I never gave much thought to the concept of “trying to get pregnant.”
I just assumed when we were ready for kids it would happen easily and quickly – boy, was I wrong.
After a year of struggling with unexplained infertility, my wife and I began considering alternative options.
When she first suggested egg donation, I was shocked. She looked at me earnestly and simply said:
“Egg donors help you conceive a baby – we want a baby, so let’s go for it.”
How could I argue with that?
Non-Viable Eggs Don’t Have to Be the Period at the End of the Sentence
At the first appointment with our fertility specialist, I was hoping for some sort of quick-fix treatment.
A pill, a shot, a minor surgery – something surmountable we’d put behind us and move onto having the family of our dreams.
That wasn’t the case.
The memory of that visit and being told her eggs were “non-viable” is something that’ll never leave me. That one small phrase carried an unimaginable amount of weight. The doctor’s words fell flat in the room and you could cut the anxiety with a knife.
There was no big explanation or medical reasoning; her eggs just weren’t capable of doing what biology says they’re supposed to do.
I looked over at my wife and saw her breaking before my eyes. This woman, who I’d spent most of my adult life loving, was made to be a mother and that dream was being callously ripped away.
Before we could even think about trying to process what we’d just been told, however, the doctor cut into our thoughts with a blip of optimism and hope.
He told us donor egg IVF was still an option.
Choosing to Get Pregnant with Donor Egg IVF
Initially, the thought of egg donation terrified me.
I grieved the fact our child would never inherit my wife’s gorgeous blue eyes or quirky sense of humor, but it was nothing in comparison to the emotional warzone she experienced herself. There was a multitude of feelings she would battle with on a daily basis.
Understandably, there was anger, sadness, and anxiety; but despite all of that, there was one emotion that rose above everything else – hope. Hope for the possibilities of what could be and the chance we could still have a child – albeit in a different way than we imagined.
From the moment our doctor suggested donor egg IVF, her decision was made and she knew we would try it, even if it took some time to work through her sorrow and feel comfortable with the idea of actually doing it.
I wish I could say I was as quick to jump on board, but I had reservations about the process and how it might affect her emotionally. In the end, I couldn’t argue with the fact this was the only way to still allow my beautiful wife the opportunity to carry our child, bring him or her into the world, and experience an irreplaceable biological connection.
I knew that despite my hesitations, the best thing I could do – the only thing I could do – was support her.
Becoming a Daddy Through Egg Donation
As we worked our way through the egg donation process, a niggling guilt would often creep into my mind – I’d be a part of our child’s DNA, but my wife would not.
As we searched through donor profiles and injected medications into her body, I couldn’t help but wonder if she felt any resentment towards me.
One morning in March of 2016, all my worries were swept away. The day we saw our baby for the very first time.
We watched our soon-to-be daughter’s heartbeat flicker across the screen, and I gripped my wife’s hand in anticipation of how she was feeling. I watched tears spring into her eyes and her breath catch in her throat.
She turned to me and said:
“Look, I think he or she has my nose,” after which she began giggling like an elated schoolgirl and continued watching our little bean with awe and wonder.
This amazing woman was a pillar of strength and had overcome something that felt so impossible in the beginning to give me the most important title of my life – Daddy.
While donor egg IVF wasn’t the “trying to get pregnant” experience I was expecting, it’s a memory I now hold with great esteem and will be forever grateful for.
Written John R.
This is a paid collaborative post.