Success story 44

It was after about four trials that my body stop responding, it was not sensitive any longer to hormonal stimulation (In Vitro).
This was when our physician decided to talk to us in order to stop all IVF treatment plan. He did not ask us to stop trying but he advised us then to try something else, oocyte donation.

He then recommended a clinic which he thinks can help us. This clinic is in St. Petersburg, a city never visited before by neither my husband or myself. The name of this clinic is AVA St Petersburg.
Initially my husband was very shocked and sad, it was hard for him to accept that we had to stop trying new IVF treatment, it was difficult and to early for him to accept this new alternative of oocyte donation.
He saw this option as a way for me to desert or abandon the couple we were representing. To say yes to one oocyte donation was for him like saying no to the opportunity of giving life to a future family member of the family, erasing any possibility of recognizing me through this child. It meant giving up on welcoming some days a child personnifying the Love we always had for each other.
On my side, I saw it differently: the advice of our doctor asking us to put an end to this series of in vitro fertilization and replace it by the egg donation was in a way like closing an attic-window to open instead a proper gate. I finally saw a solution to the problem of fertility!...

This problem was not unbeatable with his precious advice. And I did not see it as if we were giving up on anything contrary ,it was instead continuing our battle, and our doctor did provide us witth REAL solution to this problem this time.

I decided to contact the clinic almost immediately, the name of this clinic was AVA St Petersburg.
Julia Reutova was the one I was put in contact with, she was very helpful and responded to most of the questions I had, it gave me so much hope already.She told us about Extended embryo culture was of course an important parameter for us, we knew a little about but she explained this procedure which was done to facilitate the selection of quality embryo more accurately, and she then invited us to fill up a form gathering all health, personal information and background in order to act quickly and find a matching donor.

I had a ferm intention of starting this treatment because the percentages of success were much highier than any IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) treatment could possibly offer. The only thing left for me to do was to talk to my husband and convince him that this was a real solution, I wanted him to understand the magnitude and power this new treatment option could give to our chance of becoming parents compared to what we’ve been doing until now.

It took a lot of energy trying to get him to understand and trust that it could work, but it was not enough for him to give in. I also explained him what my local physician said regarding becoming epigenetic mother, the impact it would have on our child etc… that the presence of the embryo in my belly means that some factors will still have a naturel influence on our child regardless of the origin of the oocyte. I also had to assure him that regarding physical appearance it will be almost impossible for anyone to detect anything because donors are selected on the basis of several criteria of similarity in relation to the parent’s profil, these similarities are not only physical but also medical (blood group, age, number of children, etc.).

One evening giving me his consent, I jumped on the opportunity, fill out the form necessary for the application of oocyte donation and some old photos (when I was between 25 and 30 years).
Very quickly, AVA sends me an email me confirming the possibility of a donor.

The description was fairly accurate but completely anonymous (height, eye color, origin, age, hair color, number of children and occupation professional and personal ... etc).

There I was thrilled, I could not wait any longer, I wanted to make my treatment as soon as possible.

A preliminary date of treatment was established between the clinical (AVA St Petersburg) and ourselves. When I informed my husband about the news that we had a donor, he acknowledged it, but did not show any joy or happiness about it.

Unfortunately, as I feared, my dear husband begin to find excuses for complaining.

He just was not ready yet, this time, he feared complications of administrative procedures, such as: Should we not tell the embassy the real reasons for our trip to St Petersburg or would it be better instead opt for a tourist visa to avoid having to talk about our fertility problems. None of us had yet travelled to this country and it is true that from the outside, some simple things like communication (languistic issues, Cyrillic road or street signs ... etc) the social rules of Conduct awareness and other barriers, did represent small hick ups which were difficult to ignore and defend toward my husband.
The last weird things for him was to transfer a sum of money to a clinic abroad without even meeting the doctors in questions. The cost of the treatment wasn’t the issue, it was more the problem of not knowing whether the information was reliable, if success rates were really accurate... etc.

With the internet today it is difficult to recognize what’s true and what’s not.

My only argument to convince at this level was to remind him that it was our doctor who advised us to visit this clinic and that he was the professional in this field.

Anyway shortly after we checked up AVA’s website again, and then we saw that on the rnd_news section was mentioned the presence of AVA in London, at the Fertility Fair at Olympia Exhibition Center.
We then decided to book tickets.

I then send an email to AVA asking them to kindly postpone the treatment because in the meantime, it gave me the possibility to listen to my doctor here, who asked me to do my Rubella vaccination and re adjust my TSH level before doing anything. It did also gave me the possibility to reassure my husband and focus on not loosing anymore time.

