It’s Christmas today (translated from German)

Not only do I remember last Christmas, I still feel every single moment of 27 kilos of happiness inside my belly. For a slim woman in her forties that’s quite a physical and emotional experience. Let me tell you how that came about:

I was never the kind of woman who looked into every pram. I rather was the kind of woman who sometimes was a little uncomprehending when it came to other people’s love for their children. In my first long-term relationship having children really wasn’t an issue, but when I was 35 years old, the biological clock started ticking louder and louder and in my late thirties I was feeling this longing. At the same time, my partner and I split up.

A couple of months later I met the love of my life and after our first kiss I knew: it would be wonderful to have a baby with this man.

Both of us had passed the first physical limits, he was fifty, I was forty, but emotionally both of us were ready. From my present-day perspective, I would say we made it through more than five different medical options quite well. But with every phone call inquiring whether the HCG-level was increased and getting the answer “no, not this time”, an emotional wall was building up, getting higher and higher. Adoption was out of the question for us. And I, who initially hadn’t even wanted artificial insemination, felt that treatment with donated eggs was absolutely unthinkable.

My husband pointed me in that direction nonetheless and asked me to talk about that option at an infertility center, which wasn’t in Germany of course. 

Why Dr. Zaytseff? Research on the Internet. Why St. Petersburg? I like this city for personal reasons.

March. Air Berlin. Ice. Snow. Nevsky Prospect. Hotel OK. Sunshine and blue skies. Appointment the next day at noon, right on Nevsky, pretty much down towards the Hermitage. A modern waiting room, young and pretty assistants, have they donated eggs as well? Those were some of my thoughts. First floor. Dr. Zaytseff. She speaks German; in fact she speaks it very well. She’s younger than me and at the same appears to be very experienced, I trust her instantly. She has plenty of time for us, answers all our questions but doesn’t solicit. It’s our decision.  

We leave St. Petersburg having made the firm decision: that’s the road we want to travel. From then on everything is done very quickly and professionally, straightforward, no fuss. Preparation. Appointments. Everything fits. The egg donor has 7 good eggs. I book 1 week St. Petersburg for the end of April. Monday morning. Sunshine. A pretty gown. Good news: there are 4 options ready for transfer. There’s music, a warm, tastefully decorated room, ultrasound, the option to lie down and rest afterwards. My decision to spend one week’s vacation in summery St. Petersburg was right.

Two weeks later the phone call to the hematology lab: Congratulations, but your HCG levels are so high, that’s really very unusual…The lab physician didn’t understand why I cried overwhelmed by my feelings. The first twelve weeks I was deeply convinced I was going to have twins. When I was 14 weeks pregnant I knew for sure: one of them had already bid me farewell. My grief was cloaked by the joy of feeling a little one grow inside me. I perceived my pregnancy as a miracle anyway, but the loss of one twin possibly made me understand even better how precious this gift of life was and how delicate the way itself. I had a wonderful pregnancy, a regular delivery and am the mother of a son, whom I breasfed for 10 months, who sleeps through every single night and calls out mama in the meantime. 

Maybe he’ll have to get used to having a little sister or brother sometime soon – the experience with Dr. Zaytseff was so good.