all when I look at that face.

One neat thing is that my ob/gyn (not the specialist but my regular ob) went through this all himself last year - his wife was 45. When I just went in for my annual check-up, I did tell him we were using a donor egg - he pulled out his cell phone and showed me his picture of his 5 month old son from a donor. He was beaming from ear to ear with no regrets. I can't wait to go back to him once I'm pregnant and share this journey with him.

As far as my best friend goes, we're just now starting to talk again and she won't know that I chose DE. It's sad to me that she felt so strongly about this and that I can't talk with the one person I've shared everything with since I was 14. But that's how strong some people feel about this. So be careful.

jul13 said...

I'm in the middle of de process. I have greived my eggs and accepted this as my path for a family. I have talked to enough de recipients to know that it is not something that I want to share. From what I understand, you will feel so much that it is your child that you do not want to have your baby labled otherwise.

Anonymous said...

I am an egg donor myself and I would recommend asking the donor what her preference is. Personally I have donated several times with 40 + eggs and 30 embryos each cycle and I know for a fact that some of the couples chose to donate the embryos (weird) to other families after they were finished. When I think of all of the genetic children out there, I really hope that their parents don't share that information. The last thing I want in life is someone else’s 18 - 20 year old child knocking on my door years from now. I say this mostly from a safety point. Although my donation was anonymous, I'm only one supina away from having my identity being revealed. I have no way to guarantee that these children have been raised properly. I don't want some mentally unstable child showing up on my doorstep (Yes this happens). I also agreed to update any pertinent medical history as needed. With this being said, there is no reason the fact of donation needs to be shared, especially if the woman who risked her life to give you a child- doesn't feel comfortable with you sharing that info. You need to respect the wishes of the woman who gave you an opportunity for your children first. And if you choose a donor based on your ethnicity vs. her education or her LOOKS you would have nothing else to worry about.

Anonymous said...

I am considering it. I'm almost 46with blocked tubes (from fibroid removal) and apparently high FSH last time it was checked 13.7 then 40 approx. I am menstruating normally and regularly and no symptoms of menopause so I haven't given up all together. If it turns out after OI that donor is best, I'll do what I must. But I emphatically do not want to tell my child. Especially if the egg is anonymous, what would the point be?

I would already be relinquishing my genetic relationship. That's a lot to lose then add on top of it having to acknowledge that a child I carried for 9 months is not truly mine in every way. It would be a disservice to us both. Why open that can o' worms. So I see the point in keeping one's mouth shut.

Knowing serves no one.

Anonymous said...

Hi y'all-
I am 39, married for 12 years to the best guy in the world (to me) and am pregnant with TWINS from an egg donation. I am adopted, so I didn't know my medical history and when we started trying (8yrs ago), I just figured I was defective since I didn't know my parents.

All that being said, we have told EVERYONE how I am pregnant because my blood RH will not match my twins and we may need blood, and not only that, but why be ashamed? Whatever God/Karma/the Universe decided to give me the point is, those babies are mine as much as an adopted child, or any other person I accepted into my life as my family. Family comes in so many forms. Think of your best friend or your husband - they aren't genetically related to you either.
I wish each of you peace with your decision and that all of your gorgeous babies (however you came by them) health, happiness and love.
Take care y'all!

Anonymous said...

I entirely agree with you assessment. I told very few people about our choice. Only one person was told who is not immediate family. What is funny is that every time I see her she makes comments about what traits she sees in my daughter from my side of the family. I guess she must have forgotten our conversation? I don't know what to make of it.

Unknown said...

I am telling EVERYONE I know about my struggles with infertility & egg donation... so many people are clueless about the difficulty of having a child. My children will grow up knowing how VERY MUCH they were wanted and so will think nothing of how they were conceived, but rather that they are loved and cherished!

baby2mom Egg Donation and Surrogacy Programme said...

Egg donation is difficult. Quite corect - it is not the first choice of conception. First prize woman conceive in the natural fashion, if nor try some intervention with your own body. After several reorts have failed, donor eggs can assist to achieve a donor egg pregnancy.

This is an emotional process. Bottom line, egg donation creates hope where there was none - so thank you to all the egg donors out there and special thanks to all baby2mom egg donors.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your post. I am now pg after de/ivf and have struggled ethically with our decision to strictly guard our privacy. We will tell our child eventually, but we are not telling anyone now for the most part which has required some misrepresentation and some out & out lying to maintain our privacy.

There seems to be a lot of pressure on the internet & from professional to divulge this information to everyone even strangers. Although lying goes against my grain like it does most people, it is not always possible to evade or be "misleading. And this information is none of these other people's business. I'm tired of the "I cannot tell a lie" attitude frankly.

But personally, after all my suffering w/ infertility, I do not want to share my personal pain with neighbors, nor do I want to subject myself to everyone else's opinion on what we've decided.

It is still relatively incommon and is not viewed the way adoption is - as such a selfless thing to do. Plus, I am sure that my friends and family will tell others and then the information will be out there in places I don't even know about.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting post and comments that followed. I am 42 years old and have twin boys from my first IVF cycle almost 7 years ago. I'm so thankful for them. They've been a handful but I cherish every minute. My husband and I want more children, so 2 years ago we put the remaining 3 frozen embryos in and i did not get pregnant. Last year I did a full IVF cycle in the spring. Chemical pregnancy only. Late summer, the same thing, only I did get pregnant, saw the heart beat, and then a week later miscarried. We just tried again this summer right before my 42nd birthday and I did not get pregnant. We have only 1 or 2 more chances at IVF (because we are using my DH's frozen sperm) and then we're done or we move on to adoption. I am not at all excited about going through IVF again but when I started considering DE-IVF, that excited me as I am coming to believe, based on what I'm reading, that our chances of getting pregnant are much higher with DE. It doesn't bother me that my genes wouldn't be in the mix. I'm excited that my DH's will be! He has so many more endearing qualities. I'm calling for a 1st appointment with a different IVF doctor on Monday to discuss it... and I'm actually excited about the prospects.

Kboch said...

So many thoughts and emotions fill my head as I read these posts/comments. I am the proud parent of a miracle. My anonymous DE daughter was born in fall of 2000 and dispite many later attempts, she is our only child. She would love a sibling but at a young age I had to tell her "Mommy's belly can't make any more babies" When she later questioned this I explained that the doctors and a "nice lady" helped us to have her and they tried to help us to have more but it didn't work, so she is our miracle. As she nears the age where we may discuss ovums and how babies are made I will tell her more as is age appropriate. I have told complete stragers that she is my miracle, that we used donor eggs. In doing so I have encountered several people who were struggling with their own fertility issues and found great comfort in my candor.

