At the age of 27, I was diagnosed with Stage IV Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and had a Bone Marrow Transplant on May 1, 2006. The 16 chemotherapy drugs that I had in one year ruined my fertility and destroyed my ovaries and eggs. 

As an elementary school teacher, and someone who loved children, my hopes were crushed of having children of my own. When my husband and I were set up, the first thing I said to him was, “You know I can’t have babies on my own, right?” He decided that I was more important and we fell in love, got married and bought a house. Soon after, our first baby Cubbie, the Portuguese Water Dog came. He was the love of our lives. But we knew we wanted more.

My sister, who looks just like me, was going to donate her eggs to us. As we were beginning the egg donation process, she decided that donating to us was not for her. We were devastated. We also looked into adoption, but knew that egg donation was the proper route for us.

The spring of 2013 came fast and furious as we found, “The One!” Our donor was such a beautiful young woman, and I could tell by her photos and the one or two email exchanges we had that she was such a nice person. Everyone told us how bubbly and smiley and wonderful she was. We couldn’t have asked for anything more! Plus, our donor helped us make smart and beautiful little babies :)

We found out around Labor Day of 2013 that we were expecting twins, and in November we had a gender party to reveal….TWO BOYS!? I almost had a heart attack on the spot, no lie, as I was convinced I was having twin baby girls! 

Sadly, at 26 weeks with horrible abdominal cramping, I went into the hospital at 3 cm. dilated and 100% effaced after testing positive for Type A Influenza (Bird Flu). I was told that our boys would be arriving pre-term, and to become mentally prepared for all of the risks associates. 

I held on with bed rest for 15 days and at 4:32 pm on 2/2/14 (Super Bowl Sunday and Groundhog Day), we welcomed our beautiful baby boys at 28 weeks, six days! Our one son needed chest compressions at birth, and was vented for about 12 hours. Our other son had oxygen for about ten days. Nurses and Doctors in the NICU at Northwestern Memorial Hospital marveled at how fast the boys were out of the woods, and moved them to the “Rest and Grow” side of the NICU after about a week.

One of our little guys stayed in the hospital for exactly seven weeks, and the other for eight weeks as he had a hernia surgery. Needless to say, the boys came home quite quickly and we settled into life as an instant family of five (including Cubbie)!

The hardest part of the process was learning our donor tested positive as a carrier for Cystic Fibrosis. Our first physician’s office had a 0% tolerance policy for any genetic abnormalities with egg donors. We ended up having to switch physicians, have my husband tested as a carrier for CF, and quickly get the cycle done before my insurance expired. 

The best part of the process was knowing our donor was such a quality candidate! Although our donor was anonymous to us; every nurse, every Dr., every psychologist and agency associate kept on reinforcing to us what a wonderful, kind and beautiful donor we had. That made us confident that we were making the right choice with our particular donor.

Sherrie, Illinois
Mother or Twin Boys born in February 2014

Former Teacher, Current Stay at Home Mom

, Egg Donation Recipient

Staci Swiderski, CEO and owner of Family Source Consultants has been involved in the field of reproductive medicine since 2002. Staci has vigorously grown the comprehensive egg donation and gestational surrogacy agency to become a worldwide leader in the third-party reproduction field. Staci is a former intended parent herself. She and her husband welcomed their son via gestational surrogacy in 2005. Additionally, Staci had the experience of assisting an infertile couple (AKA Recipient Parents) build their family through her efforts as an egg donor, with her donation resulting in the births of their son and daughter.