Donor Diaries: Jenny

I’ve donated eggs twice, both times for the same intended parents. So, in essence, I started a family, then added to it. The children in this family are biologically related, they’re siblings, because of me. I believe that “you get what you give,” in this world. Someday I’ll need to use donor sperm to make my family, so donating my eggs seemed only fair.

The most memorable part of being an egg donor was injecting the hormones into my belly and thighs. It wasn’t bad, though! You count to three and zap! You just feel a little pinch and that’s all. Maybe, with the belly injections, it burns a little for a few seconds, but it’s honestly no big deal.  In fact, I’d say the only down side to the whole thing was mild pain and bloating after the egg retrieval.

My retrievals always happened early in the morning. I always arrived sleepy and hungry, because you can’t eat for about 8 to 12 hours before the procedure. There wasn’t pain, but the bloating was kind of bothersome. You can deal with the medications they give you—and if you usually have a painful period, then you don’t really notice the difference—but you can’t take anything for the bloating, so prepare and wear loose clothes for the week after.

Now that I’m done, I don’t really talk to people about having been an egg donor, but I certainly don’t regret it.  People often ask me if I’d want to meet those children.  It’s not entirely my choice. It’s their parents’ job to decide whether or not to say something to them, and how. Those children may be mine ‘biologically,’ but they’re not mine ‘emotionally.’ I don’t believe in the old saying ‘blood is thicker than water.’ We are now two (or three or four) human beings that only share a few genes and nothing more.

Egg donation is different from surrogacy. You don’t carry to term a baby in your belly, you just give a piece of you that would go to waste otherwise. I would be open to donating more eggs in the future, but I know that I will stop once I decide to start a family of my own.

Dr. Kim Bergman

Kim Bergman, PhD, a licensed psychologist of 22 years, has specialized in the area of gay and lesbian parenting, parenting by choice and third party assisted reproduction for the last two decades. Dr. Bergman has created a comprehensive psychological screening, support and monitoring process for Intended Parents, Surrogates and Donors. She is the co-owner of Fertility Counseling Services and Growing Generations and is a member of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, the American Fertility Association, the American Psychological Association, the Los Angeles County Psychological Association, the Lesbian and Gay Psychotherapy Association, and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. She is on the national board of the Family Equality Council. Dr. Bergman writes, teaches and speaks extensively on parenting by choice. Along with co-authors, she published “Gay Men Who Become Fathers via Surrogacy: The Transition to Parenthood” (Journal of GLBT Family Studies, April 2010). Dr. Bergman created her own family using third party assisted reproduction and she lives with her wife of 28 years and their two teenage daughters.