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Every woman who has gone through the IVF process will know intimately the emotions that the egg donor process entails. It’s an emotional rollercoaster that begins with accepting that one is not going to conceive their much longed-for child in the ‘typical’ way. Knowing the common emotions that arise will go a long way in helping you to cope with and manage them. Please know that you are not alone in feeling the way you do. Here are some of the common emotions you can expect.
Sadness and anger when you can’t conceive naturally
There is usually a degree of grief and anger when you are not able to conceive naturally. The sadness that comes from a sense of loss is difficult to explain, but is usually due to the idea that your baby won’t be inheriting your genes. It’s very common for women using donor eggs to feel grief over the child that ‘could have been.’
Anger is also a prevalent emotion, as many are upset at their own body for ‘failing’ its reproductive function. It’s an expectation that many take for granted, that their bodies will be able to perform their natural functions without any intervention. However, there are many factors that could complicate the process, and many are out of your control. It’s important to not dwell on this and to forgive yourself for any perceived faults.
Relief that donor eggs might work
Once the decision to go with donor eggs has been made, relief often comes flooding in. There is now hope that there is a solution, and the grief and anger can start fading away. Even though there are no guarantees, donor eggs do still offer real hope for the baby you want to add to your family.
Anxiety and hope about the donor egg process
Once you have made the decision to use donor eggs, you will have to go through the IVF cycle:
- Screening tests: tests are done on both the egg donor and recipient
- Consent: all parties are informed about the process, any risks and medication that are involved, and consent must be given to proceed.
- Choosing a donor: the egg recipient chooses a donor.
- Undergoing hormone treatments: Hormones are injected to stimulate egg growth and development in the donor.
- Egg retrieval: the developed eggs are removed from the donor’s ovaries in a brief, outpatient procedure.
- Fertilization of the egg: the egg is fertilized by the donor recipient’s partner’s sperm, and are cultured in the lab for 2 to 6 days.
- Implanting of the embryo: this process of implanting the embryo in the recipient’s uterus should not cause any discomfort.
- Pregnancy test
Of course you hope it will work immediately, and that one cycle is all it will take. You hope that each step of the process will go through without a hitch. You hope you will receive good quality eggs so that the chances of the pregnancy working out are higher.
But for every hope, there is also an anxiety. Worries about miscarriage, of the costs involved, or the procedure just not working out. Many couples often anticipate questions, comments and judgements from well-meaning friends and family. This can be a highly anxiety-inducing phase of the process.
Worrying about telling the child later in life
It’s also very common to worry about telling your child about how they were conceived. We advise donor recipients to let their children know about how they were conceived in an age-appropriate way once they are old enough to understand. This education is important, and should be approached with hope and positivity. If kept a secret, it will come across as something to be ashamed of. Your own feelings about it will serve as a cue for how your children will feel about it. Communicating it in a clear, simple way is the best way to get it across.
Forgiveness and acceptance for the process are keys to opening up this avenue to parenthood. Although it can be an emotionally turbulent process, it’s worth it if it can increase the chances of hopeful parents-to-be getting the family they desire.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.