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Friday, May 9, 2014

choosing an egg donor is like online dating

A few people have asked what it's like searching for an egg donor. 
My answer:

it's a little like online dating.

You go to an agency or clinic's website and browse their databases....
searching for someone that you connect with.
Which reminds me a lot of online dating services.

Some websites share more information about their donors than others.
But many of the sites include multiple adult photos. Some include photos of the donor as a child. 
A few sites even include videos of the donors so that you can get a sense of who these women are.

Below is an example of an egg donor profile summary. 
There are 5 other pages to this profile and each page contains the information listed on the left. Family, ob, health, and educational history as well as answers to general questions.




The numbers directly above indicate that this particular donor is a "proven" donor which means that she's cycled before. The results from her previous cycles are shown so that you can see how many eggs were retrieved, fertilized, transferred and frozen in her past cycles. The best indication of future success is past success. Proven donors offer the best odds for a take-home baby over new donors.
 
There are so many things to consider when choosing a donor so it's really important to determine your priorities. Some people look for a donor that looks the most like them. So they zero in on ethnicity, height, weight and hair color....the donor's physical characteristics. Maybe education is super important to your family so your focus might be on the donor's GPA and career aspirations. 
 
For us, we just want our child to be healthy and we want to feel a connection to our donor. 
To get a sense that she is a good person and is donating for altruistic reasons. That if we were ever to meet her, we'd like her.
 
After the initial "attraction" to a donor's photo, I spend most of my time reading the question and 
 answer sections for each donor. 
 
Things like the donor's:
hobbies, interests, talents 
favorite color, book, show, movie, sport
greatest inspiration, life goals, best childhood memory
personality, character and reason for donating
 
 The most important thing we are keeping in the back of our mind is our future child's life story. The special lady that we choose is going to provide one half of the genetics for our baby. She is going to help us grow our family and be a part of our child's story.   
 
That makes choosing the right donor pretty darn important.
 
The more profiles we look at, the pickier we find ourselves becoming. 
There are literally hundreds to choose from - all over the country. I start thinking about dumb things like "if I choose someone who is taller than 5'5 and my husband is 6'1...my child will tower over me (I'm 4'11)...would that be weird?" Things like, "I'd always hoped that my child would get my husband's blue eyes. One way to ensure that would be to pick a light-eyed donor." 
So. Many. Silly. Things.

For now, we are just going to sit tight and keep our options open.
 
I believe that when "the one" comes along...
we will know it.


33 comments:

Cristy said...

Wow, this is a lot like online dating! Very interesting to see what these profiles look like. Thank you for sharing. Wishing you all the best with this process of selecting a donor. May you find the one very soon.

Ashley @ Life on the Parsons Farm said...

We got blessed with having a great connection with Ellie's birthmom and we are still in communication with her. Eventhough she picked us, it's very important to be able to know more of your child's story!

Prayers friend!!

atparsons.blogspot.com

Julia Spencer said...

I think you will know it too. :)

I have an aunt who used an egg donor. When I asked about the donor she chose, she told me she barely remembered the details a few years later. Of course, she had them stored in a safe place, but she said that they just didn't come to her mind anymore.

I've selected two donors now (the first one failed a screening). Although I never thought I would be in the same boat as my aunt, forgetting important stuff about the donor, I somehow have joined her!

I think that after a while all of the things that we focused on (skin tan ability of fair vs. easy), will fade. That once we meet our beautiful little ones that it will be all about them. Or, at least that's been my experience so far.

Good luck in selecting your donor! :)

Aramis said...

I made the same observation about choosing a donor egg fertility clinic (reading about them online, emailing and then talking with the doctors, etc) and it's even truer for choosing a donor! Our donor is anonymous so there was limited information to use for our decision, which in a way is good I think. I would spend WAY too long going through all those profiles to make the perfect choice. Good luck with your decision!

waiting and wishing said...

Thanks for sharing! I've always been curious how people make this very important choice. I completely agree, I think you'll feel connection when you read the right profile. Best of luck to you!

Katie said...

wow. what a process. i can't imagine looking through profile after profile. how hard to pick someone too. i'll be praying you guys get a perfect feel for someone and can have some peace that you picked the right one. think of you oh so often!

Ashley Sanderson said...

Good luck on your search! I know you'll find the perfect egg donor!

Ashley

Laura Rahel said...

Yikes! This would be overwhelming haha. But looking at all of this information and seeing an an example profile is so exciting! It makes me sooooo excited for you guys!

MammaV. said...

Hi, I know it feels very important now to choose the right donor but I can tell you we used donor sperm and once you will be pregnant you will forget all about the donor, it just won't feel as important anymore. When you will hold your baby you will only see some of your husband features. It happened to us and to lots of other couples.
Best of luck with everything!

Infertile625 said...

I love that you are sharing all this. I am sure that your blog will make this easier and less overwhelming for someone else. You are a gem! XOXO

Krystal Sullivan said...

I had read a little bit about donor eggs, but usually it is not a topic people write or speak about. Thank you for sharing this and taking the time to write this post. I am grateful that there are options like this for people who struggle with infertility. I wish you nothing but the best on your journey!

Sabrina Marie said...

I think you are right on about the dating feel. I am a 3x donor and each match felt like meeting of hearts in differing ways. Likewise in the couples I was approached by that I didn't eventually choose/work with. I was also a surrogate.. all these family building matches involve an intimacy and should be taken with great care. Good luck with your journey <3

Charity said...

