Talking to your child about donor conception

Talking to your child about donor conception

Talking to your child about donor conception can feel both daunting and emotional. Over the past 18 months through my DefiningMum Instagram platform I’ve shared a number of moments from our own parenting-after-donor-conception journey; some planned and some unexpected, but all huge learning points and steps towards our girls understanding how they came to be. With my fertility journey in the past, the focus now for us is on sharing our children’s story with them.

I’m often asked questions about why, when and how I’ve been talking to them, which is why I decided to attempt to pull all of my experiences and learnings together in one blog post. Throughout this piece I’ve placed links directly to my past Instagram posts, each of which gives a more detailed insight into a moment in time. Often old posts can be difficult to find on Instagram and so I thought I’d try to make this topic easier to navigate!

Before I share my learnings, I want to note that it’s completely normal for it to feel overwhelming when thinking about having these conversations, particularly in the early days, which is why I also want to offer some perspective. This post might seem exhaustive, but in reality the topic by no means dominates our conversations or daily life. It’s not something we think or talk about that often, but starting early has allowed us to practice, feel more comfortable and for their story to be understood as they grow. This way they won’t have a recollection of being ‘told’, it will just always be their ‘normal’. I don’t claim to be an expert, this is simply from my own experience and listening to others – I encourage you to find your own way. Here are my top-tips:

It’s not always easy…

Even though on reading some of my posts these conversations might sound straight-forward, it’s not always easy. You’re sharing what may have been an incredibly traumatic time (whilst possibly still holding onto some grief) with the person you love more than anything. At the same time you’re not wanting anything to change the relationship you have and as a parent you want to protect them from ever feeling sad in any way, shape or form. That’s a pretty big deal and so I wanted to recognise this upfront, to validate these feelings first and foremost. I’ve learned that it’s perfectly normal to get emotional (especially at first) but I have found that it does get easier over time. The first time I received and read Happy Together Children’s Book I was so glad that I was alone because I sobbed big, heavy tears as everything came rushing back to me. I wondered how I would actually get through the story with my then three year old Mila, but as I wrote in this Instagram post just afterwards, it actually felt so ‘right’ when it came to it, “just feeling the weight of her head on my chest gave me such comfort – our happy ending was right there in front of me and this book actually celebrates how special her life is.”

Practice yourself before they understand…

Start telling them early, even whilst you’re pregnant, simply as practice to help you. Private moments confiding in your bump, during cuddles as you sit in the dark during night feeds, to their little face as you change yet another nappy. It can really help to practice saying it out-loud in a safe way before they have any understanding. I found it helped me release some of my emotions, find my words, build my confidence and feel more comfortable for when they became older and able to respond.

Align with your partner…

If you have a partner, it’s a good idea to talk to them and think about how you can both get involved. It’s important that you’re aligned on the story you’re telling so that there are no mixed messages (the same might apply to close family members). I definitely find myself taking the lead with these conversations within our family but Matt has also read books to them and spoken about it when the opportunity has arisen.

Choose words that feel comfortable for you…

In these early years use your own words and what feels right for you. We’ve opted for talking about mummy’s broken eggs, the donor giving us some of her eggs to mix with daddy’s seed to make a tiny embryo, which was put in mummy’s tummy to grow. This language may develop over time but is the starting point for us as they begin to understand the concept of donor conception.

Children’s books can provide the building blocks…

Children’s books provide a great foundation upon which to build their story. Happy Together Children’s Book (a story about egg donation) was the first one we read together at the age of just three for Mila, and two for Eska and Lena. The author, Julie Marie @happytogetherchildrensbook is a mum herself through egg donation and shares some really insightful posts from her own experience over on Instagram. There are lots of other books out there to share with your child, ‘You were meant for me” being one that led to Mila saying the words “I want your eggs to work Mummy”, something I wrote about at the time. Robobabies by @robomummy talks about how different families are made and is a great way to open up conversations and the Donor Conception Network also host a full series of age appropriate books relevant to many different family formations. I’ve even discovered a brilliantly relatable book called “Hattie Peck” about a hen who goes on a desperate search for eggs, which was another great way to adapt our story and expand upon how different families are made.

