Q & A With A Donor
Here we get to know the donor of five Day 5 Blastocyst embryos
Why did you decide to donate your embryos?
My husband and I always knew we wanted a family. When we got married it was our first priority. We knew we were going to need intervention and quickly started with IUIs before moving onto IVF. Through our journey we were almost at the point of needing donor eggs as we had zero fertilisation during our first IVF cycle however we were lucky enough to have success with ICSI IVF. Facing this possibility though helped us realise what it felt like to want something so much but not be able to achieve it on your own. We decided then that if we had any left-over embryos we would donate them.
Was it a difficult decision?
After the birth of our 3rd child we felt our family was complete and it was time to donate our remaining 5 embryos. After seeing what these little blastocysts grew into, donation was the only decision we felt happy with.
How did you find your match? How long did it take?
We spoke to our fertility clinic but they only did anonymous donation and we knew that we wanted to be able to meet the couple and possibly receive updates on the children born from the embryo’s. We searched the Embryo Donation Network classifieds and the ads on eggdonorangels.com. We decided that we would place an ad and see if we could find a couple that may be interested. We were contacted by a number of people who were all lovely and seemed so deserving but we were instantly drawn to one couple in particular. We emailed back and forth for a few weeks and felt like we were all very much on the same page with everything. Our clinic required us to do at least one counselling session alone and one joint one with our recipients. We scheduled our counselling after about a month of email communication. Everything went really well so we signed the documents at the clinic the following week. Our recipients than had to wait a 60 day cooling off period before they could move onto their first transfer.
Do you have communication with your recipient?
We do! Initially we had said in counselling that we would just like updates every now and then but we have ended up having regular contact. Our recipients have emailed us and kept us updated regularly throughout their journey and we have found ourselves wanted more correspondence then we initially thought. It has actually been easier to deal with the donation emotionally being a part of the journey. We have met up in person for lunch once when our recipient was about 8 months pregnant and it was so nice to get to know them more on a personal level and for our children to put a face to the names. We also share research and articles that we come across with our recipients and vice versa which has been nice. We have all been talking a lot about the research that shows the children born from donated embryos and my own children are better off knowing as much as possible from as early as possible so we are all very open about it all with our children. We have made little books that explain things in a simplified way and with photos so our children can try and understand what is happening. Our recipients have just given birth to a baby girl and we couldn’t be happier for them!
What advice would you give to others looking to donate/become a recipient?
Donating embryos is such an amazing experience. We feel so grateful to have found a couple willing to give these embryos life and love and that they are so open with us and letting us be a part of the experience. We didn’t set out to make this extended family but that seems to be how it is going. My advice is to be open to this evolving form your initial ideas of what this will look like for your family and take time to find recipients that are on the same page as you. A wonderful, fulfilling experience that brings joy to everyone.