Written by Guest Author, Victoria Nino
This blog post was written by Victoria Nino from @expectinganything. Victoria is a mother via donor eggs and a fierce voice in the donor egg / embryo adoption community. She shares her journey authentically and helps women who are deciding to use donor eggs as they embark on their journeys. We are so excited to share her journey with you!
I remember the exact moment I was first faced with the question, “Should I use donor eggs?” After multiple attempts at stimulating my follicles with hormones, and only ever getting one or two eggs to mature, my doctor sat me and my husband down for a serious conversation. She suggested we consider using donor eggs. I knew this wasn’t a decision I could make on the spot and definitely didn’t want to make a decision I would later regret.
I sat with this question for days, weeks, months. I was confused. I was scared. I was ashamed. I was so incredibly sad.
I remember running home to ask Google my shameful thoughts because I couldn’t say them out loud. As tears streamed from my eyes, I typed in the search bar...
Who will be the real mother, me or the egg donor?
Will my baby feel connected to me?
Will my baby love me?
Will I regret using donor eggs?
I never envisioned this path to motherhood. I had envisioned an easier one, a less expensive one. One with my own eggs, one with my DNA being passed down to my child.
For all the women out there wondering, “should I use donor eggs?” As a mother via donor eggs myself, I am so grateful that I made this decision. No one plans to have a child via donor eggs. But, I know now, that it’s not supposed to be a path we choose, it’s a path that chooses us. I completely wholeheartedly believe that our babies find the souls they need, and DNA is absolutely not required.
I am living proof.
Thanks to donor eggs, my soul’s match found her way to me. My magical, beautiful, daughter was first created in a petri dish with the combination of donated eggs and my husband's sperm. She was then placed inside my womb to thrive and grow. My body gave her life. Our hearts beat next to each other for nine whole months. She learned my voice, my laugh, my love from the inside.
Our bond is unbreakable. Our connection is fierce. It’s like we’ve known each other for thousands of years.
Deciding to use donor eggs is a personal decision, and happens differently for everyone. I can tell you how I made the decision - I wanted a baby. I was tired of losing. I was tired of grieving. I wanted to be a mom.
The decision didn’t happen overnight. Right before our last IVF cycle with my own eggs, I started thinking about what I would do if it didn’t work. My egg quality and quantity were low, and so I knew it was our last go. Endometriosis had destroyed my eggs - diminished ovarian reserve was my diagnosis.
Donor eggs had a high probability of working and also allowed me a chance to be pregnant, breastfeed, and have a biological connection to my child. I desperately wanted these things.
I wanted to be pregnant. I wanted to be a mom.
When I think of our egg donor, I have so much gratitude in my heart. Thanks to her donated eggs, I get to be a mom to the most incredible human being ever created.
I took the time I needed to grieve my eggs and to accept that my DNA wasn't going to live on. To accept that deciding to use donor eggs was my best chance at my dreams coming true. And to accept that we would both love each other like mother and child and we'd work through any challenges along the way. It’s a journey, and you have to go through it, for everyone’s sake. Especially for the child(ren).
Do I regret using donor eggs? Absolutely not. I only wish I had made this decision sooner. I can't predict how you will feel, but I can share my experience and assure you that every mother via egg donation I've spoken to feels the same way.
I now have an even more beautiful life than I ever imagined and an even stronger bond with my child than I thought was possible. This path to motherhood changed me, it made me stronger, more resilient, and more empathetic. I gained life lessons I couldn’t have possibly learned any other way.
It all makes sense to me now, why I was chosen to take this path.
Love for a child doesn’t come through DNA, it comes from a connection, it comes from a promise. It comes from deep within your soul. Loving my daughter is the most effortless thing I have ever done. If I knew the magic that was waiting for me at the end of this journey, I would have made this decision long before I did. I would do it all over again: the needles, the poking, the prodding, the infertility grief, and the sadness, without any regrets of using donor eggs.
The pain and struggle I experienced came with teachings and purpose, I will always hold onto that. My kitchen cabinet once filled with needles and pills was later replaced with baby bottles and bibs. My bathroom filled with ovulation tests, pregnancy tests, and progesterone was overtaken by rubber duckies and hooded bath towels. That empty room I used to go sit and cry in, is now filled with dinosaurs and endless laughter.
Our children always find their way to us, they find the souls they need. They make their way to the ones they belong to. You can’t screw up what’s meant for you, that I know.
Becoming a mother is not about what you give up, it’s about all that you gain. Becoming a mother the hard way, just means you gain that much more. If you can open your heart to a love so unexpectedly beautiful, it will change you, it will make you, and it will be magical.