SVT, 25 March 2018, Sweden | Anna-Maja Persson: Reporter, S:t Petersburg. Pelle Wickman, Lars Lyrefelt, Vadim Simakov och Vladimir Kovesjnikov: Fotografer. Ida Linde: Videoreporter, Anna H Svensson: Webbreporter
Translation to English
There are many people with longing for children in the room this evening, and there are expectations in the air. The Russian specialists regularly visit Nordic places to inform and catch new customers.
Among the audience are both couples and singles of all ages. You have to be under 51 years to be eligible. Hillevi Hertz is 47 and single.
— ”When did you start longing for children?”
— ”20 years ago, approximately.”
— ”It was the same summer I attended 4 weddings – all friends of mine, and I thought to my self: Soon it is my turn — I will have such a white gown — the man of my life — But it did not happen this way.”
When Hillevi was 30 she became seriously ill and her whole life was turned upside down. The thougth of having children of her own, was a difficult thought to process. But four years ago she decided to travel to a clinic in Russia,
— ”When I finally decided to give it a chance, the grief that dropped of my shoulders was absolutely unbelievable. I understood that perhaps it was possible for me, perhaps I could become a mother. I finally realized what kind of serious sorrow this has been, that I had not talked so much about. I had not really wanted to touch it.”
It is almost only women working here, and as 8th of March — Woman’s day is this week, the boss Olga Zaytseff is celebrated with flowers at morning coffee. The last year almost 500 Swedish woman have come here, and the demand is increasing. One treatment can cost up to 22 000 Euros.
Therefore the clinic has created a donor-database with almost 200 woman, all anonymous. But the donors in the database has given children pictures so that the women can pick someone that resembles themselves.
We attend when a woman in her 30's donate her eggs.
When they collect them, the doctor punctuate the follicles on the ovaries with an ultrasound stick and suck out the content.
If the eggs and sperm are of good quality, the sperm and the eggs are put together in a container and left to themselves. Another method is that the egg is injected with one sperm.
In Sweden egg donation is only allowed for women under 40, and the waiting time is very long. Since assisted fertility treatment was opened for single women also, the waiting lines are even longer.
Doctor Elena Lapina is doing an embryo transfer on a patient. The embryo itself is prepared in the lab, then it is transferred into the uterus through a very thin catheter.
— ”In April, April 1sth 2015, I gave birth to my twins.”
— ”I know exactly on the minute when I became pregnant. First they showed me the ultrasound on screen where there was nothing – and then two small dots… I paused, and then I thought — I am not lonely anymore. And I succeeded on the first try. I got twins.”
Soon Elin and Lisa have their 3rd birthday: Elin: ”Now it is just mom and Lisa left.”
Hillevi has no genetical connection to the twins, as she had both egg and sperm donated.
— ”Some has asked: Its like surrogacy? And yes – in some ways it is. It is the same process really. It is two wonderful people that have helped me. The only difference is that I have been able to carry them myself. I did not travel to a foreign country picking them up.”