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.