* Author Topic: TTC No.2, considering egg donor, husband not keen - thoughts/experiences please  (Read 1353 times)

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Offline coldhandswarmheart

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Hello ladies

I hope I'm posting in the right place, apologies if not.

After a long and horrific journey of almost 5 years (see sig below) we had the most incredible luck and finally managed to conceive naturally when I was 42, gave birth at 43. We were just so incredible lucky - I had a healthy pregnancy, healthy, beautiful baby girl. We are so so blessed and it's something I realise every day.

I've now just turned 45 and since our LO was about a year we've been TTC again. My DH and I agreed early on that we'd love to try for number 2 naturally, but both felt utterly exhausted by our journey and so blessed that things had finally worked out for us, that we would never turn to medical assistance again.

However,  approaching DD 2nd birthday and I'm starting to feel with increasing longing that I'd love for her to have a sibling. We've not been using any protection but haven't had a whiff of a pregnancy and I'm very realistic about our chance at conceiving naturally at my age.

So i've started to research a little bit into DE both here and in Europe and that was as far as I got because when I mentioned it to my DH, he said very clearly that he definitely didn't want to go down that road. He feels very strongly that we've had enough medical intervention, relationship stress, heartache, sadness, worry and all the horrors that come from failed fertility assistance and says he just can't face it again. I argued that our success might be more straightforward (with luck) as we'd be using younger eggs etc but it didn't make any difference. He also argued about the difficulty of explaining to any potential sibling (and our existing DD) about the whole DE thing and how complicated emotionally that might make things. We are also quite short of money which is another of his arguments.

The thing is, I do hear and sympathise with all of these ideas. I get it. But I just feel it's things we could work through. I feel in my heart that I would, more than anything, love for my DD to have a sibling as I worry a lot about her being an only child. I know it's clearly not the worst thing in the world but both myself and my husband come from big families and I know what a wonderful relationship the sibling one can be. I think she'd love being a big sister.
And selfishly, I've loved being pregnant and being a Mummy and feel I really have so much more love to give to another little one. I just don't feel my journey is completed yet with my family.

But I don't want to go any further down this route without my DH's agreement. I don't know what to do. He's a fantastic Daddy, and amazing supportive husband but I know once he's set his mind to something, he won't be budged. And now I'm desperately worried this is going to come between us as of course there is no compromise on having children! I'm worried that if we don't at least try the DE thing once, say, i.e. for one cycle, then I'm going to resent him for the rest of our lives.

Some days I think I can just agree with him and put it to the back of my mind but then the minute I see anyone with a little one and a pregnant tummy, it all comes flooding back again and I find myself dreaming.

I know and understand all his arguments against, but I'm just not there yet and the thought of basically giving up my dream of having another one is just too strong at the moment.

Has anyone been in a similar situation? Has anyone had one DC naturally and another via DE? Or successful natural BFP after 45? I'd so love to hear your stories and thoughts if you had time.

Thank you so so much


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    Offline Baby2018

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    Hi couldhands, after trying for approx 4.5 years to conceive, and finding out my AMH is very low, my partner and I are moving straight to DE, we chose this cause even though it's more expensive, we didn't have the money or the strength of going through failed cycles with OE. We hope to have twins, so it's all done in one go . God willing

    Offline Mochashosh

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    Hi Coldhands

    Perhaps you and your husband could speak to a donor egg charity (someone on here will know the name) that does days where you can come and ask questions.  Perhaps if your husband were to meet other parents who've chosen this course he would come to his own kind of understanding.  Would he be open to the idea of collecting more data in order to make a better informed decision?

    If you want to be a mum again then that's what's in your heart and nobody can tell you otherwise.  But I'm always a bit perplexed by people who say they worry about their child being an 'only'.  I was an only child, and I can tell you that I used to look at my friends with siblings and consider myself lucky that I didn't have to deal with what they had to deal with.  I never for one moment regretted being an only child or wanted a sibling, in fact quite the opposite.  I think that, with or without a sibling, your little girl will have the most fabulous childhood, because you sound like a wonderful mum.

