Story of J

My husband and I had always wanted children. Both of us come from large families who are quite close, and we were so excited to start our own.

After a year of trying with no success, I began to get concerned. We just assumed we would fall pregnant immediately and it did not make sense to us that while we were struggling, people around us were falling pregnant everywhere we looked.

It didn’t make sense that we were both in our late 20s with no family history of health issues. The impact this had was also beginning to affect our relationship and intimacy. Being so meticulous with timings, ovulation kits, and pregnancy tests was draining, and the entire process began to feel more like a chore rather than something we both enjoyed.

We decided to get advice from a fertility clinic that were recognised for their simple approaches to fertility problems. We figured that it would probably a very simple solution and it could be fixed without even having to go down the IVF route.

After a few basic blood tests and a couple of scans, we received the news that neither of us were expecting. I had what they called “premature ovarian failure” which meant that my body had simply run out of eggs. The doctor explained to us that while men can make sperm throughout their lives, women are born with a set amount of eggs and once they’ve gone, that’s it, they’re gone.

I don’t think I could have cried harder that night. There was nothing my husband could do or say to make the situation easier. What made it so much worse was that night, one of my bridesmaids made the announcement on social media that she was pregnant and was making light of the fact it was an unplanned pregnancy. As supportive as our family were upon hearing this news, nothing seemed to make me feel any better.

The following month, we went back to the fertility clinic to talk about our options. Our doctor we spoke to was so compassionate and understanding, it made a world of difference to us. She suggested that donor eggs were an option for us and that many couples she had seen had travelled down this route with success. We went away and thought about it, my main concern was that the child would not be biologically mine and that I wouldn’t be able to bond with it.

In the car on the way home from our appointment, my husband decided to take a detour and drive past the place where he proposed to me. I figured he was doing this to try and cheer me up, but when he pulled over, he put his arm around me and simply said: “The hardest journey has the most incredible ending.”

At that point I knew that we could do this.

We began the process a few months later and as nervous as I was, our specialist and her staff were so supportive and made everything so much easier than I feared. The most difficult part of this process was my two week wait, where I had to keep my mind from driving me insane. When we finally got the results back from my pregnancy test, I literally fell to the floor and cried even harder than I had before. Thanks to someone’s selfless gift, I was going to be a mum.

In many ways, I felt almost empowered that although nature had thrown us a curve ball and forced us to take this route, we had taken back the situation. Although I wouldn’t have been able to have my daughter without the selfless act of kindness from our beloved donor, I carried our little girl and grew her, and I feel that she will always be mine in the most special way. From this experience and how much our daughter makes my heart burst with love, I can honestly say that genetics is the least of what makes me a mum.

Author

Nic Stark

Nic Stark is Fertility First's Senior Research Embryologist. She holds a Masters of Reproductive Health Sciences and Human Genetics, a Bachelor in Medical Science, and is completing her PhD in Medicine (Reproductive Physiology). She has been an embryologist for over 15 years.

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