Hello and welcome to the Donor Egg Mama podcast. For soul led intended parents considering a donor egg pathway, and parents have done egg conceived children. I’m your host, Adele O’Connor a qualified Fertility coach and proud donor egg mama. I’m just a normal mum that went on an extraordinary journey to conceive. I hope this podcast helps you in some way to break free from emotional overwhelm, face your fears and run the courage to move forward, and bring that baby that’s on your heart into reality. Let’s talk openly about our emotions and all topics donor egg IVF. Thanks for listening and enjoy this episode.
of how it processes went for them. From a medical point of view. We’re so lucky to live in this age where information is so widely available. But what really interests me is how are you going with the emotional side of the donor egg pathway, how are you dealing with the loss of your own eggs, how you’re going with the huge burden of worry, thinking about how will my future child feel when they know that they are they were conceived via an egg donor.
From my point of view, I don’t think these topics are spoken about enough. And that’s the inspiration behind this podcast, as well as my biggest regret, which I’ll get to later. When I was on my journey, I felt like my emotions and my beliefs held me back. And I’m wondering if you feel like that, too. So I hope by sharing a bit about my story and how it panned out, and how I feel five years on as a mum of an egg donor conceived child, that this might help you to avoid similar mistakes and learn and provide you with some insights into a donor egg journey more from emotional point of view. And if I can help one person by sharing some of my knowledge and experiences, then my work is done. And I hope that one person is you. So let’s dive into this episode.
you know, I felt really alone, I didn’t know anybody that had been through a donor egg process. And eventually for a friend of a friend, I did find somebody that I could talk to who had had success finding a an egg donor, and they ended up going to Cape Town in South Africa to do their donor egg IVF cycle. And they used a fertility specialists called Dr. Bernstein who him and his team based in the eastern suburbs of Sydney helped to coordinate coordinate their trip. And they have two beautiful boys. So I took their recommendation. I was living in eastern suburbs of Sydney at the time. And so I went along to see Dr. Bernstein and his team and went over to South Africa found a wonderful egg donor and our beautiful donor was 26 yrs old.
and you know, I guess by using a younger egg from my beautiful donor and the medical protocol from Dr. Bernstein. It all worked. I was one of the really lucky ones I had a successful cycle first time it doesn’t happen like that for everybody. I was really really lucky and now we have a wonderful five year old son.
And that could be it the end of my story. And so, you know, I needed two rounds of IVF with my own eggs, because I was 42 at the time, or I started trying at 42. And I think I was lucky that my IVF specialist said to us, you know, to be honest, I really, I really advise you to go straight to find an egg donor. And, you know, I’m really grateful that she that she gave us that advice, because it you know, it got me there faster to become a mum. However, this is what’s led me to do this podcast to become a fertility coach to be fascinated by emotional processing, emotional health. Because my biggest challenge was that in 2014, when I found out that I needed to use a donor egg, my emotions, my emotions was my biggest challenge. It wasn’t finances, it wasn’t my body, it was my mind. It was my emotions, they were the one thing that held me back. And that’s why I’m putting this podcast together. That’s why I want to help other people. Because I know if I had that struggle, and I’m sure other people will be having that struggle, too. And I don’t, personally, I don’t feel like there is that many people out there helping with the emotional struggle of a donor egg pathway. So you know, why, why did it take me two years to get through that? All that emotional turmoil? Well, you know, we all have stress in our lives, right? You know, we all have stress. And a fertility journey is that extra overlay on top of the normal stress of, you know, life in this modern age. And then, of course, you know, curveballs present themselves at the most inopportune moments. And I had a lot of stress going on at that time. With my father, my father was really sick. And he, he passed away during those two years, he had cancer. So it was a really, it was a tough, tough time, a tough time. But I wonder I asked myself, I asked myself, is there a better way to deal with emotional stress? Does it have to do it? Does it have to be time? Does it have to take so much time? Was there a way? You know,
could I become a mum sooner? Did I need to lose those two years? And I guess that’s what makes me a little bit sad about the whole process.
