PATIENTS' STORIES Article · 2 August 2022

The gift of giving life is the most wonderful gift you can give – our IVF success story

Irene and Glenn chose our clinic despite the distance and came all the way from Canada. Thanks to the treatment with donor eggs, they are now happy parents of little Jack. Please see what they have to say about our clinic and the experience.

Irene and her child


How did you find out about our clinic?


Glenn: After realizing we could not afford the egg donation program in Canada, we actually looked for adoption options out of Poland as we were aware the process in Canada was quite lengthy.  We failed to find a Canadian adoption agency working with Poland, so it was really on a whim that I typed in “IVF and Poland” in a google search.


Why did you decide on Gyncentrum?


Glenn: In our research, we narrowed our focus to three clinics in Poland and then again to one…GynCentrum. We felt Olga, the international coordinator at GynCentrum offered the most receptive, comprehensive, personable, timely, and positive communication.  I consider her my angel from half way around this world.  We were also impressed by the technology GynCentrum utilizes, their guarantee within the program, storage for one year, and their transparency about their statistics and success rates.


How long did you try before the success?


Irene: We tried for two years.  Because of our ages, we tried for about six months on our own and then with the support of a fertility clinic in Canada.  We were at a fairly large clinic with numerous doctors and staff.  We felt it was a good choice for us as they were affiliated with an academic and medical institution.  We made the assumption they would be top notch.  Our reality was that it felt chaotic and according to my naturopath who reviewed my medical record, my ovulation was missed a few times, which of course was a disappointment and confusing, as I was always called with an LH surge.


In deciding to do some research for the first time and obtain a second opinion at another local clinic, we found the original clinic we attended does not implement the most cutting edge technology for IVF. This is also when we learned donor eggs would give us a significantly better chance for success.


The most important lesson we learned was to consult several clinics and to do your own research. Clinics will obviously not tell you what they do not have to offer.   It’s amazing what you can learn on your own.

In the end we can say we have value from our experience, however, we would have liked coming to our conclusion for IVF with the donor egg program at GynCentrum sooner.


What gave you the strength and hope to fight? How did you find the energy to fight after previous failures?


Glenn: We hadn’t tried IVF previously, so we were very much excited and optimistic about our adventure to GynCentrum in Poland.  We were determined to become pregnant and the thought of an actual strong possibility gave us the strength we needed.  We also had a lot of support from family and friends, and our employers were supportive in allowing the required time off work to travel abroad.


When all things considered, the cost was an influential factor as well.  I roughly calculated the cost of the IVF with the donor egg program to $8,500 CND and my medication after implantation and up to 12 weeks as an additional $1,500 CND.  Our flights, accommodations, food, and entertainment was no more than $5,000 CND.


Egg donor adoption – hope mixed with fear. What were you mostly anxious about?


Irene: Part of our consideration for donor eggs was that it was important to me to maintain my heritage. I was born in Canada, however, I have travelled to Poland throughout my childhood and adult life to visit my family. It especially saddened me when my grandmother past away a few years ago. I naturally grieved her loss and for the first time thought, should I return to Poland, would I now be considered a tourist without having a homestead to visit? I really love the idea we chose Poland for donor eggs, and that they are Polish, as for us, it’s a way of re-connecting our family to the very place we come from.


Although the donor egg program is very confidential, we trust GynCentrum completes appropriate screening.  We like that they choose a close phenotypic match, so we are confident to look like a natural family.


We didn’t feel any anxiety as we realize in life, when you have children, what will be will be, and so why fret over something that is out of our hands.


We had thought about and discussed egg donation for quite some time.  It was not a decision we came to lightly. I had thought about whether or not I may feel guilty in the future for not trying harder with my own eggs. Given this thought, I also believe you can not be hard on yourself if you do the best you can. My partner and I take re-assurance that we made the best decision we could with the information and resources we had available to us.


Also, I’m a loving person. I love my family.  And the way I love my animals, extended family, my friends and their children, I realize I don’t rsquot require a genetic link to love or be connected. I have no fear or hesitation about the bond, love and care I’ve already instinctively started to provide our baby.


Did you experience a crisis? A moment when you wanted to resign? How did you cope with that?


Irene: I became ill prior to my transfer with a sore throat.  I had some nervousness about being well enough for the transfer.  And when I was ill, I started to feel homesick.


I decided although I felt unwell, I wasn’t going to let this discourage me.  It was a long and often emotional journey to get to where we were, and I had 100% confidence up to this point.


I decided to do the things I was able to. I took the best care of my body before the transfer. I drank plenty of fluids, ate well, rested, and took my antibiotic as prescribed.  And I connected with my family and friends by email and FaceTime to ease my feelings of being homesick.


My partner who was still with me in Poland was and always is my rock.  He was positive and assured me everything would work out.


On the day of my transfer, the doctor was confident and re-assured me that my sore throat and antibiotics would not affect the transfer.  I maintained my optimism and everything has worked out.


Positive test – what was your first reaction?


Irene: “I knew it!!”  We opened the envelope enclosing my positive results test together. It was a confirmation of what we already knew to be true.


Can you please share with us the emotions you experienced during the first ultrasound?
Irene: My first ultrasound was perhaps a bit atypical.  I was in a community lab and the ultrasound technician lacked confidence in performing an ultrasound on such an early pregnancy.  She stated she had not done one so early before and did not share any information or view of the screen.


My second ultrasound was completed at an IVF clinic and it was amazing.  The technician turned the screen around, so I was able to see our baby, the heartbeat, and the spine, hands and feet forming. I was so overwhelmed with amazement and happiness to see our baby developing. It was an incredible moment.


The doctor also gave me good news reporting I was dated 6 weeks and 3 days, and my baby was overachieving with a date of 7 weeks.  She was pleased with the heart rate and size of the yolk sac.  It was good news all around and the running joke in my family is that our baby is picking up on my overachieving vibes.


How was the pregnancy? How do you feel?


Irene: My pregnancy was perfect.  I felt great.  I was a little tired earlier in the evening than usual, however, I welcomed this change because I knew my body and our baby are doing some pretty amazing things.  Other than this, life was normal.  I was able to work full-time, socialize through the day, and walk my dog our usual 5 km/day.  I could eat.  I was really thankful for how well I felt and to be free of any nausea or morning sickness.


Why do you think it’s worth to use all posibillities when trying for a baby?


Irene: The gift of giving life is the most wonderful gift you can give.


Would you recommend Gyncentrum to other couples who struggle to conceive? If yes – why?


Glenn: We would absolutely, 100% recommend GynCentrum to other couples and already have.  There is a very positive energy at GynCentrum.  There is fluid communication with the IVF coordinators and the doctor.  We had the pleasure of working with the international coordinator Olga and the local coordinator, and they are both so lovely and approachable.  Dr. Mercik was also approachable, informative, and we felt confidence in his care.


Irene and Glenn,

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