About two months before I met my husband, I found out that I had premature ovarian failure, which is a medical term used to describe early menopause. Developing early menopause meant that I no longer had a reserve of eggs in my ovaries.
As you can imagine, this was a difficult diagnosis to comprehend and accept at the age of 31. It was devastating to think that I couldn’t have kids of my own, and as a single woman, the thought of breaking the news to a future partner already filled my mind with anxiety and questions. How long would I have to wait before telling this person? What would I even say? How would he react?
The diagnosis of premature ovarian reserve stemmed from a routine appointment at my OB/GYN and lab work, resulting in a 5% chance of conceiving on my own. As I began processing the news, I met my future husband, Marcus. Overwhelmed and unsure, I sought the advice of my mother on how to best handle the situation. She simply replied that any man that’s worthy of being with me will react with a “we will get through it” attitude.
I decided to tell Marcus early on in our relationship and he couldn’t have been more supportive and understanding. I believe he said verbatim what my mom predicted he would say. Without any hesitation or worry, he put my mind at ease. We tabled it until we wed in 2015 and began researching our options for starting a family.
I had heard of embryo donation before but thought it would be too expensive. We explored egg donation as well because, at the time, it seemed important for our future child to be genetically related to at least one of us. One day, Marcus had a revelation. “If our child can’t be both of ours, I don’t want him or her to be any of ours.” We were in agreement and decided to move forward with an agency. After a horrible experience, we cut ties and began investigating other ways we could make our dream of parenthood come true.
Coming to SGF
Marcus and I had a family friend who went to Shady Grove Fertility for IVF treatment. In the Fall of 2017, we attended a seminar hosted by Dr. Lauren Roth and instantly knew that we wanted her to be our physician. We had one-on-one time with her at the seminar and walked through the process of embryo donation. Dr. Roth couldn’t have been nicer and more encouraging from the very start.
SGF was amazing throughout the entire process. Their office was only 30 minutes away from home, so traveling to appointments was quick and convenient. Dr. Roth’s compassion and kindness were unparalleled.
We decided to participate in SGF’s Shared Risk 100% Refund Program, which guarantees you take home a baby or get your money back. It was a no-brainer for us and provided peace of mind as we started our fertility journey.
I was certain that I had come to the right place, but I will admit, the embryo-picking process was daunting. Marcus and I felt the immense pressure of making such a big decision and hoping that we were choosing the best match for us.
After an unsuccessful transfer in March of 2018, we grieved that chance of starting a family, especially because we only had a single embryo from that match. We had one shot and it didn’t work. So, we acknowledged the loss and disappointment but had to pick ourselves back up and keep moving forward. It was time to pick again.
My mentality shifted a bit this time, with a focus on faith. God is going to bless us no matter what, regardless of the decision we make. Marcus and I made our final choice in May of 2018, intentionally picking a match with two embryos, in hopes of not having to pick again.
The good news
On June 28, 2018, I had my transfer in Rockville. The facilities were amazing and everything went smoothly. Two weeks later, we received the good news from Dr. Roth that IT WORKED.
We had Charlotte Elizabeth on March 13, 2019, after 2.5 days of labor which ended in a C-section. We love our little girl more than we could have ever imagined, and she is more ours than I ever thought!
The biggest thank you
I imagine going through anonymous donation is one of the biggest decisions a couple can make. The idea of thinking about another individual or couple raising your child has to be one of the most challenging concepts to work through. We are just so thankful for the donors and the difficult decision they made so we can build our family. This is such a sacrificial gift to families like ours. We could never say thank you enough for this generous gift!
What kept us strong throughout this experience was faith in God. Knowing he had a plan greater than we could imagine, and trusting the process was instrumental. And the journey will continue in the future when we come back and try again with our remaining embryo, which would make our children genetic siblings.
Advice to future SGF patients
SGF has so many resources available to you that I highly suggest taking advantage of seminars, support groups, blogs, etc. Not to mention the amazing staff who helped us every step of the way.
There is always hope. I know this is commonly said, but it’s absolutely true. It’s hard to see it when you’re right in the middle of it. It’s nearly impossible at times to see the forest through the trees, but don’t give up. There is always hope.