Infertility is not a personal weakness, it does not make you flawed and it is nothing of which to be ashamed. My daughter's best friends' mothers know and forget more than they remember. When people ask what is to be gained by telling I have to say-- acceptance. It is much more of a burden to keep a secret. If your child ever finds out (and as was pointed out, there are many ways this could happen in the future as technology changes at a rapid pace) not only will they feel betrayed, but doesn't the mere act that you kept it a secret, suggest some sort of shame on your part? Perhaps I am missing something, but when do people keep secrets about what they are proud of? I agree that you must not reveal the identity of your donor without their expressed permission, but I will be sure my daughter understands how badly we wanted her in our lives. I also must say to anyone who is considering ED--they are YOUR child, and that dna stuff doesn't amount to a hill of beans in the scheme of what makes someone your child. Ask any adoptive parent and then add to that the special bond that comes from having that child grow inside of you. Knowing that you intentially created this one person that never would have exsisited if you hadn't made the choices you made, I believe that is proof that God/the universe wanted this person to exist so badly He brought all these variables together against so many odds. If that is not a miracle what is?

The funniest thing is that when people tell me my daughter looks/acts like me I used to feel I was being dishonest if I didn't somehow acknowledge her donated dna, but now I just smile and think--yeah isn't that amazing? There is so much to life that we still don't understand, I really believe that the dna is just the map, being in my body for 37 weeks and 2 days being nurished by my body and my love helped determine which roads on that map are travelled and which ones aren't.

I have also felt a bit of judgement from a couple of friends who love me and my daughter, but I can tell still think adoption would have been the "right choice" given my circumstances (37 with prematurally aged eggs and a husband with healthy sperm) but I use this as a way to help me learn not to judge others harshly.

The health reasons for telling a child about donation seem to be a nobrainer to me, but some may feel this alone is not enough reason. I hope that I have given you more reasons to consider it a blessing to tell your child. I would love to hear form someone who has told their child.

As to the original post about not telling so your child does not have to. I thinks having told others does not keep your child from having that choice. By the time your child is old enough to worry about this, most people will have forgotten. As someone else mentioned, in most cases, it is a much bigger deal to us than it is to anyone else.

Last to any egg donors reading this-- THANK YOU! My life is blessed becasue of those like you.

Egg Donor said...

I agree with you: egg donation is--unjustly--a stigmatized form of human reproduction. Some people believe that reproduction can be ranked, and that sexual reproduction ranks at the "top", with other forms, like adoption and egg donation/IVF symbolically below that. I don't agree, and think that women who use egg donation need to be careful about how they talk about their experience.

Anonymous said...

Hello I wanted to comment as some of you had strong feeling about telling about using DE and how bad it was for the child not to know. so I thought I would offer my experience as to help someone out there who is going through the same thing as I am. I am 48 my husband 38 and has never had children, I have two of my own 16 and 15. My husband is Iranian and Muslim. We married 10 years ago under much scurtiny from many from both his side and mine. We tried effortless to have a baby and I went through many IVF cycle to be told that now from 41 to 48 I just could not get preggo at my age although my FSH is 5 and I am ovulating regularly. My husband religion forbids DE and if it were found out he could be put to death, and adoption is also not permitted, but yet we want children together so badly now I am getting older than Mother Nature and we made the choice to do DE and not tell a living soul. Ladies it is not always so easy as some of you advocates think to tell, tell the children they deserve to know, what they deserve to know is that they have two parents that love them unconditionally. If someone told me today that my mother was not my mother, I might just die so if this is the case; take it to the grave because I don't need someone to clear their concisious, I just need my mom. Thanks for iistening and thanks for supporting me to those who do.

Anonymous said...

I came across your blog after a grueling day of dodging questions from a close friend who is doing a regular IVF cycle. I was so fed up with the lies and the stories, that i was thinking of just telling her and getting it over with. So thanks for giving me a push to continue to lie:)

Be Well!!

Anonymous said...

I have travelled a long way down this road. First IVF with donor eggs in June 08 (I had just turned 42 and the quality of my own eggs meant that I was unlikely to succeed in getting pregnant with a traditional IVF using my own eggs). The first attempt was not successful, the frozen embryo did not survive and therefore no transfer possible in October 08, and then finally the transfer in January 09 was successful,(my lab says the two embryos implanted)but I unfortunately miscarried at nearly 4 weeks. Have been flogging myself ever since for maybe having done something I should not have done (the train ride when there was a sudden jolt as the train was forced to come to a sudden halt, maybe the fact that I remained lying down on the settee for too long at the very beginning of the pregnancy, thus maybe lowering my blood pressure ...etc,etc) The fact that the next 2 transfers with donor eggs did not succeed makes it harder and harder, and yet I will continue as we can luckily afford the treatment and also because I simply cannot conceive life without a child...But I so badly need to hear again and again that the miscarriage was not my fault, and that there still is hope for me. They say that no failure is final, and no sucess is out of reach. This is what I tell myself every morning and this is what I want to say to all those of you who are in a similar situation and sometimes feel overwhelmed. Best wishes, Hope

Anonymous said...

I have a three year old son via egg donation after 12 miscarriages with my own eggs. The little one looks like a carbon copy of his papa. I am not sure I will tell him his origins (and for the information of the writer who felt that makes me a bad parent, that's your opinion).

This experience is the best thing you could imagine and having a pregnancy, breastfeeding, etc. was a wonderful experience as well, which you do not have with adoption. I respect adoption but feel it is a calling for some people and not for everyone, as DE is, as well--good for some, not for others.

Support and good wishes for all who consider DE.

My husband walks around so proud of his little boy and we can look down the road and see only good things.

Anonymous said...

Ladies, thank you so much for all of your comments. I am a 40 year old woman with an FSH of 18 to 25, 2 miscarriages and is now really considering the world of DE. I have not discussed this with anyone, except my husband, and feel that it's no one else's business. I am literally just filling out the paperwork and just beginning on my journey. It is comforting to hear the stories and opinions that you share bc there is so much to think about. I have been struggling for months about this decision and how I would feel about having a donor and who I would tell and not tell...
But I'm coming to realize that in the scheme of things it's all irrelevant...you birth that child, raise that child and love that child unconditionally, it is YOUR child...and the previous blogs helped me understand just a little better so Thanks so much for sharing...

Anonymous said...

