It always makes me so happy to hear of IVF or donor IVF success stories. Today I went for my annual physical and my doctor told me that in the past few years, nine of her patients have used a donor egg, all successfully. Her oldest patient was 49 when she conceived.

Since my infertility is unexplained, there is always a gnawing at the back of my mind: should I try another round of IVF prior to using a donor? After all, my ovarian reserve is high. Perhaps I ought to try a different specialist that has a different philosophy than the previous two? On the other hand, if I don’t want to be pregnant in my mid-40s (let’s face it, it just gets harder and harder every year) then donor egg is the best chance to have a baby now. Success rates hover around the 50 per cent mark, clearly a huge draw compared to the 10 to 15 per cent success rate of IVF using your own eggs over 39 or 40.

So back to the 49-year-old new mom. In my imagination, she had to have been very – I mean ultra – motivated. She would have had to battle the stigma of older moms. Hopefully she looked a very youthful 49! But that stigma is out there. And it works against wholesale public acceptance of IVF and egg/embryo donations. Sure, we would’ve all loved to have conceived naturally. Oh, how we would have loved that! And we should not apologize for coming to this part of our lives later in life. Somehow, Joe Public thinks that it’s all okay to support women under 35 but that is neither fair nor realistic. Everyone makes a personal choice and with each year the choices with infertility become increasingly difficult and acceptance is a bitter pill. Congratulations to the 49 yr old mom. I envy her steadfast resolve to fight on (on two fronts, ageism and infertility), public be damned!

I myself continue to work out grief and acceptance. If anyone would like to share their journey of acceptance, I would love to hear it.