This is quite a difficult post to write but one that I’ve been waiting to be able to share with you for ages.
Back in May I applied to be an egg donor at a clinic in London. This is something that I’ve been wanting to do since I was about 14; the thought of being able to help someone create the family they’ve always wanted but unfortunately can’t have just fills my heart with such an intense feeling of happiness and pride.
The initial process is very extensive as you have to have lots of medical background checks to determine whether you’re suitable for egg donation- basically you have to be an ultra-fit super human without any genetic defects that you could pass on or family history of serious illness. I was unsure whether I’d pass the rigorous testing as my mum was adopted at birth and therefore we don’t know her family’s health history in great detail.
I went for blood testing last month to see whether I was a carrier for any blood diseases such as Sickle-Cell Anaemia and the wait for the results was really intense. Even if I wasn’t accepted for the programme at this stage it was a good indicator of my personal health and would have told me about any future problems I might face when trying to have a family of my own. This type of testing would have cost me hundreds of pounds if I’d gone to genetics clinics of my own accord so even at this point I was grateful to have information on how healthy I was.
A few days ago I got a phonecall from the clinic that confirmed my blood test results had all come back clear- I have been accepted to become an egg donor! From now it’s all about timing as it gets really intense; folic acid tablets, daily injections, trips to the clinic several times a week. Then there’s the surgery itself at the end of the treatment to remove the eggs when I’ve been matched with a suitable recipient- I’m slightly worried about this as I’ve never had a surgery before apart from to remove my contraceptive implant at the beginning of this whole process, so it’s quite nerve-wracking to think about, but I’m just focusing on how much this is going to change someone’s life and the gift I’ll be giving.
This whole process isn’t without its drawbacks and complications. Quite a few people including those close to me who I’d be looking to for support, are confused about why I’m doing this and concerned about the mental strain it’ll have on me. I obviously have a few reservations about the outcome of this process; it’s natural given that there’s going to be a child out there with half of my DNA, especially when I don’t have any of my own yet, but I look to my mum whenever someone brings this point up. She was adopted by the woman I call my Grandma, and although her birth mum is the one who is related to her, my mum sees Grandma as her mother because this is who brought her up; I believe that although I’ll be giving away my genes to a family, they are the ones who will be bringing up the child so there’s no way I can think of it as giving away my own child.
You receive counselling during the process which I’ve found really helpful to be able to talk to a professional about my concerns and learn more information any time I have a doubt or query. Positive feedback is also really helpful as some people who have negative things to say about this make it feel like a wholly bad thing that I’m doing. I understand that some people don’t think this would be a good idea for them personally to do, but I have wanted to do this for so long and am genuinely so happy knowing I’ll be changing someone’s life and giving them the chance to get everything they want in life.
I’ll probably do a reflective post when this process is over, but for now I’m just so incredibly lucky to have been accepted onto the course- only a very small percentage of women who apply to do this are actually accepted as many fail the various, rigorous health screenings.
At the end of September when I am based in London again for university, I’ll be able to start the process of preparing my body for egg extraction which will be very intense but I know it will be worth it in the end. For the time being I’m taking my folic acid to make sure my body is ready for this process and counting down the days until we start this!
If anyone has any questions about the egg donation process then I’d be more than happy to chat about it!
Have a lovely weekend,