I am an egg donor. This journey started almost 9 months ago when an old work acquaintance who was also a friend of a friend asked if I was willing to share her search for an egg donor to my Instagram because I do have a bit of a following. I agreed & she sent me her donor ad.
Her ad included their background and about their personalities & interests & it also included their journey so far. Here is part of it:
“We began trying to conceive in January 2019 when my partner was 30 and I was 32, and after 9 months we decided to go to an IVF clinic to get some tests done. My partner’s sperm was excellent, but I had an AMH of 5, so I had quite a low egg number. They recommended IVF straight away, but we only got one egg on our 1st cycle. They increased my medication on the 2nd cycle and we got 3 eggs, but none made it to transfer stage. Our 3rd cycle was cancelled just before egg collection because I had bleeding, so they assumed that the two follicles I had were probably cysts. On our 4th and 5th cycle, we only had one egg collected each time, and we tried a Day-3 Transfer both times, but they both failed. My AMH is now 2, and after only getting one egg on my last two cycles, I don’t really want to keep going through lots and lots of cycles to maybe eventually get that one good egg!
We definitely want our future child to know about how they were conceived. As soon as they are old enough to understand, we will start explaining to them about how they came to be. We would like to have an open relationship with our donor once they have donated their eggs, so that we are able to contact them in the future if need be.
We would love to bring a child into our family, so that we can have lots of fun adventures together. Because we both love the outdoors, we would love to take our child on lots of family camping and travel adventures, and teach them all about the world.”
I posted about it on my ‘stories’ and hoped I could help them. Something inside me, instinctively, I am not sure where it even came from, made me think ‘why not me?’. I thought maybe I was too old at 35, but apparently I am a great candidate because I already have a child. I just knew these guys would make amazing parents & I know how life changing having a child is, and I wanted to help them. A way of giving back to the world I suppose.
I told them I wanted to help & we started the process straight away. It is not a simple process. I had to get lots of bloods & scans done, we had in-depth counselling, a 3-month cooling off period, then more counselling. This is all before I even started the injections! The counselling is pretty full on but absolutely necessary because this is not a small deal. I was so happy to just be the ‘donor’ and my recipients are 100% the parents. I would be involved in the child (or children)’s lives and known as the donor, but I would likely be ‘Aunty Lauren’ or something like that. I am totally OK with that.
My recipients covered all the costs and I learnt so much about my fertility and genetics. 6 months after first chatting about it, it was time for me to go through the egg collection process. It was basically me doing IVF but once my eggs were collected that’s my role done (well my physical role anyway). I had about 10 days of injections before the egg collection. I was a bit emotional from the hormones but overall I wasn’t really affected by the injections.
My scan a couple of days before egg collection showed 10 follicles which was great but we only got 5 eggs from the collection. I was really disappointed with this number. Luckily 4 out of the 5 eggs formed into embryos, 3 ‘Grade 1’ (which is good!) and 1 ‘Grade 2’ embryo. This was a great result.
My recipient started her injections to help with the embryo transfer process not long after my egg collection & when the time was right about 2 weeks later, she had the transfer. The doctors said it is not uncommon for the first transfer to not ‘stick’ and not to worry too much. The embryo survived the thawing process (another win!) and the process went smoothly. Then it was the very looong 2 week wait to see if it ‘stuck’.
I got a call 2 weeks later with my recipient telling me she was pregnant!! I was on the escalator going to Kmart and I instantly wanted to cry, I was so happy for them. I can now officially say that she is 7 weeks and 5 days pregnant, she had her first scan today and they saw the heartbeat, and everything is looking good.
I have to say this has been one of the most rewarding things I have ever done in my life and the gratitude I have received from my recipients is something I have never experienced before. They have been absolutely amazing and I have loved getting to know them. I have made friends for life & I can’t wait to share our lives, however that may look.
Egg donation is not talked about enough. There are many many couples (or women) who rely on donors to have a child. I wanted to write this to help raise awareness and open the conversation. There are egg donor registers / Facebook groups and websites you can look into if you want to help, but please understand it is very important to be involved in the child’s life & known as the donor from birth (this is not something I had any idea about!). Many studies show this. Anonymous donation is unethical and is not fair on the child.
I hope the rest of the pregnancy goes smoothly for my recipients & they get their miracle baby, and there are 3 more embryos left for siblings if that’s what they want. It’s so cool!!
To follow my journey from the start I have 2 ‘Egg Donor’ highlights on my Instagram @the_independent_mumma . I share the whole process including the injections etc.