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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

What to expect when your...donating?!

Does my title make you curious?!  I recently decided that I wanted to share something with you that for a while I thought was really private and, well, not really something I wanted to share with people.  What changed my mind is the amount of people who ask me about it and arent judgemental about it so Im going to take a leap of faith and think you guys are going to be the same.

2 years ago I started donating my eggs to couples who wanted to have kids but otherwise couldnt.  It was actually a hard decision to make because I wasnt sure how I would feel about giving a part of me to some random person I had never met before.  These fertility institutes are smart though, they have you meet with a psychiatrist for your first donation cycle to make sure you are emotionally/mentally ok with the whole process.  I realized that any child that came from the donation wouldnt really be mine, my child is 1/2 me and 1/2 my husband.  I realized that you know what, I may not be ready to have kids but there are some couples out there that want to have a baby so desperately but for some horrible reason cant have a child on their own, but have decided to take on the incredibly difficult journey of invitro.  I have to say the whole process, from being chosen by a couple because I either look like them or have the same blood type or am incredibly smart (ok so that last part is my wishful thinking but I can count it right) was really rewarding and pretty easy on my part (which I will explain in a few).  I havent openly talked about this before because I feel like people will judge me for giving away 1/2 of myself to someone I dont even know.  But the more people who have found out and asked me about it the more I find that people are genuinely interested in the whole process.
(My friend gave me this giant egg cell for Christmas, I though it was cute so its on my desk at work)

On to the whole process so in case you are interested you can know what to expect!  First step is to apply with a credited agency.  Once you apply they will contract you for a few pictures of yourself for potential recipients to see of you.  Most agencies will ask for baby and adult pictures so the recipients can have an idea of how their child will look.  After you get put into their donor book its just a waiting game.  A couple has to choose you for their donor and then you start the fun stuff!  You have to give blood for testing on a full spectrum of dieases and the like, but on your part its just giving blood so dont worry thats not so bad.  Once you go for the first visit you will get your injections that you have to do daily until the nurses tell you to stop.  These injections dont really hurt, they are a little uncomfortable for a few minutes but thats really it.  I had 2 shoots to do each day but everyone is different so if you choose to do this it may not be the same for you.  You do have to have 2-3 doctor visits a week to monitor the growth of your eggs, and this truthfully was the most uncomfortable part because they use that wand thing to measure the eggs.  Once the eggs are large enough you take one more shot at a specific time to have the eggs release from the walls to make it easier for extraction.  Ok so the part you guys are most worried about is the extraction...honestly I have never had any type of surgery done before, I mean I still have my tonsils and wisdom teeth!  The worst part was getting the iv put it, it was pretty painful and scary for me but once that was in I was good to go.  They take you back to the prep room and thank GOD you cant wear your contacts because Im pretty much blind without them and couldnt see all the scary stuff thats in an operating room.  Once you are in the room you lay on the bed thing and then they give you the happy juice.  I never got the same stuff twice but it knocks you out in about 30 seconds.  Next thing you know your significant other is taking you to Chick Fil A to get a breakfast sandwich (because you cant eat or drink anything after midnight) and you are falling in and out of sleep because of the anesthesia.  Stop at the pharmacy to get your pain pills and sleep it off for the rest of the day.  The next day you will be a little uncomfortable (although my other friend couldnt go to work the next day) but I was able to work a 1/2 day of work then go home and rest.  Take it easy for about a week and dont work out until you get your next cycle then you are back to normal!  Not too bad right?!

Some side notes---as the eggs get bigger you will feel super bloated so watch out for that.  I needed my husband to give me the shots because I cant do that to myself so you may need help.  Different agencies do things differently so make sure you feel comfortable with the agency you choose.  Oh and ok probably the best part is the financial aspect.  The agency I went with paid $5000 each time (not taxed, so remember to put away money to pay taxes on that when April 15 comes around) but other agencies are different but keep in mind legally agencies are not allowed to pay more than $10000 per donation.  Individuals may pay more but Im not so sure I would trust an individual over a credited agency.  There is some disagreement on how many times you can donate but I have heard 6-10 with 10 being the complete total max.  The agency I went with only allowed 6 so keep that in mind.

I think I covered about everything I cant think of, but as always if you want to know more please contact me and i would love to talk to you more about it.  I hope I helped some of you make a decision to help some couples out there.  The way I see it, if the couple goes to all this trouble financially and emotionally then I think they can handle a baby and will love it so much, probably more than I am capable of right now.  If this post accomplished anything I hope that it was I opened more people up to the idea of donating to help a couple who desperately wants a baby.

Project Housewife Out!

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