Patient Story

Julie & Ryan

Advanced Maternal Age
Gilbert L. Mottla, M.D.
Annapolis, Maryland
Lexington Park, MD
Shared Donor Egg
My husband, Ryan, and I met in college. We have been together for over 20 years now. After we got married, I wanted to try to have kids right away, but Ryan wasn’t ready … so we waited. We enjoyed the time just the two of us. We did a lot of traveling–Hawaii, Alaska, four cruises, three trips to Jamaica, and we always did adventurous things like Segway riding, 4 wheeling, and zip-lining.

Coming to SGF

It didn’t take long for me to decide to go to Shady Grove Fertility for help. I had a friend who was already a patient there so I decided to check SGF out too. After numerous tests, the only problem with me was that I had “old eggs.” I was determined to beat the odds and be one of the few women to get pregnant in my 40s. I had acupuncture, took Chinese Herbs, and sure enough, I was able to lower my FSH levels to be in the normal range.
We had a couple of unsuccessful IUIs resulting in miscarriages. In addition to worrying about my egg quality, my husband also had a low sperm count since he had testicular cancer in high school. So our next step was to try IVF, but unfortunately, treatment resulted again in an early miscarriage.
The staff at SGF was wonderful to work with throughout this difficult time. The nurses were so caring and were great at answering all my questions. Through the process, I was finally coming to the realization that I’d need even more help to make a pregnancy happen.

Donor egg treatment

I did so much research and found out about embryo donation … even though it wasn’t offered at Shady Grove Fertility at that time. Well, Ryan didn’t like the idea of not having his own biological children. So I finally was coming to the conclusion that we’d need donor egg treatment.
Initially, I had been against this from the start because of the high cost, and knowing it meant I wouldn’t be having my own biological child. So after 2.5 years at SGF, we finally decided to enter into the Donor Egg Program. This wasn’t an easy decision, but ultimately this is what worked for us. Once we made the switch to this program Dr. Mottla was excited for us and gave us a lot of confidence that it would work.

Choosing a donor

I thought it would be difficult to pick out an egg donor, but it wasn’t. We decided to sort by “highest level of education” and “blue eyes” and in just one weekend my husband and I agreed on a donor. Everything went quickly from there. We were in the Shared Risk program. It didn’t even take long for two other couples to choose our donor. I was so excited to get reports to hear how well our donor was progressing. Though I will admit to feeling jealous that she could produce over 30 eggs when I couldn’t even make two.
The great thing about IVF is that it only takes one sperm to fertilize one egg so it didn’t matter that Ryan had a low sperm count. We ended up with seven embryos. It was so exciting to have such good news throughout the whole process vs. with my own eggs only ending up in early miscarriages.

Our first transfer didn’t work, but luckily we had plenty of embryos. So the very next month I was able to have our 2nd IVF using a FET. We decided to put two embryos in this time. I’m thankful that Dr. Mottla let us transfer two embryos because it was the right choice for us.

Follow your instincts

The advice I would give a patient in this program– follow your instincts! Twins worked out perfectly for us because my husband always wanted a boy and I always wanted a girl. Well, we were lucky enough to hit the baby jackpot! One of each.
Also, try not to put so much effort into worrying, but enjoy life in the meantime! I discovered the more internet research I did the more upset I’d get. At the time I just wanted to know all the information that I could and got really caught up in each month’s cycle, but really relaxing is the better way to go. Just try to step back and know that one way or another you can have a baby.
Looking back we would have saved a lot of time and energy had we just entered the Donor Egg Program from the start. But I’m glad it happened like it did because I know I did everything possible to have my own biological child. Now that we have two happy, healthy children it doesn’t matter how they came into this world. Every couple has their own journey… this was ours.


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