How many attempts have you had with DE before finally having your baby in your arms? I did get pregnant on the second try but miscarried at 4 weeks. The silver lining, so to spaek, is that I now know that implantation can and does take place as far as I am concerned. I am a healthy 43 year old and I have decided to continue trying with DE. Technically, there are no limits to the number of attempts we can make as the success rate reamins consistantly high (about 50 percent is the figure provided by our clinic) but I would love to hear from you ladies who have kept trying and who have succeeded. This would help me so much as I sometimes feel the pain and distress are almost too much to bear...

Enough Already said...

Great post. I totally agree. I kind of regret letting so many people know about my DE conception - particularly when i have no intention of sharing that with my children. How I'm going to accomplish that? I have no idea.

Anonymous said...

The truth is we are all inbred as human beings. We come from one common ancestor, therefore genetics is waaaay overemphasized. Look at it from the general standpoint. If you kid comes out not looking very much like you, so what? I know genetically related people who look nothing like their parents, but have characteristics that skipped a generation.

The egg donated child is YOURS. There is no need to lie or tell them anything different. In my opinion if you carried a child in your belly for 9 months YOU ARE THE MOM. If not for you, that particular child would not exist.

So my opinion would be to say nothing about genetic origins. If it was annonymous DE why are you introducting a confusing concept to a child? Ok, so "genetically" they're not yours, but it takes genetics and gestation to make a Mom. So that makes you equally as much as a Mom as the donor.

geneva said...

I just stumbled into this blog as I was looking into research about egg donation pregnancy. I am so glad I found it! I had my first donor egg transfer last week and I must say I am quite excited. I am 45 years old now. I focused on my career early in my professional life that I didn't think I would have a problem conceiving when the time came for me to have baby. I was 41 when I got married and my husband and I didn't really start trying to have a child until I was 43 years old. By that time, my ovarian reserve has declined and my FSH levels were quite high -- it was more than 10. My doctor said based on the quality of my eggs, I was about 5 years too late for an IVF using my own eggs. My best option, he said then, was an egg donation. I didn't believe him and I looked for another doctor who said the same thing. So i didn't really do an IVF cycle with my own eggs because my eggs were not healthy enough. I wnt straight into egg donation. An anonymous donor gave us the egg, but we trusted the fertility clinic who ran the program and asked for a donor who more or less looks like me. In October we started to prepare my uterus for a donated egg. It was difficult because due to all the medications I am taking, I am constantly tired and I did gain some weight. I dreaded the progesterone injections but it really wasn't a big deal because they didn't hurt at all. And now I'm just waiting for my pregnancy test in a week's time. Hopefully, it'll turn out positive. But I haven't told many people about my use of an egg donor -- my husband knows of course, my doctor, some nurses in the fertility clinic, and our therapist. We're not even telling our families because it's a very sensitive and private matter. We like it that way. We feel that the less people who know about it, the better it is for us and our future child. For those agonizing whether to tell their immediate family or friends, I don't think there's a hard and fast rule. Each couple is different. For us, privacy is the way.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure when the last comment on this blog was posted, but I know the ttc momma's out there do a LOT of research usually on their journey and I thought I could be a voice for the 'other' side to this kind of controversial subject. I've been a donor 4 times now, which is why I will of course stay anonymous. I did 3 back to back in 07 and 1 in 08. I gave birth to my own baby girl this year and it's made me think a lot about my decisions to donate and whether I would do it again now that I know how it feels to have a child of my own. I know its a hard road to come to the decision to get the eggs from someone other than yourself, I myself have a sibling that is 39 years old and doesnt have the money or resources to pay for normal IVF treatments muchless a donor situation. The part of this a lot of people chosing the donors dont see is that its also a hard road to donate, yes we get compensated, but we also pay tax on that money and honestly our bodies go through a lot for the amount we recieve. I enjoyed the fact that I helped families get the children they without me couldnt conceive, I also thought about how crazy science has become that I've basically had 4 children w/ men I've never met that grew in another woman. I think the ONLY negative thing I can possibly think is if my daughter met one of those siblings one day and didnt know she had a genetic relation to them, the situation has come up in normal life just from men having sexual relations with women they dont really know and a child resulted from that. I myself often wonder if I have other siblings somewhere, and sometimes I yearn for that connection. The thing is, sometimes genetics is SO strong in the person you really are, myself and my siblings were NOT raised in the same households, and we ALL have characteristics and are mentally very similar it just blows my mind sometimes. So I think to end it, I would really like the parents that do these treatments to be honest to their children, not just so they know why sometimes they might be 'different' and dont understand why, but also because if they run into someone that they feel a connection with in the future they will understand why and not mis-interpret that. I just would like the feeling to know the children I helped create knew about a 'distant' relative that they may have characteristics of instead of feeling lost in the world. I've always believed deep down we know if our parents are 'our' parents, I feel a connection to my mother and father that couldnt be simulated and I look like BOTH sides of my family...lying to your children is never a good idea in my opinion and I think its a choice eventually you will feel regret for. I have no issues w/ the lying to friends and family until you know what your going to tell your children, I guess just really think about it (not like you werent going to already), you will GROW those babies inside you and that can never be changed, you gave them life, but theres nothing wrong w/ sharing the journey towards that life.....they might enjoy that you wanted them THAT badly that you went through an amazing journey to have them in your life.

Anonymous said...

I join in this discussion because I am considering doing DE.
My concern is this: I have a cousin who did DE and had a baby girl but now her child, who was seemingly healthy, is in need of a lot of special help in school and she has had some seizures earlier on but may have outgrown them.
Are children from DE usually healthy or do they have learning and health problems when they get older?
Concerned woman

Beth Gray said...

I'm sorry to hear of the health problems encountered by the DE mother and child you know. As far as I know, children born via donor egg are no more likely than children conceived in any other way, to have learning difficulties or any other health problem. Donor egg is just a different way to conceive. Once conception occurs, the development of the child is like any other. Whether health problems of a DE child come from genetics, gestation, or environment -- well, that's the question, isn't it? But so far as I know, the method of a DE child's conception does not contribute to any later health problems.

Anonymous said...

The First International Congress on Global Reproductive Tourism (Vienna, Austria,March 25-28, 2010)

Reproductive tourism is a relatively new phenomenon that occurs when aspiring parents travel from their home country in which advanced reproductive technologies (ART) are expensive and legally awkward to nations where the procedures are cheaper and legally more obtainable.

The aim of this conference will be to discuss the reasons behind the rapid increase in reproductive tourism, as well as outline its professional, ethical, legal and economic consequences. This will be discussed by experts who will address the current concerns raised by this new trend, as well as share their accumulating experience meeting with the needs of the international patient and the limitations set by mounting national regulatory restrictions.