Aww such a hard choice. I am praying for discernment and wisdom on this journey. God will lead you to the perfect match!

conceptionallychallenged said...

It must be such a momentous decision. I hope you will find The One, and feel good about your choice.
Also, if your child is a boy, having him tower over you wouldn't be so bad ;)

Jessica said...

Sending positive thoughts and prayers your way as you go through this process. Hoping the right one comes your way soon!

Gypsy Mama said...

It's such a different experience choosing a donor, isn't it? I think if I let myself I could have gotten so caught up on it that I never would have made a decision! I had to keep reminding myself that I wasn't trying to choose the "best" donor, but one whose characteristics best matched my husband. Good luck on your decision making process, it's really exciting once you do decide :)

Aubrey said...

I believe you'll know when the right one comes along, too. Thank you for sharing this part in your journey, Jessah. Thinking of you! XO

Sunflower said...

Wow, that is a ton of info!! the clinic I went to only provided donor's baby photos and not a whole lot more - some basic questions on interests etc but not as much as the site you have shown. The health history part was better but I felt of the two donors (egg. sperm) the sperm bank was much more comprehensive. Good luck on your making your choice!

Caroline said...

Two of the ladies in my moms in the making group did donor eggs so I remember them saying how tough it was to make a decision! Trusting the Lord will provide you with the peace and wisdom you need xoxo

futureMom said...

Good luck with your selection process! I have just been through this myself. It is very overwhelming! I had indecision between 3 donors, and I felt like there was so much riding on this decision. It literally made me sick to my stomach. At first it is just fun to look at the profiles, but later I started feeling panicky about making the wrong choice. In the end I have picked one and I can only hope it will work out for the best. Of course if the cycle doesn't work, I will always wonder about those other choices I could have made instead, but that is the same as many other things in life. Life can only be lived forwards and you won't know the outcomes for sure until later, that's how it always is!
It sounds like you have some good priorities in place for choosing a good donor. Good luck!!

shay said...

wow, thats so crazy! who knew there were so many choices! i think that you will know when you know. good luck!

Amie said...

Wow there are so many things I hadn't even thought about it! You are in my thoughts :)

Mrs. Lost said...

Good luck! So many choices. I love that you get to see actual photos of the donors and even videos!

Logan said...

This is SO fascinating! I've always wondered about the details of how this works, and how you decide. It is going to be so hard to choose! I never considered all the factors that might come into play. WOW!

Emily said...

Thanks for the glimpse into online donor egg dating. So interesting to see how the profiles are set up. I don't think you're being silly by caring about eye color and other characteristics, because with everything you've gone through and all that you're paying for the chance to use someone else's eggs, why not? No one would blame you for not wanting a child who will blend in well. I assume it will be easier for the child to blend in with you both as much as possible, so it's really in their interest too. I hope you're becoming a little excited at the thought of your miracle baby as you are looking at all the profiles!

Ashley said...

Very similar to my thinking process when choosing frozen embryos (except we didn't get pictures).

Lisa Mace said...

Thank you! I am looking at donors soon...but we are doing embryo donation! I am nervous...and I haven't opened up about it much yet. Good luck! I am rooting for you!

RunCC37 said...

Oh, I'm so excited that I just found your blog (and slightly embarrassed to say that it took this long!!!). We are currently researching this avenue as well, and I find myself completely overwhelmed with all of the choices to be made with the donor egg route. It sounds like you're on a good path, and hope that my heart can get on board soon so that I can be right behind you.

Whitney B. said...

I've always wondered how this works. I'm very excited for this process to begin for y'all, be as picky as you want sweetie!!

Darcie K said...

Wow. It is like online dating! How crazy. I also think that it's amazing that there are such services and technologies to make this all possible.

Thank you so much for sharing your journey, Jessah. Your posts are so informative.

I wish you and hubs all the best as you navigate through the donor world. And, I hope and pray that you find "the one". xoxoxox

Kim said...

Exciting and intimidating at the same time. I wanted to leave my two cents here in your decision making. You know how couples end up looking a lot like each other as they grow old together? Well I found that same phenomenon happening in my family. My stepdaughter D has been part of my family since she was 1.5 years old. When she was around 12 years old, people started talking about how much she looked like me. L and I had 5 kids together, and the first is right below D in birth order. Most people who know our family, and know that they are not all "mine" assume that D is the beginning of "mine". I know that people look for parents in children's faces, and if you look hard enough you'll see something that looks similar. But she really does appear to take after me. We have similar hair type and color, our faces are shaped the same, our height similar, body shape, skin type, the list goes on. She looks more like me than some of my biological kids do. She's 23 yrs now and looks more like me than ever before. The other two step kids blend right in because all the kids look similar and people see me in some of them. Comments are made about how they all have this or that in common with me. So in short, you may find your child looking a lot like you as they grow up. He or she will be growing old with you after all. Love sure does a lot of cool things. So I agree with finding someone you connect with. Sure pick a similar height, skin type, hair and eye color. Maybe they'll pick up some of your characteristics, maybe not. But in the end, everyone will think they are yours because they'll see how much you love and care for each other.

Lisamarie said...

Good luck, friend. That is a tough decision but you will find a good match for yourself soon enough.

Janna Renee said...

I thought about donating eggs when I was younger (the money is very enticing). Good luck finding the perfect one!

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