What's your favorite movie? What's your favorite book? Can you send some baby pictures?
These were some of the questions I had to answer in order to donate eggs through the Pacific Fertility Center in San Francisco. As a 25-year-old studying to be a physician's assistant and the niece of a woman who couldn't have her own children, I had long been open to the idea of sharing my eggs.
Then came my favorite, and most thoughtful, question: How do you deal with conflict? I answered something like: I'll confront whatever problem I have, compromise is huge, and peace is more important than my pride. I didn't mind answering these personal questions. I thought it was cool, that families wanted to really get to know me.
A few months later, the call came. A couple chose me to donate eggs. They requested to meet me. Egg donors do not have to meet future parents, but I was open to it.
I remember walking in to meet them. My heart was beating so fast. I was super excited and nervous. So were they.
What stood out to them? And why did they pick me? It was my answer on how I deal with conflict. One of them said, "That's totally my personality." It was a defining moment for me. His partner was in the medical field so we connected on that level.
Meeting them made me cry. They told me: "You have no idea what you're doing for us."
And that feeling certainly helped explain to some of my more naysaying friends why I was doing this. They told me I was crazy. They asked me how I would feel having my biological offspring walking the Earth. I don't think it's a big deal. It would be harder, most likely, if I was carrying a baby for someone, instead of simply giving them my extra eggs. I quipped: "I think it would make the world a better place."
It's not as if I had no worries. Would I become infertile myself? (I did the research and felt it would be unlikely.) Would the retrieval be painful? (I had some mild cramping but that was it.) And it's not as if there were no downsides. Donors inject themselves with hormones a couple of weeks before the egg extraction, and my stomach got bloated. But the actual procedure took 30 minutes and I was only "out of commission" for one day.
Plus, any concern I had was answered by the doctors at Pacific Fertility Center. They were all so simply amazing about making me feel comfortable about doing something that's out of the ordinary.
And there's also the compensation. I received $10,000 which I am putting toward my student loans.
For now, I'm just wishing the best for the couple. Meeting them changed everything for me. It was then that I really realized what you can do for someone who can't otherwise have a child. —By Jennie (pseudonym to protect the egg donor's identity)