This was the best decision so far. Our trip to London, our meeting at the stand with the AVA team, meet the famous Dr. Olga Zaytseff was very important for me and my husband. This meeting finally erased all our worries and concerns, we were delighted and at peace with sign on all documents required to do this treatment as soon as possible.

At that point the trust was there, we felt that there was nothing to hesitate about... The trip to London was a very important step, it was in fact a turning point.

Concerning applications for Visa, everything went very easily with the help of Julia Reutova who took care of us make an official document providing the authorities of the embassy to get our visas without stress. Regarding the initiation of treatment, the collaboration between my doctors and dr Zaytseff was very cordial. Olga Zaytseff took care of drawing up a very clear plan and schedule which facilitated greatly the task for my physician over here.

Once again everything went without any hassle.

The day of the trip we were both very nervous and if I had any advice to give anyone planning to go for a similar adventure here in St Petersburg, it would be to not read too much and believe everything people say on the net, walking through to St Petersburg is no more dangerous than walking in New York or London, all major cities have their beauty and their dangers. By simply behaving normally and courteously while taking the necessary precautions before going out you’ll avoid a lot of trouble for yourself anywhere you are.

Our first visit at the clinis was like in London: Perfect.

The procedure we were invited to go through:

  • To discuss pros and cons of transferring 1 or 2 embryos at the first meeting at the clinic
  • We were clearly advised by Dr. Zaytseff to transfer 1 if superior or 2 if non-superior quality
  • We had then a week or more to think it over and see if we would finally want to agree to 1 if 1 is proposed or if we would ask for two anyway.

So we had enough time to talk between us and consider the plus and minuses of choosing one or the other.

We were so happy to see people that we have already met in London, it felt safe and comfortable and we were then looking forward to explore this city, known both for being very rich culturally and architecturally.

Finally when the D day arrived, we went back to the clinic, met with Dr. Olga Zaytseff just about 30 min before the ET procedure. We were then ready (after taking in consideration all their advices etc…) to give our final decision after finding out about the final quality of the development of the embryons.

Regarding the very decision, I guess that many parents just want to have the maximum amount, (meaning 2) just to increase the chances of pregnancy, that was when AVA was very good at clarifying keeping us aware of the risks parents may take by doing such a choice. Having gone through this whole process, I truly believe that it is so important to listen to their precious advices and adopt them.
Anyway, we left the next day and ten days later, our first rnd_test showed a positive HCG rate!

My husband refuses first to believe it, he preferred to wait a few weeks before jumping of joy.

As the weeks went by, the pregnancy was confirmed, there was an embryo, it was alive and became a foetus… We did not know then that our son was getting slowly prepared to meet us.
Past 12 weeks once everything was going well, we began gradually to reflect, and wonder about this being living in my belly, we started to think about the gender, we looked for some names around the same subject (boy or girl).

My husband was very caring, and very happy to be soon a daddy. On my my side, I was very curious about this child, I wondered if he would really recognize me, and see me as his mother. I sometimes feared too much physical appearance clashes between him, his father and myself.

I was so grateful to all these wonderful women forming the the AVA team in St Petersburg, how could one could doubt their integrity, I felt so happy to finally know the joy of being pregnant , feel the child move, feel heavy and complex free and especially very happy , what an unforgettable feeling.

As we approach the birth, we knew it was a boy, and several questions came to my mind. I started to plan and promised myself a lot of things regarding the education and the life style I would give this little man joining our family, the things I will tell him ...

Until that day, the day he really came here to us, that day he was put on my chest, my legs were still numb and my mind too.

That was when all plans, thoughts and everything disappeared to give way to tears of happiness… and sadness too.

Happiness to finally meet the most important member of my family, and finally feel the peacefullness of reaching the unreachable: simply becoming a mother.

The tear of sadness came from thinking back at the years spent in the hope that one day my belly would grow, and in the hope that one day I will meet our child finally.

I still remember how surprised I was to see that his beautiful hair was red, his fingers were clutching at his dad’s finger. He was so incredible.

I will be forever attached to this country, this city, these women who helped me to become what I always wanted to be: a mother.

I know that for many couples like us, raising a child conceived from an donor’s oocyte may bring various questions which may arise in relation to the child’s future… Should one tell everything about to our child about the way he was conceive, if yes, when, how when...

All these questions came to our minds several time during the pregnancy, but since the birth, I just want to start my life mom, take care of one thing at a time without asking myself thousands of questions.

Now our life is not all that perfect: there are traces of milk on pillows and cushions, mailbox overloaded, the growth of gray hair due to hairdressers visit planned every blue moon, tired eyes and inexisting social life but I feel comfortable with all this, since we found now Peace.

Our hearts are finally at peace and grateful since our happiness was born one a fine day during the fall 2012. Since then, we’re no orphan parents anymore, we finally are a little family.