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Navigating the journey to solo parenthood: Sarah’s Story

A London Women’s Clinic patient, Sarah*, shares her experience of using donor eggs and donor sperm to undergo IVF…

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I always wanted to become a mother, and when I found myself newly single in my forties, I realised that I still wanted this to be the case – even if it meant going it alone.

 

I spoke with my doctor and also with friends, and I was intrigued by the excellent success rates of achieving a pregnancy with donor eggs, particularly when compared with IUI. Given that I was 42, the doctor reckoned that I would have a better chance with younger donor eggs rather than my own. My family also have some genetic health conditions, and using a donor egg meant that I could be safe in the knowledge that I wouldn’t pass these on to my child, given that donors must undergo screening for genetic diseases.

 

I used to live in New York, so I was vaguely aware of American egg banks involving hundreds of photos of egg donors which patients can browse. However, I actually preferred the British approach to anonymity in which the donor can remain anonymous until the child is 18. It is also easier to focus on the characteristics and achievements of the individual rather than ‘just’ their overall look from a photograph. I also liked that the London Egg Bank donors had already frozen their eggs to be ready to use. 

 

I feel so grateful to my egg donor, London Egg Bank and London Women’s Clinic for making this possible. I hope by sharing my story that it might encourage other women to explore this path to parenthood.

I worked with the London Egg Bank matching team and we were able to narrow it down very quickly to three potential egg donors. The team were helpful in describing the physical appearance of each donor, but surprisingly I ended up choosing someone who had the least resemblance to me. Instead, I found myself drawn to this one particular egg donor’s personal description and her characteristics. She was creative, sport, fun-loving, artistic and kind, and that really resonated with me.

 

Having had an unsuccessful attempt with IUI, this second treatment round was really my ‘last shot’ for financial reasons, so as well as using donor eggs and donor sperm, I decided to go for IVF rather than IUI. I wanted to give this everything in order to increase my chance of success!

 

Despite the donor not necessarily looking like me, I now have a daughter who has a very similar build to me – we are both slim, tall and athletic, so it’s funny how these things turn out. I think of her as my little miracle and can’t wait to take her on a tour of London when she’s older, showing her the London Women’s Clinic in Harley Street where she was ‘created’ and even pointing out things like the Carluccio’s in the station where I used to have dinner after my appointments.

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Sarah* & her beautiful daughter

I want to be totally honest with her when the time comes and she is old enough to understand. I want to write a book to explain to her that I borrowed ‘ingredients’ (as in donor sperm and a donor egg) to make a ‘magic cake’ that was cooked in the ‘oven’(which is me), and then this wonderful, magical miracle emerged.

I feel so grateful to my egg donor, London Egg Bank and London Women’s Clinic for making this possible. I hope by sharing my story that it might encourage other women to explore this path to parenthood.

 

*Patients name has been changed.

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