Sunday, February 13, 2011

Feeling a little scrambled

Reality is setting in a bit after committing to visit the clinic for the first time. I must admit, I'm a little nervous. One of the biggest concerns I have is how this experience may affect me beyond the month-long donation period. First, OHSS (Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome) scares the crap out of me. OHSS is a complication caused by taking stimulatory fertility medications, which I will be stabbing into my stomach and thighs daily. Fun. Basically what happens is that your ovaries get stressed out, swell, and accumulate fluid. What does this mean for me? Lots of pain, sweat pants, and salt infused Gatorade. Gaining 10 lbs in 3 days is possible?! Yes, if you have OHSS. I trust that the clinic has enough experience with women who deal with cases of OHSS, and that if it does unfortunately happen I will be taken care of.

I can't help but think about the potential recipient when I consider my own risks. Sure, OHSS is definitely not an enjoyable experience... but does it really compare to the pain an infertile woman experiences? I think not. I can't really grasp how it must feel for a woman to be told that she can't have a child that is biologically her own. I would be beyond devastated. Being told that I can personally help a woman overcome this pain is what drives me to want to donate.

Another concern that has been brought to my attention is the potential to feel a loss for "giving away" my biological child. My response to this - I am NOT this child's mother, so how could I feel a loss? Truthfully, I will definitely be curious to know what became of my eggs. Reality is, I will probably never know. After all, the clinic won't disclose to me if a child was successfully conceived or born. We all have mysteries in life, and this is one I can live with. I have enough joy in my life, and being able to share that joy is fulfilling in itself. I don't need to know the details of what that hypothetical child came to be. I have faith that I gave them the potential to be great for enabling them to exist, and that's all I'll ever know with complete certainty.

Finally, I am considering the morality behind egg donation. Before my retrieval procedure, I'll have to sign a waiver stating that once the clinic takes possession of my eggs they become their property. Not all of my eggs will ultimately be fertilized, and not all of the embryos that are fertilized will be physically implanted into the recipient. So... what becomes of the lonely, unused eggs? Most likely they will be discarded or used for research. Does every viable life have the right to live? Absolutely. Everything has purpose in life, and I am comfortable knowing that if my eggs purpose was to live a short life, yet contribute to the development of potentially life changing research, I am willing to bear the weight of that sacrifice. Obviously, egg donation is becoming a little more challenging than I thought...

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