My story: single mom via egg donation and sperm donation

My journey to single motherhood via egg donation and sperm donation

I always knew I wanted children and thought at some point I would just have the whole package. I spent my 20s traveling and working and figuring out what I wanted out of life. I had finished my law school degree by the time I was 28 and focused on getting my law practice off the ground. Life was really good and I started a new relationship when I was 29.  As a lesbian, I always knew that having kids would require some intervention – likely the help of a male friend or buying sperm from a sperm bank – but I also thought I had lots of time. 

We had a great relationship for the first few years – she was working on her PHd and hoping to go on a placement out of the country to do her research. When that time came, we were in our early 30s and we both realized that it was going to take a lot of effort to make it work long distance. We planned our trips to see each other – every 3 or 4 months – and that lasted another few years. Having a child just wasn’t something we could fit into our lives at that point and we had a lot of time left – we were only 35 and 36!

Fast forward two years and we both realized that our relationship was over. It took me a long time to get over the loss and so I kept my nose down and just built the best law practice I possibly could. 

Two years ago, I had just turned 42 and took a long look at my life. I had a very new relationship, but she was not interested in having a child. A switch went off in my head and I realized it was now or never.  

My fertility journey

I started with my ob/gyn who very kindly reminded me that at 42, there may be some issues with my fertility, so she referred me to one of the best fertility clinics in my area.  I met with the reproductive endocrinologist who ordered some baseline fertility testing and that’s when I found out that I was basically almost into menopause. My FSH was sky high and my AMH was very low. Bottom line – it was unlikely I would get pregnant on my own using donor sperm, and even if we tried doing an IUI, my chances of pregnancy were pretty slim. 

My fertility doctor was great. She told me that using donor eggs would give me the best chance at achieving a pregnancy. My body was healthy and she felt that I was a good candidate to carry a pregnancy. 

Finding the donors

I started scouring the internet for the best donor egg banks, as my fertility doctor felt that using frozen donor eggs was the best option for me.  It was pretty confusing to be honest. I’m good at research but it was hard to pin down just what I was looking for in an egg donor. I had already looked through all of the sperm donor banks too and identified a sperm donor. While that part wasn’t easy, it was, for me, a little more straightforward. 

But when it came to replacing my own genetics, I had to reach deep within myself and really think through what I was looking for in this other person who would provide her genetic material to help me have a child. I love reading and the outdoors and I really wanted to find someone who shared my love of those things.  

A friend recommended that I use Tulip to search for my donor as it is the largest egg donor database in the world and I could talk to the agencies directly without having to sift through all the different donor databases and juggle multiple logins. 

I narrowed my search down to six amazing donors – two of these had frozen donor eggs available. Through the Tulip platform, I got in touch with four different agencies and talked to them about the logistics of working with their egg donor. I realized that having the donor come to my Los Angeles fertility clinic was going to cost a little more and my top egg donor had some family obligations that meant she wasn’t available to donate for six months. 

After talking with the frozen egg bank about one of my two top donors, I had them send two cohorts of eggs to my fertility clinic for fertilization.  I loved the idea that the donor was open to talking with my future child and that she also shared my green eyes and love of cycling! 

The eggs were fertilized and I ended up with three good quality embryos.  I went to my clinic for the embryo transfer and was so surprised when it worked the first time and I’m now 28 weeks pregnant at 43.  I am so proud of myself for taking this chance – while it’s a little daunting doing this on my own, I’m so grateful to the two amazing donor who helped me have a family. 

I would love to meet them both one day and let them know just how their donation changed my life.


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