By Guest blogger and PVED mom Diana C.
So many women (and men) who come to our forums are struggling to decide when to give up on their own or their partner’s eggs. Many seem to feel that they’re maybe giving up too soon. Maybe some of us have been on mainstream forums where it’s common to be encouraged by others to not give up hope, to believe in yourself, to get a second (or third, or sixth) opinion and that maybe there’s some kind doctor out there, or some new protocol, or stroke of lightning that will bring us success at the 11th hour.
It begs the question: when is enough enough? When have you sold yourself short, and when is it time to surrender and be dragged to victory with donor eggs or embryos?
That’s a question that’s going to have a different answer for every individual, but here are some factors to consider in how to make the decision:
• Cold, hard stats: Have you looked at the success rates at your clinic or in your state (you can find them HERE ) Make a concrete analysis of the data for your age group. Is it a 25% chance of success, or more like 5%?
• Willingness to risk: You know yourself; are you the kind of person who likes to play the odds? Or are you risk-averse? If you’re the type who bounces back after a failure, maybe you’re just the type of person who pushes through to the win. But maybe you are more likely to be crushed by a failure. We know lots of women who just didn’t have the will to move forward and whose spirits were broken by repeated OE failures.
• $$$: What is your financial situation, and what can you afford to spend on your quest, and how do you set reasonable limits for what you’re willing to spend before turning to a more likely road to success? As we’ve discussed many times before, the only thing that trumps failure for crappiness is paying for failure (and paying, and paying). It’s really easy to get caught up in the madness; they call it the “gambler’s fallacy” in statistics, the belief that you’re long overdue for a win and you just need to stay in the game. Realistically speaking, you need to set a budget for what you can spend, making sure you still have resources to fund a try with donor eggs if you so choose.
• Time: How long are you willing to wait to start a family? Lots of us express regret that we didn’t cut our losses earlier and go with a course of action that could bring us success much sooner. Though it’s not true for all, many of us will tell you that it gets harder with every passing year to carry a pregnancy. The sooner you move on to DE, the sooner you’re on to the business of parenting instead of waiting to parent. You’ll hear it on the boards frequently: “I just wanted to be a mom, and it got to the point that I didn’t care so much how I got there.”
• Emotional well-being: Are you still grieving the loss of your own genetics? Have you worked through your feelings and fears about this new, scary path? Many of us find that working with a good therapist well-versed in issues surrounding infertility can help us to make the transition. Or conversely, maybe you’re not ready to give up your dream, or maybe donor eggs are just not for you.
It would be a mistake for anyone to conclude that we think DE is the path for every childless individual. It may very well be that at the end of your self-analysis, you decide that another path to parenthood, or living child-free, is the better solution for you. There’s nothing more spiritually evolved about the people who choose to build their families via egg donation; they’re just different. As economists will tell you, preferences are neutral. You like chocolate; I like vanilla. You adopted from Guam; I bought an egg off the internet. In the final analysis, each of us gets to live the life she was meant to live, with no shame and no judgment. Our only wish is to help you to make an informed decision, and to guide and support you in the process.