TV & Press

To Russia for egg donation

"Psyhologie Horoscoop", Jan/Feb 2010, Netherlands

When she was 34, Evellien heard that she only could get pregnant by egg donation. After 12 years of trying in Belgium and Spain, without any result, she is now (46 years old) in the last days of pregnancy of her first child. Many thanks for the clinic in St.Petersburg!

I am still 46 when I give birth to my first child and I am glad for it, as it sounds better than 47. Well, it is only a few years older than women ( 42 / 43 ), who get a child by the natural way. It is really only a number 46. In the meantime I am thinking: I will be 63 years old when the child is 18 and will get the certificate of her / his school. I hope, at that time, I will be in good health and with a flowing style. My mother was much younger but not with that flowing style at all. So it does not matter. I will be an older mother, but a sweetheart for my child. I hope the child will appreciate that.

This pregnancy is the end of a period (15 years) of trying to get pregnant. In that time I had a relationship with a man for nine years. It ended as I wanted children and he did not. When I was 34 years old we stopped this relationship and since that time I was no more indisposed. I went to my family doctor. My FSH value was about 100 and a normal fertile woman has under 7. So I was too early in the state of transition. The only situation that is no more to be tractable to get a child. How can I tell you what I felt at that moment. I always had lived with an idea in my head….a family, a husband, children. Suddenly I stood there, 43 years old, quite alone and for ever childless. I was quite deranged. I had to find myself back. What to do with the rest of my life ? What possibilities were left ? At that moment men were no option at all for I had too many troubles.

Bit by bit I found myself back. I started to read on internet about egg donation. For me still the only chance / method to get pregnant. At that time my sister would offer her eggs to me, but the doctor told me that it was not possible in my country, as I was a single person. At that moment I also thought that it was not so good for a child to have no father and also no genetics of me.

In the years after it happened that my youngest brother got his first child, so I was the only one of my brothers and sisters who had no children. I heard that my exfriend (9 years together) got his first baby with his new girlfriend and at this moment I thought: “this sorrow is for ever”. But I wanted to take action (42 years old). On the internet I had seen the possibility of egg donation in Spain…students give their eggs, anonymously, to earn a little money. In the meantime my sister was 40, so it was also a bit late for her. In 2006 we tried with the eggs of my sister but there was no good response, only one embryo and I did not get pregnant. Also that option was over. In the meantime I had a friend, but he did not want an anonymous egg donation.

At that moment the way to Spain was over too. I had to find somebody myself. I tried it by advertisement and internet. At least I found somebody. She was busy with (to get her second child) ICSI, a special form of IVF. We tried together, 5 eggs for her and 5 eggs for me , but the result was….no pregnancy for both of us. Heavenly for her,  the next time she became pregnant.

In the meantime I was 45. In the beginning you think it will go quick. I was 43. In the hospital “Medisch Centrum” at the town Utrecht (The Netherlands) they can help you till 45, so you think that is OK. Two colleagues became pregnant, one at 41, the other at 43. I did not feel extreme. In the meantime I was 45, wanted to go to Spain and have an anonymous egg donor. At least my boyfriend could agree with my wish and we went to Spain. We had good embryos but again no pregnancy. No times (3x) I succeed. I thought it was a fault in my body, but as I was so very near, I could not stop trying it.

In Belgium I let examine me again, my heart, my lungs, my belly, everything was OK. I started egg donation again. Then my friend said “stop”. At that moment our relationship was not so strong. He feared that we should have to go to Belgium again and again and to pay and pay. I could understand him, but I was 45 and I did not want to lose still more time. He left and I was alone again.

The doctor in Belgium did not want to help me anymore as I was alone now. I went to a psychiatrist but this man said “it is very inconsiderately, you have to think it over once more!” Again I lost some months. And then I went to Russia, St. Petersburg to try it there. I found a clinic where they could do embryo adoption, egg donation and sperm donation, anonymously. The costs were € 4000,- excl. travel costs and hotel. I made an appointment online. They told me that I had a chance of 70 % to get pregnant the first time.

In June I started to talk with the doctor in Russia by email and in August I had the first meeting. My sister was with me. First we talked about my journals, then has an ultrasound. It was possible to talk about the height, eye colour, education etc, but that was not so important to me. I let them the choice, for they could see what type I am with the blue eyes.

It was very special to be there, a very different surrounding and a language I cannot understand at all, but I could speak English with the doctor. The clinic looked like the clinic in Spain. The building looked nice. The medical rooms and medical equipment are very modern.

There I met a young doctor, who spoke very good English. So I could ask what I had to ask.

Back home I had to start with a hormone medication and to go to a Dutch doctor to let him do my ultrasounds to know if my reaction on the hormones was OK. That was good and I went to Russia again. They transferred 2 embryos (5 days old) . A pity, this try failed.

Of course I was very disappointed and € 4000,- lost, which I had borrowed by the bank, but I had a chance of 70 % , so I had to try it once more.

This time I asked the Dutch doctor to assist me in this situation one more time. She worked in a hospital and said: “OK but it is the last time I can do that. After this we cannot help you anymore.”

At that time I felt a real liar, for I had to do actions and travels without saying anything to the people at my work and my friends, for if it should not succeed, the people should think you are still more pitiful.

Excellent pregnancy!

Yes, I am pregnant now! Already 39 weeks. It’s a girl. It is not so long time anymore before I have my child. At my work I told them that I am pregnant and also that it was not of my ex boyfriend. None of them wondered about it. They only speculated who the father was and they had no idea at all about egg donation.

I had a good pregnancy time. The chance of complications by the older age was nothing. And when you are pregnant, all the things as age or genetics does not matter at all. My doctor, who is my family doctor, sees me as a normal pregnant woman with a bit higher blood pressure. No word about my age.

In the Netherlands, doctors consider the age limit as 45 years. Above that, they think that they should no longer help you to get pregnant. That's nature, they say. The same doctors advise women to use contraception until they are 50. There are calls to raise the age for egg donation  up to 50.
That would be nice. Of course, I don't think that everyone over 45 should have a child. I also didn't think that I would only become a mother at 46, it was the circumstances that caused it. You gradually push your boundaries.

The baby hasn't even arrived yet and I have to admit that I sometimes think: oh well, there will be another one soon. I find that very greedy of myself, but actually it is also normal to want a second child.

Of course I'm alone, that's what matters.

My ex is involved in my pregnancy. He takes pictures of my belly. He comes along with me to the checkups. And when the labor starts, he will take me to the hospital. Other than that I'll be fine. As long as I can walk a little after giving birth, I'll be fine. Or am I seeing things too rosy?

I sometimes think: should I have done this? What will it be like for my child, without the opportunity to trace her genetic roots and without a father in her life? Finding a man is difficult for the time being. Now I'm fat and pregnant, and soon, when the baby arrives, I will have much less time to look for one. The best thing would be if I found a man who wants to be a father.

Once the pressure of wanting to have a child is gone, I might soon be able to start a normal relationship again.
But first all the time will be spent on my daughter.'


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