Weave concepts into daily life…

Books are a great foundation which can then be built upon. It’s also possible to weave the concepts into day-to-day conversations as and when the opportunity arises. Recently I wrote about something as simple as cooking eggs, a day-to-day activity that has been a great conversation starter as it links back to ‘mummy’s broken eggs’ and the concept of us using donor eggs. Scenarios such as these provide a chance to expand upon the book we’ve read, for me to ask questions and to answer theirs too. We’ve also had a few unplanned moments arising from questions Mila has asked herself that have allowed us to discuss things in more detail, one example being her simply asking Matt about her belly button. We also have toys such as eggs and baby dolls which have been simple ways to start conversations too during play-time together.

Find one-on-one time together…

Choose moments where you have some uninterrupted one-on-one time together; quiet moments in the bathroom whilst toilet training worked well for us. Mila would spend an age just sat on the toilet chatting with me when she first started using it, a great opportunity for me to talk to her about how special she is and again reflect back on the book we’d read together. It was here where she took me by surprise and first asked me an unexpected question about our donor, “So, where is the kind lady now?”

Create a scrapbook or memory box…

You could create a scrapbook of your journey or pull together a memory box, something which can become a more personal resource to show them from time to time. My scrapbook was a very special gift given to me at my baby shower, created by a very special lady who supported me throughout my journey. She included pictures of our trip to Prague, quotes from texts I sent to her, scan pictures and bump photos all the way through to having Mila. I’ve heard examples from others of writing letters to their future children and including these to share with them when they’re older too.

Celebrate the donor in some way…

Have a think about ways in which you could celebrate something relating to your donor. We were given a picture of Prague by our clinic, something we’ve had framed and placed on our wall amongst all of our family pictures. It’s a special place we’ll take them all to visit when they’re older, with their names also originating from here too. I found it especially helpful as a visual tool when Mila asked the question I mentioned earlier “Where is the kind lady now?”.

Don’t force it…

Don’t despair if they’re not interested in that moment, it doesn’t mean they won’t give it attention next time. If our girls seem interested and engage with me then I’ll ask what they can remember, expand or allow them to ask questions, but if not we simply move on and I try not to force the conversation. There have been plenty of times where the conversation I’ve tried to start has led nowhere. There was a time I would beat myself up about it and worry that we weren’t talking about it enough, but now I’ve realised it’s just a normal part of parenting and that sometimes kids just want to do what they want to do!

It doesn’t have to dominate your conversations…

As I said at the start, you don’t need to be talking about this all of the time. In reality for us it forms less than 1% of all of our family conversations, we can go weeks or even months in-between. I believe revisiting it is important, but it doesn’t have to be constant and day-to-day family life goes on without this being at the forefront of our minds.

Make sure they know how special and loved they are…

Throughout all of these conversations, make sure they know just how very special they are! Mila now tells her story proudly, with one her main take-aways right now being just how wanted she was and how happy we are to have her, something I posted about after overhearing her tell her story to my mum, totally unprompted.

If you have siblings involve them…

Being lucky enough to have our three girls, all from the same donor, we now have the opportunity to have conversations both together and separately. Mila has revelled in being able to share this information with her two younger sisters (especially the part where they were frozen) as she delivers her own interpretation of the Happy Together book. I’ve encouraged these interactions and love hearing them talk about it together, something which is a great comfort.

Think about how language and concepts might develop over time…

As they develop and grow, the language and level of detail will evolve, you may find that their understanding might surprise you at times. In Mila’s case, at the age of just four and a half, she’s already starting to piece together some of what genetics might mean in relation to how we look. Just a few weeks ago I shared an post about her noticing our differences as we looked in the mirror, and in this past week it has followed with her applying this conversation to the concept of our donor’s egg as she said to me  “I think the donor’s egg has blue in it…because my eyes are blue”.