The participants in this conference will gain updated knowledge on:

Why has reproductive tourism become such a popular option?
The need to protect the reproductive rights of patients in various countries.
Improving local access to advanced reproductive care in all countries.
Advancing ART regulation under international consensus.
Affordability versus quality assurance in global ART.
Means of promoting and marketing reproductive care services.
Ethical aspects of international travel searching for ART.
Worldwide gamete donation: fulfilling an undeniable need or a form of organ trafficking?
Cross border gestational surrogacy: providing opportunity or exploitation of the poor.
Legal aspects of ART in foreign countries.
Ethnic needs of immigrants and genetic testing.
Reproductive rights of non married and same sex patients.
Safety and technical aspects of long-distance shipping of fresh and frozen gametes and embryos.

Lady R said...

Thanks for posting. I just found out that my eggs are really no good. I'm currently 34 and have 2 failed IVF cycles. My husband and I have battled infertility for nearly 6 years, starting with his low sperm count to my recent news about my "old" ovaries. We are in the process of going through IVF using donor eggs, come March. The struggle to tell or not to tell has been my battle and you have definitely helped me.

Anonymous said...

Hi I have been looking for a blog that dealt with DE for sometime and stumbled across this one yayy!! I am 36 and my husband is 41he has a 10 yr old daughter from a previous relationship and we have been trying for the last 6 years with no success to have a baby. I have had 4 surgeries for endometriosis and when I did IVF in Aug 09 my follicles didn't produce any eggs and my Dr suggested DE. I was devastated, I felt like she had killed my baby, not just my hope of having a baby but my actual child. After I grieved for my eggs I have now embraced the idea of DE and I will be doing IVF using DE in Feb 10. I have realised that how my child gets here is not as important as me holding him/her in my arms. I live in the caribbean and people here are very judgemental and more than a little insensitive so we have decided to keep our DE between ourselves, the baby and my mother.

Thank you so much for an outlet to talk to people who can relate.

Anonymous said...

I have egg donor babies and personally I feel if we tell them it will be THEIR decision to tell others. I don't agree with a post that said if you aren't willing to share this information than you SHOULDN'T attempt DE. We were so blessed and had a beautiful daughter through DE who-- due to malpractice become ill and died. Let me just tell you that loosing a child (however they come into your life)is the most heartbreaking experience as part of you dies with them. I dare anyone to tell me my other children through DE aren't MINE. They evolved from a placenta attached to me-they may have started from a cell that wasn't mine but that is IT! They are here because of me and only me-yes my husband and another cell started the seed but that was it-my body did the rest!!!

I loved reading the Egg donor's post and agree that anonymous donors should be left alone. Thank YOU to any egg donor's out there-you are angels on earth!

DE is such a miracle and my only advice to anyone considering is to not tell anyone or a very select (immediate family to help you come to terms with the grief of loosing your genetic connection-which in the end I SWEAR means nothing) AWESOME blog and THANK YOU!

Grace AUSTRALIA said...

I start the DE process next week, so this is all interesting for me to consider. Though I cannot fathom lying to my children, concealing information about their origins... how can I establish and a build a healthy relationship with them on the basis of a lie? Not healthy.

You would think at some point, the truth will come to the surface and that would destroy their trust in people. If their own mother lied to them, how could they possibly trust anyone else? They may be curious about their donor - I know I would be - and I'm not afraid for them to explore their genetic history.

I will be telling my babies from a very early age - I got this idea from a friend of mine who was adopted and was told that she was the 'chosen daughter'.

I will tell my babies that they were a gift from an angel... and the angel gave mummy a little egg to put inside my belly (I'm Australian - we say 'mum'). I will repeat the story over and over again and as they get older - I will go into more detail so that one day, the 'penny will drop' and it'll start to make sense.

Based on my adopted friend's experience, she never had to deal with the 'shock' - she always know she was the 'chosen daughter' till one day she knew what that actually meant. I believe this is the best way of telling your child without the shock of it all.

Anonymous said...

Technicality: Your pediatrician will ask for a family medical history. Sure, you could lie -- and this lie could affect your child's healthcare.

But if you tell the truth to the pediatrician, you'd better tell it to your child, because sooner or later they will transfer their medical records to their own healthcare provider and they will have access to this information.

Personally, I take my cue from the adoption community, where discosure has proven to be a lot more healthy than secrets.

Finally, and above all else, I think that it is the child's choice to disclose to anyone else, so we have just chosen to tell only as many as we need to get throgh this next step emotionally & financially. At the moment, this is limited to my parents and I don't think we will tell anyone else.

Anonymous said...

Hi there,

In a few days, i'm set to start a cycle as an egg donor. And although I've never been a parent, I was once a child, and I still do remember my teen years ... and I just can't imagine, at 17 or 18, through the magic of the internet or whatever, finding out that my parents were not my biological parents.I invite you all out there to imagine this scenario. Your whole world is suddenly turned on its head. Your trust in your parents is shattered. Your faith, broken. You don't know who you are, or why your parents have done this. You're angry - you feel betrayed. You're sad - you feel alone. WHY would you subject your child to this, when it could all be prevented by sitting your teen down, and just being perfectly open and honest with them? Think, intended parents. Think. You don't have to tell anyone, but your child should really, definately know.

Anonymous said...

I am starting a DE cycle and intend to tell my child from birth of the miracle that brought them to me. I believe that if I act as if using DE is shameful, my child will become ashamed as well. What is there to be ashamed of? Nothing, I say.

Anonymous said...

has anyone actually lived through at least 10 years with a child/children that have known all their lives? I would love to hear their experience. I know one mom who is having a tough time with her 7 year old that is so fixated right now on it - for months she just keeps saying - so I really have 2 moms? and, so you're not really my mom? she previously was proud and did a report in school and the whole bit. it's so painful for the mom to hear. (by the way, the parents are amazing, loving, communicative, using age appropriate dialogue, etc.). we used de and haven't yet figured out when/how to open the dialogue - we have some time as our baby is less than 1 year. looking forward to hearing about some long term experience.

Anonymous said...

I think everyone's concerns are overwrought as far as the child not being told, etc. I honestly feel there is no reason to tell the "truth" The truth is you carried and gave birth to the child and therefor are the mother. I don't see the point in bringing up the donor. You will already have the genetic/health history from the clinic. If the kid doesn't look exactly like you, they will likely look like the father.

