Intended Parent Blog

Welcome to Egg Donor Solutions Intended Parent Blog. This is a place for you to gain knowledge about Egg Donation and also talk with other intended parents who can directly relate to your experiences. Feel free to ask any questions and post comments. We want this to be a positive resource for you. We also welcome your feedback and how we can tailor the blog to meet your needs.

Choosing the right egg donor for your family

Choosing the right egg donor for your family can at times be a daunting task but it does not have to be. There are many factors to consider and often there are so many different people who are giving their advise as to what is best. My best advice, pick a donor who you feel comfortable and can connect with. In order to reach this end goal many intended parents have found it helpful to create a ”must have” and a ”would be nice if” list. This will allow you to look at multiple profiles and give you the opportunity to really see who might be a great fit.

When making your lists consider asking these questions. Am I comfortable with paying for the donors travel expenses? Do I need the egg donor locally so can go through the whole process with my clinic, are we comfortable with traveling?

This is likely a financial decision. Having a donor monitored locally and then traveling for the retrieval is far more work on the agency and doctor (the donors don’t mind) and as an intended parent you will not be responsible to make any travel arrangements.

Do you want a proven egg donor OR are you comfortable knowing the your fertility clinic is going to do very comprehensive screening to be sure that the donor is a great candidate so a first time donor works well too? All donors have to donate for the first time. Having and doctor and agency who are flexible with screening could allow you the opportunity to select a first time donor who might meet your criteria better then a proven donor.

If choosing a traveling donor, ask your doctor what screening can be done locally to the donor to prevent travel cost and be sure you choose an agency who asks the same questions. With things going on in the world currently, ask what those monitoring appointments look like & seek if they can be scheduled locally for her to reduce travel.

Today there are so many screenings that will give your doctor a very good indication of how your donor will do in a cycle (FSH, AMH, antral follical count) that many intended parents are very satisfied with the initially screening process that allows them to choose the best donor regardless of their past donor (or lack thereof) experience.

Most intended parents want to find a ”connection” with the egg donor. Sometimes this is based on physical characteristics, personality, interests, goals in life, or sometimes it has to do with the donors willingness to be a ”known/open donor”. Decide what factors are most important to you and put those on your list.

Our last piece of advice when searching, try not to put more constraints on your list then you need to. We have often worked with intended parents who have chosen a donor they never saw in their first search because she was 1 inch shorter than their ”criteria” or decided that since brown eyes was dominant in their family that choosing a donor with green would be worth the gamble of having green eyed child because she meet all other criteria.

We look forward to working with you, guiding you and your donor through the process and creating a happy family! We at Egg Donor Solutions are here to support and guide you all every step of the way!

An Unexpected Family: Connecting with Donor Siblings

Written By: Hillary Redwine

If someone had told me back when I was first considering having a child via egg donation that one day our extended family would include our child’s donor siblings, their older sister and their parents, the idea would have seemed surreal to me. Fast forward a few years, this is our reality, and I couldn’t be happier about it.

How we met

As my friend Carrie, the mom of my daughter’s twin half-siblings, often says, “Life is hard and surprising and wonderful.” I can’t think of a more eloquent way to describe our situation.

Carrie and I both experienced several years of infertility and had to let go of expectations regarding how we would grow our families. That’s the hard part.

Three years ago, we connected via the Donor Sibling Registry (DSR). We learned that we had chosen the same egg donor to help us conceive our children with just an eight-month gap between them. That’s the surprising part.

Since then, we have spent time together on several occasions with our husbands and kids, who are beginning to understand their connection. And that, of course, is the wonderful part.

It’s their story

It helps that Carrie and I, along with our husbands, are on the same page about being open with our children regarding how they came into the world. Their conception and the fact that they have genetic half-siblings via the donor is part of their story, and they have a right to know.

“It’s heathier [for them to know],” Carrie says. “It’s not a secret, and it shouldn’t be a secret.”

Leveraging the DSR

When we were first getting to know each other, Carrie and I learned that we had taken a similar approach in how we selected our donor. We both wanted someone who would be willing to meet us and have ongoing contact through the DSR, as well as be willing to meet any future children so they can have the option of knowing their genetic relatives. It was so important, in fact, that we had these things stipulated in our donor agreements.

According to Katy Encalade, owner of Egg Donor Solutions, 60 to 70 percent of the agency’s intended parents today have the DSR written into their legal contracts.

“It’s something we definitely encourage for all our families,” Katy says. “The DSR provides an opportunity for contact while still maintaining anonymity. It’s a great way to share medical information and develop a personal connection if it’s desired. Even if intended parents don’t plan to have contact initially, we still recommend they sign up for the DSR because they may change their minds in the future.”