There will be more to think about as they adapt and grow through the years, which will inevitably involve some more difficult questions. Being as open as we are has led me to consider things that I otherwise wouldn’t have, such as informing Mila’s teacher when she started school so that she’s aware in the event that Mila starts talking about this herself. I’m open to learning more about how these conversations might evolve, something which will be a focus in February’s Paths to Parenthub webinar “Talking to your child about their conception: adapting as they grow”.

You don’t have to do this alone…

As I said at the start of this post, it’s not always easy and can involve lots of extreme emotions. If you’re struggling, don’t be afraid to seek support and help, whether it be from a counsellor, family member or someone else who’s been there. It will help you to process things and be in the best possible state of mind for your children. A quote I love from @psychotherapy_mum is “looking after your mental health is one of the best gifts you can give your children”. You don’t need to be ‘perfect’ when delivering these words, it’s about being authentic, honest and there for them, but at the same time you need to look after yourself too.

This might seem like a big list (I know this post is certainly longer than I intended it to be!) but there’s lots of support available to help you. I will continue to share our story and those of others through DefiningMum alongside my new members platform Paths to Parenthub  where there’s the opportunity to find support and connection with other members on this parenting journey. There’s also lots of information, with past webinars available to listen to around “Grieving the loss of a dream, redefining a new dream” with Julianne Boutaleb from Parenthood In Mind as well as a whole webinar dedicated to this topic “Talking to your child about donor conception: the younger years” with expert Marilyn Crawshaw and Julie Marie, author of the Happy Together Children’s Book series. You can either purchase and listen to individual webinars or become a member to take advantage of joining the community (which also now hosts monthly virtual support groups) as well as having access to all expert webinars and personal stories through our live chats.

Although this post is solely about talking to your child, I also want to note that not everyone will be as open as we are with others and you don’t have to be. It doesn’t need announcing on social media and the whole world doesn’t have to know. You as a family and an individual are entitled to privacy without it needing to be a secret. This is a whole other topic and often one people find tricky to decide upon, something I’ll cover soon during the upcoming Paths to Parenthub webinar  “Talking to friends and family“.

I hope that this post is helpful to you, if there’s any other tips or advice you’d like to share then please do comment below – my hope it that it will become a great resource for prospective and new parents after donor conception.

 

 

Jeannie’s Story: Donor Eggs and Miscarriage

Jeannie’s Story: Donor Eggs and Miscarriage

2020

I found myself thinking today, as I was gently cooking some tomatoey sauce to go with our easy IKEA
veggie balls and pasta for dinner tonight (you’re advised to take things easy after an embryo
transfer). I think I have some thoughts that might be useful. Maybe.

It’s just gone 3pm, the day after l’armistice. I’ve been taking oestrogen, folic acid, vitamin D and
prednisolone pills, and smearing oestrogen gel, and injecting and pessarising progesterone for what
seems like forever and no time at all. Again. Today I had the first of our second batch of frozen
embryos transferred, about 3 hours ago. Apparently it thawed perfectly – 100%. Another hurdle
done. They are infinite, it seems, just get less perceptible as time passes and experience grows.
I have been having the Pregnancy Dreams for weeks now. I’ve had Baby Brain for years too. They
aren’t quite what I’m led to believe, really. Pregnancy, as a Thing, is so much more than a physical
condition. It can be an all-encompassing desire, need, dream or obsession which can change your
everything, repeatedly. It’s a state of mind, it changes your behaviour and your way of thinking.
Pregnancy Dreams and Baby Brain, I think, are pretty much the same thing. A huge preoccupation is
going on in my brain, I have so much to think about both consciously and subconsciously that my
normal day-to-day thoughts don’t seem to be as near the front as they used to be. It’s happening
before I’m pregnant, I think because I’m thinking about it all so much because of the alternative
pathway we’ve had to take to get near pregnancy. So it’s not purely physiological. In fact, I’d go as
far as saying it could well all be psychological and emotional. The physiological stuff, for me, is kind
of a rare treat which I fear the loss of.

