My name is Cilla Holm. I am from Sweden. I am a therapist and I also have a podcast about longing for a child.
My own journey to become a mother started about 5 years ago: I had just turned forty, I lived with the man who had two children from before and we went on discussing it back and forth and finally I decided – I need to try to do this by myself.
At that time it was not legal in Sweden, so I had to go to Denmark. In Denmark I did 5 inseminations with the help of sperm donor and then five IVFs. None of these attempts resulted in any pregnancy. After that my doctor in Denmark and also my gynecologist in Stockholm, they both, independently of each other, recommended me to have a look at Dr. Olga Zaytseff.
So, said and done, in April 2017, the day after my embryo transfer within my tenth attempt, I sat at the seminar in Stockholm and I met Olga and the rest of the team. I listened to that seminar and I thought that I’d better be pregnant because this is not for me. It was a huge obstacle for me to go to a strange country I didn't know anything about and also to even think about giving up my own eggs. I was not ready for that. I wanted to try the method of PGT-A.
But I did learn four things in that first seminar. One is that I trusted Olga. She taught me more in that one and a half hour than I had learnt in one and a half year in Denmark. The second thing she taught me was about that it is easy to understand when a parent does everything for a child. Olga says that we, women, do the same for our IVF processes. They become like our children - we become mothers beforehand. We try and try and try. So you need someone else coming from the outside to say stop or to give you an idea about the smartest way for you to become a parent. I also learnt about the money back programmes. And for me that was very good financially because of my previous ten attempts and it was also for me like a security as if the clinic can offer these packages, they probably make most patients pregnant. And the fourth thing that I learnt was that a fertilizing process, or whichever process it is, needs to be individualized. You can't treat every patient in the same way.
My attempt number ten was not successful. I decided to take a break. I know that these types of processes require time for reflection: you need time to find the acceptance of the exact life situation you are in at the moment and you need that to be able to make difficult decisions. So I had a great summer without any hormone treatments. I just ate whatever I wanted and I did whatever I wanted. I had happy time.
Then in September I was strong again and came back for a second seminar and when the obstacles didn’t seem to me as high as it had been in April. I looked into a brochure of different examples of egg donors and I felt like one or three or even more of them looked sort of like I did when I was a child. So that impossible thing was not so impossible anymore.
A week later I had my Skype consultation with Olga and I, of course, still wanted to try PGT-A and use my own eggs. I had quite a high AMH, which I know now doesn't really matter. Olga told me that, of course, we can do PGT-A on you, but that means 5, 6, 7 or 8 egg retrievals to be able to collect the number of embryos that you need for the method to be effective and she looked at me and she said - "Why don't you just take a shortcut, because the fact is that I will probably have to recommend you an egg donor in that year anyway". And I thought: “Is there really a shortcut?” And when that thought sank in it was such a relief because I had been fighting and fighting and fighting.
A few days later I made my decision to go for an embryo adoption. I started my medications, I chose a Russian egg donor and a Danish sperm donor and I went for my first embryo transfer attempt in January 2018. That was a success. So in October 2018 I gave birth to my little daughter and she is now one and half years old. Her name is Liv which means “life” in Swedish and her second name is Olga, of course.
I want to say that for me the single best thing for choosing to trust Olga and her team was that they took away the weight from my shoulders. I had been carrying around responsibility of making myself pregnant, which is sort of crazy because I am not a doctor. So they took that responsibility away from me and I felt that they really wanted to make me a mother. They put a lot of effort and a lot of empathy into my process and it was great from start to end.
All difficult processes need time and acceptance and you also need to mourn what didn't happen the way you thought it would be. That is just as life in general is. So if you can work with that, if you can be gentle with yourself and give yourself a lot of empathy and love, everything will actually work out in the end. But don't carry the weight of pregnancy in your hands - give that to a doctor that can actually help you.
From the bottom of my heart I hope this year is the year when you get pregnant and when you get to keep your pregnancy and when you get to become a parent because it is a really great thing.
On January 23, 2018, Cilla made her insertion of the embryo that became her daughter Liv. An embryo with an egg from a Russian donor and a sperm from a Danish donor.
My experience of how my daughter was created became memorable. It became my story (where many others have the story type: we got married, went to the Maldives and then you arrived). Before the insertion itself, we went sightseeing for a bit in St.Petersburg and after that my friend invited me for champagne and Russian caviar, and ever since that day my life has been so much better than it was before.
The close-up picture of Dr. Elina Lapina is when she makes the embryo transfer. The years of trials and disappointments, bad relationships and failures, and physical stresses, now looking back on it, feel unmanageable.
