“For most of my adult life I did not think I wanted a child – at least not until I was older, wiser and had kicked off my career”
Jocelyn is a highly intelligent, attractive woman in her fifties. She is an accomplished businesswoman and now lives very happily with her partner just outside the small Buckinghamshire village of Lane End in the UK.
She speaks with great eloquence about her heartbreaking journey through infertility and the gratitude she feels to the woman who enabled her to finally fulfil her desire to have a child
“Quite suddenly, in my late thirties, I had established myself in status and financial terms, fallen in love, and my hormones took over.”
To her surprise few things then seemed more important than having a baby. Her partner Jim felt the same so they set about trying to realise their dream.
After about a year of trying to conceive they were referred to a fertility clinic in Oxfordshire.
After three unsuccessful cycles of IVF, Jocelyn and Jim were told that there was another method of IVF which they should try – this was ICSI.
In order to do this they needed to move to a London Clinic. Jocelyn recalls that this was quite a different experience from the rather run-down unit in Oxford.
She said of the experience: “This was all chandeliers and posh carpets – a very different experience altogether. It’s interesting what a difference the surroundings actually make – it somehow made us feel that this was more likely to work.”
Sadly the two attempts at ICSI were both unsuccessful
By this time – at the age of 43 – Jocelyn was feeling that “there was no light at the end of our rather long and dark tunnel.”
She felt completely heartbroken that she could not realise her dream of having a baby
However it turned out that there was a light after all – the possibility of an egg donor
The couple were told that there was the possibility of eggs from a younger woman and that the eggs could then be fertilised with Jim’s sperm and the embryos transferred into Jocelyn’s womb.
Jocelyn was told her egg donor would be matched with her physically
The egg donor’s expenses would be paid, but the procedure was purely altruistic. Jocelyn describes how she feels about having a donated egg.
“It was obviously not the same as producing your own genetic offspring, but if some wonderful individual was prepared to throw me a lifeline, I was prepared to grasp it with both hands.”
An egg donor was found and the implantation took place
The first attempt failed but they tried again a few months later with the same donor and happily Jocelyn conceived.
She describes the emotion she felt when in December 2001 she did a pregnancy test and the result was positive: “I just couldn’t believe it – my dream of becoming a mother was about to come true.” Her son was born in August 2002.
She feels such overwhelming gratitude for the woman who had donated her egg
“Such a deep sense of gratitude for this indescribable gift – it’s almost impossible to describe how I feel towards her for this great act of human kindness.”
When asked how she thinks egg donation is perceived
“I think egg donation as a route to parenthood is being used more and more, but I still feel there is very little known about it amongst the general public.”
She feels that this is a shame because for her it was the only way she was going to be able to have a baby and is a way for so many others to achieve their dream of a family too.
In her experience she has only encountered one negative reaction to the news that she was planning to conceive through egg donation
“This was from an Aunty of mine, now in her 80’s, who questioned my decision.”
When she explained to her that this was the only way she could have a baby her Aunt understood and has been completely supportive of her and her son ever since.
“Aside from that I can honestly say that everyone I have ever told has been so positive, even if they may initially be surprised.”
Jocelyn was always very clear in her mind that she would explain to her son how he came into existence as soon as he was old enough
And that is what she has done. He is now 17 and is very keen to contact the donor when he is 18. Jocelyn is completely fine with this as she believes very strongly that this is his right.
As far as how things have changed since she conceived her son
Jocelyn feels there is now greater knowledge generally about IVF with a definite change in how much more people are talking about it.
She said: “There is still a widespread lack of knowledge about how the process and various options available.”
She is very glad that she has always been so open about how she had her son
“I have always believed that both myself and my son have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of as far as his conception – my son is my son, we love each other so much and he is the best thing I ever did.”