I’m waking early every morning now, having had crazy vivid dreams. There was one a few days back
where I woke up from a dream, lay awake hearing a piece of one of our toddler’s current favourite
songs overandoverandover in my head for ages, then drifted back into my hazy crazy dream again!
Why?! Not necessary, brain. Too much on my mind, I’m sure. Will it work. Will it thaw. Will it
implant. Will it grow. Will it be “on-going”. Will I see a heartbeat. Will I hear a heartbeat. Will there
be any anomalies. Will it all be ok? Will we all be ok? So many more levels of Things to Think About,
on this our fourth time round. Not sure if I’ve got another one in me, to be honest. But I thought that
after the first one. Can’t think that way really, until we’ve reached what we need to pass together.

It was about four years ago, not long after our first transfer, that I wrote off the car – probably
preoccupied with pregnancy and associated preoccupations. This was the car we got as a
replacement for my car that was off the road since August as I wrote that off too, maybe not helped
by fertility and IVF and pregnancy preoccupations. Genuinely I’m not too bad as a driver, I like to
think. Since we found out that my ovaries failed in my mid-thirties and endured the roads we’ve
travelled together, it sometimes feels like I’ve lost my mind and can hardly string a thought together.
I forget my words. I forget my days. I forget names. (I NEVER forget names.) Back then, the First
Time, I suppose I was scared it wouldn’t work but really didn’t know quite how many ways it could
fail. Also, scared it would work and I’d have no clue as to what to do or how to do it.

I’m not sure I want to be knowledgeable and experienced in this, but I think I am, a bit, in my own
amateur way. It took so long to get to pregnancy, but we got there. We needed an awesome
altruistic donor for her generous gift of eggs, and with the help of some excellent technicians my
husband played his part in making our embryos. 3 good ones, we were told.
Number one was a fresh transfer, which took some coordination as our donor was doing her meds
on a cruise with her family. The other two were frozen. We got as far as the booking appointment at sixteen weeks, the Doppler couldn’t find a heartbeat. We were sent straight to the labour ward for a scan and got told there was no heartbeat. I got booked on to a ward, given a pill and sent home for
the night, to come back to the ward the next day and be induced. I rang my parents. My Dad picked
up. He asked how I was, and was everything ok. I said no. He cried. I had no idea I’d have to go
through labour, it hurt so much in so many ways.

Number two was our Rainbow. It was so terrifying, every second of every day. What was that? Was
she moving? Was she not moving? When did she stop moving?? I called the emergency labour line
early on Christmas morning and spoke to the nicest person, who told us to come in straight away
and I cried and I cried and the scan (done so quickly, smoothly and lovingly) showed our baby was
fine, dancing around beautifully. I guess she was just sleeping. It took a reeeeeally long time to stop
thinking she was just going to die. I think I’m down to normal levels of worrying about my child now,
not thinking every time I look at her clothes or her toys or her bed that when she goes that’s all we’ll
have left.

Number three took a long time to get to, but we finally decided we wanted to give our daughter one
shot at a true sibling and ourselves the chance of having another child. We almost got to six weeks,
then it was over again. Again, I had no idea how painful labour could be – or more specifically this
time how early. Really? At 6 weeks? Horrific, and isolated, at home in the middle of the first Covid
Lockdown. Why does nobody talk about this? Why didn’t I know what a miscarriage might be like?
Saying that, when the right people find out, they talk, and that’s a light in the dark. I had no idea so
many of my friends, colleagues and family had lost children.

Seetal’s story: from own eggs to donor eggs

Seetal’s story: from own eggs to donor eggs

Until recently, I had an attic full of baby paraphernalia: a car seat, pram, Moses basket, breast pillow, pump, etc. And so many baby and maternity clothes. I accepted these hand-me-downs from my sister-in-law after she’d had her last child. While I wasn’t ready to start my own family back then, you should never look a gift horse in the mouth. They’ll come in handy one day, I thought. 

