Many times, It has been asked, “If you could share a meal with someone past or present, who would it be?” The answers are typically loved ones who died too soon or a favorite celebrity. For me, it would be very different. I would want to share a meal with my egg donor recipients.
I’ve recently started my fourth round of Egg donation for In vitro fertilization, or IVF. It has me wishing more than ever that I could talk to the women who receive the eggs. Meet them and their family and listen to their stories. Learn where their infertility ride has taken them.
The road she has walked has been a tough one. Taking this step is incredibly brave.
I want to give her a huge hug. Tell her I’ve been praying and thinking about her since I received that call that told me a family is ready to move forward with an IVF cycle. I would tell her that this is not something I decided to do on a whim or some quick cash payout. Women in my life have struggled with infertility, and I decided to help in the only way I could. Every time I do an injection, I envision a positive pregnancy test, the mark of a new journey for the woman who will get the egg. Some days, I wish so badly I could text her and ask how she is doing. I would love to know how her meds are going. Maybe listen as she shares her hopes, fears, and frustrations.
On the day of my retrieval, I was a bundle of nerves for her. My husband holds my hand and prays for her. She will know it’s my retrieval day. I’m sure she’s anxiously waiting to get the call to hear the number of eggs retrieved, the quality level, or that I even actually showed up. I would tell her I don’t stop thinking about her after “my part” is done. I am always with her in spirit during the dreaded “2-week wait.” And I really wish there was a way for me to find out if she is, in fact, now pregnant. Oh, how I wish I could know!
It’s odd to feel such a kinship with someone I will never meet.
I feel like her biggest cheerleader, and I want this to succeed for her and those sweet little eggs I’ve handed over.
I wish I could share the excitement of that positive pregnancy test. Even though I will never meet the little life that came from this, it’s okay. I’ve gotten okay with that part of this. But I think of them often, wondering who they will grow up to be. I’d ask if she and her husband had any arguments over baby names or if she always had the names picked out. I would try to settle her newly pregnant mommy fears and tell her that she is capable of being a mom. And that even though she’s wanted this for so long, it’s okay to feel a little overwhelmed.
But there is a chance that the egg might not take. I wish I could grieve that loss with her and hold her hand through another valley of “not right now.” I would encourage her to let that pain in and mourn what that loss means. I would assure her that it wasn’t her fault; there was nothing she could’ve done differently. This is the part no one wants to talk about, but she needs to talk about it. Talk about it a lot, as much as she needs. This was a baby to her, her baby, and now it is gone. Being sad, angry, frustrated, confused, and heartbroken is okay. She isn’t crazy for feeling the emotions she is.
I would tell her that from the bottom of my heart, I would hope she would keep trying, keep believing, and never lose hope in this dream. There are lots of people cheering for her, people she has never even met.