To be honest, when I was first approached about donating eggs I really had no idea exactly what was involved in the IVF process. I just knew it was expensive and involved giving yourself injections. Now I know that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
I am 32, married and I have 3 healthy children. My family is complete. I don’t need my eggs any more; they are just going to go to waste.
I had my first donor cycle six years ago. It didn’t produce enough eggs to proceed with collection.
Fast forward to early 2015. Television presenter Sonia Kruger went public about her pregnancy, achieved with the help of an egg donated by a friend.
“I imagine it will be a lovely relationship,” Sonia told Women’s Day. “… there’s a special bond and that’s not something I’m afraid of.”
Her story made me decide to give it another go.
I discussed it with my husband, refreshed my memory about what IVF involved, and gave myself lots of time to think before I made the decision to find someone who needed eggs.
It didn’t take long. Many, many women need egg donors. I scanned the ads on Egg Donor Angels, and had to set some guidelines. I decided I wasn’t interested in helping women who already had children – there were so many women looking who didn’t have any children. Some of the photos looked like magazine shoots. I’m just an average girl from the country, so I avoided the ‘show off’ people. I wasn’t interested in career stories and success. If someone can afford IVF, its safe to assume they can afford a baby.
It was the photo that drew me to the recipients I eventually chose. They were on holidays and looked so happy and relaxed. Her hubby hadn’t shaved for a few days, it was a real photo.
I messaged them. My excitement levels were off the scale. So were theirs.
It was a shock, then, when my recipient’s doctor advised against using me for a donor. My AMH levels (revealed by a hormone test that determines how many eggs you have left) were incredibly low for my age. In fact, if I had waited until my late 30s or 40s I would have needed an egg donor too.
I remember being told the first time I tried to donate my eggs that I needed to finish having my family by the age of 35 or I would have trouble conceiving. I was only 27 and the shock was enormous: my first child was conceived without any problems, and my second arrived 22 months later just as easily. (We had our third after this attempt to donate.)
Now, I felt a deep sense of concern. Had I made a huge mistake? Was I going to let this wonderful couple down? They had already told me I was their last attempt: if using my eggs was unsuccessful they would accept the outcome and move on with life. They had already been through many cycles and much heartbreak.