We’re still waiting for that day to arrive. In the many years that the bags and boxes sat gathering dust, we’ve experienced a miscarriage and four unsuccessful IVF cycles. What started out as symbols of hope when they entered our home came to represent our ongoing failure to expand our two-strong family unit.

I wish I could talk to my younger self, the one who arrogantly assumed that she could fall pregnant as and when she felt the time was right. If I could, I’d tell her that she’s not the one in control; her biology and biological clock control her. I’d recommend that she listen to the annoying voices awkwardly advising her to start trying sooner rather than later; deep down, it’s what she wants, but is simply being stubborn as she has always hated being told what to do. She won’t know just how much she wants to become a mother until she discovers that she’s pregnant on Christmas Day.

I have a terrible memory, but I remember exactly how I felt when I saw that result in 2015. Instead of fearing my loss of independence and identity as expected, I was overcome with pure joy. I recall the adrenalin rush as I processed this pleasant surprise. After staring at the stick for a few stunned seconds, I announced the happy news to my husband. In a matter of minutes, I imagined our tribe of two welcoming a new member in nine months’ time. I visualised my stomach swelling, feeling those tiny feet kick, being at the mercy of uncontrollable cravings and proudly wearing the ‘Baby on Board’ badge on the Tube. I vividly recall my heightened sensitivity to cigarette smoke, my instant aversion to wine and regularly putting a protective hand over my stomach. 

Nature, however, had other ideas. I started spotting a fortnight later and a scan confirmed our suspicions: I’d had a miscarriage. I was pregnant, but now I’d become one in four British women whose pregnancies ended in miscarriage. I was a stranger to this statistic until that day. As common as this devastating occurrence is, I felt utterly alone in my grief. Getting a glimpse of something I thought I didn’t want, discovering that I did want it and then not being able to have it was a tough lesson to learn.

Given that this was our sole natural pregnancy in eight years, I finally heard the alarm bells that I’d been tuning out for too long. After visiting our GP, I was diagnosed with a low ovarian reserve and embarked on our first round of IVF via the NHS. Everything was overwhelming: the terminology, the procedures, the medications. Being deep in denial meant that I simply went through the motions.

We went on to chalk up our first failure and headed to a private clinic since we didn’t qualify for a second round of funding due to lack of extra embryos. If I was overwhelmed before, I was now drowning in data and completely out of my depth. Data collated from daily blood tests, scans and countless drugs and drips. For one month, my life revolved around this intense, all-consuming schedule, with my diary entries talking about drugs and dosages instead of dinner dates. Staying on top of all the appointments and administering injections was like a full-time job.

When this aggressive approach failed twice, our clinic mentioned donor eggs. While they didn’t advise against another fresh cycle with my own eggs, using a donor would increase our chances. Unfortunately, they only work with known donors who are under 35 and have already had a child. These criteria ruled out the potential candidates we had in mind, along with the fact that they’d need to get drugged up with me to sync our cycles and undergo counselling. It’d be the biggest of asks. 

New year, new clinic: we switched earlier this year to one offering fresh and anonymous DE IVF. By coincidence, both clinics are on the same street, but they couldn’t be more different in their approach and attitude. I feel like Goldilocks having tried the porridges, chairs and beds of Father Bear, Mother Bear and Baby Bear and the latter’s is all ‘just right’. Hearing others talk about ‘finding the right fit’ elicited some skepticism until I found ‘the one’ that worked best for me.

Only it didn’t work. Our first cycle with them was our last one with my eggs and so we have closed one chapter in our fertility story and are starting a new one with donor eggs. 

