Friday, February 25, 2011

And So We Begin

Becoming an egg donor is not exactly an easy process. When I spoke to the New Jersey clinic they said they would be sending me an application packet to fill out first. When and if I was selected, I would go through various health screenings before the process would begin. When the packet arrived I was so excited. It outlined the process for me, contained an elaborate contract detailing exactly what rights I did and did not have over my eggs, what would happen if I changed my mind in the middle of the process, and what would happen if things did not go according to plan. Also included with the information was the application. It was the most elaborate document you can imagine! I had to detail my health from birth to current day and I had to track down every birth defect, disease or major illness for most of my immediate family. This is to be expected, good health is important in something like this. What I did not expect were the essays I had to write! I had to detail my childhood and my behavior and the activities I enjoyed doing. I had to describe my high school and college experiences, my grades, the activities I participated in, and what kind of student I was. I had to write about my current outlook on life, what I wanted for my children someday and why I wanted to donate my eggs. It was quite in depth! I was as honest as possible and I felt pretty lucky that my decisions so far in life had all been good ones. I included a photo of myself and sent back the signed, notarized packet. And I waited.

I had been told when they received my information that I would be included in their next egg donor "catalogue" to be published the following month. (Yes, they have catalogues for such things.) Much to my surprise I received a call within two weeks saying that someone had chosen me from the donors before the catalogue had actually been sent out. The recipient was ready to start whenever I was. And since I was more than ready, we began immediately!

First step was testing. I had to have STD tests, genetic tests and other assorted tests. Inconveniently, some of the testing had to be done at one specific national lab facility that we do not have in Maine. So I had to drive to New Hampshire for a 30 second blood draw. Delightful. When my tests came back fine I was put on birth control to suppress ovulation while they brought my cycle and my recipients cycle in sync. Within a few weeks I began the stimulation drugs. At this point I had planned on having all my monitoring (when they check the size and number of egg follicles in each ovary) done at my doctor's office. I had confirmed this three times with them. Of course when I called to make my first appointment for monitoring they informed me that they would not be able to do it. Hysterical, thanks to all the hormones, I freaked out thinking that I would have to end the cycle. Fortunately I was given the name of an office in Portland that would do the monitoring for me. Things were not off to a good start.

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