Thinking about becoming an egg donor can be intimidating. There may be questions or worries you have about what it is really like. Wouldn’t it be nice to hear from […]
Thinking about becoming an egg donor can be intimidating. There may be questions or worries you have about what it is really like. Wouldn’t it be nice to hear from someone who has actually gone through it? Well, here on the AsiaWest blog, we will be periodically posting stories and experiences from some of our donors. We hope that these posts will help answer some of your questions and help you decide if becoming an egg donor is right for you!
Our first donor story is from “Donor IS”. Donor IS currently lives in Alabama as a law student. Donor IS is an animal lover; she owns a cat, a dog, two birds, and rides horses. Donor IS is 27 years old.
How and why did you become an egg donor? Where did you hear about it and what prompted you to go through with it?
I’ve always kind of considered being an egg donor ever since I heard of it, which I think was as a teenager. I just thought it was a really cool concept. And then as I got older I worked with kids a lot. I taught preschool for a long time and I also worked for a foster agency. And so through that experience, being able to interact with so many different families, I really felt strongly about people’s passion to have a family, to have kids, to have that experience in their lives. So that’s when I started to really think, yeah I definitely want to be an egg donor.
What worries did you have if any, about becoming an egg donor or the egg donation process?
Well, I think my biggest worry was if it would affect my fertility long-term – that would be something I would want to know about obviously. And then a little more personal worry was I didn’t want to gain a lot of weight! I think a lot of people feel that way! But I didn’t gain a lot of weight so it all worked out anyway. And I did a lot of my own research so I went online and read about the egg donation process and I talked to other egg donors who’d done it before so all of that made me feel a little more calm about it, just hearing how all of these folks had had pretty good experiences.
What was the egg donation experience like?
It was just a very positive experience for me. Everyone that I met was super nice, super supportive. Everyone was really helpful – they were willing to answer any questions that I had. The only real negative side effects that I had were I felt kind of bloated and uncomfortable towards the last couple of days on the hormonal medications and things. But really not as bad as I imagined which was cool. It just went swimmingly, honestly.
What was it like to meet the intended parents?
It was amazing. When I went into this, I didn’t think I would get to know who my eggs were going to. But it just worked out that both parties were really interested in meeting each other so Amber set that up for us. They were just so incredible! There was just an instant connection. I don’t know how old they are but I do think we’re kind of similar in age, we have a lot of the same interests. They were very energetic, kind, passionate people and I just feel like because I got to meet them – and I think they said something similar – it really confirmed to everyone that this was the right path to go down. They’re just amazing. They’re including me in any news that they get. It’s really exciting because it’s not what I expected, it’s just an amazing bonus! So I feel really lucky.
What sort of expectations did you have, if any, going in and was the experience as expected or different?
I honestly feel like it was better than I expected because I was expecting not to really know where my eggs were going. I was actually expecting a lot more pain and discomfort! But the whole experience of getting to know the intended parents was so cool – it really just made it incredibly rewarding for me. Even though it already would’ve been! That was just the cherry on top. And then the fact that it was really not as difficult of a process as I thought – things went by faster than I thought they would – it was just amazing. Everyone at the fertility clinic was super cool – they explained a whole bunch about fertility treatments that I didn’t know before. I’m really interested in that sort of stuff so it was a really cool experience.
So now that you have experienced egg donation, are there any myths about it that have been dispelled for you? Things that people might believe about it that aren’t true?
Well, for me the biggest thing is that people look at egg donation and they’re kind of suspicious or wary. Talking to other women about it, a lot of them are like, “oh I would never do that”. But I’m not sure they’ve really thought about it, because you know, it sounds scary! It’s a big process. But then going through it just really made me realize not only is not as scary as I imagined, but also it really is having a huge impact on the people that you’re donating to. And I got to see that because I talked to the intended parents… they are so grateful. This is one of the most important processes that they are going to go through in their lives; it’s challenging and probably a little scary for them, and being able to be a supportive part of that was really special. My intended parents told me they spent like a year looking through egg donor databases! It illustrated to me that this is something they put a lot of thought and time and effort and sweat into. It was super rewarding being able to see them complete that part of their journey and be able to move on to the next part of their journey.
And are you thinking of donating again?
I would love to donate again. Whether it’s to the same family or not. Going into it I felt kind of unsure, but after going through the process I think it would be worth doing it again. Like I said, helping the family is the most rewarding part. It was just a really powerful experience.
Do you have any tips that a prospective donor should look for in an egg donor agency?
I think for me the things that were important were responsiveness. Obviously I want to have open communication with the agency and if I have a question, being able to ask it and have it answered is really important. That openness and supportiveness was really significant. And for me I would want to choose an agency that’s being pretty honest with me about the process, because there is the potential for it to have an impact on my emotionally or physically, so that’s something you want to be well-informed about going into things. You want to feel prepared for it and supported in it. And that I think is something AsiaWest fulfilled really, really well.
What advice would you have for someone who is interested in becoming an egg donor?
My advice would be to spend a lot of time thinking on it and make sure it’s what you want, because it’s not something to be taken lightly. It is a personal process and it takes some effort and a little bit of discomfort. Do your research. Make sure you’re aware of how the process works. And then I would always advise people to not go into things fearfully, to just go into things confident that they are going to work out. If you do get to meet the family, hopefully it’s a family you feel good about. Hopefully it’s an agency you feel good about. You just have to follow your intuition in those situations and make sure you feel confident about everything.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.