“Dear prospective recipient,
As long as I can remember, I have believed that choice is the most important thing we have. Some families were blessed with a healthy compliant body, one that would allow them to thrive and grow a baby, but there are some very deserving families, that for whatever reason, have not been blessed with the choice they so rightfully deserve. I want to help, as best as I can, in the only way I can. My body had eggs, she has stored them away and is waiting to use them to create life, I will never need them all and after she has worked so tirelessly to produce these little specks of life, I at least want them to have the opportunity to be useful, rather than falling away every month.
Choice is the thing that makes us human, it is the very core of our being and the very thing that allows us to be who we are. I want to give you the option to have a choice, to be able to say yes, we can try and maybe one month, when you pee on that stick, it will say positive. That little choice that I made has given you life. I don’t have money, I don’t have a lot of time, but I have this and if just one person is successful in using my choice for their family, then I have done my job.”
“I am loving every day with our baby girl. She is nearly 9 months old and so funny and cheeky. She is trying to walk and talk and is generally inquisitive of everything.
I think I’m the luckiest mumma in the world!
You are all still in my thoughts, I am very grateful and thankful for my beautiful girl, life is great.
Love M x
Have you ever wanted something SOOO desperately – you absolutely have to, h-a-a-a-a-a-v-e to have it ……but despite all efforts were unable to? (And we’re not talking about a Louis Vuitton handbag here!) Or, perhaps you were able to get what you really, really wanted, but you needed the help of an incredibly special “stranger” to achieve your dream.
Now imagine that what you wanted more than anything else in life was to be able to have a child of your own, but you were unable to do so by yourself. Sadly, this situation is a heart breaking reality for many and these recipients rely heavily on the help of a compassionate, generous, kind, selfless, amazing woman who understands that through her egg donation she could make it possible for their dream to become a reality.
If you are a woman who would like to change lives forever, we urge you to consider egg donation. You can help Intended Parents to start the family they have yearned for, for so long. By becoming an egg donor, you will be giving the ultimate gift of love and changing the lives of a deserving parent forever.
Visit us here for more information.
“After years of not being able to fall pregnant more South African women are turning to egg donation IVF to become mothers. Dominique Oosthuizen explores how through egg donation women struggling to fall pregnant can have children.
Receiving the gift of life
Slowly the eggs (oocytes) are extracted through the vagina of the donor with a small needle. These eggs are her hope for a family. These eggs carry her dream to become a mother.
They are carefully fertilised in an in vitro fertilisation (IVF) laboratory with her husband’s sperm. The embryos are then cultured and grown over the next few days until the doctor cautiously transfer the embryos into her womb.
From these two cells all the babies’ organs and body parts will develop. From these two layers of cells a little miracle will form.
“When I saw their heartbeats for the first time it was surreal,” tells a donor egg recipient. “I cried and I cried and I cried. Finally! Finally it was my turn to become a mother.”
As she had only disclosed to her close family and friends of her journey with egg donation IVF the recipient decided to remain anonymous.
“There was no black or white explanation on why I could not conceive children, but I was determined to be a mother.
“Through the donation someone was able to give me such a selfless gift,” she says with great thankfulness to the anonymous donor.
She lightly laughs and adds, “The donor actually gave me twice the gift — she gave me twins. She helped me reach a dream that I once thought was unreachable.”
Donating agencies: collectors of apples
“The process of donating eggs can be compared to the collection of fruit,” says Jenny Curry, the owner of Baby2mom, a company that facilitates the egg donation process by co-ordinating the donor and the recipient.
“Every month a woman loses a certain amount of eggs — just as an apple tree will lose apples,” she explains.
“But, if you stand there with a basket to collect the apples it just means that they are going to good use. Those who are not collected will fall to the earth and rot.”
She says that instead of losing your eggs through menstruation they can rather be collected and put into good use.
“Egg donation is an extraordinary life-changing gift. It is a gift that offers hope to women who previously thought they could never have children.”
According to Curry, women who are in good health and who do not have any genetic illnesses or concerns can donate their eggs.
Companies such as Baby2mom, Nurture, and Gift ov Life have online databases where possible recipients can look at a profile of all the possible donors.
“The donor’s profile will among others provide a recipient with information about the donor’s physical profile, education/occupation, and behavioural traits,” she explains. Adding that the donor’s identity will remain anonymous.
“When a donor commits to donating her eggs she has the ethical responsibility to participate in the process as instructed,” says Curry.
“When the donor completes the process and does what is expected of her, she will receive a donation of R 6000 as approved by the South African Health Department.”
She emphasises that it is a donation and not a payment. “It is a gift for the donor’s effort, the incurred medical cost and the time the donor had put into someone else’s dream.”
According to Curry the donor has no rights towards a child that is conceived through egg donation.
“South African law says that the birth mother holds all the rights and responsibility when it comes to the child. Legally the child is the recipient’s child.”
Donating the ultimate gift
“We are born with over 2 million eggs and we lose them during our lifetime,” says Jamaine Krige, an egg donor who has donated eggs twice. “If they are going to be lost why not give them to someone that can benefit from it?
“We all know someone that is struggling to have a baby. While having children is not a priority for me right now — I know the importance that it carries to a lot of women,” she says.
