“Your eggs compare to that of a forty-year old woman,” she said.
I was 28 years old. Excitement. Hope. Anxiety. Disappointment. REPEAT. Suddenly, and without notice, I found myself riding the infertility roller coaster, where all the emotions occur in moments, hours, days and for years in most cases; a ride that no one ever chooses.
Excitement and hope began early 2009 when my husband and I decided to start trying for a family. I was a month shy of my 27th Birthday. 21 months of trying and still no baby; 21 downward spirals on the rollercoaster. A month’s worth of testing at Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine (CCRM) diagnosed DOR (Diminished Ovarian Reserve) and POF (Premature Ovarian Failure). Ultrasound also uncovered a cyst of come sort, which explained the intense cramping I had felt for months. Laparoscopic surgery in late 2010 required removal of my right ovary, fallopian tube, and a grapefruit sized benign tumor. We were once again hopeful this was to blame for my off the chart hormone level. Sadly, three months later, the test results were the same: poor egg quantity AND quality. I had already started weekly acupuncture visits, tried the gluten-free diet, went caffeine-free, watched what I ate, exercised more and still no pregnancy. Our options were Donor Egg (such a foreign idea), adoption or to stay childless. The fact that having my own genetic child was slim to none didn’t hit me right away, but when it did…IT HIT HARD. I brought my husband to various infertility support groups and only there did I feel “normal.” Everyone had different circumstances, but no longer was I alone on the rollercoaster.
After several months of research and careful consideration, we decided to move forward with the Donor Egg process. I had been going through the stages of grief, but felt an overwhelming sigh of relief once the focus shifted from my eggs to those of our 19 year old anonymous donor. Our decision came from attending Donor Egg Support group meetings, reading children’s Donor Egg storybooks, and our willingness to share our story with anyone who was interested. I’m pretty sure a few Target team members know we have donor egg children.
Our struggle of working through my infertility suddenly vanished in an instant. December 27th, 2011 at about 12:45pm, a voice on the other end of the line said, “You are VERY pregnant!” My HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin, the hormone measured to confirm pregnancy) was high and they needed to see that number double in two days to confirm a positive. It almost tripled. Two weeks later not one, but TWO gestational sacs were seen on the ultrasound and a few weeks later two heartbeats confirmed it. Two and a half years after thinking I would never have a child I was pregnant with twins.
A year later I’m staring into the bright eyes of my twin six-month old daughters, one in the saucer and one in the jumper, both laughing and smiling at me. People say they resemble me and one day I hope they will exhibit some of my mannerisms. Genetics aside, these are our children and we wouldn’t have arrived at this point if it weren’t for the doctors, nurses, staff, and support group members at CCRM. We also thank our supportive family, friends, and most of all, our donor. Whoever and wherever she is, we can never THANK her enough for the gift of life.