    I am in a similar position to you in that I'm in my 40s.  We have zero chance of conceiving naturally (my husband has blocked sperm ducts) so our only option was ICSI.  We've just had our 4th OE round (3 BFN, 1 miscarriage), and we think this might be the end of the road.  Only in our case it's me who's dead against DE and not my husband. 

    I hope you find the solution that's right for you.

    Offline rainbows44

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    Hello congratulations on having a beautiful, healthy daughter!

    perhaps you might consider that trying to conceive again is going to be costly, in both money and emotions, and also risky. It gets so much harder with age.

    I'm doing IVF now at 44 and I don't particularly want a donor egg, I want a child of my own, and with already donor sperm it just feels like with a donor egg it won't really be mine.

    I respect those who do but in my case I don't really want to do that.

    But in your case it's complicated as you already have a daughter.  Some issues that might raise themselves include: sibling rivalry. If your children discover one day that one of them is from a donor egg, then that could create issues. You might love both your children equally but siblings often consider each other unwanted competition for their parent's attention and this might make that worse. You could be lucky but then again they might fight all the time.

    I like to say: have one and the job is done. The fact you have had one, amazingly and beautifully, means it takes the pressure off. If you don't have another one, it's not the end of the world, as you've managed to have one. Perhaps you could be happier if you channel the emotional and financial energy into the existing family?

    If you are really set on having a second child then donor eggs is a lot easier than IVF when you are over 40 which is why a lot of clinics push this option.

    Offline HopefulKayte

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    I am currently 18 weeks pregnant with a baby via donor embryo and this is very much my own child. This child is alive and I am it's biological mother as my son has grown from a ball of cells into a living, breathing baby due to my body, blood, nutrition and love.

    I have a son via OE IVF who will be 6 when the baby is born. We too have had a hellish journey over the past decade, which has left me feeling a different sort of mother than my peers who easily conceived and carried. I'm so grateful for my hard fought-for son, realize that not everyone gets so lucky, and pray every day that his sibling (whom he desperately wants, and we want, too) continues to thrive.

    We have been through 5 years of cycles for this sibling. 5 fresh IVF cycles, some transfers, a miscarriage, lots of BFNs. Our resources had more than run out, and we also knew we were wasting money to continue trying with our own gametes as our results grew worse and worse. I personally, did not feel our family was done, and the way I saw my son love on other little siblings of cousins and friends, helped me to understand what does make a family - love and desire. If another baby isn't desired, that's OK. If you feel that DNA makes a family, OK. But I know it's love, and that you can love any beautiful child placed in your arms. Heck, my son could have been an egg and sperm mix up in the lab, and if I found that out tomorrow - would I love him any less or feel any differently? No way.

    We did two rounds of donor egg, which also resulted in miscarriage and BFN. We realized we likely had undiagnosed sperm issues as well, as we had the same results as with my OE. At this point, I grew depressed, knowing the answer to growing our family by seeking out yet another avenue was likely a 'no' due to the resources issue. As some time passes, perspectives can change and educating oneself about options can change a person. Then we learned about donor embryo programs overseas, the small fraction of a cost that fertility treatment is there compared to in North America, as well as a guarantee program. After a little time passed, we happily embraced this option. We also would have sought out adoption had we not had the fear of the birth mother/parents changing their mind, or the process heavily involving our son beforehand. We felt this was too risky emotionally for him. At least with cycles, he didn't know what we were trying for.

    We know that seeking out another path to adding to one's family isn't simple. But, the real hardship for us would not be dealing with this - it would be the alternative. Each person needs to decide for themselves what feels right. This is just what was right for us.

    I recently had a conversation with a friend I met when cycling overseas. We were there at the same time for transfers - her using OE (she's 43 and still trying with OE) and me with donor embryos. Sadly her cycle was not successful and there is not much hope using her own eggs. They also have one child and are trying for project sibling. She has seen many of her IVF peers find success using donor gametes and then (hopefully) I have, and her mind has been changed about feeling it needs to be her OE, she just wants another child. However, her husband has said it's her OE or nothing, and so they still try with their own gametes. She feels she must respect this, but is worried about her own reckoning with this down the road. I suggested infertility counselling with someone familiar with this type of crossroads, which is something DH and I did.

