Yes, Yes Yes: I’m Pregnant with an Egg Donor!

posted by Brigitte Adams May 11, 2018

Finally: Success with an Egg Donor!

After sharing my story so openly, I was very hesitant to share the most AMAZING update until I was really, really, really sure that it was true.  Most people wait till the end of the 1st trimester, and, well, I needed a bit more time….So, here goes: I am PREGNANT with a baby girl!  And, she is due in 2 weeks!

Washington Post Interview

Before going into more detail about the last 9 months, I’d like to post a significant portion of the very thorough and thoughtful article, The Struggle to Conceive with Frozen Eggs,  written by the Washington Post’s Ariana Cha.  We spent the day together earlier this year and she was even witness to my first ultrasound of Baby G (see below).   It is a great recap of my story to date and clearly lays out the twists and turns in my fertility journey.

Ariana spoke with several women in my egg freezing posse (many of whom are featured in egg freezing stories section): including Mei Mei and Amy.  Each of us had widely diverse egg freezing experiences – some heart breaking, some easier than others – but none that followed a path we ever anticipated prior to freezing our eggs.

 

The Struggle to Conceive with Frozen Eggs

(article expert from Washington Post, January 28, 2018)

In Adams’s story, many other young women saw a road map for a happy life. As the years passed and egg freezing took off, she became the de facto poster child for a generation of women considering the procedure.

But that painful March day, when the last of her frozen eggs failed to produce a pregnancy, Adams said she realized how one-sided the conversation about egg freezing had been, and how little information was available about what she calls “part two” — when you actually try to use those eggs to get pregnant.

“There is a huge marketing hype of it, and over promising,” she said.

So Adams dusted off her laptop, and began trying to make sense of her situation.

First, she said she learned that the fertility industry is very “cagey” about providing data on success rates. “It’s easy for them to say there isn’t data right now. And really there is. There is some data. It’s just not pretty data,” she said.

Individual clinics are often reluctant to share their own information, she said, and many don’t refer patients to academic studies that attempt to quantify the probability of success. Only a few such studies exist: A 2016 Fertility and Sterility study of 137 women who tried to use their frozen eggs found that women who froze 10 eggs at the age of 36 faced a 30 percent likelihood of achieving a live birth. Last year, researchers writing in Human Reproduction calculated that the same women should have a 60 percent success rate based on their mathematical model.

Second, Adams said many clinics sell women on a single egg retrieval procedure without mentioning that more may be needed to harvest enough eggs to produce a successful pregnancy. This is what happened with Adams. When she recently reviewed her tests, she said they clearly showed that her fertility already had been in decline, suggesting that she would need more than 11 eggs to conceive. The lack of advice was “unconscionable,” she said. “I was never told that x, y and z were a possibility.”

While she is still a proponent of egg freezing, Adams said women need to be better educated about the possible outcomes, including the bad ones, and the industry needs to be more transparent.

“We are only seeing half the story, which is a very optimistic story,” she said. “But, really, you need to see both.”

Her own story has a happy twist.

After a dark period of mourning and soul-searching, Adams began IVF again, this time with a donor egg and donor sperm. On a recent weekday afternoon, she was lying on an exam table staring at a computer screen — her first ultrasound.

Brigitte Adams holds sonogram prints of her pregnancy at the Center for Fetal Medicine in Los Angeles.
(Carolyn Van Houten/The Washington Post)

 

Picking out a sperm donor was fun, she said, like perusing an online dating site to find the ideal mate. Trying to select an egg donor, on the other hand, was “excruciating,” she says: “You are thinking, ‘This should be me.’ ”

Adams says she is trying to control her emotions, given the ups and downs of her long journey. But then the doctor comes in and locates the thud-thud of a heartbeat, and her eyes start to water.

The baby, a girl, is due in May 2018.

 

 

*I don’t think I have ever seen myself so utterly happy in a picture in a very long time!

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