Strangers gave me baby

When I couldn’t find a man, two strangers helped me have a baby By Gail Rus­sell, 45, from Colch­ester, Es­sex

Chat - - Contents -

When I was in my 20s, I didn’t worry about re­la­tion­ships and children.

I’ll do it when the time’s right, I thought.

I was too busy fo­cus­ing on my ca­reer as a graphic de­signer and hav­ing fun.

Only, when I hit my 30s, my mates started set­tling down and hav­ing ba­bies.

Watch­ing them with their lit­tle ones made me feel broody. When will it be my turn? I’d ask my­self.

I fell in love a cou­ple of times. But when the re­la­tion­ships didn’t work out, I was back to square one. I started to lose hope. I’m never go­ing to find my Mr Right, I thought.

Then, in 2005, I was tasked at work with de­sign­ing stuff for a fer­til­ity clinic called the Lon­don Women’s Clinic.

I learnt all the ins and outs about fer­til­ity, in­clud­ing that my chances of get­ting preg­nant rapidly de­creased the older I got!

And also that you could get preg­nant us­ing donor sperm.

I could have a baby with­out a man, I thought.

I knew the chances of me meet­ing a man to set­tle down with were get­ting slim­mer.

If I wanted a baby, I needed to get on with it.

So, with­out telling any­one, I be­gan choos­ing a sperm donor from a sperm bank.

I se­lected char­ac­ter­is­tics sim­i­lar to mine. Blue eyes, petite build. Then, in Jan­uary 2008, aged 34, I se­cretly paid £1,200 for an IUI pro­ce­dure to in­sert donor sperm into my uterus.

I was ex­cited, hope­ful. I even had the name Lewis in mind if it was a boy. Sadly, it failed. Dev­as­tated but de­ter­mined, I tried again that March.

When that didn’t work, I felt so heart­bro­ken I sold my house in Es­sex and moved to Ire­land to be closer to my mum, Phil, 73.

Deep down, I still hoped some dash­ing Ir­ish man would sweep me off my feet. But it didn’t hap­pen. So, in Au­gust 2011, I moved back to Colch­ester.

By now I was 39, and longed to be a mum with ev­ery bone in my body. To hold my own

baby in my arms. It’s my own fault, I thought, blam­ing my­self for leav­ing things so late.

I thought about adop­tion. I even con­sid­ered try­ing to get preg­nant with a one-night stand, but knew I could never go through with it.

It made me re­alise, though... I wanted a baby more than I wanted a man.

So, back at the Lon­don Women’s Clinic, I had an­other three at­tempts at IUI.

When they all failed, I was in to­tal de­spair. But the clinic doc­tor had a sug­ges­tion…

Be­cause of my age, my chance of fall­ing preg­nant with IUI was just three per cent.

‘But IVF with donor eggs would in­crease your chance to 40 or 50 per cent,’ he said.

Still not high. And the baby wouldn’t ge­net­i­cally be mine. It would be made with a dou­ble do­na­tion – of one woman’s eggs and one man’s sperm.

Two strangers would get me preg­nant. But that didn’t put me off. ‘I’ll try it,’ I agreed. I chose char­ac­ter­is­tics I wanted for the sperm donor, like be­fore, and did the same for the egg donor.

This time, I de­cided to be open with fam­ily and friends.

‘I’m go­ing to have IVF,’ I

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.