‘I thought, if I’m using a donor to help me, there is someone out there that needs the same help,’ said 33-year-old Rachel Allison, who chose to donate her eggs to help other women conceive.
Mum Rachel decided to have a baby on her own via sperm donor because she was ‘fed up’ with the pressure of waiting for the right man to have a child.
Knowing what it meant to have a sperm donor to make her dreams a reality, Rachel then decided to donate her eggs, so other women could also fulfil their wish of having children.
Since the birth of her daughter, Evelyn, now five, Rachel has donated her eggs two more times. Her donated eggs have resulted in two successful pregnancies.
Rachel, an insurance advisor from Nottingham, said: ‘There are so many sperm donors out there and it is a lot easier to donate sperm compared to eggs.
‘It is not something that is widely known about, I didn’t even know it was a thing until I started my own journey.’
Rachel had initially told her mum, Tracey, that if she was single by 40, she would go ahead and have a baby on her own.
But by the time she reached her mid-20s, she had a home of her own and a successful career, so she took the plunge earlier than planned.
‘I am quite a decisive person, once I made my mind up of what I wanted to do I was on a mission to get cracking with it,’ she said.
‘I thought it was an ideal time, I knew I would be OK in terms of my job. I had somewhere to live, and I was close to all my family.’
Rachel contacted the team at TFP Nurture Fertility, and was given two options: IUI – a fertility treatment that gives sperm a better chance at fertilising an egg naturally – or IVF – where an egg is fertilised with sperm in a lab.
Rachel said: ‘I was told that IVF was more likely to work first time.
‘I just thought I would rather put myself through that than potentially go six times for IUI and it not work.
‘There was no guarantee for the IVF to work but for me and my situation, it was more promising that it would work the first time round.
‘I am quite an impatient person as well so the thought of it taking longer than it might need to, I thought IVF was a better option.’
Once Rachel had decided on IVF she was told that when her eggs were collected, some of them could be donated to other women who needed donor eggs to have a baby.
She said: ‘For me, I thought I am going through the treatment anyway and if I can give to somebody like someone has given to me then why not do it.’
Rachel says she found it easy to pick a donor from the European Sperm Bank – falling pregnant in July 2017 after an embryo transfer in June.
She chose her donor because he had similar characteristics to her and was in good health and she had a textbook pregnancy.
Rachel said: ‘I can’t remember much about his profile – I didn’t want to dwell on it too much.
‘I know people who have spent weeks reading every profile.
‘I just thought that as long as they matched my characteristics and everything was OK in terms of their health, they were a suitable person to pick.’
Rachel’s eggs where retrieved, and she produced a total of eight eggs – meaning both Rachel and the anonymous recipient would get four eggs each.
On March 11, 2018, Rachel gave birth to her daughter Evelyn, naturally, who is now five.
She spoke about the day she gave birth, saying: ‘It was mixed emotions – I had been in labour quite a while and then I got taken to theatre as she wouldn’t budge.
‘We thought they would need to do a c-section, but she was born naturally in the end.
‘When I brought her home for the first time it was like “wow, this is it now”.
‘My mum stayed for a couple of days to help me out – I was just getting used to a new life with Evelyn, it wasn’t just me on my own anymore.’
Since giving birth, Rachel has donated her eggs twice more, three times in total, with two successful pregnancies as a result.
‘My first donation happened because I wanted a baby, and it was easy to donate some eggs.
‘The second time I contacted TFP Nurture and said I wanted to do it again.
‘I wanted to help someone else and to take pride in doing so – and I was matched with someone quickly. Then they contacted me a third time.
‘They said one of the previous recipients wanted another baby. So, I did it again.’
Little Evelyn has now finished reception year at school and Rachel said despite her daughter being sassy at times, they both have a great relationship.
She said: ‘We have a really close relationship, for a while it was just me and her.
‘She is really close with my mum as she has always helped out with childcare.
‘She loves singing and putting on shows for us in the living room, we always have a really nice time together. She loves school, she is very sociable and has lots of friends there.’
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