I decided to become an Egg Donor when I was 18. While in school, I had a friend who’s sister had been trying to conceive for years, and the story was heartbreaking. I’ve always loved kids and always knew I wanted to have kids one day, and the thought of not being able to or struggling to have a family really just hit me hard. I started to do some research and came across Egg Donation. I applied, filled out pages and pages about myself. When filling out the application I realized this is the only way (besides photos) that someone is picking me to help them have a family, I spent days on my application, trying to give as much information about myself to really try and let someone get to know me through my words.
A few weeks after I applied, I received an email asking if I was available for a donation. A couple who had been trying for years had finally decided to try using an egg donor and had been searching for their perfect match for months without luck, came across my profile. Being half Guatemalan like the intended mother was, is what drew them to my profile. Being of similar height and having similar features helped, however (from what my coordinator told me), what drew the couple to me was that I was so similar to the intended mother. I reminded her of herself a bit when she was my age. She was a dancer (while I a gymnast), grew up in a dual language household with a foreign mother and military father, had older siblings and was the baby of the family (while I only had one brother). I thought it was so interesting that I just fit so perfectly for her. We were matched and the process started.
The cycle was fairly quick! After getting screened at the clinic, my results came back and everything was good to go. They put me on birth control to sync up with the intended mother and I also had a physiological evaluation, genetic testing, and was given a lawyer to go over all the legal contracts with. Everything at first sounded so overwhelming, but my clinic and my coordinators were amazing. They took me through the process one step at a time and were there to answer all my questions. Then, once I was ready, the hard part came up–injected shots. The shots were for about 2 weeks every day, twice a day. I was told and given exactly what medications I needed to take. I kept putting this part off in my mind, because I’m extremely scared of needles and shots, but I knew this was part of the process going in and that it was just something I was going to have to do. It took me about 30 minutes to give myself the first shot. My clinic coordinator was truly an angel, she sat on Skype with me the whole time and told me to take my time. That first one is always the hardest. I couldn’t believe she sat there with me for so long, but after that first shot it was a breeze! Then, it quickly became the day of my donation. A friend drove me to the clinic- I was taken back to the procedure room, given a gown and set up, given an anesthetic and the next thing I remember was waking up in the recovery room. The nurse came in with a small gift and a card that to this day if I read the card I tear up a bit. The card was from the intending mother. She thanked me for my gift of helping her have the family she has always wanted, that I would always be a part of their lives, and that I was her angel on earth and she didn’t know how to thank me. What she didn’t know is that I didn’t know how to thank her! My 1st donation was by far the best experience I’ve had in my life. I am forever grateful and thankful to them for picking me and letting me help them have a family and be a part of what has to be one of the most difficult journeys as a couple. I don’t really know how to describe the feeling it gives you, other than it being pure joy knowing I could give that gift to someone else.
Each donation has been special, with the same wonderful feeling, but my very first donation will always hold an extra special place in my heart. When the process gets difficult–due to being uncomfortable from my ovaries being so full, when I have to pass on a night out with friends or give myself another shot–I think about that feeling of joy and every part of the experience is worth it. I remind myself that at the end of the day, it’s only a few weeks to a few months where my life is ever so slightly different and that I’m helping someone’s dream of a family come true. I’ve done 6 donations and am thankful to each family that chose me to be a part of their journey.
Written by Amanda Carrier who is now a Donor Case Coordinator with Extraordinary Conceptions