“This morning I woke up to an email that told me the donor I had painstakingly chosen was no longer viable. After a long and emotional search I felt once again defeated and inadequate, you see it’s not just about choosing another woman to be the beginning of your future child’s life, it’s about realising once again that you can’t do it yourself. BUT then tonight the wonderful Kim at Nurture brought me you and I was once again reminded again why everything happens for a reason.
I just turned 42, I am the Director of four businesses and I passionately believe in ideas and creation and doing what you love. I am a talent agent (like Jerry Maguire but it’s not that glamorous in real life, no one ever completes you!), my job is to make other people’s dreams a reality. Somewhere along the line my dreams were ignored. It wasn’t a conscious choice, I didn’t mean to be here at 42 without a husband/partner or a family, I didn’t deliberately put career over children and I certainly didn’t choose to be diagnosed with early menopause at 41 making it impossible for me to have my own biological children. Stupidly I thought I had more time.
Reading your profile tonight made me smile and laugh, you sound a lot like the very wilful, ambitious and determined 20’s something I used to be and still am (just with more wrinkles)! I wasn’t as clear as you are with my goals at that age, I just loved the ideas, I loved creating something and seeing it to fruition, I loved working hard and seeing the results.
When looking for a female donor you want that person to be as much like you as possible, a Caucasian with blue eyes was important because that best physically represented me, but intelligence was equally important. Not necessarily academic intelligence, I was more interested in ingenuity, wit and passion, if I have to choose another woman to create my child then she had to be like me. By the way you write I can tell you are smart, I can tell you are quick witted, that you are curious and that you not just learn, but you absorb the information around you. That’s the kinda gal I am after! I love that you are an actress, it’s a craft I gave up too young and my Mum and I actually fist pumped and did the gig when we read that you have a knack for writing as it is something I am very passionate about and have been told I am very good at.
Suffice to say I am very grateful you came along, you seem like the perfect fit. Although, there is one more thing I would like to ask of you (as if you aren’t doing enough), I am hoping you will reconsider the ‘no’ answer to the question about being contactable if the laws in SA change. In Australia the laws are that a donor must be willing to go onto a registry for the child only to make contact if they wish after they turn 18, the donor still has the option at that point to say no they do not wish to be in contact, there is a chance SA may eventually end up making the same ruling. I am asking you this not because I expect my child would need to come looking for a mother figure, I’m asking because I feel I should on behalf of my unborn child. I don’t think this is my decision to make, I think if the option was there then it would be my child’s and yours to make and if down the track you decided you didn’t want to then you would have the option to say no then as well.
I have no idea if the decisions I am making today are right or wrong, I guess like any hopeful parent I will just do my very best. So if for whatever reason he or she would like to learn more about their genetic heritage then I feel like they should at least have the potential to do that and as their future Mum then I need to try to give them that option. I understand if your answer is still no, and it won’t change my decision to request you as my donor, I just needed to ask.
“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
The New Year brings with it new opportunities and possibilities and for many, a sense of renewed hope to achieve their dream of a family. For those struggling with infertility, the start of a year can come with mixed feelings. The holiday season can be a harsh reminder of the lack of a child in the family. For many women, a new year also means a year older, that biological clock is ticking away and the pressure to conceive soon is heightened.
Now that the year is well on the way, although not easy, it’s time to put the disappointments of the past aside and focus on your future journey of creating your family via egg donation. With an egg donor’s precious gift, you could be pregnant within three months and well on your way to parenthood!
The fabulous Nurture team have first hand experience and a very real understanding of infertility. We know that it can be hard to know where to start and whom to trust when it takes more than two to create a family.
Choosing an egg donor is a very personal decision. With physical attributes, character traits, a sound family history and optimal fertility health aside, you as the intended parent are looking for the perfect “fit” for your family. Finding your perfect donor is crucial to you feeling ready to take the next steps and begin the process of creating your family via egg donation. With 7 years experience in the egg donation field and over 160 donors available immediately, Nurture will help you do that.
At Nurture, helping you realise your dream of a family is our passion – we connect your chosen egg donor and if required, you with the clinic that is right for you and your family. We offer support and guidance throughout every step of your egg donation journey.
Welcome to 2015 –new beginnings and here’s hoping, a baby-filled one too!
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!