If you feel the child has a right to know something, what would that be exactly? About some anonymous woman they are never going to know, that they have no connection to except half their genes? This is not an adoption in any traditional sense at all.

I can't even imagine what's going to come up where the child needs to be told. And like I said, told what? A confusing truth that doesn't even matter when you get down to it. Why deprive your child of the security and certainty of having a father and mother that gave them life and raised them?

I think telling compromises that because it introduces doubt and confusion that doesn't need to be there.

Anonymous said...

To the donor who commented about not telling. Thank you for your perspective. I've often wondered if we did tell, wouldn't that potentially be betraying the trust of this young woman who's life has probably moved on? She may not want to be discovered and we need to respect that.

To the person who might go through IVF DE for the first time and wondering how you'll feel about the baby. This is a very understandable sentiment. Here are my 2 cents to do with as you wish. I have a son by my own eggs and a daughter by DE. When my son was first born and put into my arms as an infant, I realized right away that it didn't matter who he belonged to genetically. A helpless, innocent child needs you regardless of your gene pool. I love my daughter equally. But I'm also the type of person who does not spend hours searching a child's face and personality for all the genetic connections. Children are themselves -- a brand new array of genes -- everytime they arrive in this world. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Wow. I'm glad I donated eggs to a gay man, so he's pretty much going to have to tell the kid where he came from. It really never occurred to me that so many people would lie to their children. How long can you keep that up? Give it ten years, people will be able to get their DNA mapped at the drugstore and they'll be sharing their genetic codes on Facebook. No way can you keep that kind of secret. What do you do when someone in your family has breast cancer and your daughter is worried she, too, has a genetic predisposition?

I was interested to hear from the egg donor who was concerned about "mentally unstable" genetic offspring and wanted to be protected from them. A perfectly valid perspective, of course, but not representative of all donors. Me, I'm just counting down the days til that child reaches out. (And yes, now in my thirties, I regret lots of things I did in my twenties).

Anonymous said...

I am interested in knowing if any of those out there have used different donors to have a sibling for their first donor egg child. We were finally able to have one child through a doner after 8 years of trying. Our success was on our 4th doner egg cycle and we had twins but I lost one early on. Now we are trying to decide whether to do a sibling or not. Unfortunately we would have to use a different doner. I also have concerns because I feel that I need to be in the best health to raise my precious angel who is now 16 months old. I have just turned 50. I married at 43 and like many of the posts I have read, had know clue that I wouldn't be able to conceive on my own. My husband is 12 years younger than me. I was in shock when I was told that my estrodile levels were way to high. We tried for 5 years trying to conceive with my own eggs. I would appreciate some feedback from some of the other doner egg mothers out there. I too am struggling with weather we will tell our little gift about how she was conceived. I felt that I would but now I struggle with this idea. Especially if we bring another child into the mix. We have told very few people. And, my daughter does look like me. I hear all the time how she is such a good mix of me and my husband. I just smile and say nothing. As others on here have said, I love my little one more than anything ever. I feel like she is the child I was intended to have. I don't look at her and think about genetics. I look at her and pray I can live to raise her and love her and I cherish each day with her.

Anonymous said...

thank you for this post. Also grateful for commenters. To you all I ask: In discussing telling the child, no one is bringing up the fact that the 'genetic mother' is anonymous! This is not like open adoption. This is a closed process. We will never know. And he/she will never know who their mother is, their ancestors, etc. IS anyone troubled by this?

Further more, can anyone point me towards any literature in book form that addresses this 'closed donor' issue?

We are contemplating DE. And this is the sticking point in my mind.

Anonymous said...

Hi everybody ! for everyone affected with the DE and DS : I've found a very interesting and helpful panel discussion on the matter of telling or not telling your children about the ways of their conception. in the panel where donor conceived people of different ages, who where told at different stages in their lives about their donor conception.
It might answer many questions to you all. But I agree, if you tell your child, which seems to be the right thing to do for yourself and them - to put everybody to ease - don't tell too many people ! It will be your kids decision who they want to share it with!

here is the link :

Anonymous said...

To all the donors out there- you have my blessings for the miracles you have helped produce, and for bringing joy to so many desperate couples!
I was told at age 32 that I needed DE to have children. It took me 2 years to get used to the idea, and then went through 2 cycles- the first cycle was unsuccessful, the second brought us our miraculous twins. I decided, even before starting the treatments, that my children will know their origins, that I owed it to them to be honest. And that it will be THEIR choice about who else would find out. The only people we ever told so far are my younger sister - who selflessly offered to be my donor, but was unfortunately diagnosed with the same condition as I was -and a close friend who supported us a lot through this. No one else. I am already telling my darlings that they are mommy's miracles, and the most special kids in the world. I plan to make a little scrapbook with the donor's photos ( the clinic kindly sent us photos of the donor and her parents, which I have kept) followed by their ultrasounds throughout my pregnancy and then of them as newborn babies.
Why do I think the children need to know? because it is the truth, and any child deserves to have parents who never lie to them- especially about something as important as this. Also, I agree with the donor who posted her concerns about there being several people out there, unknown to each other, with the same genetic makeup. I would like to know were I in their shoes- why shouldn't I share it all with the most special people in my world??? And if telling them makes them love me less, so be it- I will love them the same. They are my little miracles and I am the luckiest person in the world for having them. I would have it no other way.

Anonymous said...

I found many of these posts interesting & informative. I am the mom of a daughter whose only chance of getting pregnant is through DE. I am struggling with the sadness that she cannot have her own child. Right now she is not sure she wants to do this because the biggest obstacle for her is that it is not her child. Will she feel the maternal instinct? Or will her feelings not be as strong because she will always think this is not my child...it is somebody else's?

We cannot change what fate has decided for her & for that I ache for my daughter. She is unhappy about the choice to have her own child taken away by nature.

Other than her husband, I am the only one that knows & I respect & realize the importance of keeping the DE a private matter. But how does the mother & father come to terms with that? What if the woman used her own egg & the couple needed donated sperm? Would the man be as troubled with knowing that his child was not his genetic child?

I hope someone can give me some sage wisdom to deal with this in my heart & ways to help my daughter tackle this difficult decision.

Polish Mom

Anonymous said...

I am using a known donor who is a close family member. That's very hard to keep secret when it's fodder amongst my 5 sisters (who all have children by the way except me). They're all very excited for and can't wait for me to get pregnant. My known donor gave me "juicy" eggs and ICSI was peformed a week and a half ago. I am at the end of my tww and will know something soon.

From the very beginning my husband and I knew would be open with our child(ren), whether or not we used a known or anonymous donor. Even though my family knows, we just told a few very close friends. Other than that, it's no one's business.

