God’s gift to childless couples
By Anesta Henry | Wed, April 25, 2012 - 10:13 AM
She is a godsend to would-be mothers, providing them with medical and emotional assistance so that one day they will be holding one or even two bundles of joy in their arms.
This week’s WEDNESDAY WOMAN, Dionne Holmes, is an in vitro fertilization (IVF) donor/recipient coordinator who helps women who have fertility complications to get pregnant.
In vitro fertilization is a process by which an egg is fertilized by sperm outside the body.
There are many reasons why a woman may need egg donations. Perhaps, she has poor quality eggs, survived cancer, or her biological clock has simply run out.
“It is hard, especially if it’s a woman in her 30s who has been diagnosed with premature ovarian failure, which means that she is going into menopause, so she is not having a period and she is not ovulating. She has been told that the only way she can have a child is by using donor eggs,” Holmes said.
“It’s hard for a woman that age to be told something like that. But there is hope and we at this clinic try to help regardless of what your situation is and do everything that we have to help you have that family that you want.”
Holmes started out as a donor/recipient support for an international donor agency, working with clinics around the world. Today she is at the Barbados Fertility Clinic, Seaston House, Hastings, Christ Church, which is the primary point of contact, throughout the fertility treatment.
“The recipients don’t see the donors, the donors don’t see the recipient. I do all the seeing. I coordinate the cycles, make sure that everybody is on their medication, doing their blood tests, in sync with each other. I match the recipient to the donor’s characteristics where I will have picture of both the donor and the recipient and I will do the best match possible. I will send the recipient the match I got them, they will say yes or no,” she said.
“The donor will have the egg collection, the eggs will be fertilized and then the embryo transfer will be done. In two weeks’ time, the recipient is checked on to see if [she] become[s] pregnant,” said Holmes, as she described the process in its simplest form.
The 31-year-old said that while most timesthe outcome of her job was favourable, at the beginning, “it’s hard”.
She said that it was no easy task conversing with a woman about not being able to have a baby on her own.
“It is hard for a female to accept the fact that she can’t get pregnant on her own and that she is going to need to use somebody a few years younger than her to help her out. I am doing a rewarding and fulfilling job.
“To go through the whole process with patients and couples and then eventually when they do get pregnant, it’s a great feeling.
“You were there with them from the beginning and you are there with them along the journey. Then they become pregnant and have their ten-weeks scan and send you pictures of the foetal heartbeat.
“Then they send you pictures of the baby,” said a smiling Holmes.
- Editor's Choice