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Journey to Parenthood using Donor Eggs

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by Donna Raidy, Director of Donor Case Management, The Donor SOURCE, July 6, 2010

All intended parents have a journey to donor egg that could break the hardest of hearts. I thought I had heard just about all the stories with varying degrees of sadness and heartbreak.

Then I had my first phone call with Nikki.

I spoke with Nikki at length about her struggle with cancer and her journey since then, the “almost” acceptance of living a childless life. She believed that the radiation destroyed her ovaries, and she was destined to be childless. She became a kindergarten teacher to help with the longing of children. She decided that she could live with the fate dealt to her but she still felt the ache. Then she met Mike, and a whole new journey began. They married within a year after meeting and both thought that a childless life would be fine for both of them.

All that changed on the day Nikki’s nephew was born. She held him in her arms and that “almost” acceptance flew out the window. She knew that she needed to look into other options.

Nikki visited with several adoption attorneys and realized that it, too, was a big undertaking with the potential of waiting years before her dreams came true. Through this process she started going to support groups that she found on the RESOLVE website and realized there were other women out there struggling with her same situation, and sometimes even worse. After about a year, she finally made the big decision to go to a fertility doctor and get an official diagnosis to see if there was any hope of having a child of her own. After many exhausting tests, she got the semi-good news that one of her ovaries was producing a few eggs. After eight attempts at IVF, it was determined that her eggs were just not good enough quality to sustain a pregnancy and she would have to try donor egg. This being the first time she had even considered it, she was so sure she would either be childless or perhaps even have a miracle child with her own eggs.

After several months of looking through the different agencies and databases, Nikki made the call to me. She shared with me her story and set up a time to meet and discuss a few donors that she was considering. I’ve hosted many of these meetings over the years and was looking forward to the meeting. When she came in and I came out to greet her, I was sure that I had gotten my appointment times wrong. Standing in our lobby was a very beautiful 27-year-old girl! There was no way this could be the Nikki I was prepared to meet. Most of my intended parents were old enough to be this young lady’s mother. However, with a radiant smile she introduced herself as Nikki! As we began to get acquainted, she told me of the cancer that she had occurred when she was just 8-years-old. The journey I thought I had heard before was so much different than the reality that stood before me. Although many journeys may sound the same, they are all very unique and different, just as our intended parents are.

I am happy to say that Nikki and Mike welcomed a baby girl into the world, via donor egg, in January 2010. Congratulations to them for making it to the end of a tough road to start on a new journey that will bring them a life time of smiles.


Donna Raidy, Director of Case Management and CFO, manages The Donor SOURCE’s egg donation matches in Orange County, San Diego and the Inland Empire. She also facilitates matches with international egg donor recipients. Donna brings a wealth of experience to The Donor SOURCE, having over 20 years experience in business management. Donna has been a long time advocate for children’s rights and volunteers as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for children in the dependent care system. Donna’s love for family and children coupled with her extensive management experience is a unique blend that gives her the ability to compassionately guide intended parents and donors through the remarkable journey of egg donation.