I imagine the primary concern for couples considering donor conception is the loss of genetic links to their baby. While this is upsetting, my desire to be a mother outweighs my sadness over losing the biological bond with Baby Savla; the act of carrying the baby would be enough for me. The prospect of using a Spanish or Portuguese donor is quite exciting, to be honest. There are very few South Asian donors in the UK and as time is of the essence, we didn’t want to wait around for one to become available. Since our clinic was founded in Spain, they can easily match my characteristics to their many donors. 

My main concern was using an anonymous donor versus a non-anonymous one. Would the former be sheer selfishness on our part? Even though our clinic would provide information on their physical features and medical history, we wouldn’t be able to shed any light on their upbringing, personality or interests. Our child may feel that they’re missing a crucial part of themselves and resent us for depriving them of the opportunity to discover more by contacting the donor. They could also judge us for how they were conceived, be embarrassed by or ashamed of the fact that everyone knows and eventually reject us. These are all worst-case scenarios – our child may only have a passing curiosity about their conception – but must be weighed up carefully before proceeding. After much reflection, we decided to choose a non-anonymous donor so that we have the necessary information to hand should our child request it one day. We’d be open about how he/she was conceived because we’d be proud of this alternate path to parenthood. 

Following accounts about donor conception on Instagram and watching webinars with experts, patients and donor conceived children have allayed many of my fears. For example, by documenting her DEIVF journey and discussing how she has gently introduced her children to their conception story and received heart-warming reactions, Becky paints DEIVF in a very positive light. Her words undoubtedly reassure many like me and encourage us to dare to dream about having our own family in the future.  Here’s hoping because that’s all we can do.

Early Menopause and Me…

Early Menopause and Me…

As it’s #WorldMenopauseDay today I thought it would be the perfect time to open up more about my experience as a 34 year-old, infertile, menopausal, mum of three (I know there’s so much more to me than that, but this description describes my complex situation well)! Quite honestly, it’s not something I refer to in detail often, which I guess is partly because I’m still figuring it all out, but probably more-so because I still feel pangs of shame and embarrassment at times.

When I was diagnosed with “premature ovarian failure” (or premature ovarian insufficiency) just after I turned 28, I didn’t really hear the early menopause diagnosis. All my brain could process was the fact that I might not be able to have children and, even though it’s intrinsically linked, the news definitely came secondary to my fertility. It’s only post our fertility journey, after I’ve grieved the loss of my genetics in building my family, that I suppose am now grieving the impending loss of my menstruation (I say impending as I’m still peri-menopausal 6 years since diagnosis, with two donor egg pregnancies during that time).

I’ve asked myself what it is I’m actually grieving? I’ve joked at times that I’ll be pleased to never have a period again, but in reality the loss of my periods actually makes me feel quite sad. I suppose it’s the loss of something that reflects my womanhood, something I’m not really ready to let go of two decades before I’m supposed to. What I hadn’t realised was the complex emotional and physical impact that this transition can have, something which has varied over the past few years.

The most difficult phase for me started around six months after giving birth to Eska and Lena, just after I stopped breastfeeding. Aside from the awful night sweats in the early days, it’s the first time I truly recognised the physical and mental impact it was having on me, with the biggest impact being on my mental health and mood. My fuse was so short it was almost non-existent, to the point where I would lose my temper frequently and far too easily. The best way to describe it was almost like an out of body experience – I could see how unreasonable I was being, but had absolutely no power to control it. Around the same time my libido completely disappeared and the hot sweats returned. One thing for sure is I know how lucky I am to have such a supportive and understanding husband in Matt, whilst also having a fantastic consultant to talk to. He retested my hormones and we began to experiment with different types of HRT to try to help me to feel more balanced and ‘normal’ again. After a disastrous attempt with a hormone patch (a form of birth control which in itself was ironic and triggering) we finally found one which has settled my moods and helped me to feel somewhat like ‘me’ again. Now I’m much more balanced emotionally, although more recently I’ve noticed more of a physical impact to my body shape, particularly weight gain around my abdomen, something which has impacted my body confidence.

