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Wendy Burch Headshot

One Good Egg: The Decision

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Every year I buy myself something BIG for my birthday -- a gift to me, from me. I always try to make it something memorable. One year I bought a new convertible. The next year I bought a pair of designer sunglasses (which was all I could afford after I overspent on the car). By the time I turned 45, I pretty much had everything a girl could want. Except one thing... a baby.

Now you can't just go and buy yourself a baby. I am pretty sure there are laws against that. But in this day and age... you can buy yourself an egg. If you would have asked me a couple of years ago if I would have ever even considered using any egg other than my own, I would have cracked up. A donor egg was never the plan. I always wanted to have a biological offspring, a carbon-copy, a mini-me... or so I thought.

But three years of failed fertility treatments makes you re-think a few things. If I used a donor egg, would I love that child any less? If I carry that baby for nine months, can anyone tell me it's not mine? Do I think my kid is going to care that mommy needed a little help to bring him or her into the world?

These are the questions I asked myself again and again. The answers seem obvious, but I still wasn't clear on the choice. I couldn't help but feel like I was compromising somehow -- giving up on finding my own good egg (which, by the way, has done a masterful job of hiding from me all these years). Was I finally admitting I wasn't "woman enough" to get pregnant on my own?
I shoulda, coulda, woulda planned better for parenthood.

But then a light went on -- and ironically, it came from a famous quote by Thomas Edison, who illuminated all of us by saying, "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."

Now, I can certainly relate... considering 10,000 is approximately the number of the non-working eggs I have left inside of me (when I was in my 20s I probably had around 250,000 good ones). And let's face it: by now, the eggs that have stuck around are pretty much powdered. Even if I did beat the odds (which are less than 1 percent) and somehow get pregnant with the one good egg that may be lurking deep within me, my chances of miscarrying would be as high as 50 percent. My chances of having a child with Down Syndrome? 1 in 30. My chances of making myself completely crazy with all of this? One hundred percent guaranteed.

So -- I needed to figure out a new way to create my own success story. If what I really wanted to accomplish was creation, then it was about time I looked into donation. But there were still decisions to be made -- like would I prefer my eggs to be fresh or frozen?