of the biggest obstacles I have had while going through an egg donation program in
another state was having to chose my donor. I thought it would be fun looking through a database of profiles and pictures of donors. The clinic I go
to here in Minnesota choses the donor for you. I may be provided baby pictures
of the donor, but let’s face it: a baby is a baby is a baby. So I thought I
would prefer to pick out the donor myself, which is what the clinic in Texas
does, where we will be heading for an embryo transfer in October. I thought I
would like it better knowing what the donor looked like, that I had a hand in
choosing who I wanted my child to resemble.
being privy to the choosing process is not a good thing. For starters, the
moment I filtered through the list to narrow the donor pictures down, I took
one look at them and burst into tears.
of them look like me!" I wailed to my husband, who was initially doing his
best on the couch next to me to discreetly look away from the computer screen
to give me some privacy. "How am I supposed to chose a donor? None of them
look like me!"
offered to help, to sort through them with me to help me narrow it
he said, pointing to an attractive blonde in a tank top, "What about her?
She has blonde hair, too."
snatched the computer away, hissing through gritted teeth, "You just think she's hot!"
minutes later, after wrenching the laptop back from me and sputtering that that's
not why he liked that donor, we tried to look through the donor profiles
together, studying cheekbone structure and eye color. However, it slowly dawned
on me that this was going to be something I would have to do on my own. What is
it about your husband looking at pictures of the woman whose eggs he’ll be
fertilizing in two months that makes you want to sucker-punch him?
was probably a good idea to go at this alone, and at least narrow it down to a few donors. I saved six or seven of my favorites, and then wrote
down brief profiles in my own words in a notebook. Things like, "Has my
smile" or "Mother has diabetes" or "Has four kids!!!
What is it about your husband looking at pictures of the woman whose eggs he’ll be fertilizing in two months that makes you want to sucker-punch him?
then two weeks passed. I made a ton of phone calls, discovered my clinic
here has a satellite monitoring coordinator who will send my test results to
Texas, got a baseline ultrasound and did some blood work (with enough blood
given to get a vampire to clap his hands and squeal.)
I sighed, "I got so much done. Things are getting set to go." Then
I remembered I had yet to pick a donor. And not having a donor would cause this
whole thing to be moot. So it was back to the database, back to staring at the
faces of the women whose eggs I will take over and allow to be joined with my
stared. I took some notes. I checked Facebook. I eliminated one because her
smile was too gummy and I don't show that much upper gum when I smile. I poured
some wine. I checked Facebook again. I added a new donor to my list of
favorites because I liked her sexy green eyes. (I don’t have green eyes.)
I gave up and enlisted the help of a close friend, another blogger who had gone
through a similar experience. Working over the phone, in screenshots and text
messages, this girl helped me do something I didn't think I could do: We got it
narrowed down to three donors.
donor 1234 looks the most like you, and then 3456 is a close second," she
concluded. There was a pause, "But 6789 has dark brown hair and really
dark features, almost Hispanic-looking. Why did you choose her?"
muttered something about her being pretty and being jealous of her olive skin,
and quickly hit the "Delete from favorites” button.
was down to two women and after an email to the donor coordinator, I learned my
second favorite only had eggs for a fresh cycle, not for the frozen egg bank,
and my favorite one had just donated to the egg bank — her eggs were waiting. I
showed my husband and he thought the donor looked pretty similar to me.
just like that, the request was placed, the $12,210 was put on a credit card,
and there are now eight eggs saved for me. My husband and I (and life-saving
friend) are the only ones who know what the donor look like, what her history
is. It's empowering. So much of this process is out of my control, and I feel
completely helpless on an almost daily basis. Keeping the donor private helps
make this process easier; that even though I am using another women's eggs, I
can be at ease knowing that this future child can't be judged by anyone. No one
will look at this child and think, "Oh that's right! The donor kind of had
that same nose!"
seem to be finally coming together and I feel relieved that the hardest part of
this process has been done. I’m feeling good about this upcoming cycle. I think
this time, we may actually have a shot.