March 5, 2011

My Story As An Egg Donor*

Growing up, children were the FARTHEST thing from my mind. In fact, prior to meeting my husband, I was dead set on never wanting children. I felt like I wouldn't be a good mother & that I was too selfish of a person to raise somebody that would be so dependent on me.

I was never one of those people that had the motherly calling. I just didn't think that kids were for me. Plain & simple.

Obviously, that has all changed now, otherwise I wouldn't be going through whole infertility journey. Meeting my now husband changed my plan. As I got to know him, I thought to myself ok -- I am totally in love with this man. And I could totally see myself having children with him. Sure. Maybe someday we will give it a try!

Before I met my husband, though, I had a chance to do something great for a member of my family. My second year of Graduate School, I received an email from my Aunt. Her & I had always been close growing up and I had always cherished our fun relationship. She had recently gotten married, and was unfortunately struggling to conceive.

She asked me if I would consider being an egg donor for her and her new husband.

She went onto explain to me that this was inevitably their last chance, and that their doctor had recommended using a donor, preferably a family member. Using a family member would be easier, as you already knew their medical history and everything about them. They explained to me that if I said no, they would understand, but I was the only person that they were asking.

My heart, and my head, screamed a thousand times YES without even thinking about it.

This was a decision that I knew I didn't need to bother thinking about. I loved my Aunt, and I loved her husband. I had an opportunity to do something truly amazing for somebody else. To give a gift like this didn't require any thought or questioning on my part. I wanted to do it.

I was living in Colorado at the time, and they were in Seattle, so I did everything remotely. We found a clinic where I could go for all the tests I needed, all the drugs I would be on, and the injections that I would need to take. Looking back now, and knowing what I know now about infertility, I was essentially prepping my body for IVF. Except all I knew was that a couple of times a day I had to give myself some shots and take some medication.

I flew back to Seattle for a week, during which time they would do the retrieval. I went in daily for ultrasounds so that they could monitor my progress and figure out the best day in which to do the procedure. When it finally happened, they retrieved 24 eggs. TWENTY FOUR. At the time, I had no idea what this meant. 18 of those little suckers made it through the whole fertilization process and were good to go.

And some months later, my Aunt gave birth to two BEAUTIFUL twin girls!

The girls are now 5 years old, and growing every day. I'm definitely not one of those people who think "they are mine" ... because they aren't. But I helped, and that makes me feel good! And they are AMAZING little girls. My Aunt and her husband have done so well as raising them, and they are going to be great individuals.

Obviously, going through what we are going through now, it's hard not to think of that time six years ago -- before I knew my husband, before I knew what I wanted -- and not think, what if that was my only chance? Obviously, I have zero regret about the choice that I made. NONE. And if we find ourselves not being able to have children of our own down the road, then at least I know that I did one thing right.

I don't talk about this subject very much, either. It's something that I keep pretty guarded, and unless you are a great friend of mine, it doesn't come up. I'm not even sure if all of my extended family on that side know about this. I THINK they do, but I don't remember who they decided to tell & not to tell. Either way, it's never my news to bring up! And in my close circles, it's sort of a weird topic.

But with all the great contacts I've made through this blog & twitter, I wanted to share. Again, though I'm still so new to this whole process, I can't help but think how things have come full circle for me. It's kind of funny, actually, that I'm in [close to] the same position she was in all those years ago. I never in a million years thought I would be here. None of us do, I imagine. But it is what it is, and I am who I am. But the questions still come up from time to time, & I can't help but wonder. Again, no regrets, and if that's all I can contribute to this world, then I'm OK with that.


Stevie said...

Holy crap, Brittany! I had no idea. What an amazingly generous, wonderful thing to do. You were an egg machine, girl! That's such an awesome gift. It'll be interesting, when you have your own kiddos (because you WILL), to see if they resemble your little cousins.

Thanks so much for sharing.

Brittany said...

HA I know right?? Little did I know that my ovaries were happy little Easter Baskets :)

One of the girls looks pretty much identical to when I was younger. It's crazy! The other one looks just like her daddy.

Thanks for the comment :)

Lauren said...

Such a generous and selfless thing you did for your family. The world needs more people like you. You are amazing!

Brittany said...

Thanks lady :)

Tsoniki Crazy Bull said...

That is awesome. :)

Antigone said...

Britt- I was and still am proud and impressed with your choice to help your aunt. And your right- they are adorable little girls :) Love ya!

AL said...

That is awesome! Such a generous and lovely thing to do. Good things are coming for you!

Mowenackie said...

Wow, what an amazing thing to do. Good luck on your own journey. I'm in a similar spot: I was never the "I want kids!" type, but am now hoping against hope that my husband and I can have them.