The Donor Diaries: Bec
Known egg donors are a rare circumstance in which the donor knows the intended parents outside of the IVF process. In many cases this person is a close friend or family member and may have the opportunity to remain a part of the child’s life for years to come. Known donors are certainly rarer than cases of anonymous donation. Here a known donor shares her egg donation story.
It was at a family celebration where my cousin and his partner announced that they were going to become parents. They had found a surrogate, and now they were beginning the search for the perfect egg donor. I jokingly offered to give my eggs, and thought little more of it.
The next morning my cousin called me on the phone and asked me if I would seriously consider giving them that gift. My answer was a quick and easy yes, and our process was off to the races.
The process was a bit more involved than I expected. There were lots of appointments and ultrasounds and everything was so closely monitored. Luckily, the hormones only made me feel a bit bloated before the retrieval, and like I was having menstrual cramps following. It wasn’t too bad at all.
Being close with the intended parents made the pregnancy stressful for me, as I wanted to make sure the baby was healthy. Most donors never even know if their donation results in a pregnancy, but I not only knew that a pregnancy had resulted, but also received pregnancy updates and photos as well.
Then she was born big, healthy, and happy and I was overwhelmed. That was such a special moment for me. The best part of the whole experience was being able to see the joy in the guys’ eyes as they held their daughter. Being able to know that I had been a part of that was unlike anything else I’ve experienced.
As I’ve watched her grow I’ve found that the emotional complexities of our unique relationship aren’t really that difficult to manage. She is their daughter. She was never mine. Even though I get to watch her grow up, there could never be any lingering regret for me.
Someday I know her dads will tell her why Auntie Bec is so special. I expect that to be a very happy day. She will always be aware of who I am to her. If this knowledge leads to her wanting a closer relationship with me in time that is something I would welcome as well, within her fathers’ comfort zones of course.
In general, egg donation is the best thing I’ve done with my life. Every time I see the family I helped make or hold the child who exists because of my gift, I am happy all over again. This choice has changed my life and changed me. I have so much more self-respect and, having the gift of being a continued part of her life, I also give more thought to my own behaviors as well.