It has been a surreal, amusing, sometimes sad but mostly good a experience ‘shopping’ for another woman’s eggs. When I was in the throes of it, I would interact with people in the store or street or park and think ‘I would definitely use her eggs’. Kind of a bizarre way to look at my surroundings for the past few weeks and ultimately I had a good sense of humor about it. If it sounds like I am trivializing it or down-playing it, I can assure you it is because this is how I approach and cope with tough topics.
Before I delve deeper into this topic, I want to throw out a few caveats. First of all- this is only my experience and my opinion. I don’t presume I speak for others and we all know how personal this trying to have a baby stuff is. That being said- I have been able to get to a good mental place pretty quickly. I don’t mean to come across as flippant about this process. I have had plenty of sobbing sessions about the sadness and frustration of my own lack of fertility but I really feel like I have mourned it all along. I was born with (and my Mom continued to give me) a deep sense of gratitude and optimism so I think that has really helped along the way. I feel mostly fortunate that I have options and live in a world that can help me find a solution to a family. I am in a pretty solid place about needing donor eggs as a result. Finally- a huge caveat is that I have my miracle IVF son. I am pretty sure that having a little mixture of my husband and me already helps me move on easier than if I didn’t. I don’t want to lose sight of that or trivialize it for those of you who moved directly to donor eggs. Although I have never felt a deep desire to pass along my genes (just want a family), I recognize that others feel this desire and have to really mourn the loss.
So there are my caveats– moving on to egg shopping. Let me tell you-in the beginning it was a little rough. I had to remind myself that there are a limited number of people willing to give this gift so I need to be grateful for any options there are. The first few agencies I went with had pretty slim choices for what I was looking for and I had a pit in my stomach trying to ‘choose one’. The biggest thing I was looking for is someone who emanates joy and optimism since that is something I would really want my baby to have. I also would rather the donor be attractive (of course) but does not have to be a super model by any means. It was more important for her to kind of look like me if possible. I would also love to find an athletic donor since I am very athletic and my husband is not. I want to give the kid a fighting chance :). Finally- I was looking for someone smart enough. She didn’t have to be a genius by any means but smart enough to navigate this life with ease. There are of course other small things I was looking for (close to her family, kind and open in her questionnaire and fertility past etc) but those four criteria were my guiding force. My husband initially came to the table acting like he was looking for a mate (she had to be a million different things and some so small like she could not have any tattoos (?? Um really??) so I had to remind him we will form and create this baby- we are just looking for a nice start. That got him back on track but we still could not find anyone that met even three of my four criteria.
Then we stumbled upon an amazing site. It was full of such great choices. A lot of them in the South (no idea why) but the perfect one here in my area. As soon as I read her profile and saw her pictures, I felt peace on my heart. She looks and sounds like me (but younger and fertile!). I reached out to the agency and asked to reserve her. (Side note– the language and whole economy of this business is so odd but I am just embracing it). A bit of drama ensued as there was another couple looking at her but in the end it was meant to be and we signed the contract.
When I think about her I smile. I am so grateful she is able to do this and willing to help us. I hope to send her notes of encouragement through the cycle (through the agency since it is all anonymous) because I know the stimming can be hard. I am excited to tell my child how another lady helped us have him or her. I am happy to have hope that doesn’t rely on my tired ovaries. I do know that there could still be hiccups. It is still a long road to embryos and even longer road to baby but we have hope. And hope is what keeps us going.
Lots of love to you all!