Report on our experiences (translated from German)

We always knew that children would be part of our lives. Both of us have several brothers and sisters and we’re definitely family persons. But after our wedding I didn’t seem to get pregnant. Two years later, shortly before starting infertility treatment, we were expecting a baby after all. Our joy was boundless, but 10 weeks later a miscarriage meant the end of our dreams for the time being.  

Over the next couple of years I didn’t get pregnant again and the biological clock was beginning to tick since both of us were approaching forty years of age. So we started fertility treatment (ICSI) in our hometown. None of the four treatment cycles was successful and we were under tremendous emotional strain. Upon recommendation, we then got in touch with the Fertility Center Berlin.

Contrary to the medical experts whom we had consulted in the past, our attending physician in Berlin, Professor Kentenich, analyzed the development of our past infertility very carefully and did more extensive tests than had been done ever before. We tried one more treatment which wasn’t successful either.  

Professor Kentenich’s final diagnosis, which he also based on the result of the ultimate treatment cycle, was that a hormonal imbalance was causing insufficient egg quality. For that reason it was also rather unlikely that treatment with IVF would prove successful. But he told us about the option of using donated eggs and said that the odds for a pregnancy were favorable with a diagnosis like ours.

In the meantime, we had enrolled in an Adoption-of-Children seminar and had attended an information session about adoption from a foreign country. We wanted a family and always wanted to keep this option open as well. 

We had very many long discussions about the question of egg donation. One issue in particular was whether such a donation would be accepted in our partly very devout environment. But the discussions also focused on concerns about the woman donating the eggs and if we would ultimately really accept the child as our very own. Another issue was if and when to tell the child about its origins. But only our parents and two of our closest friends each were involved in these discussions. The thought that an egg donation represents an adoption at the earliest possible moment helped us a lot in our decision for such treatment.

We then got in touch with Dr. Zaytseff in St. Petersburg because she had been recommended to us. It also was quite likely that the donor in St. Petersburg would have a Western European appearance and the waiting periods were relatively short. 

Just a few weeks later, we already had our first appointment with Dr. Zaytseff for our initial consultation. We planned this as part of a long weekend. Less than 3 months after the initial consultation, we returned to St. Petersburg for treatment with the donated eggs and had to stay just under a week.

Dr. Zaytseff was very friendly and provided highly

professional medical care. All our questions and concerns were addressed and cleared up in a very pleasant conversation. But the beautiful city itself also contributed to our having an enjoyable and agreeable time during our stay in St. Petersburg. After two weeks of anxiety we got the good news: We were pregnant!!  

Except for some very slight problems at the beginning, my pregnancy and the delivery were absolutely normal. Even though implantation of the two transferred eggs had been successful, one of them did not survive.

Our son has been fortune’s child right from his birth. The first six months he was fit as a fiddle (then he caught his first cold), after three months, he’s already slept through the night, waking up in the mornings with a smile on his face and smiling when he’s off to bed in the evenings.

But sometimes there are tricky situations as well, for example when people ask whether he takes more after mom or dad. If one hasn’t told everyone about the egg donation this can be a rather difficult question and one should be very aware of these issues beforehand.

We still can hardly believe our luck and we take endless joy in our son. At the moment we’re thinking about rounding off our family with another child from donated eggs.