Anonymous said...

Women choose to donate their eggs. I know a couple of women who have been egg donors. They made this decision to improve their financial situation. But they were not "desperate" for money. I don't think donors are victimized or exploited. They make the choice on their own.
And yes, I had a child with an egg donor. I am going to teach her to marry young and have children before doing anything else in life. She can always go to college or have a career later on in life, but having children must come first (if she wants them). I was a child of the 1970s and was told that career defined a woman, and she had no value outside of her job. I realize now those teachings were wrong. When people ask now "what do you do for a living", I tell them that I am a mother, and proud of it. If they look down on that, they can go get stuffed.

Anonymous said...

Also, I don't feel adoptees have much perspective on any of this. Adoption and donor egg IVF are two different things. The only similarity is the lack of genetic ties, but DE children still have a genetic tie to one parent. I think adoptees should keep their opinion out of all this, no offense.

Anonymous said...

I am new to this blog. I am 44 with a 40 FSH. My RE wants to put me on estrogen and see what happens. I may grow an egg w/stims. I have been down this road already and I decided after trying for a year that this will be a waste of time and money. Statistically my odds are extremley low and i beleive the doctor is just looking to make a buck. Now i am venturing down DE land. I am ok with it but of course like most a little saddened by my genetic loss. Would love some advice or words of support.

Thank you all for this amazing blog.


Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more with the original poster: a person should know his or her genetic history, and it should be THEIR business to decide who gets to know. We didn't tell anyone, not even our family, that we used DE for child #2. He will be told, and if he wants others to know, he will be secure in the knowledge that we did not take his privacy away. My mother loves to talk about me, and no personal tidbit of mine is too private for her to share with her 40 closest friends... so after the last violation, I only tell her things I want the world to know. Please please consider your child's right to privacy before telling your friends you used a DE. I myself would be extremely frosted if I had beeen conceived by DE and my parents had told their friends and family!!

Anonymous said...

I begin my cycle in preparation for IVF with an egg donor in a few weeks. I never thought I would have problems having a biological child; I did not hear my clock ticking at all. I am 42, after 4 years of trying (including miscarriage and numerous failed fertility attempts); I grieved about not having my "own" child. Then I realized I could not give up my dream.

Once we decided to use an egg donor I thought we would keep it a secret. After discussing with the Psychologist at the fertility clinic we realized that our future son or daughter has the right to know their story.

It is still scary for me. I have two step daughters who I treat as my own; we have a great relationship. However I am reminded many times at joint affairs (school plays, graduations, etc.) that I am not the mother.

By producing a child using egg donation, someday will they want to meet their younger, cooler mom? How will that change our family dynamic? I guess that is a chance I am willing to take.

I strive to stay positive and think about all the love and support we will give our child. (My new love of Yoga has helped)

Good luck to everyone in your journey and stay positive.

donate eggs for money said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Neosoul32 said...

I really appreciate this blog! It's amazing to see all of the stories of those who have been successful with DE. This solidifies my desicion to be a donor - would do it again if I could :)

Halynka said...

Hello and thanks for your post and your wonderful blog. DE seems to still have some stigma attached to it and it's great to read about other people's experiences and thoughts.

I am 5 months pregnant with DE and am so excited about my pregnancy and the donor process I've started blogging about it (only 2 posts so far).

I signed up at two fertility hospitals in NYC to increase my chances of finding a shared donor. Met with psychiatrists at both places, and while they do tell you that to tell your child or not is an individual decision, they differed slightly on the age you should tell your child.

One told me about all sorts of new children's books that talk to alternative conception in a way a child might somewhat understand, or at least start to get familiar with (totally different from the stork delivering the baby!) The other's advice was to wait until the child understands conception otherwise it will be too confusing.

My husband and I plan to tell our son (yes a boy!) as soon as he's able to understand the concept, and I am also going to introduce the "alternative conception" books as soon as possible to start planting the idea.

Regarding telling family and friends, I've found that most people aren't all that familiar or as well researched on the concept and their views on IVF and Donor are blurred to some degree. I basically just tell those who might be somewhat curious about my getting pregnant at 46 that it was due more to science than to romance and required some petri dishes. Don't think anyone other than mom, dad and baby really need any more detail than that.

So glad I found this blog!!

Healthy but 50 said...

I am just beginning the fertility experience.

I am 50, just turned. I move between negative thinking about my chances and positive "I am the exception" to all the averages and stats thinking.

My partner seems quick to think egg donation would be a viable option but I don't think he has thoroughly thought through many of the sentiments and challenges I read here.

I know this is primarily about devulging whether you used donor eggs - but I think I'm questioning whether I want to do something that people think is so taboo that they don't devulge. Sort of - if it's not bad, then why not tell people? Then I think about what if I didn't devulge (which seems right now the only way I can get my head around this donor egg idea - for me) and I think that the strain of what feels like constant lying will just eat me to death over the years.

Has anyone felt these issues - if it's right I should tell people but I don't really want to for the shame I feel that I can't do it with my own eggs, yet the conflict that not telling will be a lifetime of lying to people near and far? And, oh, the 27 year old sister in law who's popping out healthy kids like it's nothing will constantly weigh on me too.

ow diHd your partners deal with this emotional challenge, help you with the decision? I am old to go through the stress and risks of a pregnancy. But my partner and I know I am in phenomenal condition, secretly hope this will make me fertile, but not likely. He'll think it's not big deal but I'm not feeling curremtly compelled to go through with it if it's not going to be bioligically my DNA. I wrote off getting married and having kids at least 5 years ago. Who knew I'd connect with an old pal from high school (also never married) and we'd fall in love.

Any help would be most welcome.

Anonymous said...

Your reproductive life is nobody's business. You don't need to tell anyone anything to prove to them, what? If they know you're fifty, it is perfectly obvious that you used a donor. I am married and I have a husband. It is obvious that we live together, vacation together and make love. The make love part is extremely private and the details are not divulged. Anyone who would want these details is a nosy pervert. Another example, we are all human and therefore we all go to the toilet. It's obvious therefore that we all wipe our behinds. Our technique for so doing is our own business and in the same vein, the details of how your children were conceived is your own private business.

Anonymous said...

