Egg Donation Experience
Back in my mid twenties, after being a gestational carrier, I was an egg donor. At the time, I had met the intended parents in the fertility center I was working for. They were patients of ours, in which I had interacted with many times and had witnessed their journey first hand. When they asked me to be their egg donor, I was shocked. I really had never given it any thought, until that exact moment. I sat silent for a few seconds and asked to consider it overnight. I went home, talked to my husband (at the time) about the request that had been made, and asked what his thoughts were. I had so many thoughts happening all at once.
Too Many Thoughts
Did I want to be an egg donor?
Would I tell my child and future children if kids were born from the donation?
Would I tell my family?
What would my friends think?
Could I give myself shots again?
Did I want to go through shots again?
After a night of discussion, little sleep and support of my husband, I said yes to being their egg donor. We did not sign contracts, just consent forms, and there was not long term plans spelled out in those consent forms, but it was clear I would be undergoing medical treatment, and any offspring were not mine. I know that sounds shocking, and looking back on it, it is surprising, but thats how it was commonly done all those years ago.
I went through 3 cycles. Two of them successful and 1 cancelled. The first one had (I believe) 16 eggs retrieved, a successful pregnancy and the intended parents had frozen embryos in storage for future children. I was so happy for them, and I believed their outcome was perfect. When they returned to try for more children, the frozen embryos were not successful and they asked me to donate again. This time there was no need to have discussions or time to decide. I said yes, without a second thought or pause. Of course I would help them again! The second attempt at donation did not go as planned to say the least. There was a cancelled cycle, and then a re-attempt that only yielded 8 eggs, which if I remember correctly only went on to provide them with 3 embryos of mixed quality. I was so sad and worried they would not be successful and it would be all my fault. I think their case was by far the most stressful one of my career. I was sure to be in the transfer so I could watch it all and be there to support the intended mother. I waited for their pregnancy test results by bothering the lab tech over and over, and when the result came out I jumped for joy and begged to call the intended mother myself. Sharing that moment with her is a treasured memory, and is one of the best things I have experienced in my life. Thankfully they were able to complete their family with just those 3 embryos!
This is where I learned no matter how bad it may seem, if you can have a transfer, you have hope. My entire egg donation experience changed my life, and how I cared for my patients. It also gave me a newfound respect for all the women who donate their eggs, and in the end I knew I would always be involved in third party reproduction. There is nothing better in this world than helping people complete their families in such a dynamic and selfless way.
Stay tuned next week to the last chapter of the story…Infertility Experience.