Six weeks ago our beautiful daughter arrived safely, really a miracle, when I think of the low base my partner and I started from in trying for a family. Every couple approaching Altrui will do so wanting a solution, rather than the start of another journey. All of us will have already had a variety of distressing and disappointing experiences to bring us to a service like Altrui. For some couples this solution can work out very quickly, but of course it is unrealistic to expect this to be the case for everyone. My experience demonstrates fantastic results still happen, even when the route is not direct.
There are very understandable reasons why a planned/promised donation does not work out. A previously unknown medical problem can appear at the last moment. If there is a hitch with availability and timing even the most willing donor can have life events, planned and unforeseen, which can prevent her continuing. Hospital policies can be very slightly different, which means that not every donor is acceptable to every hospital. These were the kind of delays I experienced, I am sure there are many others.
It is bitterly disappointing when a donor does not work out for whatever reason, particularly if (like me) you are towards the older end of the age range and feel the pressure of time running out. That being said, in my experience, the worst time was the first time. In the simplest terms, by the time I realised that Altrui could find me more than one very suitable donor, why not two, three, or more if necessary. At first I think the possibility of egg donation seemed, (on an irrational level) a bit unreal and the first disappointment seemed like a big problem. However, the more possibilities presented themselves even when they didn’t work out, the easier it was to feel a good outcome was very likely to only be a matter of time. That proved to be true.
The approach I adopted, was to try, as far as possible, not to think too much about the set backs and just keep going. ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’, ‘It ain’t over till its over’ – whatever – pick a platitude and stick to it – these sentiments are popular because they are largely true – if a bit cheesy. Everyone is different though, and maybe taking a break to ‘re-group’ would be better for others. My concern was however, that if I took a break to re-consider my options, I may not be able to face starting again and would eventually regret a further delay.
I would also say trust the Altrui service. As clients we cannot fully understand the subtleties of the medical technologies, policies and systems as the professionals do. In addition a donor’s medical confidentiality has to be respected. This means when things go off course, we may not always be able to have the full picture in all the detail we feel we want, which can be difficult to deal with. I have always had the best advice/information from Altrui (far better than from medics), always clear practical and compassionate but also enitrely professional and with appropriate confidentiality. Sadly, there is no ‘magic wand’, but my experience is that Altrui will do their very best for you, and can get amazing results.