*Trying Again: A Struggle with Secondary Infertility is a guests post. If you are interested in writing for A Modern Mom’s Life, please visit my Guest Posting page. *
Our first born, a beautiful blue-eyed girl, was a complete surprise.
We were recently married, elbow-deep in-home renovations, and completely shell-shocked when an adorable smiley face popped up on my pregnancy test.
As easily as she’d come into our lives, we assumed baby number two would be the same way. When we started trying to conceive our second, however, we were once again surprised when it didn’t work right away.
A year later we found ourselves researching how donor eggs are assisting fertility patients and trying to make one of the biggest decisions of our lives.
“I’m Sorry, but Your Eggs are No Longer Viable.”
When we first began trying to get pregnant again and it didn’t happen as easily, I chalked it up to bygone years and an older reproductive system. After all, our daughter was five and I was edging towards my mid-thirties.
Still, I thought that another month or two of relaxing and trying would result in a pregnancy.
Months turned into a year and we suddenly found ourselves undergoing testing with a local fertility specialist to try and understand what was going on.
The day we arrived to go over our test results, I wasn’t expecting great news, but I was expecting fixable news. A polyp removal, IUI, or even IVF were all on my radar as possible treatments, but I never could’ve prepared myself for what I heard:
“I’m sorry, but your eggs are no longer viable.”
No longer viable – as in, no longer usable. It would be impossible for me to have another child using my own eggs.
I was devastated. I’ve always been the type of person who could find the silver lining in any situation, but what bright spot could’ve possibly existed under those circumstances?
The answer was donor eggs.
Donor Eggs: The Solution to My Secondary Infertility
I’m not going to pretend that choosing to use donor eggs was easy.
No matter how many times I saw the black and white test results, I found myself struggling to accept them. I cycled through the five stages of grief in an attempt to make sense of our new reality.
Once I’d surpassed my moments of bargaining and anger, I was ready for acceptance and resolution. I was desperate to carry another child and experience pregnancy again; donor eggs could make that possible.
We began to search for our donor.
How Do You Choose an Egg Donor?
Wouldn’t it be lovely if there were concrete answers on how to pick the right donor for your family? A college course on valid wants and requirements, if you will.
Alas, there isn’t, and we struggled to decide on what exactly we were looking for.
The one piece of comfort we found in trying to make our decision was that each candidate had been put through a rigorous screening process. We were guaranteed to choose someone with a good health history (both physically and mentally). Additionally, our donor egg program provided ample information on their donors’ personal and educational backgrounds.
In the end, we decided on a mix of physical similarities and common interests.
Getting Pregnant (Again) with Donor Egg IVF
Once we’d found our donor, I began the donor egg IVF process.
While this experience was difficult, we were blessed to have an incredible team of medical professionals surrounding us who made our cycle as simple as possible. They saw us through general reproductive testing, a round of injectable medications, bloodwork, ultrasounds, and, finally, our embryo transfer.
When my body was ready, we made the early morning drive to our clinic’s on-site surgical center where our doctor inserted our beautiful embryo directly into my uterus using a thin-catheter and ultrasound technology.
Two weeks later, we received the news we’d been hoping for – our beloved daughter was about to become a big sister.
Becoming a Family of Four
When I think of how easy it was for me to get pregnant the first time, it seems so strange that a mere five years later I would need donor eggs to conceive again.
People often ask me if I feel a sense of loss since I don’t have a genetic connection to our second-born – a bouncing baby boy, by the way. The answer is no.
The connection I developed with him throughout my pregnancy is unprecedented, and I feel so blessed to be his mom. I’ll forever be grateful to the beautiful soul who donated our egg and helped us achieve our dreams of becoming a family.
Melissa G. is mother to two beautiful children. When trying for her second child five years after the birth of her daughter, she received a heartbreaking secondary infertility diagnosis. Not one to give up hope, Melissa turned to donor eggs and gave birth to an adorable little boy. She’s forever grateful to her egg donor for making her dream family become a reality.
My conceptions happened the other way. It took us much less time to become pregnant with my second child than my first. Having a baby actually reset my cycle (I had always had irregular periods) and my second pregnancy happened within maybe 2 months of “trying.”
I feel for those who struggle with fertility issues. I thought 6 months of trying with my first was a long time! There are so many resources available to help couples conceive – I hope that by sharing this story I have given support, and hope, to those seeking it.