“You know, she didn’t even tell me her name. When I tried to ask, she looked angry and told me not to bother. I was still thinking about the weight of what this woman had done for me, when I was called in to see the doctor again. By the time I came back out, she was gone!
She had disappeared into thin air. When I described her to the nurses and receptionist, they just told me she had requested that some of her eggs be given to me. I was dazed. My procedure would not be cancelled after all. It was as though an angel visited me with the exact answer to my prayers. She gave me her eggs!”
Those were the words that spilled from the lips of a new mom, Lina, to a few of her close friends who knew the story of how she and her husband had been waiting for two years to have a baby. Lina recalled that sometime in March of 2015, she had been at her clinic, during her second IVF cycle, and she had been given the sad news that her cycle would be cancelled, as her embryos failed to develop as expected, due to the quality of the eggs. What was painful was that there were no more eggs; not many were collected.
Sitting at the lobby of the clinic, Lina was deep in thought, thinking of the implications of a failed cycle; on her marriage, emotions and even finances. Not to mention that she would have to include the cost of donor eggs to the next round of IVF. She must have been muttering, because the next thing she felt was someone tugging on her blouse.
She looked at the manicured fingers on the sleeves on her blouse, before moving to the face attached to the hand, askance. It was right on her lips to tell her off, but before she could, the lady spoke, “I have more than enough eggs collected. I could give you some, if you want.”
“What did you say again? You will give me your eggs?” Lina could not believe what she was hearing; it was as though she was in a dream. It was when she was gathering herself together to ask questions, to ask for the lady’s name, contact, that she was called back into the doctor’s office to talk more about her cycle and what to do next.
As she excused herself, telling the stranger that she would soon be out, Lina walked into the doctor’s office and immediately asked him what if she got a donor’s egg right away, would he still continue with the procedure.
With amazement clearly written on his face, he told her yes, that the eggs and remaining sperm would be fertilised and observed until day 2 or day 3, when they would be transferred, as her body was already prime for transfer.
And then he asked where she was going to get the eggs right now for use. That was when she told him about the lady in the reception, who had promised her some eggs. She described her to the doctor and the man had become even intrigued. He actually muttered a name, but he just said, “That’s fine. Good for you though, that she gave you some of her eggs.”
When she came out to meet her absence, she was concerned that she hadn’t been able to pin her down to her promise, but the stranger-lady had obviously taken care of matters, while she was with the doctor. She had met one of the nurses, described Lina, and told them to transfer some of her eggs to her ASAP, and if there was need for any documentation, then she should be called on to do so, but her procedure must not be delayed or cancelled on account of the fact that there were no eggs.
The nurse was later to confess that was the first time such a weird request was made of her, or that she had even heard of. She knew about egg donors, but not a fellow TTC mom giving away her own eggs. What if she needed them in the future? She had just nodded and was even more surprised when Lina came to ask about the same woman, “So, it’s really true,” was all she said.
Her husband was even more amazed! He kept asking if she knew her from anywhere before now. Of course, the answer was no. When they both went to the clinic for their next appointment, they tried to get more information about this stranger, but no one was giving them any more information, not even her first name. Obviously, she had said she did not want to be identified. All they got was that she was a new patient at the clinic and Lina’s first impression of her face. They dubbed her the stranger-lady.
The transfer from the stranger lady was soon effected, eggs were fertilised and the transfer was done. The two week wait was upon them. In the midst of the symptom-spotting, Lina and her husband constantly thought about this stranger, who had given them a gift beyond value.
Every single day of the 2WW, she experienced the top symptom for that day, which caused her one minute to worry that it was not going to end well, and the next minute, she would be ridiculously hopeful that a BFP awaited her at the end of the journey. Her hopes were not dashed. She got a BFP.
As for the pregnancy itself, it was a breeze, a walk in the park. She had never felt as great as she did during that pregnancy. Her doctor marvelled at her body’s response to pregnancy. She was with the clinic for the first trimester, and not once again did she meet that stranger-lady. Not once! How she longed to meet her, if only to say thank you properly and maybe get to know more about this person who could give of herself, so selflessly.
When the baby came, there was only one name which came to Lina’s mind; Gift, which her husband agreed with, but they put a twist on it, they gave her a name in their local dialect, meaning precious gift.
From a moment of despair, to the gift of a stranger, which turned her sorrow to joy, Lina went from TTC to motherhood.
A miracle is the only way to describe what happened to Lina, and we all need such miracles at times. Don’t you agree?
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