Family Creation’s Donor Jill continues her account of the egg donation process. Here, she describes the medication and how it felt administering the injections. Her retrieval is soon – and her recipients are beyond excited. She will share her egg retrieval experience, and her final thoughts on the process in an upcoming post. Stay tuned!
My Experience as an Egg Donor – part II
The dreaded shots. No matter how many times I was given reassurance that they would be easy and surprisingly painless… I didn’t believe it. And now I’m going to offer you that same reassurance that I didn’t believe. The shots truly are easy and surprisingly painless. It hurts more to get your eyebrows waxed. The needles are quite small and if you numb the area with ice first then you’ll barely feel a thing. The Lupron shots were the smallest and the easiest. The FSH comes in a “pen” and you have to push the top part in to make the “pen” inject the medicine. The trick here is to hold it as still as possible. The less you wiggle the needle around the less you feel it. Another tip if you do feel any discomfort is to hold a warm compress over the area after the shot. All shots included, I gave myself 31 injections over 21 days. I did all the injections in my thighs because it seemed to provide the most area to choose from so I could move the shots around and not inject myself in the same place twice. By day 17 my thighs did feel a little tender and I have a couple of itty bitty bruises, but it really was much easier than I ever thought it would be. Even the HCG shot wasn’t nearly as bad as I feared. By the way, the big needle that comes attached to the syringe for the HCG… the big needle that looks so scary… is not the needle you inject yourself with. The big needle is just used to prep the medicine. Then you swap it out for the injection needle which is smaller… much, much smaller.
Throughout the 21 days I was doing injections I had 6 ultrasounds and 7 blood withdrawals at the doctor’s office. The ultrasound is super easy. The technician gave me a piece of paper to write numbers down as she measured them on the ultrasound screen. She didn’t volunteer the information, but when I asked, she said the numbers were the measurements of my follicles and that the goal was at least a size of 18. It helped to know that a 14 meant a few more days of injections and that 22 meant I was really close to being done.
The only thing through this process that was in any way unpleasant was the blood withdrawals. Having a needle poked in your vein to withdraw blood is just not the same thing as injecting a needle into your thigh. My veins seem particularly small and hard to find, so almost all of the blood was taken out of the same vein. And it got pretty bruised and sore. The technician gave me a tip: apply pressure to the area for 2-3 minutes after getting the blood withdrawn to alleviate the bruising. That did help, but this was the one thing that actually hurt.
Other than that, it’s all been really easy. I tend to be a bit of a health nut, so I was a little nervous about what it would be like to have all these hormones pumping through my body. But the only symptoms I’ve experienced are a bit of bloating and being a bit more tired than usual. I’ve taken a lot of naps in the past couple of weeks. And in the final week I just started wearing my sweat pants instead of trying to squeeze into my jeans. I tried to just take it easy. I mean, during this time, your body is dealing with so many hormones and growing follicles and such…so it just seems like the right time to relax on the sofa and catch up on tv shows and magazines. And I am very much looking forward to some pampering at Burke Williams Spa after the egg retrieval.
Donor – Jill, California