    I told my husband about this, and he said, "Do they want another child or no?" This explains his point of view, how he embraces the notion of family. But not everyone feels comfortable with this and that is fair. I only know of one childless couple and they are childless not by choice in terms of them trying to have a child, but when that didn't succeed, they were unwanting to try an alternative path. So ultimately they are at peace with their decision because when balancing both options on a scale - building a family atypically vs. not having children - they chose the latter, and that is what they were comfortable with.

    One last note - for a long time I thought if I kept trying, I would find another golden egg. When I first thought of using donor eggs and my husband's sperm, I didn't want to consider it. Then reality hit when I couldn't make blasts and had nothing for transfer. When I did the balancing of prospects on the scale, my feelings shifted. The counselling also helped us muddle through the world of donor gametes. We know the resources are available in the future for support.

    Okay, really one final note now. I never think about this being a donor pregnancy. It feels exactly the same as my son's pregnancy. In fact, it feels more precious to me, as we literally travelled to the other side of the world several times to create this child, after many unsuccessful attempts of varying types. I have also had both OE and DE miscarriages. Both felt tragic, and to be honest - I was even more upset with the loss of the DE pregnancy. It felt like such a sacrifice and leap of faith and hope, and this also showed me what love and hope is. Another aspect of doing donor in Czech Republic is I never saw pictures of anyone, so it doesn't feel like I did anything but show up for a regular OE embryo transfer. I had seen pictures and read lengthy profiles when I tried our first donor cycle back home, and this definitely altered the whole process for me. I never got those pictures or that information out of my mind. With Czech Republic, it's simply an anonymous donation of cells, nd the whole focus is on us, not anyone else.

    No offense meant to anyone who feels differently than me. This is just how I feel. Best of luck in moving forward together or coming to a decision that you can feel with at peace in the years to come.

    Offline Baby2018

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    Hi hopefullkayte, so glad the embryo transfer is working for you. I would consider that also if I needed to 😁

    Offline deblovescats

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    I totally respect everyone's choices and feelings about DE, whatever anyone decides to do, but I personally think there is too much focus on genetics. At the end of the day, I wanted a healthy baby, and my best chance was to go down the DE route. I did deliberate about it, and had a few misgivings initially, but once I was pregnant, all those thoughts reduced. I have never doubted my decision and love my two beautiful children totally, they are now 4 and 2, and I am planning a further cycle for no 3 in the New Year. I never think they are not mine. As I rationalise it, the donor gave me a few cells, it was my body which nurtured and developed them, and it's me now who cares for them and loves them.

    Offline Roxbury1

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    I have no experience of DE but as someone whose husband had a vasectomy recently without telling her, I do have experience in being a relationship where the two of you simply don't agree on whether to try for more children. I'm exceptionally lucky to have two babies but had by no means ruled out trying again but DH was absolutely against it - money, years if uncertainty as we went through IVF failures, and watching me have truly awful births where I was circling the drain for a while after hemmoraging just made it impossible for him to envision any more. It broke my heart when he had he snip behind my back and I've spent months trying to forgive him because deep down while I hate how he did it, I have to accept he had good reasons that were for the benefit of or existing family. My point is, you're right there is no compromise, one of you essentially gets their own way at the others loss. But you need to look at the big picture - if for you another baby at the cost of your marriage is worth it, follow your heart down the donor route, only you know what is most important to you and for your family in whatever shape that takes. For me, I'm swallowing the resentment as I appreciate what we have already - that might make me a bit of a mug but I'm not sure in these situations there's a right or wrong, we just muddle it out... Good luck, it's a horrible situation xx

    Offline Baby2018

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    Not sure if this thread is still active. I have set up an DE in March page. That's what I am planning, a transfer in March:)