“If you’d asked me when I first started trying to have a baby, whether I would consider using an egg donor, back then I probably would have said “no, I don’t think I could do that”. I’m single and had decided to try for a baby on my own using a sperm donor. I did 5 years of IVF, which was 6 or 7 cycles. I had 2 pregnancies and 2 miscarriages. Towards the end of the 5 years I started to think about using an egg donor. I spent a lot of time analyzing everything when I decided to use a sperm donor and I would say I spent double the amount of time going through the thought process of using an egg donor. I wanted to be sure it was the right decision, not so much for me but for the child.
After talking to my family, friends and a psychologist, I decided to go ahead. Since a very young age, my biggest dream and desire was to have a child, I seriously could not imagine living the rest of my life on earth without one. Even though I’d been through the toughest 5 years of my life, I wasn’t ready to give up, even though my family were worried and thought that maybe I should, deep down they knew that if said I was strong enough, I was.
So I spoke with Denyse, her husband Joel was my IVF doctor so I’d known them for a long time and we started the process. I decided to go through the South African clinic, partly as they give you much more information about the donor, which was so important for me and secondly as I have a South African family connection. I found that there was a great selection of egg donors to choose from and Mbali was incredibly helpful. I had a wonderful first trip to Cape Town, my mother met me there (she’s South African) and I even travelled with a friend of mine and her husband that had also decided to use an egg donor from South Africa. My first trip to South Africa was unsuccessful, which was devastating as I will admit I thought that this was going to be the solution to not getting pregnant and really thought it would work the first time, my friend however, did get pregnant which was wonderful. I went back a few months later to have a frozen embryo transfer, this time I just went for the weekend (very extravagant), again it was unsuccessful.
I just wasn’t prepared to give up, I was told by all my doctors, it will happen, it was just bad luck. By then my egg donor, had reached her family limit, so I had to select another egg donor. Everything was set, but this time I was going with the thought that this time would have to be the last time, I didn’t think I could keep going through the disappointment and the heartache. A couple of weeks before I left my friend had her beautiful little boy.
Again, I had a lovely holiday in Cape Town, this time with my Mum and my Dad. We stayed at The Vineyard Hotel in Claremont, which is beautiful. My egg donor was incredible, I got a huge amount of eggs, which turned into the same amount of fantastic embryos. I had 2 transferred and a football team’s worth frozen!
I got back to Australia and then the agonizing wait, I started spotting, which petrified me. On the day I was due to find out, for some reason this time I changed my whole routine, usually I wanted to be by myself so that if the news was bad I could deal with it on my own, this time I decided to spend the day with my friend and her son. I have a video in my head, it’s as clear as day, at anytime I can play it and all the details are so clear and crisp. Denyse rang and I was pregnant.
I think the first few months I was slightly anxious, you still expect something to go wrong, especially after trying for so long, but eventually I settled down and had the most fantastic pregnancy, I absolutely loved it as I always imagined I would and I felt the happiest I think I’d ever been, yes I was one of those proud and smug pregnant ladies!
I opted for a c-section as I wanted my baby delivered the safest way possible without any complications and that was my choice. I am now the proud mother of the most beautiful little girl. She is without a doubt the love of my life. She’s 16 months old and she’s funny and silly and independent and inquisitive and gentle and kind and just wonderful. I know genetically she’s not mine, but so many people say she looks just like me (and most don’t know the situation, only close friends). She also copies me in so many ways, the way she laughs, the faces she pulls, so much of who they are is nurture and not nature.
She will be brought up with the truth and I hope that she will never have an issue with being a donor child, that is my biggest fear but we will deal with that when it happens. I love her so much and will give her the best life I can possibly give her.
Denyse and Joel were so supportive throughout my time with them, through both the IVF and egg donation, I can’t recommend them more highly.
The Cape Town clinic was great and I had no issues with them at all.
My one message would be, if you want something bad enough don’t give up, you may have to fight for it, but it’s worth it in the end.
C (43 years)