Considering donating your eggs? It’s something I seriously considered for about 4 years before taking the plunge. When I signed up, I realllly needed the money. When I was actually chosen by a family, I had just gotten a big league job, and though the money would definitely help my debts, it wasn’t life or death for me. I chose to move forward with this family that seemed to have many similarities to me. My donation agency said that this was the family’s last chance at getting pregnant. So I donated my eggs. Here’s my experience.
What It’s Like
Working a full time job with sometimes 60 hour weeks, it was quite difficult to fit in being an egg donor. It’s not just giving your eggs away. You have doctors appointments, a very strict schedule of birth control pills, fertility injections, ultra sounds, and blood work being done.
- Number of doctors visits: 10
- Days on Birth Control: 30
- Number of at-home injections: 10
- Flights to parents’ hometown fertility center: 2
- Number of days of work missed: 8
The Ugly Truth
Have you ever had to stick a 3 inch needle into your stomach before? First try, barely stuck it in before I was oozing blood. As tears stained my face, I apologized to myself and tried to muster up the courage to try again, while my stomach was bleeding profusely.
It’s hard to decide what was worse for me: the birth control or the injections. Though the injections felt like a weird form of self-degradation, the birth control was the worst there is on the market and I was pretty crazy for over a month. I had more than one blinding migraine a week, with raging emotions from bawling, to red hot rage, to extreme anxiety. I felt so out of control. There was a loss for any type of motivation to work, to exercise, to get up. I could barely eat without feeling gross. My then-boyfriend and I had a hard time because he couldn’t tell which McKenzie he was talking to. A few days after I stopped taking the birth control, he was so glad to see the real me again; calm, level-headed and sassy.
My ovaries grew 2-3 times their size. I started feeling very fragile and like anything I did could hurt my little gals. The doctors told me to stop exercising and to walk cautiously. 36 hours before my retrieval, I gave myself my last shot, called the trigger shot, that sets my body up for the eggs to be ready to be retrieved. The night before my surgery, I started getting jittery.
Upon arriving, I was dressed down to one of those paper gowns with the back open, a hair net, and booties. The place was frigid. The anesthesiologist came over to flick (very hard) at my veins to see where to put the IV. She decided on my right hand and I was just nauseous at this point at the thought of another needle going in me. I looked away as I reminded myself that “this was it, this is the end.”
They got me onto the operating bed where I saw the large stick they would stick up me with a needle at the end to retrieve what would be 25 eggs in the end. I learned that 25 eggs is a really good number of eggs to donate. I fell asleep quickly and woke up barely drowsy at all. Having only gone under for my wisdom teeth before, I expected to be wisdom-teeth-removal-drowsy, but after a few minutes I was pretty much back to my senses.
You get paid thousands of dollars to help a family gain a baby. It’s honestly so magical. In all honesty, there were so many crazy days where I was literally hanging on by a thread and I just couldn’t wait for it to be over. Would I do it again? I think I could, if I was on a different birth control and not working 60 hour weeks. I think going into it knowing what to expect for the second time, it might be easier.
The Happy Ending
I just found out that the mother is pregnant with twin baby girls that are due in June! I requested to be in contact with the mother (which come to find out, she wanted all along) so that I can hear updates. It looks like I’ll possibly have an ongoing relationship with the family as well! I’m really excited and it seems so much more real now! To be able to give life to a family that couldn’t create it on their own is seriously spectacular. I hope my genes did them good.2