And then there were 10…

March 2016

4 days later I learn that 10 embryos have fertilized, divided and been sent for PGS screening. 

If you’re like me this is the first time you have heard of this. That’s the thing, before you experience IVF it is hard to imagine any of this. 

“Preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) for aneuploidy is a powerful genetic test that may be performed on embryos during IVF treatment to screen for numerical chromosomal abnormalities. PGS is performed on a small embryo biopsy prior to transfer and identifies which embryos are chromosomally normal.” (Courtesy of google)

This test was important to me because knowing what embryos have the correct chromosomes helps to ensure we can create a viable pregnancy. It is impossible to know without this screening. Despite using a 29 year olds eggs there is still a chance of abnormalities being present. 

Again, I wait. I will not know the results of this screening until tomorrow when I arrive for implantation. I go to bed praying that my 10 little golden embryos are strong and contain the correct chromosome makeup. I need as many of these as I can get. 

Dreams Become Reality When You Take Action

January 2016

The day had come. The day I was going to meet the potential female, genetic link to my child. How am I feeling… scared, anxious, uncertain, excited, sad, nervous, grateful. 

So many emotions all mixed up. What happens if I don’t like her? What happens if there is something weird about her? What happens if we don’t connect? What happens if I have to start all over? The risks of actually meeting are a reality now. I have thought about this meeting so many times. I have sought professional guidance on what to do. I keep coming to the same answer – “Tiffany, you must meet her.”  Despite this answer, it is NOT easy. I will be her 6th donation and not a single family has elected to meet her. That shows you how hard it actually is. 

Why do I want to meet her?

Since I have to pick both genetic sides, sperm and egg, I want to at least have some sort of connection to one of them. 

Some of my reasons… I do not intend to keep my child’s genetics a secret. I intend to share age appropriate information throughout the years and this meeting will give me important pieces to the puzzle. I am a curious person so I will likely raise a curious child. Lastly, I never, ever want to have to answer “no” when my child looks at me and asks, ” Mom, could you have met the sperm or egg donor?”  

As I drive to meet her at Starbucks I am filled with anxious nervousness. I find a parking spot and just sit. I have arrived early which only gives me more time to think, damn it!

As the meeting time approaches I make my way into Starbucks. As I enter the coffee shop, I see her. I am a few people behind her in line. She doesn’t see me. I spend the next few minutes watching her. What do I notice?

  • She is polite to the Barista
  • She is soft spoken
  • She is confident
  • She is pretty

She finds a table outside where I eventually walk out to meet her. These few steps were extremely hard, but necessary. 

But there was only one option – keep walking. 


We embrace one another and I immediately like her. I can tell she is just as nervous as I am. Five previous donations and only one meeting like this. 

We talk about so many things –

  • Life experiences
  • Likes/ dislikes
  • Childhood experiences
  • Art
  • Yoga
  • Travel
  • Family
  • Parents – their thoughts on her numerous egg donations. They are supportive
  • Her motivation for donating – she states this is because she has a desire to help someone like me. I can’t help but wonder, does money play a role? It must. 
  • My intense desire to be a mother 
  • Our future relationship – I will dictate this. She is open to meeting my child in the future should they have this desire. All necessary legal steps will be taken to ensure I am the driver of any and all contact. 

There are several moments during our meeting where I almost experience an out of body observation of us. I hear my mind saying, “This is the woman who will give part of the genetics to my child. This is the woman who will give part of the genetics to my child.”  

After spending time together we embrace one another and take a photo. I will forever keep this photo as it is a reminder of my strength and her generosity. 

As I get back to my car I just sit. What emotions do I have now? Hopefulness. 

What an amazing time we live in. One step closer to becoming a mother. 

“You cannot use your time to the best advantage if you do not make some sort of plan.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt 

December 2015

“You have only a 10-12% chance of having your own genetic child.”

“You have only a 10-12% chance of having your own genetic child.”

“You have only a 10-12% chance of having your own genetic child.”

I will NEVER forget these words and the way I felt after hearing this from my IVF physician in September 2015. I heard these words over and over in my mind for many months following that appointment. I asked myself the same questions over and over again…

  • How could this be happening?
  • How could my biggest dream have another obstacle within it? 
  • Why was this happening? 
  • Wasn’t it enough that I had to use a sperm donor? 
  • How would I EVER pick an egg donor?? 

This went on for many months and I cried many tears. I felt a lot of loss during this time as I am sure all other women in my position have felt. It still brings tears to my eyes. Throughout my soul searching I kept coming back to one image – me as a mother. It was clear, I needed a plan.

I spent many days near the ocean as I came to terms with my situation. The ocean brought me a sense of peace and acceptance. Here is where I found the strength to keep moving ahead. 


I slowly began to look for an egg donor. I’m not going to lie, this was a big mind F$&K!!  There was no one like me – someone who looked like me, shared my  likes and dislikes, shared the same heritage. It felt impossible to pick someone. I was overwhelmed and frankly so sad about my situation. It was the little  things – my green eyes, my freckles, my height, the certainty around my health background. There was so much to consider. I felt sick each time I looked for a donor. 

Cautiously I continued my search and I kept coming back to one woman in particular. We looked somewhat alike, but she wasn’t me. We had similar interests, but she wasn’t me. It went on and on. To be honest, I was so so scared. Picking an egg donor was much scarier than picking a sperm donor. 

In December 2015 I finally selected the donor. She was as close as I was going to get. I liked certain things about her – she seemed happy, we shared some similar features, we were interested in simiair activities, she was smart, she was healthy and she had demonstrated pregnancies from her previous 5 donations. 

Yes, 5 DONATIONS!!! And, most important, she was an open donor. This meant I could meet her and she was open to  meeting my child one day should they desire this. 

As I closed out 2015 I had a plan… the journey toward motherhood moved forward.