A perfect match…

The very next day I received an email from Alison thanking me for completing my profile and that she would begin the search for a recipient couple.  Within a week, I received a wonderful phone call from a very excited Alison saying that she had found a perfect match!  The process could now begin.

I was referred to City Fertility in London, the same clinic where my couple are registered so that we can both receive treatment at the same place.  The next day, I was contacted by City Fertility and my first appointment was arranged for a month later.  This was to be a long day of various types of extensive screening to make sure that I am able to donate.  I will go into this more later on 🙂

This is to be an anonymous egg donation.  I will not know the identity of the couple receiving my eggs and they will not know mine.  However, I was delighted to get an email from Alison telling me that my couple had written me a letter…. It is hard to put into words just how much this meant to me.  I always knew that this would be anonymous and I didn’t expect any kind of communication with my couple but I had hoped that they would want to tell me a little information about themselves.  I heard from Alison regarding this email while I was at work so decided to save the letter for when I got home guessing it was probably going to be an emotional read….

How right I was!  What a beautiful, heart warming letter.  They sound like a lovely couple and we have so much in common with our personalities – we like the same things, are passionate about the same things and enjoy the same hobbies… we really are a perfect match!  It was full of heartfelt gratitude and I was especially pleased to receive this before the medical side of the process began….them making it clear that they will be forever grateful to me for this gift…no matter what the outcome of the cycle may be.  Hearing from them gave a small insight into who they are and what makes them tick, making this all a lot more personal for me.  But above all, it was lovely to read in their own words just how much this means to them and how they want to be parents more than anything else.

Yes, it was very emotional reading this, but it just made me even more sure and more determined that I am doing the right thing.  I really hope that together, with the help of Altrui and City Fertility, we can make this lovely couple into a lovely little family! 😀

xxxx

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The tentative first steps into egg donation…

Having thought long and hard about wanting to become an egg donor, it was time for me to start researching.  I wanted to know everything that was involved so that I could make an informed decision.  I came across a few companies on the internet, one of which really caught my eye ~ Altrui www.altrui.co.uk.    A wonderfully designed website with as much information as anyone could want.  I think most ladies looking into this will agree that they wanted to know a lot of information before sending that first ‘enquiry/information request’.

Well, I spent quite a few days reading everything I could find on the subject on the Altrui website and many others including watching lots of videos on YouTube.  Aside from the actual process, I have always found the subject of genetics and fertility treatments absolutely fascinating. What can be achieved through Science and modern medicine is just incredible  For the past 3-4 years,  I have been a member of a very special group on Facebook, who help and support ladies in their journeys with infertility or towards a family, usually through fertility treatments.  I have seen so many of these lovely ladies go through the gruelling process of fertility treatment and it amazes me.  The desire, the passion, the strength they find to do absolutely anything in their power to be able to become a parent.  We have loved and supported each other on ‘bad days’ when everyone around you is announcing their pregnancies and all you want to do is cry.  I know from their experiences how emotionally and physically draining fertility treatments can be….  How devastating it can be to see another negative pregnancy test having just undergone yet another IVF cycle or to so amazingly, finally see that positive result, so wonderful that they have to look 10 times before they believe it!  ‘Pregnant’, ‘mother’, ‘father’, words that they can actually begin to use and apply to their own lives ~ something they thought might never ever happen!  I must say, that I cry tears of happiness every single time another couple gets this wonderful news!

Having done all the initial research, I then broached the subject with my husband.  As much as the physical aspects of the process don’t effect him, I needed to make sure he was fine with all aspects of the process, understood what it would entail and that I had his full support, which of course I did 🙂

I made the first contact with Altrui requesting an information pack. Within just a few hours, I had a response from them thanking me for coming forward to be a donor and setting up the first phone consultation.  A few days later, Alison called me and we had a in-depth discussion about everything that the process would entail, physically and emotionally!  I came off the phone feeling even more sure that I wanted to be a donor.

With that, I then needed to complete my Profile which would be used to match me with the couple who would be receiving my eggs.  I had to fill in everything from all my vital statistics to qualifications, hobbies and general, non identifying information about myself, my beliefs, passions and personality.  I love to write and quite enjoyed filling it in but it took me quite a few days to get it done.  How do you know where to start when writing information for a potential recipient couple?!  I finished it, tweaked it, fiddled with it, uploaded my baby photo and when I was finally happy with it, hit submit….!

And then I waited…..

Infertility!

‘Infertility!’

That word – when you hear it being used in your life, it hits you like a brick!  When my husband and I first heard it, it was like a speech bubble was hanging above our heads, knowing we had to burst it and take it in, face the reality!  But it’s not easy….well that’s an understatement!

No words can really describe how it feels to know that you will never be pregnant and feel that little life growing inside you ; never  endure a long, difficult labour to finally have it end and meet your beautiful baby and be engulfed by complete and utter love ;  Never watch your child grow into an adult and be filled with pride at the wonderful person you created all those years ago;  Never be called ‘mummy’, ‘mother’, ‘friend’.

People say that time is a healer.  Fortunately, for us, this has been the case but for some couples who are told that they are infertile, this cannot be further from the truth!  Time just makes things harder and harder as the years without a child go by.  The woman gets older and the maternal clock begins to tick faster and faster.  Time just makes everything more painful, with every period that arrives on time and every pregnancy test that shows up as negative, their hearts sink a little bit further.

For some, infertility can be like being in a black room, everything is so dark and its becomes so difficult to see any light shining through.  Not only are you trying to deal with your own situation but also trying to deal with friends and family around you becoming parents.  You put on a smile, give hugs, celebrate with them and then steal away for a moment alone to grieve…..for the one thing that you will never have.  And then a few years later, you watch again as they all start to announce their second pregnancies and you watch them growing into beautiful families.

You have to try and put on a brave face every time someone you meet someone who asks if you have any children when they see your wedding ring.  It never gets any easier as you try not to show any upset to a stranger who is just trying to make small talk.  You politely answer with a meek “no” and walk away with tears blinding your every step.  “I have something in my eye” you say to a colleague as you make a mad dash for the loo to compose yourself!

Don’t get me wrong, infertility is not something that we just ‘got over’.  From first hearing it to feeling closure on the subject, it has been 4 years.  Even today I still have wobbles and still get emotional sometimes but it is a brief reaction to a situation like meeting a new baby and not something that sends me spiralling into black depression for days.   At one point I never thought I would be ‘ok’ with the situation but I am.  There have been a lot of factors affecting our infertility, all outside of our control.  So yes, I did have to find a way to deal with it and move forward, as hard as that was.

I have done that but will never ever forget how it feels.  I can completely empathise with other ladies/couples who have been told that they are infertile.  As time went on and I became more accepting, I developed this urge to try to help others with this situation.  As I have mentioned, with us, there are lots of factors contributing to why we cannot be parents but for other couples, there may be only 1 or 2 factors, for example, poor quality or no eggs….. And this is why I have decided to begin the process of egg donation.

To be continued…. .