I met with an extremely delighted woman very recently. She informed me that she was in her eight month of pregnancy after her egg donation treatment. Her baby was going to be a little girl and would become sister to her three-year-old little boy.
I have been in touch with this lady before, prior to her becoming pregnant through egg donation. That time she had wanted to discuss her ethical concerns when it came to egg donation, she was worried that she would find it hard to bond with a child that was not genetically linked to her.
I encounter this issue frequently with patients who are preparing for or have just undergone their egg donation treatment. On becoming pregnant after having egg donation treatment the patient is adjusting to their new situation. Time is needed to establish and accept their donor egg pregnancy and to gather their thoughts and emotions when considering the ethical concerns of pregnancy with egg donation. They can require time and support to gain the confidence and self-belief that they really will be able to carry their baby to full term.
How long does it normally take to feel more relaxed, optimistic and confident that she is indeed pregnant and to allow herself to begin bonding with the baby growing within her?
I often observe that this miraculous emotional transition happens on seeing her body begin to change shape and feeling the presence of the baby within her. This has a calming influence, allowing her to believe in her pregnancy and giving her the confidence and freedom to emotionally bond with her baby that she is nurturing.
The women I spoke to recently was certainly no longer fearful, she was joyous and open about her loving feelings to her donor egg baby developing and thriving within her; this was her baby and hers alone!
I asked her if she would mind putting down in words her experience throughout her pregnancy. She was more than happy to, so that she could help reassure others who are fearful about a pregnancy after egg donation. As she had taken to composing letters to the baby in her uterus, she suggested that she could write her thoughts down in the form of one of these letters.
These are the words she put down:
My dearest daughter,
You are very special and were very much wanted.
We travelled to St. Petersburg where we were given a magical egg.
Going to St. Petersburg itself was a wonderful experience, we enjoyed a special holiday and we created you out of the magical egg and the seed from your dad. You were placed in my tummy so that I could protect and nurture you with my love. Often I had wondered whether I would be able to give you the same level of love as I have your brother. My love for him is huge; at least all the way to the moon and back again! But my love for you has grown with every passing day and I can say that I love you easily as much as him.
During my first few months of being pregnant with you, I was worried that I might lose you and I was looking for signs every single day that I really was pregnant. There were only a few people including your dad, who knew how you were created and placed in my womb. I was bursting to tell everyone that I was pregnant with you, but I wanted to be sure that you made it through those crucial early few months first.
When that time came, it was wonderful relief to finally be-able to tell your brother about you. He was so excited to know that he’s got a little sister growing inside me and he can’t wait to meet you when you arrive! All our friends and family were also delighted to know that I was pregnant with you.
I have loved my pregnancy, but prior to becoming pregnant and before the time I could feel you moving in my belly I was fearful that I would have trouble bonding with you. Fortunately, bonding with you was effortless and came about naturally – it was the moment I first sensed you inside me. It felt like a little bubbling sensation, that in turn created bubbles of joy within me. Not long after, I felt your movements, hiccups and little kicks! My love for you has been growing and growing, the more I’m aware of you growing within me – you are truly part of me!
The times I go for a swim, you move with me like you’re practicing your backstroke!
If I cry, you jump about to cheer me up!
When I put my feet up for a bit of rest and me time you bounce about to remind me that you’re there!
My love for you is still growing.
It’s now only two months until you come and join your family and we can’t wait to meet you!
From your mother who loves you with all her heart!
Danish woman aged 44
My wish is that this letter will reassure patients and help them to overcome some of their emotional and ethical dilemmas and concerns about becoming pregnant after egg donation. I also hope that it will encourage and comfort patients that can relate to these feelings in the early period of their pregnancy.
Believe in your motherly instincts and have confidence that your affections for your child will emerge and flourish, even though you may have needed a little assistance from a magical egg :)
Tone Braten, Family counsellor
Would you like to talk toegg donation mothers about their feelings now that they have achieved motherhood through egg donation?
Just take a couple of minutes to complete the form and we will provide you with contact details of egg donation mothers that are happy to talk with you.
A book about Lily from the other side of the rainbow will help you tell your child about her/his conception through egg donation
Five-year-old Lily came from a Fairytale Land on the other side of the rainbow. A land where everything is magical and glowing, and any miracle can happen. Lily herself is a miracle — and that’s where she came into being. This is the story of how Lily’s mum and dad travelled far, far away to that special land to find the magical egg that would give them the baby they wanted more than anything in the world.