We made the decision that our next step would be to us an egg donor. It just didn't make sense to me to spend so much money on another IVF attempt using my eggs if it was SO unlikely to work. The odds were just not in our favor. Dr. Wu said that my uterus appears to be perfectly capable of carrying a baby. I just don't have the eggs to do it.
So then the only decision to make was do we use a known donor or an anonymous donor? When we first started the infertility treatments, my sister had told me if it came down to it, she would be a surrogate for us. My thoughts were, if she is willing to be a surrogate, she would probably be willing to be an egg donor. I didn't talk to her right away about this, but Hubby and I did talk about it. At first, we thought that would be the only way we'd be willing to consider it. But the more Hubby thought about it, the more he thought it might be weird.
We got some info on anonymous egg donors, including a small list of potential donors. I studied each one and thought about which one I would use if it came down to that. The clinic warned us not to put too much into it though, as the donor list is constantly changing based on people's cycles. If I got my heart set on one, that person might not be available by the time our cycle were to come around. I kept a very open mind through all of it and just gathered as much information as I could. I just needed an idea about how picking a donor would work.
At some point during the summer, I did finally talk to my sister (I'll just call her Sis) about being a donor. She talked it over with her husband and they both agreed to the plan. It would be MUCH less invasive to her than actually carrying a baby for us.
Hubby and I both had moments of doubt, not really sure whether we should use a known or unknown donor. His biggest concern was family gatherings. Would it just be really weird knowing that our baby was a part of Sis? How would we deal with that? He's also afraid he won't be able to get attached to the baby (which I KNOW this concern won't be the case just because I know how he is with little kids). I could see his point, in addition to some other concerns I had such as how would we handle all this if it doesn't work? Would I be angry with my sister? Will it effect her ability to have more children? They already have 3 but would like one more.
In August, we had an appointment with a fertility counselor, which was a required step by our clinic to go forward using an egg donor. We used this appointment to talk about the pros and cons of using a known vs. unknown donor. We left the appointment feeling excited and accepting of using Sis as our donor. This was a HUGE relief to me, as this is what I ultimately preferred for the following reasons:
*Our baby will still be a part of me genetically
*The baby will have a strong chance of looking like me. Sis and I look VERY much the same. In fact, we grew up getting asked if we were twins. We STILL get asked that a lot even now. I actually am 5 years older!
*Her kids actually look a lot like me (probably like her since she is their mom, but I prefer to think they look like me haha!) so again, our baby will have a chance to look like me. When people say things about our baby like "oh she looks so much like you!" I won't have to grin and bear it because it will actually be true. Of course, this is assuming that this all works and we DO get pregnant and have a baby.
*I will always know what my child's family history is.
*This is something that Sis and I get to do together.
One of our biggest questions about using a donor was how we are going to tell the child and our families? The counselor really helped us in this matter as well. Bottom line is, families with secrets usually end up with problems and eventual blow ups. She really encouraged us to be upfront. This backed up all the research I have found as well, so I tend to agree. From what I have read, children/adults conceived from a donor usually have anger issues about it if they find out later in life. Those that know from an early age, just grow up knowing it and thinking it's no big deal. That's just the way it is. I read from one woman that also used her sister as a donor - she tells her daughter that she is a part of her mommy, her daddy, and also a part of her Auntie. I like that.
Hubby, Sis and her husband, and I have talked about every scenario and have decided to move forward. Her husband is extremely excited and supportive of all this. If for whatever reason, they don't end up having another baby themselves, they are looking at it as if it just wasn't meant to be then. If a baby results from this for Hubby and I, that baby will 100% be ours and Sis will be the best Auntie she can be to it, just like I am the best Auntie to her kids. If it doesn't work at all, then of course I will be GREATLY disappointed, but I know it won't be her fault and well, it's kind of a last ditch effort anyway really.
I know that people have all sorts of opinions about what is right and what is wrong. I think most that think IVF and using egg donors is wrong, probably have never had to struggle with infertility themselves. There are those that say adoption should be the chosen path for those of us struggling with infertility. Yes, I agree that there are a LOT of children out there that need a safe, loving home. But I also know that adoption isn't for everyone.
While I worry about the reaction of people more than I should, ultimately the only people that matter are my family. Only a limited few know at this point what we are doing, and each of them have been very supportive and pray for success.