So, a girlfriend of mine asked me today what it was like to be an egg donor. ‘Musing about the possibility of becoming one herself, I assume. It was a great question! This is what I said:
Short answer? A huge pain in the ass and was totally worth it (the first time).
You make several thousand dollars, but there’s a lot of requirements, including an age requirement.
You have to fill out a big pile of paperwork, and I think write an essay. This is like a college entrance application. They want to be able to show prospective parents this information and say “look! Wouldn’t this be a great biological mother for your child?”
So you have to play up your gifts, intelligence, math skills, health, great hair, whatever. I thought it was sweet that the only picture I had to give them was a baby picture of myself.
(The idea being that you never know who they are, and they never know who you are. Neither party gets the others’ name(s) or adult pictures.)
They will also bring you in for a psych examination, and ask you questions to determine whether you’ll freak out and sue them and try to get the baby for yourself. They also want to know if you are going to sue them if this procedure turns out, in ten years, to make you sterile or something. They are just trying to weed out the crazy people that would put their company at risk. I remember especially the question “If something happened to the parents, would you take care of the baby?”
and my response, which got a big smile, was: “I’d take care of any child that needed it. Whether it was related to me or not is kind of irrelevant.”
Once you’re done with the huge pile of paperwork, then they start looking to match you with prospective parents (the lady into whom your egg(s) will be implanted, and the guy who fertilizes them via test tube)
Once some couple chooses Your application as the One they’ve always wanted, you get a call, and the medical process starts.
There are Dozens of doctor visits to their office, you have blood drawn many times, and after a certain stage, you give yourself injections every day in the thigh or other meaty parts (tiny needles, for the most part). And at the end, for a couple weeks, you are going into their office every day or two to have blood drawn and to get an internal ultrasound (with the wand they stick inside your lady parts, so they can look at your ovaries).
The last stage, they call you and tell you it’s time, and that night before bed you give yourself a honkin big injection (with a big needle) right in the cheek of your ass (you have to have someone else do it for you. No way to reach.)
Then the next morning, you go in for what amounts to surgery. They put you in a hospital gown, lay you on a wheeled bed, put you on an IV (which is good, because you can’t eat or drink anything before the procedure, and you’ll be super thirsty until they do that) then someone injects your IV with something that knocks you out, they wheel you into the operating room, and a doctor with a room full of techs and nurses goes into your womb (the usual way. No incision made.) with a little glass vacuum hose and sucks out the eight or twelve eggs that have just been spurted out by your ovaries.
Then you’re all groggy, and silly, and mildly chafed on your insides (glass vacuum hoses have hard little ends, apparently. I felt pretty scoured.) And someone will have to drive you home. You’ll get a check for several thousand dollars, and possibly a call in a year asking if you’ll come back and do it again. (My prospective parents wanted a brother for their little girl. I wasn’t exactly supposed to know this, but they didn’t care if I knew, so people got a little sloppy with that information. More likely you’ll never know if it was even successful.)
When I was in college, this all seemed interesting and a new experience and was money for spring break extravaganza.
When I got a bit older, I tried it again and found it EXCEEDINGLY annoying and trying. I had a real job by then, and getting up there all the time on short (1 day, sometimes) notice was a pain in the ass. If you’re using the same place I did, it’s right off the Shady Grove exit (8) on 270.
So, you know, up-sides and down-sides.
Let me know if you decide to do it and your guy doesn’t want to be the one to inject you in the butt. I’m happy to help : )