What a journey we are all on. I have so much bottled up, I can't bring myself to share with anyone but my husband. My husband and I have undergone five failed IVF attempts, with and without donor eggs. Very sadly, they have not taken- or I miscarry (2 times). It's taken its toll emotionally and with no insurance coverage for this, it's taken its toll financially. But we do have a few frozen embryos left. With dwindling funds and almost raw emotions, we need our best possible chance of success with these last embryos. So hopefully soon we will entrust them to a gestational carrier to help us. Has anyone else used DE and GC? We are so ready for our family. I mourn the loss of my egg contribution. Now I am mourning the loss of my dream to carry my babies and breastfeed. It's really tough and I cry. But I try to focus on someday holding my baby and maybe seeing my loving handsome husband in our baby. Maybe our child will share a learned trait from me. Maybe our child will inherit generosity and compassion from the egg donor. (Thank you, egg donors for your incredible generosity.) And thanks to women who are gestational carriers. By the way, couples who face fertility struggles deserve babies as much as anyone else. Just because someone can't conceive doesn't mean they are compelled to adopt. Adoption is great, but it's insensitive and hypocritical for someone to assume that you must adopt when you can't conceive (unless the person telling you that has five adopted children or something.) And even then, everyone must do what is right for them.
And privacy? We're trying to figure out when we would tell our child about the DE. I guess little by little as they can understand, but then do we tell close family at the same time as our child? I feel that others should not know before our child does. So complicated! There is no shame whatsoever in any of these loving efforts to have our family, but I don't want people to look at our child differently, either. Also, does anyone have two children from two different DE? I am wondering about the implications. One last thing, it irks me when people call the donor or the gestational carrier (both of whom I am very grateful for) the "mother". The mother is the one who LOVES YOU AND TUCKS YOU IN BED EVERY NIGHT AND RAISES YOU. Our egg donor is not a mother. She is a beautiful, generous person and a biological link. But I will be the "real mommy" just like an adoptive mother is the REAL MOTHER. Good luck and positive thoughts to everyone!

Anonymous said...

This blog is fantastic. Thank you all for sharing. I have never posted anywhere before. After 15 years together, 6 of which TTC we are now looking for a donor (in NZ where paying donors is illegal and as such they are quite scarce). I am 36 and DH 34. I have low ovarian reserve and very poor response to stimulation eg 2 eggs if lucky. Three of our IVF rounds produced no embryo and we have only transferred two both BFN. I have always considered myself a strong character and can't believe how this hideous journey has chopped away at myscrewy core (soul?)l. I am now so emotional at almost anything and wonder if it will ever heal. Crying or just releasing big wet tears is such a part of my life now it's almost past being embarrassing.
Everyone including my sister (currently preg with 3rd and sadly not keen to donate) and mum are telling us to adopt. And we may, further down the track but it's not simply the next step. I just can't let go of the desire to carry a baby, and give my beloved husband and best friend, at least, a biological child. And the chance to give my body that I love yet fails me so, the chance to redeem itself. I know I would love it unconditionally from the get go having experienced the rush of outpouring love when I first held my newborn nephews.
Anyway, I have (yet again... roller coaster here we come), hope and excitement at the thought that a donor might answer our advert or choose us. I hate to think what percentage more of my emotional stability I am risking in this new gamble.

Fingers crossed...

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this blog! I'm considering DE, and my niece has offered to donate. We have talked at length, and agree that neither of us would want the child or the fam to know of the donation. Neither of us are sure what their reaction would be, but we both feel it would not be positive. I don't want to subject my child to that. My niece has gone thru counseling to determine her ability to live comfortably with her DE cousin, and she is good. Because of the genetic connection with the donor, I'm very comfortable with keeping mum, but I still have minor (VERY minor) reservations about not sharing this with my child. I'll keep thinking this thru, but to all...good luck in your DE journeys.

Anonymous said...

I am going through sort of the same thing right now. My RE said my AMH was very low but suggested we do a mini IVF & combine my eggs with donor eggs. He said that way you won't know if the child( children) are your's or the donor's. Therefore, you don't have to say anything to anybody. The egg donor & I look a lot alike & have the same ethnic backgrounds. Any thoughts?

Anonymous said...

I posted a blog year earlier about my donor egg pregnancy. It turned out to be a successful pregnancy on my first try. I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy who is now nearly three years old. And it has been the most glorious experience I've ever had. He's perfect in every way! My husband and I have decided to keep it private. For me, there is no point in telling my son that a part of him comes from an anonynous donor. What is the point? In my heart and mind, he is my biological son because I carried him for 10 months and he grew inside my womb. I am a big part of his development from an embryo to the beautiful boy that he is right now.
I don't think about genetic connections. I am just filled with overwhelming love for my son. To all doubters out there about whether they could ever love a baby that they perceive is not their own, nothing could be further from the truth. I had the same doubts myself but I was proven wrong.
Sometimes people would say my boy doesn't look like me and he looks just like my husband. And that's okay. People say that I look like my father and that I didn't have the physical characteristics of my mother but I am still my mother's daughter.
Still there are those who say that my son is a mix of both my husband and myself! That always makes me smile.
I would totally do it again if not for the fact that I am of that age in which I shouldn't be pushing out babies any more! But it was a very positive experience, one that has made my life complete.

Anonymous said...

I am receiving donor eggs from an amazing friend in a couple of weeks. My husband and I have chosen to keep everything "out in the open". We have been through counseling and feel this is the best choice if we are blessed with a child. Secrets in families are not healthy. Children sense when something is different. There are a great deal of positive outcomes for the child in being honest. We would not want to live holding a secret from our child based on on our own fears.

votistdot said...

Jo, I'm also in the process of donating. How is it going so far?

Anonymous said...

In the past two years, I went through 7 failed IVF cycles. Tears accompanied me days and nights. Now, I am thinking about egg donation. I did not tell anyone that I am going through IVF, and I did not tell anyone that I planed to use donor's egg. And I will not tell my kids (from egg donation) that they are not genetic related to me. Why would I want to disturb their normal peaceful life? If I am a child from egg donation, I would not want to know. I want to feel normal as all other kids. I read some blogs from the people whose parents chose donated eggs. These people are frustrated and disturbed after they know their origin. They tried very hard to find their genetic mothers, but ended at facing a cold closed door or no forever mysteries. They wish their parents had not told them. Some people think it is OK to let them know at their early age. Sure when they are young, it won't matter that much to them. But, when they are older, they start to wonder. Then they start to search. This is how they ended at heart breaking and causing relationship problems with their current parents. Some people think it is selfish not ot tell the kids their origin. But I think it is selfish that these parents can't handle how to protect these kids' privacy and it is easier fort hem just to blow it out. They consider very little of the consequence of emotional impact on the children. I will not tell anyone including my children about the DE. They are my children and I am their mother period. They deserve a normal life as all other kids do.