Similarities between donor siblings

With my daughter, Corinne, being our only child, I love that she gets to grow up knowing her donor siblings. It’s fascinating to watch her play side-by-side with Carrie’s twins, Zoe and Cooper, and see the similarities between them. When the kids were younger, we both thought that Corinne and Cooper looked the most alike. “I thought Cooper was the boy version of Corinne,” Carrie notes.

As they’ve gotten older, Corinne and Zoe now seem more similar in appearance. They are built the same (tall and lean), and as Carrie pointed out to me recently, they have the same walk. Personality-wise, Cooper and Corinne have the same sense of humor and frequently entertain us with their random silliness.

One of the most endearing things during our visits with Carrie’s family has been how her older daughter Willow, who is not genetically related to Corinne, takes on a big sister role with her – so much, in fact, that Corinne believes Willow is her sister too.

Our extended family

As I reflect on our journey to parenthood, a consistent theme is the unexpected blessings that have resulted from choosing egg donation. Not only do we have the child we believe we were meant to have, we’ve also gained a bonus family and incredible friends in Carrie and her husband, Jeremy.

As we were reminiscing recently, Carrie told me, “I’m so glad we’ve gotten to know you, Jared and Corinne and that you all are part of our extended family.”

I couldn’t agree more.

A person holding a baby

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Meeting for the first time. Pictured from left: Cooper, Willow, Zoe and Corinne.
A person standing in front of a brick wall

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Trip to Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in 2019. From left: Corinne, Cooper, Zoe and Willow
Parents night out: Hillary, Jared, Carrie and Jeremy


Congrats! You are pregnant

We are thrilled for you! As many super heroes are quoted “With great power comes great responsibility”, and pregnancy is one of those powers. There are so many exciting milestones to come, but we will first point out a few areas to air in caution. Of course, these are just suggestions!

Your Diet

There are some possible hazards that one should avoid pregnant.

  • Excessive Caffeine: Miscarriage and low birth weight have been linked to cases of excessive caffeine use; however these instances are from high milligrams per day, excesses of 300-milligrams.  A can of soda or a cup of coffee is okay. Remember moderation and don’t become excessive.
  • Specific Foods: There are certain reactions to different types of food that can cause trouble during a pregnancy.
    • Cheeses such as brie and feta, or undercooked meats (for example – fish, poultry) can contain listeria bacteria. Listeriosis can cause preterm labor, miscarriage, and even still birth. The symptoms can include nausea, fever, fatigue, chills, and other non-specific symptoms.
    • Seafood, especially swordfish and shark, can contain high levels of mercury and other toxins. Consuming these foods while pregnant can cause fetal developmental delays.
    • Many people also recommend using aspartame during a pregnancy rather that saccharine, we recommend consulting with your physician on their recommendation.

At Home

Everywhere we look there are dangers during pregnancy. However in our own homes we have some dangers that might not be as obvious as others.

  • Cat Litter: During your pregnancy is the one time that you can get out of doing litter clean up duty. Toxoplasmosis is most commonly caused by the parasites that reside in cat feces. This can be dangerous because it may cause health problems to the baby not only preterm labor, or miscarriage.
  • Cleaning Products: Cleaning your home can open you to a whole host of toxins that can cause harm to the developing baby during your pregnancy. Be sure to read labels before using the chemicals. Wear protective gear; ensure that the place you are cleaning is well ventilated. Try to avoid are solvents, oven cleaners, and aerosols.

Stress

As with any pregnancy, stress can be something that is hard to avoid. With all that is anticipated to come relaxing is hard to do but it will be best for both you and the baby. Stress is linked to preterm birth as well as low birth weights, trigger contractions and reduce blood flow. One of the biggest stressors is a woman’s job. If you have a high stress, or high pressure job you may want to reduce the work load.

Find ways to reduce stress throughout  your pregnancy. Your local area may have classes that you can take for prenatal yoga or other stress relieving exercise. Learn techniques for relaxation. Be sure that no matter what else you do keep yourself surrounded by people who are supportive.

Maintaining a healthy and happy pregnancy isn’t too difficult as long as you can remember some of the dangers that exist and safeguard yourself. If you ever have questions contact your primary health care provider.

There are many resources to help you get through your pregnancy. Egg Donor Solutions always recommends that you seek advice from your health care provider but we also understand the benefits of support after the long journey.  Look for personal groups with support as well as online.  You will be glad you found that community.