Here are a few tips for all intended parents who are embarking upon building their family through egg donation.
Take a deep breath—it’s perfectly normal to feel angry, sad, scared, unsure, and overwhelmed. This is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make. Because this news can be mind-boggling, give yourself time to wrap your head around the concept of egg donation, what it means, and the steps it will take for you to complete an egg donor cycle from start to finish.
It’s important to know that it’s normal to be sad about losing your genetic link to your future child. For some women, it can be a lengthy grieving process. Give yourself time to grieve this loss, and see a therapist to help sort through the complicated feelings that you may feel.
A lot of fear surrounds egg donation and disclosure when it comes to kids. The worry is that your children will reject you, not think of you as their real mom, which causes a lot of anxiety and worry from an intended parent perspective. The reality is that being open with your children from an early age is the healthiest way to go.
Education and support are the two most important things you’ll need as you embark upon this amazing journey through egg donation. You might feel overwhelmed, scared, isolated, and even alone—like you’re the only one doing this. Think again! You and about 14,000 intended parents a year.
Last but not least, take time for you and your partner (if you have one). Infertility alone is incredibly stressful: it can make sex impersonal, it can cause us to feel detached, and anxious. This is one of those times in your life that it’s important to lean on each other or those in your support group. Another thing to remember (regardless of how many children you decide to have via egg donation), once you’re pregnant you then become just like the millions of other parents around the globe: tired, stressed, and often overwhelmed.
Regardless of how much we love our children, and regardless of how much joy they bring sometimes we as parents can become lost in the shuffle and forget who we are. So take time for you: date each other, have sex just to have sex because it feels good. Do something nice for yourself—whether that’s a massage, a walk, or carve out some alone time. Eat well, make time for exercise, and strive to get adequate rest. Last but not least: we are all in this together. It takes a village!