parents

A message to all my younger friends who want to have children.

Onya Sonia.

On ya, Sonia.

I just finished reading the wonderful news about Sonia Kruger’s pregnancy. Even though I don’t know Sonia personally, I am truly thrilled for her and am so proud of her for being honest about the reality of her conception.

I too conceived my daughter through a long IVF tour of duty and also needed the help of an egg donor. (In summary, six years, 11 rounds of IVF and two egg donors). I gave birth to our gorgeous girl at 42, and I am planning on trying for number two next March with our remaining embryo. I will be close to 45 if the second pregnancy is successful.

Too many times these days the headlines read of celebs having babies in their 40s. I think it has almost become kind-a hip and cool to say you had your successful career and now you’ve managed to squeeze in a baby before it’s too late. But whenever I see this, all I think (and say to anyone who will listen), there is no way that baby was conceived naturally and it most likely came from a donor egg.

READ MORE: 

Age has nothing to do wih being  a great parent  – By Rebecca Sparrow

Without one of her girlfriends, Sonia Kruger would not be pregnant.

At 35, my marriage of seven years was heading downhill. In an attempt to make things work, we moved to my home country to be closer to my family. Somehow we made it through those bad times and decided to try for the family we had always dreamed of. I was merrily going along my baby making plan until I ran into a pregnant work colleague in the tearoom one day and we started talking baby. She confessed she had been trying for years, IVF – the works. She was in her early 40s. She asked me how old I was and how long I had been trying. I was 36, and had been trying for 12 months. I was ordered to get myself off to a fertility specialist, pronto!

“We had given the last four years a good go. It was time to move on and consider an egg donor.”

What? I thought. Is she for real? And sure enough, my specialist explained this might be the only option for me. IVF is not as straightforward as you may think. It’s like any major undertaking. There is a lot of background work before you get started. Blood tests, internal ultrasounds, laparoscopies, D&Cs, even police checks. For me, it was discovered I needed my gall bladder removed before I could start any treatment and that set us back another few months. When your fertility clock is ticking, with every delay those ticks get louder and louder!

After nine rounds of IVF using my own eggs and one pregnancy fail on round four, my doctor was completely honest with me. There wasn’t much chance of me conceiving with my eggs, even though I have tons of them. We had given the last four years a good go. It was time to move on and consider an egg donor.

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We advertised for a donor in a local publication and someone actually responded within three days. I couldn’t believe it. This was in February 2012. It took until October for us to start the donor cycle. Our donor was a gorgeous, generous lady but a stranger to us. We had to take the time to get to know her, meet her in person (one of the happiest and weirdest days of my life) and be sure. And then I fell pregnant naturally. This pregnancy only lasted for 7-8 weeks but it helped me realise we were on the right path with an egg donor.

But it wasn’t to be. The donor’s cycle was cancelled due to the limited number of follicles growing (there were only three). I was sad but I think it was actually more devastating for our donor. My husband and I had experienced so much disappointment already but for her, this was the first.

“When your fertility clock is ticking, with every delay those ticks get louder and louder.”

In the background, my doctor had placed me on a list managed by the IVF clinic for anonymous donors. The chances of being successful on this list are next to none. Not many women freely walk through the door to donate their eggs. But just when I was contemplating how I would make my next career move more fulfilling and how I was going to live the rest of my life not being a mummy, we were greeted with the amazing news we had a donor who wanted to get started asap!

We are now the proud parents of a beautiful little girl. We are the lucky ones, as are Sonia and her partner.

Not everyone’s story ends this way. I honestly didn’t think mine would either. I tell you this story because it was hard work. It was emotionally draining and I felt like I had a second job for all those years, managing drugs and appointments. I trained three times a week to stay fit and did a LOT of acupuncture and naturopathy. And don’t forget the tens of thousands of dollars we spent!

I tell all my younger friends in their 30s not to wait to have children. If you have been trying for more than a year, then it is also time for you to visit a fertility specialist. The fact is your fertility drops off at 35, more drastically at 37 and even more after 40. This is what I have learned from my specialist, from reading relevant material and watching documentaries on this topic.

These are the facts and I think it is important to share with you.

NOTE: Mamamia is a news and opinion site and this is one opinion. We are always looking for more, particularly from women who have a first hand experience of  situation like this. Do you? Want to tell your story? Email: [email protected]mamamia.com.au