Thank you to Heidi for sharing her story in this sponsored post. Egg donation is something I’m learning more and more about and how much of a financial burden it can put on a family. Heidi is sharing how her family used donor eggs to get one of her best gifts! Infertility is often a silent battle that many people don’t talk about. They don’t know about the options that are available because people don’t want to talk about the struggles and make it public. So, I’ve offered this forum to share stories about egg donation, egg donor recipients and now recipients of frozen donor eggs, which I didn’t even know existed.
There’s a sinking feeling that comes with infertility.
No one prepares you for the inability to conceive and no one ever expects that it will happen to them, but when your body is incapable of doing something you’ve always thought natural for it to do, you’re left wondering what comes next.
At least that’s how we felt during our battle trying to get pregnant.
Through trial and tribulation, however, we would one day find that egg donation was the answer we’d been searching for.
Adoption to Egg Donation (Plus, Everything In Between)
When my husband and I decided to try to have a baby, we had no idea what would lie ahead. The excitement of trying to conceive wore thin as months turned into years without a positive pregnancy that resulted in a baby’s heartbeat.
Trying turned into IUI’s, which then turned into eleven grueling, and expensive, rounds of IVF and frozen embryo transfers. All of which did not result in a clinical pregnancy.
After that eleventh failed cycle, our fertility doctor delivered the hard-hitting news we’d been fearing – we had unexplained infertility. It was likely that at the young age of 34, my eggs were not viable for conception. It was time for us to take a break and regroup.
At that point, it seemed like getting pregnant, even with advanced fertility treatments, was out of the question; so, we began considering adoption.
Following much deliberation, time, research, and effort, our dreams of having a child finally came true when we brought our son home from Guatemala.
He was the light of our lives and the answer to our infinite prayers; but despite this, we still felt that our family was not yet complete. We’d always dreamt of having two children and began pursuing another adoption to continue growing our family.
A combination of issues, resulting primarily from changes in adoption laws, led to us spending six long years trying to bring our little girl home.
There is no explaining the sorrow you feel when you’ve spent time with a child, played with a child, loved a child, only to find out they’re not going to be yours. The devastation was something unimaginable.
We’d put so much into that adoption opportunity – physically, mentally, and financially, that pursuing another didn’t seem like a valid option. Still dreaming of another child, however, we began to look at other options.
Our research led us to donor egg IVF, which would eventually give us the most beautiful gifts we could have hoped for… our twins.
The Cost of Donor Egg IVF
I can’t say that choosing to use a donor egg was an easy decision. It was one that took a lot of reflection and consideration.
My mind was riddled with questions and concerns, but at the end of the day, I yearned for our little boy to have a sibling. I knew in my heart that our family was not complete and that this path was the one we were meant to take.
I was not, however, prepared for the cost of fresh donor egg IVF which paralleled the high cost of adoption.
Don’t get me wrong, I had become accustomed to expensive fertility treatments. After years spent trying to get pregnant through IUI and IVF, plus adoption, I was no stranger to the fees we’d be facing. It’s unfortunate that frozen donor eggs were not yet a valid option when I was trying to get pregnant.
When considering the use of donor eggs, many couples don’t realize the benefits of choosing frozen. Not only are these eggs as successful as fresh ones; they come with a much less complicated process and an exponentially lower price tag.
The Differences Between a Fresh & Frozen Cycle
Finding a fresh egg donor can be tiresome and complicated.
It’s not just about finding the perfect candidate; it’s about looking for an individual who’s reliable and available. A fresh donor cycle consists of syncing your own cycle with that of the donor’s; a process that is extremely time-sensitive and invasive.
Your own body must be ready to receive the eggs when the donor is ready to produce them.
The procedures to achieve this come with a hefty price tag. Not only will you be paying medical bills and medications for yourself and the donor, you will be covering her compensation which is typically $5,000-$8,500, agency fee if she used one which can add an additional $5,000-$8,000, and all of her expenses such as gas, lodging if needed, etc.
With frozen donor egg usage, the donors have already undergone extensive screening and the eggs themselves are readily available when you are. The cycle becomes solely about your schedule and body without the headache of managing another individual.
Many of the fees experienced with a fresh donor cycle are null and void when a couple chooses to use frozen.
While frozen donor egg IVF is still a costly venture, couples with financial concerns find it to be less costly while still reaping the same benefits as those who go with fresh.
Happily Ever After with Frozen Donor Eggs
Starting a family should not come with a price tag, but for the 1 in 8 couples facing infertility, money is a primary concern.
Frozen donor eggs not only offer women faced with poor egg quality the chance to have a baby and experience pregnancy, but compared to other options, frozen donor eggs are also one of the most economical ways to achieve motherhood.
The financial burden faced by my family during our infertility struggles was heavy.
While I will never regret the choices that led us to our little ones, I only wish we would have had more options at the time. No matter what you choose to do, however, know that the path you’re on has the potential to make your dreams come true.
About the Author: Heidi Hayes is the Executive Vice President of Donor Egg Bank, a California Cryobank Company. She has more than 20 years of healthcare experience and has worked extensively in the field of reproductive endocrinology. Having been unsuccessful at traditional IUI and IVF treatments, Heidi personally understands the struggles of infertility. After many years of trying to conceive, she ultimately built her family through adoption and donor egg treatment. She always believed that if she didn’t give up, her ultimate goal of becoming a parent would someday become a reality.