MH & DA
Since I was a young girl I dreamt of having a family and being a mother. Then life took over and before I knew it I was reaching my 40th birthday without a family or even a steady relationship to make the family possible. So when I did find the man who I felt I wanted to have a family with, it proved to be very difficult because of my age. We tried naturally for a long time without success and due to my sheer determination to not give up on my dream I suggested IVF. We tried IVF with a well known clinic in Sydney a few times without success. We didn’t like the process or the treatment we received, in fact we felt like we were just a number on a ticket waiting for our turn. Then I fell pregnant naturally, which to us was a miracle. We lost the baby at 8 weeks. With all the anxiety and stress associated with the process and the miscarriage, our relationship crashed and we separated for a while. But I didn’t give up on my dream of having a child, so I pursued a few avenues with the knowledge that perhaps I would end up being a single mum. But that was better than not being a mum at all………
Someone I met through a friend suggested using a donor for her eggs. I couldn’t get my head around not using my eggs, but then one day found myself scanning the internet for donors in Australia and I came across Denyse Asher’s website. I rang her and she gave me lots of advice over the phone which made me feel like there was hope, (which we all know is what we cling onto) and I made an appointment to see her. Firstly though I saw her husband Dr Joel Bernstein with whom I discussed the possibility of using my own eggs and donor sperm. He was very straight with me and told me that the chances were very, very low of having a baby with my own eggs. I left his room feeling pretty deflated, but then walked into Denyse’s room next door, which did the opposite and gave me hope. I had to get my head around the fact that the baby would be born with another women’s eggs, and for me, that did take a little while to process. But then in the end it was no baby at all or using a donor egg, and the decision was easy. Denyse was lovely and she gave me so much information and answered all my questions no matter how silly I thought they were.
Once the decision was made, I paid the Medical Administration fee to Denyse and had my second appointment (her first appointment is free, which is great). She informed me of all the options and the fees to travel overseas and I took lots of reading material away with me.
Of all the options, I decided on Cape Town, South Africa as it was somewhere I had always wanted to go and I would make a good holiday out of it as well. During the planning stage and my appointments with Denyse, I rekindled the relationship with my partner and he wanted to be the father of the baby, so we both ended up going to Cape Town together, which was great. She gave me the website address of the donor agency in SA and I spent 2 whole weeks looking through the long list of gorgeous donors available at the time I wanted to go. I couldn’t believe how many women were willing to be donors. Australia is so difficult when it comes to donors and recipients. There are no agencies here and you have to find your own donor.
I was put in touch with Kimenthra who works at the donor agency and she also helped me with my selection. You only get to see pictures of your donor as a young child, but if you send Kimenthra a picture of yourself, she will help you with your decision as she sees the donors as adults. I picked my donor and was happy with her.
Then the planning and preparation stage begins as you lead up to your departure. Denyse and her team meticulously plan every stage for you with detailed instructions of what medications you need to take, what to do in the city you will be visiting, how your donor is doing and details of the clinic and the people you will see there. When we arrived, we spent the first 2 days walking around looking at the sites. Then we had our first appointment at the clinic. We were sitting in the waiting room of the clinic when this man walked up to us in jeans and a t-shirt, announcing himself as our Dr. We were a bit surprised after the experiences we had encountered in Sydney. But we were immediately put at ease with him. He was great! He was laid back, easy going and very very informative. We bonded with him right away. The first appointment with him made us feel much more at ease about being in a foreign country. We got a call a few days later that our donor was ready for egg collection. We got 15 good eggs from her and we went to the clinic so my partner could make his deposit. Then we waited (whilst still enjoying our holiday). The great news was that we got 9 really good embryos that were growing well. We went back for the transfer, which again was so relaxed and easy. We didn’t even have to put on the plastic coats and socks. They put the 2 best ones into me and we went on with our holiday including going on safari. We flew back to Australia 1 week later.
I would recommend Cape Town to anyone deciding on using a donor through Denyse’s program. It was so easy, the staff and doctors at the clinic there are all great, the country is fabulous and the donor agency staff are also fantastic. Kimenthra even came to the clinic for the transfer to meet me and give me a little gift from the donor. I went for a blood test 2 weeks after returning to Australia and found out I was pregnant! The first try was successful and we have 7 more good frozen embryos in Cape Town in case we would like to go back for one more try. I am now 15 weeks pregnant and everything is going really well.
I was worried at first about the cost of it all, but now I am pregnant, the money is irrelevant. The only down side for me was all the hormones I had to take leading up to and following the positive pregnancy test. They did have a big effect on my emotions and moods, but I have stopped them now and also realize they are so important to the overall success and outcome. I would do it all again to achieve the baby that I have always wanted.
I would recommend Denyse and her team to anyone who is struggling to achieve the family they so desire. Now that this baby is growing inside of me, I don’t even think about the fact that it isn’t my egg. I have already bonded with this baby as if it was my own. The gift that this donor has given me, I cannot put into words. It doesn’t matter how or by what means you get your baby, it’s that you get your baby!! Denyse’s professional medical service has made my dreams come true.
MH & DA