I have been sitting on and thinking about this blog post for many months. What does one do when donor egg doesn't work?!
Back in June and then over the summer, I watched the heartache of "when DE doesn't work" in person. And it brought back all the memories from last summer when our DE miracle pregnancy went completely south.
There is a woman here I met through resolve meetings. Let's call her Z. She has become a very good friend outside of infertility stuff and I can't imagine her not being my friend. We have so much in common and see each other - even now as I am 33 weeks pregnant - on a regular basis.
When I met Z, she had just done her fresh DE transfer ... and it had failed. I met her through another resolve member. Z was in a very dark space and, having just come out of a very dark space myself, I wanted to help. We bonded and we both geared up for another transfer: both FETs this time.
My FET worked. Hers did not. That was the last of her embryos and she and her husband were left in a place that felt very much like the beginning of the road (or end of the road): what in the hell next?!
Then, over blogging, I watched Rebecca go through a DE cycle that was also supposed to work. Like Z, she did everything right. She had high quality embryos. And she still got a bfn. She is now bravely gearing up for a transfer with a donor egg embryo and a full-on donor embryo. Please stop over there and wish her luck and support.
And then, through a FB group, I watched another woman who has gone through multiple DE cycles - all of which have failed.
DE is. supposed. to. work. Period. I think it's safe to say that women who go the DE route do not do so lightly. We choose / decide to give up on our own eggs, our own DNA and family legacy and history. We sometimes give up the chance at having our child(ren) look like us. We do so because our drive to experience pregnancy, to share life, to birth a child beats the need to pass on our DNA. Most of us end up saying "I don't want to have a daughter and pass along my infertility problems anyway" when talking about the choice to go DE. We go the DE route knowing that our children will not have our parents' DNA. Our children won't be biologically related to my (the woman's) sister's future children. Even if we get a good medical history on our donor, we will never ever know the full extent of her and her family's medical history so we will never be able to properly and fully answer medical questions at a doctor's office; neither will our donor egg children when they are grown.
DE is supposed to give us what we yearn for, after we choose to give up what comes so naturally and easily to many others. Too often, as I have seen, DE does not work. Is the fall and despair from a failed DE cycle worse than a non-DE cycle? While I have not had a bfn, I did miscarry after a DE cycle and I can tell you that was the worst experience of my IF "career." When we got pregnant and then saw and heard a heartbeat, we thought we had made it out. We would have a baby. Things would finally go our way. To have DE fail was more destructive to me (and my hubby and our marriage) than anything else we experienced.
Most DE transfers happen with perfect, high-quality embryos. Those transfers are supposed to work. It is beyond unfair when they fail once, and even worse when they fail more than once.