Samantha Reynolds used a donor egg to build her family. She traveled to a clinic in South Africa and was blessed with boy /girl twins after her successful Donor Egg journey.
Through her experience with IVF and finding an Egg Donor, Sam has built a wonderful platform to assist and support women and Intended Parents to create their own families via egg donation.
Along with her fellow fertility warrior, Natalie Hart, she has recently launched – “The Donor Egg Companion Club”.
A proud mother to 4-year-old twins, Freya and Harvey. Sam is an inspiration within the Fertility community. She spreads knowledge and love while guiding those who are longing to have a baby.
Spotlight on Sam
1. How would you describe your experience with infertility?
I never thought I would need fertility treatment. Kieran and I started trying for a family when I was 37. We thought we would get pregnant within a few months and build a family of two or more children. When I wasn’t pregnant just before my 38th Birthday we saw a fertility specialist and had all tests done. Even our Fertility Specialist thought we would be pregnant soon. That’s the unfortunate thing about getting a good AMH result, it gives you an idea of your egg reserve, but can’t tell you the egg quality. Mine just weren’t resulting in good-quality embryos.
2. How long did you try IVF with your own eggs in Australia?
We started OE IVF in Melbourne in February 2016 and were told we needed to consider Donor Eggs in August 2017.
3. At what point did you realise you might need to consider Egg Donation as your path to parenthood?
In August 2017 we were told we needed to consider donor eggs if we wanted to be parents. This was upseting and I grieved my own eggs. In February 2018, I felt almost ready. I wanted to be a mum and have a family with Kieran. I just hoped we would figure out the rest as we went along.
4. Was there a period of grief when you had to “say goodbye to your own eggs”? Did you seek counseling to talk through the grief?
Yes, counseling. I was still a patient of Monash IVF in August 2017 so I called them and asked if I could speak with someone. I walked out of there knowing I didn’t want to waste money on my own eggs anymore…I just had to work on being comfortable with using donor eggs.
5. Were you comfortable & accepting of your transition to Egg Donation? How have you explained the wonderful path to your children?
I remember tears rolling down my cheeks as I read egg-donation children’s books to my twins when they were just a few weeks old. We started this early as needed lots of practice and had read that this was a great way to start. We still read books about our story regularly. Simply chat about how Mum and Dad went to Cape Town and used our donor’s eggs as Mum’s were ‘cracked’ (haha).
6. Did you initially consider seeking a local ED
Our Fertility Specialist gave us the name of a clinic to contact in South Africa and sent us on our way. To be honest, I didn’t even know you could do it in other countries. The anonymity of choosing donor eggs in South Africa really appealed to me. It helped me come to grips with using someone else’s genetics to create my family. Yes, this sounds crazy. but in my mind, she was less likely to want my children and be involved in their lives if she didn’t know us. I feel different about this now and would love to thank her for her part in creating my beautiful children. I’d love to chat over a nice bottle of wine and tell her all about them….maybe one day.
7. What factors were most important to you & your husband when it came to your chosen donor (Anonymous/ Known) & what details & background information were you most interested in knowing about your donor?
When I started my search, I was fixated on hair colour, eye colour, height, etc. A few weeks later I found myself more interested in her health, her family’s health history, and ‘the vibe’ I got from reading her profile. 18 months ago, when my twins were 2.5 years old, I pulled out her profile and got a huge surprise. Our Donor’s childhood photos are almost identical to those of my Mum. Life certainly works in strange ways. Now I understand why I felt a connection with her.
9. How many trips to the clinic in South Africa before you had your successful pregnancy?
My hubby and I know all too well how lucky we were that we came home pregnant after our first DE IVF treatment in South Africa. I must also go on to say that I left no stone unturned in preparing my body and mind for the trip.
10. You & Natalie have really embraced the Egg Donation process & the community of women. When did you decide you wanted to go down this special path?
Nat has wanted to do this for quite some time. She asked me a couple of times if I wanted to do this with her. It was March 2022, just after a dinner for women beginning the Donor Egg path. There were close to 25 women who were lost in the Donor Egg IVF process. They thrived in a group of women all on the same journey. We chatted that night into the wee hours of the morning, dreaming up the Donor Egg Companion Club. I’m so excited to be doing this with Natalie and being an advocate for others on the Donor Egg IVF path.
11. What advice would you give to the many other IVF sisters on this journey to baby via Egg Donation?
If I’d known how amazing my DE IVF journey would be, I would have done it sooner. I feel so very blessed to be Freya and Harvey’s Mum, and I love how we all came to be a family…it makes us really special.
To hear more about Samantha and Natalie journey and other Mother’s via Egg Donor join Growing Families FREE Egg Donor Webinar, Monday 22 May 2023.