Updated: Feb 7, 2019
“Life was becoming very sad and the only thing keeping us going was the next cycle, kind of like gambling, it was not a very good way to be living. I was losing myself as a person.”
This month we are putting a spotlight on the assisted fertility option ‘Egg Donation’ because quite frankly, Alison and myself are guuurl crushing on our very first Warrior Woman, Maeve. Reading through her email for the first time floored us, individually and then again when we jumped on the phone to immediately figure out how we could make sure more people had access to this woman’s pretty amazing story.
Maeve is a big hit with us for a few reasons: she’s selflessly telling a hard and vulnerable story for the benefit of others; so they might see light at the end of their tunnel. She has the ultimate ‘no bullshit’ attitude; you’ll see by the way she’s written her story, she ain’t needlessly tugging on your heartstrings. She doesn’t need to. Bringing us to the reason we probably love Maeve most which is her absolutely glowing, upbeat outlook. This absolute lady is our very first Warrior Woman because none of this story is through the lens of a victim.
Maeve is positive, constantly thinking of others and down to make sure we all give ‘Egg Donation’ and that journey the respect it deserves.
So we’re dedicating the whole month of February to this endeavour. To you Maeve. To others out there considering, going through or fearing going down this fertility route.
The Road To Egg Donation - Part One
Myself and husband Marc were trying to conceive for 5 years. We started off as newlyweds (aged 30), straight into it really. 6 months passed with no positive result, so I started getting reflexology, then tried herbal remedies. A year went by, so we made an appointment with the fertility clinic, just to get checked out.... I was 31 at that stage, and they advised us to give it another 6 months on our own before coming back to start treatment. During that 6 months I went for acupuncture once a week for 6 months. Still no positive test!
Two years passed before I started Ovulation Induction (OII) [Read more on this type of fertility treament HERE]: Clomid for 5 days, Follicle tracking scans and hCG injection to induce ovulation. I found it quite difficult and stressful, the hormones were flying and each month that didn’t work, I felt more panicked about the whole thing. During that time, I did a lot of maturing... I was used to getting everything I wanted, and was one of the most impatient people you could meet. After 3 rounds of OII, my doctor, Dr Waterstone, suggested a Lap & Dye test. Results showed nothing unusual so we continued on with OII.
On the 5th attempt of Ovulation Induction, I got a positive result!!!! Yippppeeeee, it was the happiest morning of my life. Anyway, a week later, in work I started to get a pain on my left side (my sister had had 2 ectopic pregnancies, so this was my first thought). I stayed in denial for most of the day, I was in agony, but didn’t want to believe anything bad was happening, so I just sucked it up.... I did leave work an hour early, drove myself home (I still don’t know how I did that), went to the ER, and they eventually diagnosed an ectopic.
My left tube had burst.
Surgery, mental and physical recovery followed.
At this time 2 of my sisters were pregnant and so were ALL my friends, I think it was as hard on them as it was on me. So, after recovery and minus one fallopian tube, we started into IVF.
IVF no.1 - no eggs fertilised. No transfer. From then on we had ICSI treatment (where they inject the sperm into the egg)
IVF no.2 - (ICSI) - we got 2 blastocyst embryos - after egg and sperm meet they instantly start dividing into a weeny ball of cells that resemble a little raspberry. This embryo in this state is referred to as a ‘blastocyst’. One was transferred straight into my uterus, and one frozen. Positive result followed but I had miscarried before I even did the test.
Transfer no.3 - Frozen embryo cycle: negative result.
IVF no.4 - (ICSI) - 13 eggs collected, but none survived to blastocyst stage, so no transfer. After this cycle, my sisters all got together and discussed the possibility of all/some/one of them doing egg donation for us.
IVF no.5 - (ICSI) - last ditch attempt. September 2009. Not as many eggs as usual collected but we got 2 blastocyst embryos. Both transferred but negative result followed.
I knew going into that last cycle, that it would be the last. It’s not only emotionally draining, but financially draining too. Life was becoming very sad and the only thing keeping us going was the next cycle, kind of like gambling, it was not a very good way to be living. I was losing myself as a person and felt it was time to move on to other options.
We started going to meetings on adoption and put in our application. This would be our back up plan if the egg donation would not work.