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An Open Letter to the Woman Facing a Donor Egg Cycle

Photograph by Getty Images

To the woman facing donor eggs:

I read your blog entry last week. You know, the one where your last IVF failed and you found yourself once again sitting in your doctor's office. You listened to him patiently explain that it may be time to move on to donor eggs if you want a chance at carrying a baby. I want you to know, I've been there. Not too long ago, I was that girl sitting beside her husband in disbelief after she was delivered the news that it was time to move on from her own eggs.

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I read the raw emotion that you must have been feeling. You don't want to give up on your own eggs. You want to try some different protocols. I hope it works out for you. But down the road, if you happen to find yourself at that crossroads again and are allowing yourself to move on to donor eggs, there are some things I want you to know.

I was in your situation not too long ago. One of the most important things you can do during this time is to allow yourself to feel those emotions. To know it's okay to be angry about the unfairness of it all, to grieve the genetic child you lost, to feel guilty that you want to experience a pregnancy instead of starting the adoption process, and yes, even the jealousy that comes when you picture your husband's sperm fertilizing another woman's eggs. You start out thinking you could never go through with this. You think other women who pursue a donor egg cycle have a strength you yourself could never possess.

And given the choice, if I had to chose between her and another baby of my own genetics, I'd chose her every time.

If that's true, then I sorely missed the mark. I never saw myself as strong through this process. I was angry and defensive when people would refer to my donor as "the other mom." I searched through donor profiles with a sick feeling in my stomach, knowing one of those woman would make up half my baby's genetic line.

I cried a lot.

Just when I had come to terms that I would never get pregnant "the old fashioned way" the universe had to deliver one more blow and take away a child that could've had my chin or eyes or smile. No, I was never strong or brave. I was selfishly driven by the fear that I would never have a baby. To me, that was my own personal hell. That even though this baby may not be "one hundred percent mine," it was still an option to grow our family. And when my pregnancy was confirmed, there was a part of me that wondered if I could ever love this baby as much as if I had created her from my own eggs.

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I want you to know how wrong I was. She may have been created with another woman's eggs, but I can tell you, seeing her on an ultrasound, feeling her kicks and jabs from within, she is one hundred percent mine. My body, the one that failed so spectacularly to produce normal eggs, has kept this baby safe and growing for the last twenty-six weeks.

No longer does it matter how she came to be. And given the choice, if I had to choose between her and another baby of my own genetics, I'd choose her every time. She is the one that is meant to keep me up half the night, and poop on me and make me wonder how I could've ever deserved such a miracle.

So go ahead and cry. Feel that anger and disbelief. Let yourself grieve for what could have been. When the time is right, if you decide to go ahead with this, I wish you nothing but the best. I promise you won't ever regret it.


A donor egg mom-to-be who's been there

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