Answer from: Elli Papadopoulou, BSc
The emotions related and created within the context of subfertility are many and usually incredibly tangled. Maybe even more so when it comes to egg donation circumstances…One moment you feel hope and excitement about the regenerated possibility of becoming a parent, and the next you may feel out of control, anxious and stressed, You may feel angry towards yourself or others, about the ‘why me, why us’ eternal question, Also, you may be experiencing feelings of grief and loss.Grief and loss are a big chapter within the book of emotions related to subfertility and egg donation.They can manifest in so many aspects of our lives –A loss of control – first of all of our body, as our body isn’t doing what we want it to do, or loss of control of our life even, some of my COACHING AND COUNCELLING CLIENTS, COUPLES AND FAMILIES even report that.The loss of feeling healthy and ‘normal’, as our identity shifts from ‘healthy person’ to ‘infertility patient’ and ‘egg donation recipient’The loss of feeling competent – we cannot achieve a goal we set for ourselves – that of a biological offspring.Ultimately many of us feel a loss of Identity. We feel we are missing parts of the puzzle and the sense of who we are, becomes undermined and fragmented… the identity of the biological parent – the traditional way of achieving parenthood – is denied. Before you can move on to nongenetic parenthood, you may need to go through a mourning period – It is what I call the decisions ladder of subfertility.To progress steadily and confidently to the next level of treatment – to the next step of the decision ladder, you need to have said a definite goodbye to the previous one. It may take you some time to do that, and you need to grant yourself that time…So, acknowledging and untangling our emotions in the process is very important.Identifying, naming, understanding, and working with different tools and techniques, and NLP has many good ideas and ways of doing just that, one can start to embrace and manage these emotions effectively.Emotions are messages, well-meant and very useful for our survival and our self-development as human beings. Allowing our emotional energy to become our ally rather than our saboteur is crucial for our wellbeing and our outcome.
Answer from: Becky Kearns
There could be a vast amount of different feelings that you can have when you are first told you need to use donor eggs, whether that be after a long fertility journey or at the beginning of your fertility journey. I think if I come back to my own personal experience, my initial reaction was denial ‘no this isn’t happening to me, I don’t need to use someone else’s eggs, i’m going to make it work’. Then I shifted straight into action mode of what I could do with my own eggs. It was over the course of fifteen months or so that I really started to come to terms with the fact that actually it wasn’t going to work with my eggs and I would have to consider using donor eggs.
So what I would say is that it is a process, a process where you will have so many different feelings, it’s almost like the change curve and the grief curve, you are grieving the loss of your own genetics, the child you’d always imagined and you’re grieving the opportunity to see yourself physically in a child and to pass on your legacy. To go through that you need to start re imagining what that child might look like and what your dream is. For me what I did is almost start to think of what it was that I really wanted out of being a mom. That is when I started redefining what it meant and it was day to day things such as building memories together, taking my daughter to school and when I pick her up it’s one of the best moments of the day when she comes running to me. It’s just those family moments that are not brought about by genetics, it’s more through love and I realised I didn’t need to have a genetic bond to have everything that I’ve always wanted with my children. So I would say be kind to yourself, it takes time to talk to other people. Try and think about what it is you want from having a child and just see whether you can redefine what that dream is in your mind.
How does it feel to use donor eggs?
Egg donation can be very challenging to accept for women in terms of giving up their own genetics. In terms of pregnancy itself, it is like any other pregnancy. What actually makes it all that difficult?