Donor Diaries: Kathryn

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When I first got out of school I was working, but living on my own.  I had a job in my field, but needed to start paying back student loans.  I was living in LA, but taking public transit.  I was getting by, but funds were tight.

I have a friend that has donated her eggs and I approached her about her experience.  She expressed the experience was really fulfilling and completely worth any discomfort.  I knew that there were a lot of ways in which I could work to ease my financial struggles, but I was inspired by what my friend had told me and I was excited to possibly help someone’s process in starting a family. So I went for it.  

There wasn’t much about the whole process that wasn’t easy.  As long as I showed up to my appointments and kept contact with the case workers, everything was pretty much laid out for me and taken care of for me.  The injections were a breeze and the clinics I have worked with have been very informative about what to expect.

The hardest part for me was slowing down.  I am a very active person, so to stop working out and running around for two weeks during injections and then as part of my recovery was hard. 

I have used the money wisely. I have saved some, I have splurged some. After donating the first time, I was able to pay some of my loans and get a car so that I would no longer need to take public transit in Los Angeles. After my second experience, I put some into savings and towards loans and I took a trip to Europe for the first time. 

I learned a lot about myself as far as my overall health and a lot about my personality.  I learned about my friends and family and their support- which I have had a lot of.  Being an egg donor has brought me more humility and appreciation for life.  I have felt a great sense of accomplishment from helping people become parents.

Egg donation is not for everyone.  I have met people that don’t understand why I would do what I do and why the intended parents aren’t choosing adoption. I respect their stance as these are good questions, but not every situation is black and white. If someone wants a child, they should do it as they see fit.  As long as no one is hurt and the child is loved and well taken care of, it shouldn’t matter where that baby is coming from.  

Dr. Kim Bergman

Kim Bergman, PhD, a licensed psychologist of 26 years, has specialized in the area of gay and lesbian parenting, parenting by choice and third party assisted reproduction for over 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 for Reproductive Medicine, 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 Emeritus 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’s is the author of the upcoming book, Your Future Family: The Essential Guide to Assisted Reproduction (Conari Press 2019). Dr. Bergman created her own family using third party assisted reproduction and she lives with her wife of 35 years. Her two daughters are in college.