Having a Child through Egg Donation – The Steps Involved
- Posted on: Apr 11 2014
Using donor eggs can be a hard decision to make. Many infertile couples chose egg donation as their last resort, other women come in requesting to use an egg donor due to their age, poor egg quality or known history of a genetic disorder. Usually by the time most couples have considered egg donation they have done multiple different unsuccessful treatments or have been told that the female partner has poor egg quality and the likelihood of having a successful healthy pregnancy is low.
When couples are told they may never have a genetic child most go thru a grieving process similar to one a person my experience with a death in the family. This grieving is very common and expected. The steps are in phases that couples will experience and are not in any particular order. Some may start with step one where other may start with step 4. Not all couples will experience grieving in the same way. Phases that patients go thru before using an egg donor include:
1. Giving up on conceiving a child genetically – Because many couples have had failed ovulation cycles, fear arises from the inability to have a genetic child. People wonder why they cannot conceive, especially since they have friends their age that have.. At this stage, couples still want their own genetic child, so egg donation and even adoption is not conceivable. Most couples despite the poor prognosis will want to try some less expensive therapies.
2. Emotions escalate – With conception difficulties, emotions rise while the couple is looking for options regarding conception. They may look into more aggressive medical treatments. Due to the factors of cost and disappointment, bearing a child results in potential resentments between the male and female partner. Sometimes we see the female partner eager to move on to the egg donor but the male partner not willing to move on to egg donation. Women may feel the ticking time clock sooner than their male partner.
3. Continued conflicts – Couples may begin to argue about the emotional, financial, and willingness to continue investment of trying to have a child. The woman may blame herself and her own body. She may resent other women for having children so easily.
4. May begin considering alternative methods –Many emotions play into deciding whether to use a donor or not. Negative thoughts are common at this point which could include people voicing negative opinions about the couple regarding the egg donor decision. Another thing is that most couples aren’t sure that they could love a child who isn’t their genetic child. The couples voice concerns- what if the child does look like us, what if the “ family” suspects, should we tell family members or not we are considering egg donation. Remember even genetic children do not always look or act like their parents, this is evident in families with multiple children with not one looking exactly like the other.
5. Egg donation viewed as an option – It may be comforting that you can view egg donation as a option for having a baby. This means that you can become a parent even if the child doesn’t have your genetic makeup. If you are using your husband’s sperm, it may be extra comforting knowing that you have a link to his genes. In some instances, women have felt like the husband won’t view you as the mother of the child. This decision carries mixed emotions. Couples review the downside and benefit of egg donation for them.
6. Giving up on having a genetic child
7. Letting go and moving on- After going through the painful process of giving up, it’s time to embrace the thought of having a non-genetic child in the home. Letting go of the genetic child releases a world of sorrow but opens the heart to wonderful possibilities.
8. Acceptance – You finally have decided to meet with the fertility center and discuss the egg donation process in details. Sometimes meeting with a counselor will help you work thru the above issues.
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