Everyone who has used or considered using donor eggs (or donor sperm) has thought about their answer to this question. I figured I'd share my reasoning, since I've been very vocal about the fact that I'm really struggling with admitting that donor egg is our best option and, as a result, giving up my genetic connection to my child.
My father is a Holocaust survivor. He was born in 1940. When my grandmother was 8 months pregnant, the Nazi's stormed their city in Poland, so my grandparents and uncle fled. Thankfully, they fled east, to Russia, and ended up in a border dispute town in the Ukraine, where my father was born. When they were captured, rather than being sent to a concentration camp, they were sent to a work camp in Siberia, where they persevered and lived out the years of the war. They then traveled to Germany, where they spent 3 years in a Displaced Persons camp before coming to the states in 1949.
Three of my four grandparents came to the U.S.A., from Poland. They were the lucky ones. Many, many members of our family did not survive the war. This is on both my mother and my father's sides. I have an image in my head of a tree, a family tree. And, next to the tree, is a pile of broken-off branches. That's what Hitler did to my family - broke off huge branches of the family tree which can never be reattached.
This family history has always been important to me. I have always been fascinated by the survivors who made it to this country and how their branches have grown and thickened, as children grow up, get married, and have babies. And, the fact that it is and always has been important to me makes it all the more painful that I'm losing this battle to infertility.
Those branches on which I sit in my family tree are in jeopardy of not thickening. It is almost a given that neither of my siblings will ever have children. I only have 2 first cousins and, although married longer than me, neither (1 five years older, 1 two years younger) appear to be moving towards building their families, nor do either feel this strongly about the family roots thing as I do. The continuation of at least 3 of my grandparents branches rests on me. My grandparents siblings branches have all grown, while theirs remain stagnant. I would be remiss if I didn't point out that NOBODY has put this pressure on me. It just is what it is and it's important to me.
I have such pride in my family, in who I am, in where I come from. It's not just my mother's curly hair (which I got from her), my fathers ability to wiggle his ears (yep, I got that one, too), or my dimples that I hope to pass on. It's that strength and determination of my European Jewish ancestors that I want to be born into my child.
This is what makes the decision about whether or not to give up on my eggs so very difficult.