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W hat does it mean to be an Egg Donor? This isn’t a question I have to answer often. As an Egg Donation Consultant, I’m mostly answering questions specifically about the process itself.  What are the duties of an Egg Donor? Does the procedure hurt? How long is the process? Perhaps this is because what it means to be an Egg Donor is completely different for each individual. I’ve known many Donors personally and have met and registered even more. Each woman has a different background and life story. For this reason, Egg Donation means something different for each and every one of them. I can’t speak to what it means to be a Donor for anyone other than myself – a three time Egg Donor.

When I did my first cycle, I chose to search independently for my Recipients. I wanted to get to know my Recipients on a personal level. I wanted them to have a greater sense of who I was as a person. I had envisioned a deep connection with my Recipients throughout the process and possibly even after.

I took to online fertility forums in search of a lovely couple I could connect with. I spoke to several couples, who were all wonderful and very deserving of an Egg Donor, but some lived too far and others didn’t want to start immediately. Finally, the choice came down to two couples, both incredible couples with stories of hope and triumph. It was a tremendously difficult decision to make as they both desperately wanted to use me as their donor, but sadly I could only chose one. I quickly learnt that in the world of fertility, you can’t work fast enough. For a couple trying to conceive, every day spent waiting is a wasted chance of moving forward. If a woman misses her chance at trying to conceive that month, they must wait another full month. That’s another 28 days (or possibly longer), another medicated cycle, another wasted chance at starting their family. Most of the couples that require the use of an Egg Donor have already tried for months and even years, only to find out they cannot conceive using their own Eggs. They have been disappointed month after month. Their whole lives become encompassed about trying to conceive and starting their family. It’s both heart breaking and exhausting for these couples.

So after agonizing over which couple to choose to help, I made a decision and we began our journey together. I met my Intended Parents in person and we really hit it off, the connection was organic and just felt right. My intended mother came to all my appointments with me and we would often go out for lunch after or sit in the waiting room and chat over cooler water in a cone cup. They were great and tried hard to make this whole process easy on me. They argued with the clinic to ensure I got the latest appointments as I had to drive 2 hours to get to them and a 7am appointment was just too much for this night owl. They picked up and dropped off my meds and checked in on me often. When the time came for the retrieval, my Intended Parents accompanied me to the clinic and we all sent ‘baby dust’ vibes out into the universe. They waited for me to recover from the procedure and sent me on my way with hugs and smiles. I’ll never forget the sight of my Intended Mother crying tears of joy, waving goodbye as I drove away. As much as we enjoyed our time together and the bond we had created, we all agreed it was best for our situation if we didn’t maintain contact afterwards. Many recipients feel this way for all sorts of reasons. I understood and respected that.

 

My second Egg Donation cycle was entirely different. I worked with a wonderful agency who did all the foot work. I was notified when my profile was chosen for a cycle and was told when my appointments were scheduled. I went through the process and the procedure without ever knowing anything about my recipients. I did use a different clinic and had a completely different experience in that respect as well. It was a very different experience, but just as enjoyable. I didn’t get to meet my recipients, but while attending the appointments on my own, I was able to connect with so many amazing people sitting in the waiting rooms. Let’s be honest, fertility clinics are not known for their quick waiting times. I got to know a lot of people. I met Donors and Recipients of all walks of life with so many different stories. It was incredible. I had a profound respect for every single person I encountered.

So what exactly does being an Egg Donor mean to me? Throughout my Egg Donor cycles, I maintain the same attitude towards this entire journey. I’ve learnt a lot throughout my journeys and met some wonderful people. I’ve developed my own meaning to being a Donor. To me, it means helping out a couple in need. It means creating life and making families. It’s taking a piece of you and helping to make the world a little happier. It’s giving life to somebody’s dreams.

When an individual or couple struggles with fertility, every bump in the road can feel like a mountain. Taking it one day at a time is sometimes the only thing you can do to not lose hope. Before you know it, the days turn into weeks, which turn into months and years and all of sudden you hit a wall and feel like it’s never going to happen. You feel like you’ll never be a mother, a father or a family. That you’ll never hold your newborn baby and kiss their soft skin or tell them what they mean to you. To me, being a Donor is the difference between a mother doing those things and never knowing what that feels like. It means letting a father get the chance to teach his son to ride a bike or heroically slaying the monsters beneath his daughter’s bed. Being an Egg Donor means helping a couple become a family. Finally, to me, being an Egg Donor means giving a couple or an individual the best gift you could ever give someone. Recognizing that without someone like you, these people may never know the joys of watching a child laugh hysterically at the funny faces you make, or run to you, arms wide open when you pick them up from daycare or come home from a long day at work. Every one deserves to know what it feels like to have a heart full with joy and a family filled with love.

– Amelia M.

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