One of our donors has graciously agreed to document her egg donation journey through several installments on our blog. This donor has been selected by a couple and is a week away from starting her medication. We hope that her story will provide insight to anyone considering the rewarding process of becoming an egg donor.
My Experience as an Egg Donor – part I
The first thing that impressed me when I met with Family Creations was the individual attention. I had explored other egg donor agencies and often the meeting is held in a group setting which seems to make the prospective donors feel like just that… egg donors. But at Family Creations, my meeting with Julia Alkire was one on one. She made me feel like an actual person who just happened to be donating my eggs. She talked me through the donor process and asked me so many questions about myself. She really got to know me during that meeting and it felt comforting to know I was more than just a name on a profile page. The one on one setting also allowed me to ask all of those questions that feel so embarrassing to ask, but are also so important.
Once my profile was up with Family Creations, it was mostly a wait-and-see process. My belief with the entire egg donation process has been that if it is meant to be, prospective parents would pick me. Within a few weeks, I had a call from Stephanie Goldman that I had been selected by prospective parents. It was exciting in that way of unknown experiences. I was just starting out with the process and even though I had read all about it, and talked to people about it… it was now going to become my personal experience.
The screening process for me started with a preliminary blood test and ultra sound. Very simple, very quick. Once those results were back I started taking birth control pills. I also started my phone consultations for the psychological and genetic screenings. I’ve learned so many interesting things about my family tree going through that process and asking my family for information on different relatives!
The final step was the full medical screening. This included a pelvic exam, urine test, and blood tests. So many little vials of blood. They truly test for everything! And the pelvic exam hurt a little because they can’t use the usual lubricant (it can impact the test results). That was also the day I met the doctor. He attended medical school where I attended undergrad… so I had the added bonus of being fellow alum with him. He got a kick out of that.
Waiting for these final results took two weeks and I was so nervous. It felt so important that I “pass” the tests. I didn’t want to let the parents-to-be down. (As if I had any control over the outcome!) Fortunately everything came back looking good and I am currently in the process of finalizing the legal contracts so I can begin the shots.
The process so far has been a lot of waiting. Wait to be selected. Wait for blood test results. Wait for screening results. Wait for more blood test results. And then waiting now for the legal contract. It would be easy to get nervous during all this waiting if it weren’t for my case manager Stephanie. She has been available to me for every question or concern that has come up. And trust me, there have been a lot. No matter how much you know going in, it still feels a little scary to be going through it. Which is why the personal attention from Stephanie has meant so much. She’s been a constant guide through the process.
As I now wait for the legal contract… the reality of giving myself shots is setting in and I’m getting a little nervous about it. I’m not a big fan of needles. But the thing that keeps me going through all of this is thinking of the parents-to-be. Here are two people that I have never met, who want a child… and they have asked me to help them with that. They don’t know me, but they have put their trust in me… and as much as the waiting has been difficult for me, I can only imagine how hard the waiting has been for them.
Of course there is a monetary reason for doing this… but once you get into the process, the money part fades away… and it really becomes all about this couple who want a child, and my ability to help them.
Donor – Jill, California