Every day I pinch my arm in wonder. That I would have a sparkling, beautiful daughter that fills my days with joy and happiness, was something that I had given up on.
I always wanted to have children but the thought of having them by myself, was frightening and felt wrong somehow. I went through a few unsuccessful relationships with great guys, but none of them were the right one for me. At 41 I tried to make an insemination in Denmark, but only felt relief when I did not become pregnant; I still had a dream to create a family the “ordinary way”. At 43 I thought I had found the right guy, and we got pregnant. But the pregnancy ended up in a miscarriage in week 11, and sadly the relationship ended too a few months later. At 45, the age I had set as my deadline for children, I found myself single and childless.
Despite my grief over not having children, I decided to accept the situation and to try to make the best out of my situation. I convinced everyone, and myself, that I was grateful for the life I had been given and that own children were out of question. Until one very warm summer night in South Sweden two years ago. My best friend and I sat up late and talked. Very late, and after a number of glasses of wine, my friend spoke up “I think you’re stupid to not try and have a child, I’ve known you since you were young and I know you always wanted children so this whole thing [not having children] is just nonsense”.
Her comments shook me up and I felt both excitement and fear, but I decided to give it a go. I called the clinic in Denmark I had visited before, but they said no; “You have already turned 45 so it’s too late”. I tried to convince them, but they advised me to call a clinic in St Petersburg. So, I did. And very soon the ball was rolling, quickly. I hesitated and felt scared and excited at the same time. But the coordinator I got in touch with, Valeria, held my hand firmly and her guidance and support secured me. In dialogues with Olga, it was clear that embryo donation would be the only option for me as my age was against me. This also scared me but by talking to Valeria and listening to the pod casts of Cilla Holm (a former embryo donation patient of Olga’s, also from Stockholm), I calmed down. Before I knew it, I had decided on donators, started my medication, and booked in the dates for my first attempt. I went to beautiful St Petersburg in Christmas-time with my sister and in high spirits, anxious but excited.
But no luck, I didn’t become pregnant. And again, I found myself again having to make the decision to continue trying or give up. I felt my old doubts welling up and parts of me just wanted to forget about the whole thing and just finally accept that I would never have a child of my own. But again, another close friend had a serious talk with me and encouraged me to try again. Due to different practical reasons I decided to wait a few months and when I finally went, I was extremely tense. The whole preparation period had been sending bad signs; my period had for once been very late, and as a result, the planning had been messed up with travel visas and flight tickets. I was like a tense wire the whole weekend while waiting for my delayed transfer.
Numerous times I just wanted to leave and go home and give up the whole thing with children for once and for all. But I stayed on, much thanks to my friend who kept me company in St. Petersburg for a few days and my friends online in Sweden. But very much thanks to the outstanding support from the understanding clinic who provided me with therapy and also the amazing Valeria who supported me along the whole weekend, even taking me for a long walk to distract my mind and give me spiritual support. This meant enormously for me. And once the transfer had been completed, I was calm and happy. It was like warm and soothing feeling had entered my body. I went back to Sweden feeling very upbeat and light and surprisingly calm. All the anxiety I had felt before was totally gone. Ten days later the pregnancy test showed positive and a joyful pregnancy filled with excitement and happiness followed. In January this year, I gave birth to the most fantastic human being I have ever met.
Today I owe so much gratefulness to the clinic O.L.G.A. and to all the staff – to Dr. Olga herself, to Dr. Elena who conducted the transfer, to Dr. Violetta who supported me with medication support, to the psychologist Tatiana and to all fantastic nurses and most of all to Valeria. Without her and her support and conviction that this was the right thing for me, I doubt I had been able to complete the process.
And to whoever is still contemplating to take the step to have a child on your own, or wondering if egg donation or embryo donation is the right thing – don’t wait any longer, you will never regret your decision.
Every morning I wake up to the happy beautiful face of my daughter, every minute I get to spend with her, see her developments and to see her grow into a little girl, is just pure magic. I’m forever thankful to every person along this path that pushed me forward, that supported me, encouraged me and held my hand. I feel nothing but gratefulness to the donators who have given me the possibility to have the most beautiful daughter I could ever have dreamed of. And even if my life turned out in a different way than I thought, it is way better than I had ever imagined, I wouldn’t want change a single thing, even if I could. And I have to pinch my arm to believe that it’s true.
Maria and Rose