Double Miracles on the Way
my husband and I married 7 years ago, we immediately started trying to
have children. We had both just turned 34, so there was no time
to waste. But things didn’t work out quite like we planned.
We did manage to get pregnant once, but it ended in miscarriage at 11
weeks. Several years of trying later, still no baby and no other
I don’t miss those years. Anyone with fertility issues knows that
the monthly roller coaster of trying to conceive is one of the most
stressful things a marriage can go through. Making love on demand
might sound like fun to the uninitiated, but we know better.
Forget about being in the mood, or having the right atmosphere or even
the right state of mind. All that matters is the blip on the
ovulation stick. Then the hope. Then the reality of yet
another failure. Then start all over again. Those were bad
We finally scraped enough money together to try IVF. In a strange
way, it was a relief to put our hopes in the hands of the doctors
instead of it being just our responsibility. By then I was almost
40, so I was really concerned about egg quality. My plan was to
do PGD testing on my embryos and implant only the perfect ones.
Unfortunately, I only produced 3 decent embryos, so we were unable to
do any testing. I had a chemical pregnancy, and nothing left over
to try again.
We needed some alternatives. I didn’t want to have to try IVF
over and over again – given our financial situation, it would take a
year to save for each cycle, and the clock was continuing to
tick. We contacted adoption agencies, but given my husband’s
health issues and our age, we realized it was very unlikely that we’d
get a baby that way. And it drives me crazy when people refer to
children as “so-and-so’s adopted daughter” – I hate the labels.
And I really wanted to be pregnant! There had to be other
options. Then we read about embryo donation.
My husband warmed to the idea immediately, but I took a little more
convincing. My husband started to put it in perspective for me by
using humor – he pointed out that if I did have my own genetic daughter
that inherited my personality traits, we’d probably fight like cats and
dogs. True. And I also realized I had never met a baby I
wouldn’t be happy to take home as mine, no matter who the genetic
I also thought about my mother. My mother has been nanny to a now
11-year old girl since the girl was three months old. That little
girl adores my mother and spends as much time with her as she possibly
can. She has my mother’s mannerisms and expressions, and even
shares my mother’s hobbies. These two share no genetic link at
all, but they are so alike! My siblings and I joke that she’s my
Genetics may dictate hair and eye color, height and body type, but when
it comes to values, morals, mannerisms, work ethic, and the type of
human being we become, that is the direct result of how we are
raised. So my daughter may not have red hair and blue eyes, but
I’ll make sure she is polite, hard working, self-confident, and
happy. I’ll make sure she values her family, is kind to others,
and looks for ways to help people who are less fortunate than
her. Those are things I can teach her, genetic link or not.
Once I was sold on embryo donation, the next hurdle was to find a
donor. My preference was to find donors who we could maintain a
minimum amount of contact with. I wanted my children to be able
to meet their genetic siblings one day if they wanted. I made
contact with a few donors, but nothing worked out. In the
meantime, I put our names on the waiting list at my clinic for
Six months later, I got the call – the clinic had 12 embryos for
me! Better yet, the genetic mother was young (32) and healthy at
the time she produced the embryos. She didn’t have any fertility
issues; she had had her tubes tied and then wanted another child.
It was perfect on so many levels – little chance of chromosomal
problems, enough embryos to try more than once or have more than one
baby, and a much higher chance of success than I would have with my own
eggs. While I would have preferred that it was not an anonymous
transaction, I found out enough about the genetic parents to feel
really comfortable with the whole thing. I don’t know their names
or what they look like, but I know so much about them and their family
Well, it worked on the first try! We put in three embryos, and
two stuck it out – we’re having twins!! I rarely think about the
genetics. Except in relief when I realize the babies come from a
healthy 32 year-old instead of an infertile 41 year-old. There
are so many age-related issues I don’t have to worry about.
And I know I’ll be a good mother. Being infertile has had one
amazing benefit – I have spent years dreaming about being a mother so
I’ve had plenty of time to study. Over the past seven years I’ve
read every article I could get may hands on about child-rearing.
I’ve watched every television special on parenting. I’ve given
tons of thought to the things I want to teach and show my
children. Truth is, if children had come easily to us when we
first married, I would not have given much thought to the type of
mother I wanted to be. I’m much better prepared now, and my
children will benefit from that. And isn’t that a lot more
important than hair and eye color?
About embryo donation stories: This story and the other
stories you will find at the Miracles Waiting website are contributed
by the authors, and we do not verify the details or content for
accuracy. They are offered on this
site for informational and entertainment purposes only. They are not a
substitute for medical or legal consultation.
The Miracles Waiting, Inc. Team