Our journey began back in December 2019 when my partner and I went to a consultation at London Women’s Clinic after we had been given some bad news from our local hospital. We met with Dr Ashour who explained to us our fertility options, and that using donor eggs was our best chance at success.
Initially, my thoughts on egg donation weren’t very positive. I didn’t want to have a baby that wouldn’t be genetically mine, and this was something that took some time to overcome. However, after having discussions with my husband and taking some time to process all the information we had been given, I came to appreciate that genetics really wouldn’t matter. Yes, I would be using donor eggs, but I would be carrying, nurturing, and giving birth to my baby – and these were the most important things to me.
We chose our eggs from London Egg Bank. We found the Egg Bank database really easy to navigate, and it was quite fun scrolling through all the different profiles. In fact, my husband and I likened it to online dating!
We started with physical attributes as we wanted the donor to resemble me as much as possible – being blonde with blue eyes, this narrowed down the donors to choose from. We printed out all the profiles and read through them individually, looking at everything from education to how active a donor was. Given that we both play football and I’m a dancer, we wanted to choose a donor who was also athletic as we felt like we could relate to her. We also considered what the donor had written on her profile about her reason for donating. Of course, anyone who donates their eggs are incredibly kind and selfless, but the donor we chose seemed even more so and like a very caring person.
"Yes, I would be using donor eggs, but I would be carrying, nurturing, and giving birth to my baby – and these were the most important things to me."
We began our IVF with donor eggs treatment in March 2020. The entire process was pretty straightforward, at each step it was explained to us in detail what was going to be happening and what medication I would need. I really appreciated how they made the process as simple as possible for us. As someone who suffers from chronic pancreatitis, I knew the importance of good health and looking after myself. I maintained a good diet and exercised regularly as I wanted to be in the best physical condition possible. When it came to the embryo transfer procedure, the nurses and doctors were so overwhelmingly positive that we couldn’t help but have a positive outlook.
When we saw our little embryos on the scan my husband and I cried!
We were supposed to take the pregnancy test 10 days after our embryo transfer, but we already knew before then that it would be positive. I was feeling quite sick throughout the week, and when I got up at 4am one night to use the bathroom, Scott told me to take a test early. It was positive! To see that blue cross on the stick was amazing.
Throughout my pregnancy, I was convinced that I was having a boy. Part of me was hoping that this would be the case so that I would be less likely to encounter awkward conversations where someone would say that my daughter looked like me and I would have to explain that she was conceived using donor eggs. But, when our daughter was born, I couldn’t be happier!
I had to have an emergency caesarean when the time came, and when they held up our little baby, Scott was too overwhelmed to say if they were a boy or a girl. But when the nurses turned on the radio and started singing Stevie Wonder’s ‘Isn’t She Lovely’, it all fell into place. The moment couldn’t have been more perfect.
Undergoing IVF using donor eggs to have my daughter was the best decision we could have made, and we have never once regretted it. I would say to people who are considering using donor eggs to just go for it! Of course, do your research and try and process as much information as possible. Because once you do, you’ll realise that your baby is no less yours despite them not coming from your own eggs.
I hope that my story will give other parents the courage to consider egg donation and using donor eggs. I know that I would have come to the decision much easier if I had read some stories from other people in a similar position as myself. Initially, I had my concerns about using donor eggs, but ultimately the lack of genetics doesn’t make a difference – she is still very much my little girl. So I hope that this will show people that yes, the decision can be difficult, but staying positive and having a good mindset makes all of the difference.
We are now enjoying the journey of parenthood and are looking forward to learning how much of our baby’s character comes down to nature, and how much is down to nurture!