Until recently I never knew that altruistic egg donation was a ‘thing’. The act of donating some of your eggs to somebody/a couple, in order for them to have the fertility treatment they need to conceive a much-longed-for child.
Donating to give them hope.
Donating to give them a chance.
Not for any financial gain.
Or in return for something else.
Donating because it’s a kind, selfless thing to do.
I’ve been following the story of Jules and Amber over on Channel Mum (Amber has donated her eggs to Jules, who is currently in her Two Week Wait after her embryo transfer!) And ever since I heard about Amber’s donation, I keep thinking about whether or not I, too, could donate my eggs.
I feel so lucky to have two beautiful daughters. My own journey to motherhood had it’s fair share of heartache and frustration (due to an early miscarriage and months and months of trying to conceive). And because of that, I often think of those who have been treading that path to parenthood for far longer than I had to. Years of hoping to see two lines on a test but instead facing fresh heartbreak each and every month. My story ends happily, with two healthy babies and for that I will be forever grateful. But without egg donation, there will be many who will never get to experience parenthood and that makes me so very sad. Surely then, donating my eggs is a no brainer?
Or is it?
I’ve been doing my homework, reading up on all things egg donation, and I do feel it’s something I want to do. But I’ll be honest, there are a few things holding me back. I love using my blog as a sounding board – a way of writing down all of my thoughts and feelings that go into making (what could potentially be) quite a big decision.
Here’s a few reasons why I’m not ready to go ahead with egg donation right now…
Time and travel involved:
This is an aspect of egg donation I will have to look into more but from what I’ve read, there’s a fair bit of ‘to-ing and fro-ing’ involved. There’s the initial screening process (which can involve several interviews, counselling and some medical tests), scans, egg retrieval – all involve travelling to a clinic. I don’t currently drive so depending on what clinic I use, it could take hours for me to travel to and from these appointments. As a stay-at-home-mum I’d have to consider how these appointments would fit around looking after my littles – who’d look after them? Who’d pick them up from nursery/school?
I’m sure other arrangements could be made to ensure the girls are looked after, so this isn’t a huge issue but definitely one that will require plenty of planning if I do go ahead with a egg donation cycle.
Oh and I should mention, that whilst there is no payment for egg donation in the UK (payment is illegal, in fact) there is compensation available of up to £750 per donation ‘cycle’ to cover costs (childcare, travel etc.)
I’m needle phobic:
This seems like such a silly issue when you remember that the end goal of all of this is to help somebody grow and carry a baby. But egg donation does require daily hormone injections (and then there’s the egg retrieval procedure too) so silly or not, I am scared of needles and it’s something I need to consider. I’m not as phobic about needles as I used to be. Regular blood tests, flu jabs and whooping cough vaccines through two pregnancies has meant I’ve had to get used to needles. That said, I’ve never had to self-administer drugs so I’m not sure how I’d fair with having to inject myself. Of course, the obvious solution is to make sure there’s somebody (i.e my hubby) on hand to do it for me. I’m sure he’d take great delight in jabbing me with needles daily! ;)
Egg donation is not as anonymous as I first thought:
The person/couple receiving your egg donation would only recieve non-identifying information about me. A little about why I wanted to donate my eggs perhaps and other background information such as my interests and education. Which, I’m sure, is really helpful to know when looking for a potential donor. I’d have no issues supplying this information.
But in the UK, at aged 18, donor-conceived people have the legal right to know who their donor is. (Source)
Honestly, I’m not sure how I feel about this and for reasons I can’t fully explain, it’s probably the main reason I still have my reservations about going ahead with egg donation.
I guess, the thought of the my donated-egg-conceived child turning up at my door 18 years from now, seems a little scary. Although, I doubt that rarely happens to people – if ever?!
I’m definitely going to do more research and from that make an informed decision.
In the meantime I’d love to hear if you have ever donated your eggs? Or received them? What was your experience like?
Or, would you consider egg donation yourself?