Going to St. Petersburg and making an embryo adoption was not my plan A, nor was it plan B or C or D, but places further down... Of course, there is a lot of sadness in it. Wasted time and money, damaged body, mismanaged jobs and lost friendships. Things have definitely been sacrificed along the way. But it ended up so well, that it all feels worth it now:
The opportunity to help others so that this may land as plan B or C... Do not put yourself in my situation, as I did because of naivety and ignorance! Teaching yourself and your environment about fertility should be as basic as sex education. Thanks to our donors. How amazing is their effort? I am so humbled by what they did for me! Thanks to my clinic and @dr.olga.zaytseff.
Thanks to all my friends for all the support. I had no idea there was this much support you could receive. Becoming a parent via an embryo adoption is the best thing that ever happened to me and I am so happy that the actual insertion day was not a necessary evil, but a nice and fun memory worth celebrating again and again. Hurray!
It was nice morning, way to clinic was easy and short and then I was really happy to find out that you were so clever to put us 6 ladies in the same situation with embryo transfer in the waiting room for tests together...
My husband was very impressed with the clinic and most importantly with the staff :). He is also very proud to see such professionalisms in Russia :). Thank you again for all your help! We are looking forward to our visit in April!
It sounds perfect and I wish you the very best to all the new changings for your clinic, you are the very, very best and I am looking forward to visit all of you in the new clinic in the future together with my miracle daughter!
Last night in this beautiful city of St. Petersburg Today we have got an AA quality egg transferd at the clinic of @dr.olga.zaytseff. We never before felt us so comfortable and safe during a treatment like yours. It's with much love we are going home with hope of becoming +1.
We did our embryo transfer and to cut a long story short, today we have a wonderful little boy who is amazing. We are very happy and incredibly grateful, especially to everyone we met at the AVA clinic.
We would like to thank you for all the help and care we have received from you. I have felt care since I contacted and then through the whole process. You have made it possible for us to experience this happiness. It's absolutely amazing! And we are so so happy
We just wanted to share with you that our beloved baby girl was born on Saturday September 22. She is just the prettiest we’ve ever laid eyes on. We’re so thankful and happy. Thank you all for the help, support and cheering on. It meant the world to us.
Now it’s one year ago since my husband and I were at your Clinic in St.Petersburg. 23th of August last year were the embryotransfer. The day after we travelled back to Norway. We were so excited. So much have happened since then. Now we have a beutiful little daughter. Malin
We are happy parents who are extremely grateful to all your team members for support, patience and your professionalism! You make miracles! We wish to you good health and happuness! We are very very thankful to you! With all the best wishes!!! Original (in Russian) Chustvuem sebya schastlivymi roditelyami, ochen
I am fine, thank you. Feeling positive and thinking good thoughts 😊 Had a really nice time in St Petersburg, was well cared for at the clinic, Leon was a fantastic guide and we had a lovley time playing tourists as well!
I went to the doctor the doctor this morning and he made an ultrasound and I could see ”the baby”, a black bigger spot and I could see the heart beat. I started to cry of happiness ❤️. It was really pulsing fast.
I just would like to thank for the seminar I attended two weeks ago in Stockholm. It was really informative and interesting. I would also like to thank you for taking the time to Skype with me and my partner. I have as you suggested had a Skype with Tone
If you get the chance to attend one of the Olga Zaytseff' seminars they offer, please do it! Not only will your questions get answered, you get to mingle with other people with the same dreams and desire you have and you will get treated and greeted with so much
I want to thank you for the nice seminar in Oslo 11th of June. I went to Oslo because I really wanted to listen to you and to hear what you could tell about egg donation. It was a very good and educational seminar. And thank you for the warm
Cilla Holm is a famous Swedish podcaster and a host of the podcast "Jag vill ha barn" (I want a baby). She shares her own experience of her way to motherhood and gives a lot of supportive information to ones who are longing for a baby. Our egg donation team
TV4, Sweden. 7 March 2019 Marie Granmar is my very dear patient from more than 8 years ago. Marie has chosen to do embryo adoption and I was privileged to be the doctor. Today Victor is 7,5 years of age. After having got a baby through embryo adoption Marie has
Stories of our dear patients!
Nearly fifty years of age, 12 years desert walking without success, I really was one of the patients clinics don’t want... Olga and Elena took me on...
I now have my beautiful and healthy baby girl, Freya, thanks to you all. I want to thank you all for making my dream come true. I cannot find the words to express my joy with being a mother to this little angel.
Story of our dear patient Lina: baby born on the very first attempt with own eggs at O.L.G.A. Fertility Clinic after 3 unsuccessful IVFs in Denmark and 2 unsuccessful egg donations in Spain!
Story of Linda — It took me 10 years of IVF and infertility to give up the idea of my genes and my eggs. After ten years, we made an egg donation
Frieda is such a cheerful baby. She wakes up and develops every day and the sense of my life is to see her growing, to support her and to love her unconditionally.
I am extremely thankful that I finally was able to achieve my life long goal; to have my own family, my own baby.