Reflecting on all of this, I’ve realised that there are so many parallels between early menopause and infertility, which explains why both experiences can be so hard to deal with. Personally, for me they represent my femininity and my purpose as a woman, losing which has led to feelings of grief, for things that aren’t tangible and often misunderstood.

Just as I easily felt triggered when trying to conceive, when it comes to menopause I can equally feel emotionally triggered out of nowhere simply by a conversation about periods. I’ve said many times before that experiencing menopause at this time of my life has made me feel “old before my time”. My biggest trigger last year was sitting in a menopause clinic waiting room full of women twice my age – I felt odd, alone and, in a way, abnormal. I’ve also found that, even as menopause becomes more talked about and less ‘taboo’, I can find myself triggered by images that accompany these conversations – often the typical ‘mid-life’ woman, which admittedly can be hard to relate to outside of my age group.

One thing that has helped massively has been hearing from others, those who have contacted me through DefiningMum and also through the amazing work that The Daisy Network do. As I spoke on a Daisy webinar earlier this year, I listened to another woman speak openly about her experience and grief; instantly I felt less alone as her words and feelings resonated with me.

I realise that this too is a journey where, just like my infertility, I have to process and make peace with the cards I have been dealt. I’ve wrangled with the voices telling me “it could be worse” and “pull yourself together”, but I’m holding onto one of the main things that infertility has taught me – that my feelings are valid, should be felt and shouldn’t be compared to others. It’s thinking about my fertility journey when I realise just how familiar these feelings actually are – the loss of control of my body as it changes, the feelings of failure as my body isn’t working in the way that it should, the shame and loneliness of it being a topic so rarely talked about. That’s why I want to use my platform to share these conversations too, building on the power of sharing and making connections to show that no-one has to experience these things alone. I know for sure from my experience of talking about infertility and donor conception just what a difference it can make and so I hope that this helps at least one other woman experiencing the complex physical and emotional impact that early menopause can bring.

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences too, how has menopause impacted you? If you’d like to share a guest blog on this topic on my platform please get in touch – the more stories we share, the less alone people will feel.

Discovering Donation – Free Webinar

Discovering Donation – Free Webinar

I’m delighted to announce my third webinar in collaboration with Altrui Egg Donation and Apricity. ‘Discovering Donation’ is an evolution of our hugely successful webinar back in May, introducing a range of perspectives from the donor conception world to explore both the emotional & practical side, helping you to make the decision.

‪On Tuesday 15th September 6-8pm (BST) we’ll be hosting a virtual evening filled with supportive speakers, information and interactive Q&A, plus a giveaway on the night too. Starting at 6pm (BST) you’ll hear from:‬

▪️ Your truly! Becky Kearns – aka DefiningMum, sharing my perspective as a mum thanks to donor egg IVF.

▪️ Angela Pericleous-Smith, Counsellor & Chair of the British Infertility Counselling Association (BICA) sharing thoughts on the emotional journey.

▪️ An egg donor who has donated through Altrui talking about why she has donated.

▪️ A donor conceived adult sharing her perspective growing up as a someone conceived using a sperm donor.

Following the main event, we will then break out into smaller sessions to explore some more specific topics, with sessions on:

▪️ Finding a UK Donor with Altrui’s Jane Holman.

▪️ How treatment works for you & your donor with Apricity’s Lucy Beaumont.

▪️ Why I donate with an Altrui egg donor.

▪️ Life after Donor Conception – talking about telling with Julie Marie, author of Happy Together Children’s Book and myself.

To attend this FREE virtual event you can register through this Eventbrite link. Here you can also submit any questions you’d like to pose to our speakers on the night – we want the evening to be built around what you want to know. It’s a fantastic opportunity to learn more from the comfort of your own home, also with the option of your partner or family to also view, as a way of helping them to understand more.

If you want to preview our previous work together, you can watch our recorded webinar held earlier this year by clicking here.

I really hope you can make it!

Love, Becky