By on May 25, 2010

I always wanted four kids. Two boys and two girls. This was my dream, my fantasy, and my plan. Four kids. In this dream this big happy family lived a in sprawling ranch style house with a pool. I was a soccer mom and I was proud of it. My kids played musical instruments, they sang, they did well in school. Aside from being gorgeous, smart, and great kids, I was their mom, and I was married to the love of my life and we were doing that great American thing by raising a large family.

Things didn’t quite work out that way for me. I experienced my first miscarriage at 22 and continued having 8 more until I was 35 and said enough is enough – something’s gotta give. That’s when I researched and found one of the best RE’s (John Hesla, Oregon Reproductive Medicine) in the country and sought out his opinion. What he told me I was half expecting — I needed an egg donor to have a child because in short my eggs were shot, the odds of me having a genetic child were very poor. I ruminated, marinated, and reflected deeply his words. What was more important to me – hanging on to my genetics that weren’t going to work or being a Mom.

I chose being a Mom.

Once I boarded the ED train I didn’t look back and was really excited to begin.
Thankfully for me the first try worked. I got pregnant – had one hell of a pregnancy. Bleeding, hyperemesis, preterm contractions, you name it I had it. I then went on to have my child and of course nothing is easy for me. Labor and delivery were no fun, but he got here safely and soundly, and he was healthy and he was mine! mine! mine!

I was finally a mother – AMEN.

Or so I thought.

Two years after he was born mother nature played her Jedi mind tricks on me and I completely forgot about what my pregnancy was like. Nature’s maternal instinct kicked in and my baby clock went off again – it was time to have another baby. I was almost 40 and I felt time wasn’t on my side. And I knew if I wanted to have those four kids I’d need to have them in quick succession.

Because I was approaching 40 and had experienced some post partum complications (blood clots for starters and some cardiac stuff) I was supposed to now see a long line of doctors who would decide my fate. I was so resentful during this time because I felt entirely ripped off.

First of all, my body failed me – my eggs couldn’t be like normal eggs that are plentiful and full of great DNA to make babies with. No, my eggs had to be crappy, my DNA skewed, and after all was said and done my body has a clotting disorder that we didn’t recognize until after my son was born. In fact, I think we are damn lucky to have him here, and me here if I am being completely honest.
And now they were making me go before a panel of doctors who would decide my reproductive fate. God I was pissed off. Even now this many years later it still irritates me. Ugh!

So – after many meetings with my doctors, and many long and animated discussions with my husband they all decided It was too dangerous, too risky. The argument was they wanted me around to be a mother to my son, not be some martyr who insisted on having more children to fulfill her selfish wish of having a large family. The day I received the news was probably one of the lowest days of my life. I was too sad to cry – all I could do was hold my son and marvel in his perfectness and know I’d never give birth again and experience the miracle of life. It wasn’t going to happen for me, now or ever.

What did we do?

We accepted our fate, enjoy the hell of our child, and cherish each and every day with him hoping we don’t over indulge him along the way. My husband will tell you he’s perfectly fine with one child, raising an only child doesn’t bother him in the least. I wish I felt the same way. I really do. We talked briefly about a gestational carrier – but that was too far out of our reach money wise. We talked about adoption but we realized that wasn’t something for us.

I went to create and found Parents Via Egg Donation – as a way to help those who are looking at creating their family through egg donation. PVED would be my baby, and I’d have thousands of babies through women like you. And maybe fill that emptiness in my heart that is still there. Thankfully, it has keep me really busy, and in many ways fulfilled. The joy I experience on a daily basis knowing we make even the smallest difference in the lives of women all over the globe is amazing.
But I have to say even as the founder of this very successful organization I still have my moments. The pain is still there. Some days as fresh as the day I received the news I’d never carry another pregnancy. No one could have prepared me for the pain that comes with secondary infertility.

And honestly I don’t always know how to deal with that.

  1. Reply


    May 25, 2010

    Oh, Marna!
    What can I say???? I have tears rolling down my cheeks. Thanks for sharing your story. We all wonder why bad things happen in our lives. We also wonder what our purpose is. Well, It looks like you have found your purpose.
    We are all so grateful for all you do and so lucky to have you as part of our lives!

  2. Reply


    May 28, 2010

    I so appreciate you and what you give to all of us trying to conceive with DE.

  3. Reply


    June 9, 2010


    Thank you for continuing to share with us. Hopefully we in some small way we give back to you in return for the support, hope and community you have provided for us. Your grit, determination and spirit have paved the way for all of us here and for that, a mere thank you seems trivial. But thank you!! Kallie



Portland, OR

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May 2010
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