IVF Babble

I need to use an egg donor. Will I be able to connect and love my child?

Being told donation is the only route for you to parenthood, can come as a massive initial blow

One of our readers described the moment she was told by her consultant that she would need to use an egg donor:

” I didn’t want to believe what I was hearing. I felt as though I was being told that I could never be a “real” mummy. I wanted to have my own child, not some other woman’s child. I wanted to shout and cry and scream at the same time. I wanted the consultant to tell me she had made a mistake. Every single person in my family has had their “own” babies so why was I different?! Why could I not conceive using my own eggs?

My head was flooded with fears and doubts

Would I be able to connect and love my child? Would people see straight away that I wasn’t the “real” mother? When would I have to tell “my” child that I wasn’t it’s biological mother? Would I feel angry that my husband and our child were biologically connected  but I wasn’t? Would other mothers see that my baby didn’t have my eyes? Would my child scream at me “you aren’t my real mother anyway” when it reaches the teenage years?

When I look back and think about these fears and doubts, I feel such sadness

I wish I could go back and comfort myself. I wish I could go back and tell my younger self that everything would be OK. I am now a proud mummy via egg donation. My daughter  has my eyes, my laugh, my energy and my sweet tooth! We bonded the second she was born and honestly, using an egg donor was the best decision I have ever made”.

If you are struggling at the moment, take a look through some of these common concerns, alongside the support and guidance from the amazing Andreia Trigo RN BSc MSc 

Am I biologically related to my child?

An embryo is formed with the genetic material resulting from an egg and sperm. If you are using a donated egg or sperm, the child will be partly genetically related to the donor.

In the case of donor eggs, recent research has found that women who conceive using donor eggs may affect the activity of their child’s genes. This is thought to be related to microRNA present in the uterus lining during implantation. So even though you can’t pass on your DNA, your embryo will take up your microRNA which will determine which of its genes will become active.

Consider that even though you are not passing your genes, your body still plays a very important part: your uterus, your health, your blood, your nutrients, your oxygen all helped create a life, and without these the embryo wouldn’t develop, and a baby wouldn’t be born.

Will my child look like me?

When you choose egg or sperm donation, you will be able to choose some donor characteristics. You may choose a donor who looks like you or your partner.

There is also some evidence that in cases of egg donation, your microRNA present in the uterus lining during implantation will determine which of its genes will become active. And remember that as the child grows, you will also pass on your values, beliefs, behaviours and attitudes.

Will I be able to connect and love my child?

As you reflect on your option of egg or sperm donation, take some time to consider what family and motherhood mean to you and how you want to experience these in your day to day with your child.

Family is about connection, self-growth, growing together, supporting each other. It’s about unconditional love, nurturing and passing on your values.

Making a decision as a couple

The impact of having to consider donation, on a relationship can be frustrating and confusing. Couples may grieve at different times, cope and make decisions differently.

If you are in a relationship, this will be a joint decision. Remember why you got together in the first place, make your union a priority and be respectful of each other’s grieving times, coping styles and opinions. It may be helpful to speak with a nurse or psychologist during the process of making a decision.

Making a decision as a couple

The impact of having to consider donation, on a relationship can be frustrating and confusing. Couples may grieve at different times, cope and make decisions differently.

If you are in a relationship, this will be a joint decision. Remember why you got together in the first place, make your union a priority and be respectful of each other’s grieving times, coping styles and opinions. It may be helpful to speak with a nurse or psychologist during the process of making a decision.

Making a decision on donation may take a while

Take time to redefine family and mother images in your mind, so that you can ease your emotions and feel peaceful with an honest and genuine decision.

Andreia Trigo RN BSc MSc is a multi-awarded nurse consultant, author and TEDx speaker.  Combining her medical experience and her own infertility journey, she developed unique strategies to help people undergoing similar challenges achieve their reproductive goals. Her mission is to improve accessibility to fertility care and support worldwide at minimal cost to populations. She is the founder of the Enhanced Fertility Programme, the evidence-based programme that improved help for fertility, currently in use by several clinics and patients worldwide.

You can reach Andreia via instagram @andreiatrigorn or her website

Avatar

IVFbabble

Add comment

TTC COMMUNITY

Subscribe to our newsletter



Buy Your Pineapple Pin here

CHECK YOUR FERTILITY