“For the recipient it means the world. You are helping them get the family they have always wanted.”
Krige explains that egg donation is an important process. “Unlike adoption or surrogacy it actually affords the women a chance to play a part in the process of giving birth to her baby.
“The donor might provide the genetic material for conception, but the recipient still carries the baby. She still nurtures the baby in her womb.
“She plays a vital part in bringing the baby in to this life.”
Dr Paul le Roux, a reproductive medicine specialist at Cape Fertility Clinic, says that infertility exists when a women is unable to conceive after 12 months of unprotected intercourse.
“Ovarian failure may be due to previous chemotherapy, radiotherapy and/or prior surgery,” he says. Adding that infertility can also be due to poor egg quality because of age related deterioration or due to inherited genetic conditions.
According to Le Roux one in every three women, above the age of 40, will not be able to conceive naturally and will need fertility treatment in order to get pregnant.
Le Roux explains that once an egg-recipient has found a donor, either through a donor agency or through someone they know, both the donor and the recipient will see a fertility specialist for treatment.
“The recipient will have medication to prepare her womb lining for the embryo transfer, while the donor will have medication to grow the eggs. The donor will have to take daily injections of Follicle-stimulating Hormone (FSH) for approximately 10 days,” he expands.
“The donor will then be monitored with trans-vaginal ultrasound every couple of days until the eggs are ready to be extracted.”
According to Le Roux the IVF success rate in South Africa is approximately 35% per embryo transfer.
The reproductive specialist says egg donors should preferably between the age of 21 and 34 as “any eggs of a donor, older than 34, might decrease the success rate of the IVF”.
He also says for health reason the South African Society of Reproductive Medicine and Gynaecological Endoscopy (SASREG) suggest that oocyte donors should be limited to 6 donations.
“Medical risks for the egg donor are generally small, but risks may include ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome, pelvic infection, ovarian torsion, intra-abdominal bleeding, loss of future fertility and anaesthetic complications,” says Le Roux.
A mother’s words
“A mother is a woman who will love her children unconditionally until her last breath,” says the egg donor recipient.
“As a mother you choose to put someone else’s happiness and well-being ahead of your own. As a mother you will have your patience tested to the ends of the earth.
“You will learn about your personal strengths you did not know you had and you will deal with fears you did not know existed. No greater privilege exists. Everybody deserves to be a mother.”
With thanks to journalism student, Dominique Oosthuizen for sharing her investigation into the Egg Donation industry with us!
TWO……We hear you say!!!
Well, nope, nowhere close!
That would be the answer in ‘normal’ circumstances, but when a recipient is medically unable to conceive on their own and decides to enlist the assistance of an egg donor to have a baby, we are talking about a whole team of people – in fact you would be surprised at just how many people are involved in the donation process, especially in the support and care of our amazing donors!
There are well over 15 people involved in each cycle, each having a critical part to play in this incredible journey, all striving for the same goal – to help a recipient reach their dream of having a baby (or two!)
It starts at the beginning with you and your decision to be an egg donor. We know this isn’t a decision which is taken lightly – thank you for doing your research, homework and soul searching! Then there are the fabulous Nurture team who are right behind you 100% of the way, as well as the fertility clinic and all the team there who pull everything together to make the magic happen.
At the clinic your treatment is managed by a large team consisting of doctors, counsellors, IVF co-ordinators, admin staff, lab technicians (who take your blood samples), theatre nurses, embryologists (who collect, fertilise and take great care of your precious eggs) and many others who all have some vital part to play in the miraculous process of creating a life (or two!)
Not to mention the recipients, their friends and family who are in the background, waiting with high hopes for precious eggs and then with mixed feelings of anxiety and excitement for a positive pregnancy result! The recipient’s are so close to the final stretch that lies ahead of them and to hopefully welcoming their baby into the world, all of this is because of YOU! Rest assured they are holding you up high in their thoughts and forever in their hearts!
When you go for a clinic appointment, you might be thinking that it’s just you and one or two other people involved in your treatment, this couldn’t be further from the truth! Being a donor really is an incredible experience, your immense generosity affects a number of people, some who you will not meet, but take comfort in the fact that each time you go to the clinic, a very dedicated team will all be ready to apply their unique expertise to the different stages of your journey and the Nurture team are always right here to support you from beginning to the very end and beyond!
We too will forever hold you in our hearts! x
A heart warming message from an amazing recipient who’s donor donated a second time, so that she, the recipient will have the opportunity to have a biological sibling for her first child:
“I had my 7 week appointment with the Dr today and I am so pleased to say I am pregnant with TWO beautiful babies!!
I am so grateful to Nurture and more importantly to my donor who agreed to donate again. I have a lovely handsome son and now he will not be lonely, he will have two siblings.
I know I can’t communicate with the donor but please send my biggest thanks to her for giving me this precious gift of being a parent again. I know it’s God’s work and plan but he had a reason for me choosing this lovely woman! My son is peaceful and courteous and I am making sure he grows up to be the leader that I know he is.
I don’t have the words but THANK YOU. I am in tears writing this from both excitement and joy.
The whole Vitalab team shared in my joy today, it was so wonderful to see.
I won’t stop. So let me stop here.
Thank you to all of you.