After watching Ria’s heartbreaking fertility struggle, Lottie gave her the ultimate gift.
It’s been heartbreaking watching Ria go through so many years of disappointment and pain in her quest for a baby. She really declined in front of our eyes, becoming so sad as the setbacks kept on coming, and as a family we felt totally helpless.
“If only there was something we could do,” we used to say. It was our other sister, Zina, who first came up with the idea of egg donation. She’d already had a baby and was happy to help, but it turned out her egg stores weren’t high enough, so the idea was shelved.
Ria never asked me to do it, but over the course of about six months, the idea bubbled away quietly in my mind. At first, the thought of donating my eggs freaked me out a bit. I didn’t know anyone who’d done it and it isn’t something people talk about much. But I thought long and hard, did a lot of research, and talked to friends and family. Over time, the answer became clear – it was a very simple thing I could do to help my sister. What made me uncomfortable at the start now felt totally natural; it wasn’t much different to giving blood.
It was at a family dinner when I finally told Ria I had decided I’d like to give her my eggs. Tests showed I was a good candidate, so after a few months of medical and counselling appointments, it was all go. In the meantime, I’d met my now-partner, so of course I had to tell him what we were undertaking. He was completely supportive. Maybe because he already has kids, or perhaps, like me, he could see it was the right thing to do.
The process wasn’t hard. It involved two weeks of hormone injections – which made me feel a bit bloated and uncomfortable – then a pretty quick procedure to harvest the eggs, and a few more days of feeling a little sore. But really, it was nothing relative to what it’s achieved and I would urge others to consider helping their loved ones like this.
Seeing Ria’s joy now she’s finally pregnant is amazing and we’re all so incredibly happy for her. I know she and Chris will be the best parents. People ask if I feel like it’s my baby inside her tummy, or if I have a sense of ownership or longing, but I really don’t. It’s their child – my niece or nephew – and I can’t wait for the day when we finally get to meet this very special little miracle.