Unknown said...

Great........I am very proud of you to be brave to post your personal experience on this. GOD bless:-)

This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Blogger Ruby Pie said...
After three rounds of failed IVF and three miscarriages we are considering DE. I know I could love a DE child just as much if she were 50% genetically mine. The sticking point for me is this disclosure thing!
We have a daughter already, naturally conceived. Our families would not be supportive at all for religious reasons. This is part of why DE is just not the same as adopting, so comparing the telling/not telling to that scenario I don't find helpful. Using DE is a much more value-loaded action. If we adopted no one would judge as harshly as they would if they found we used DEs. And I don't feel like a small child should have to be thrown into that debate.
On the other hand I can see that early disclosure would be easier to handle than later, but again, that child won't understand the complexity of the feelings surrounding DE and might over-share before they're ready to handle the ramifications of that disclosure.
We lean toward disclosure as the child nears adulthood but is past the crazy teenage years. I don't think I could keep it a secret forever because I do believe they're bound to find out as science makes is easier and easier to--even though we have told no friends or family about our infertility--and also they have a right to know. If I found out today that I was conceived using DEs I can honestly say it wouldn't rock my world very much. Not as much as if I found I were adopted, given up by people who have this whole story behind it.
We also are tempted to do testing for gender, as we feel it would be emotionally easier for a son to deal with, if that makes any sense, since we have a girl already (less easy for child to make comparisons) and the missing link would be from the opposite gender parent, which seems easier.
Obviously, no one makes this decision lightly. I don't know why I'm writing this into the void, hopefully someone else will find it helpful as I've found many comments here.
Best to us all...

Anonymous said...

I agree totally with you .People who use egg donor needs to be very careful for the sake of their children. It is enough pains not been able to use your own egg but been a subject of discuss among friends and neighbours is more painful.

Unknown said...

I'm glad I found this site. I am about to go down the donor egg route in about a month and my husband and I have decided not to tell any resulting children that they were donor egg conceived. In our country Egg Donation is not an easy option to fulfil so we are having to travel to Spain. Our donor will be unknown to us and records will not be kept or shared. I've seen some people talk about the donors medical history being important, however the truth is that if I had been able to give birth naturally I would have been unable to give any medical history to my child as I am unaware of my own, and I feel I should add that I'm not depressed, harbouring anger because of this or maladjusted in any way. It really would be silly to be so. I have annual medical check ups as I'm an organised person, my husband gets these as well and any children we have would follow the same course. People choose who they become not because of their genetic forebears, but because of conscious choice. I'm excited about what the future holds for all of us.

robinziel said...

Update- It's been 7 yrs since I posted last and since then my husband and I decided to tell my daughters about our decision to do egg donation. They were a little surprised, but after a long conversation they came to understand our emotional ride and how we came to our decision. They are fine with it now and refer to her as the "egg lady". All my fears were erased that day and now we can talk about it openly. They are now 17 yrs old and our still the best thing that has ever happened to us. Good luck to all.

Unknown said...

my partner and i have been married for 11 years and 3months now and i am already 44years old, you no what that means for a woman trying to conceive little or no hope of getting pregnant that what it means and i have done everything possible to have a baby , i have done three failed ivf procedure and early last year i saw online when i did some research on possible ways to get pregnant , i saw so many testimonies of different women with different situation and also same as mine , how they got pregnant with the help of a spiritualist called ashra, i was able to get the contact email of ashra (ashraspelltemple@gmail.com )and then i sent a mail, and to cut long story short a cleanse was done to purify me and a pregnancy spell was done 7weeks later i became pregnant, and like a miracle , i delivered a healthy baby and i named her miracle today she is a year old, and am happy for this i decided to put hope to the hopeless women out there who wake up at the middle of the night to cry and the women out there who see other people carrying children and sober inside that they could be having theres, i say to you contact ashra today and get your problem solved , if i can get pregnant at the age of 43years then you can , contact ashra via email:ashraspelltemple@gmail.com or call or write ashra on whatapps via mobile number +2348058176311


Anonymous said...

Hi all. i know this post is really old but incase this helps someone who is trying to decide if they should disclose about the use of donor eggs. Contrary to what some others have stated about to tell or not to tell, my husband and I have decided not to tell our child. This decision was made because I myself was adopted as an infant and as the adoption was closed I received little information about my genetic parents. What it did do was leave me with the feeling in my heart like I would always have this piece of the puzzle missing and as close as I am with my parents there are times where I feel like I would have liked to be a genetic child of theirs. instead as defining myself as "adopted". I don't want my child to have that feeling of disconnect from me,or the family.. Maybe that would not happen in this case being that my husband is my childs genetic father but since i have a limited genetic historical information to pass on, it really makes very little difference in our situation. Side note, we were careful about choosing a donor with a compatible blood type and we had genetic testing done and the donor and my husband for extra confidence and also we saved the blood cord. Its a personal decision and people don't have the right to judge, but they always do anyways.. Cheers.

Anonymous said...

I have been considering DE for some time now. I have a 4yo daughter through IVF using my own eggs but have not had any success in having a 2nd with my eggs this time around. At 42, I know deep down the odds of having my own genetic child are VERY slim but I just keep hoping and praying for a miracle that i will be one of those small statistics that gets to have a baby with my own eggs at 42. No doubt I am completely kidding myself.

So to the question of whether to tell your children they DE conceived or not, I have done much extensive reading and the overwhelming evidence is that children absolutely deserve to know the rights of their origins. Telling from as soon as they begin to talk is best and building on that as their understanding grows. The decision about when to tell and how is more about US, the parents raising them and how uncomfortable it makes us feel and is never about the child. In saying that, if I am lucky enough to have another child using a DE, it certainly won't be an easy conversation.

I recently met a man (now a parent himself) who was donor conceived back in the 80's. He has no identifying information about his donor and sadly will never be able to find out due to the laws at that time (donor sperm in the US). He found out at age 21. He said although he understand his parents ambivalence, he can not deny that the trust has been broken and although he has a lovely relationship with his mother (his father died at 23), the full trust will never be there because they chose to keep something so important from him. Other family members knew when he didn't. For a long time he felt this enormous need to find out who this donor was, to fill this void of where he came from. However since having a son of his own, he is now foccused on creating his own family and what he will create.

So what I am saying to people out there, is love, trust and open honesty are the keys to successful parenting. Using a donor is certainly no easy decision but if you choose this, get counselling to deal with your own grief for the loss of the family you envisaged and allow your children the honesty to share with them their origins. They will love you all the same.