I just wish I’d done it sooner. I think, you know, a question that I get asked, is there any do you have what your Do you have any regrets about having to use a donor egg? And yeah, of course, I would have, you know, of course, it would have been nice to use my own eggs and conceive in the natural, normal way that most of the population does. But then I wouldn’t have the beautiful boy, the beautiful personality. Yeah, my gorgeous boy that we love and adore. And yeah, the whole the whole process and everything that my husband and I went through to have our child, actually, he made us stronger. It really did made us stronger. And you know, you I don’t regret any anything but I question. And what I’ve learned is, wow, the emotional overwhelm hold help. Me is that makes me mad. I lost to being a parent or parents serials because of the emotional overwhelm. And, you know, of course, we learn from challenges that happen in our lives. And that has become something that I’ve become fascinated by. I’ve been through becoming fascinated by emotional health, and better ways to process emotions and deal with these big difficult emotions as they arise so that we can flow a bit more dynamically in life rather than getting stuck because I really, truly experience getting stuck for two years. So your emotions can show up when considering a donor egg pathway. There’s the huge you’ve already been on such a huge journey already to get to this point. How do you move forward with clarity? How can you break free from all of these overwhelming emotions and feelings? And I’m wondering what’s showing up for you right now? Are you feeling grief? Are you feeling regret? Are you feeling sadness? Are you feeling disappointment with your own body? Are you fear feeling fearful about A whole process about the future. Do you feel anxious about the past, anxious about the future, the balancing hope and self protection at the same time. It’s so much these emotions affect our mental health, our physical health relationships, how we interact socially and how we function. And this is all on top of the medical protocols, the financial stress, the logistics that you may be juggling, if you have to consider going overseas, or even interstate or whatever your situation is navigating a donor egg pathway is stressful, there’s a lot to consider a lot to think about a lot to organize and a lot to pay for. Personally, I tried to find help to deal with these emotions I, I found a counselor. And that was useful. I’m not in any way, saying counseling is not useful. It was 100% useful for me. It helped me to understand what was going on for me emotionally and to acknowledge it. However, for me, personally, it didn’t help me move forward, because I was still stuck, I was still stuck in fear and overwhelm. I think reflecting back on that time, what might have been helpful is some additional practical support, and perhaps some bite size goals to start moving forward. And since that time, you know, I’ve I’m really hungry for learning, I’ve you know, done so many courses on self development. And I’ve become a freedom fertility formula specialist, which is all about emotional processing. And
these are things that I’ve learned, there are so many things that I’ve learned now that I think would have been really useful to me back in 2014. And so now, I’d love to share this. Yeah, my experiences and my knowledge, with intended parents
going on a donor egg pathway to parenthood. Because let’s think about how have we been taught to deal with emotions? What are our coping mechanisms right now. So you know, we stay busy, we distract, or we shut down. So you know, you might find that if you’re, you’re stressed, you’re doing lots of big difficult emotions, you throw yourself into work. Whatever you you do to stay busy in order not to, not to think about what’s going on, you might want to distract yourself with, you know, binging Netflix,
eating foods that might not be helpful might even be sabotaging you on a physical point of physical point of view. Even you know, sometimes we want to go to alcohol, whatever we do to distract from whatever we can do to distract from those difficult feelings. And sometimes we just want to shut down we just want to, you know, find some peace in sleep, you know, when we sleep. And we you know, we don’t have to think about it, and then you wake up and unfortunately, all those emotions and feelings are still there. And we might have had a little bit of
of a break whilst we’ve been sleeping, then it’s all there when you wake up.
I’ve been learning about emotional processing from my fantastic teacher, Danny Griffiths, who has a Instagram account the feelings zone, all the links will be in the show notes. And this is what she teaches, which I you know, I really love I’ve been practicing it and I teach my coaching clients this too. And it’s just to have a much greater awareness of your emotions and to think of your emotions, not as you know, difficult feelings that need to be shut down that need to be distracted from
but to
What are you trying to guide me towards? What is this emotion trying to guide me towards what’s the next best step? What’s the next next best action step that I can take. And when you start to think about that, what sadness trying to guide me towards
you, you become a bit practiced at doing it. And you’re you should get an instant kind of feeling an instant message in your head. I call it a download. And often sadness is trying to guide you towards healing. It’s just a message from your your soul, saying you need some more time to heal. And so if we need more time to heal, what can we do to what can we do practically? What’s a practical step that we can take to ensure that we give ourselves time to heal? So what is that for you? Is that carving out some time for, you know, to do a nice peaceful meditation? Is it carving out some time to go on a beautiful walk in nature? Is it reaching out to somebody to get some help, because you’re feeling really overwhelmed with sadness and other feelings, and you recognize and that you might need some help to heal? You know, what is it it’s just, it’s, it’s different for everybody. And, you know, for all for the circumstances that you’ve been through, and you’re going through now, but I hope that’s helpful to share. That’s something that I do for myself.
So, using a donor egg, it increases your chances massively, of becoming pregnant. So generally, it’s around 5% chances of IVF working, especially when you’re you know, in your 40s. And your chances, you know, can go up to 50%, and more by using a a younger egg, a healthy egg from a egg donor that’s been through medical tests, etc.
you know, sometimes donors are as young as 19/20, I think it’s recommended to use you generally, certainly something most agencies overseas would use a donor from, I think, around the age 19, to you know, 32- 33. So, the egg quality, obviously, of a egg that age is going to be
generally good quality. And especially if you are you if you’re trying to conceive later in life, this is going to give you increased chances. So you can do that for yourself. Of course, using a donor egg increases your chances massively. However, it’s still helpful to do some inner work and look after your emotional health. Working on mind body connection can also maximize your chances of pregnancy. But more than anything, it can help you move through the process with less stress and more confidence. And I think for me, that was the big thing during that that two years that it took me to move forward. It was because I was so overwhelmed with all of these big emotions that I didn’t know what to do with. And I was frightened. I was really scared and I needed more confidence to move forward. And if you’re Feeling like that too. I hope that this podcast might give you some ideas to help you to move forward. So, my message for you today in this very first episode is to be aware of your emotional health whilst going through this process, listen to your emotions and acknowledge them. And don’t get caught up and stuck in overwhelm. If you need some help seek out a specialist in emotional processing, and preferably someone who understands the donor egg pathway, and all the things there are to consider. If you’re resonating with what I’ve got to say, and you’re drawn to my energy, then please reach out to me, I’d love to connect and help in any way. I’m a fertility coach and a massage therapist. And I’ve been working mainly with women for many, many years in this field, and it’s my absolute passion to help others. Perhaps you’d like to share your donor egg pathway experience with me on this podcast, reach out I’d love to hear from you. In my next episode, I’m going to dive deeper into the seven stages of grief and how this might be showing up for you. You might have just found out that you need to consider finding an egg donor or you’re in the thick of a journey and a feeling overwhelmed by sadness, and not sure how to deal with it and what to do with those big difficult feelings. I hope this Episode Episode Two helps you in some way and until then, bye for now.