My mom left such a wonderful comment on my blog over the weekend. It was in reply to my Going Donor post.

I shared with Sian the agonies of ‘there will never be a little me.’ The reason we we made more comfortable was that the picture on the donor site was identical to a picture of her at 15 months. It really helped to have that visual. It is still in my diary as a symbol of hope for the future fet. It is all in God’s hands. X x

The comment got me thinking about the process of choosing a donor and how personal it is. I have had two donor cycles and in each cycle I choose my donor in a different way.

The first cycle was organised  by my clinic. I remember getting a call from my clinic out of the blue a year after I had my second failed IVF. The time spent waiting for a donor was both peaceful and painful. Peaceful because it gave me the time to come to terms with using donor eggs and painful because it gave me the time to come to terms with using donor eggs. And no that is not a typo! The conversation went a bit like this.

Nurse: Hi Sian, we’ve found you a donor

Me: Great, tell me about her.

Nurse: Well she is about your height and has blonde hair and green eyes. Apparently she is very intelligent. ( I think there was also something about her being Jewish in there)

Me: OK, I’ll discuss it with my husband and get back to you.

(For the purposes of this blog posting I have taken out the other ‘stuff” we chatted about like syncing cycles etc.)

I discussed it with hubby, he was happy and we went ahead. Little did we know that this would NOT be our donor. There is a 1% chance that trigger will cause you to ovulate and loose most of your precious egg harvest, my donor was in the 1%. We got the call from the nurse and accepted that this was not our time………30 mins later we got a call from Dr J himself.  It went a little bit like this.

Dr J: Hello Mrs S, how are you?

Me: Well a bit sad, but ok.

Dr J: I know you are disappointed, but another opportunity has just come up. I have a patient going into theater in the next 30mins that wants to donate her eggs. Are you interested?

Me: Well what does she look like?

Dr J: Her hair is a bit darker than yours, but she is about the same height.

Me: OK I’ll ask my husband and phone you back.

And that’s how we chose our second donor. Sadly NONE of the stupid eggs fertilized. Donor cycle one…..over!

So we stayed on my clinics recipient list. We got another call in Dec 2007, but unfortunately we did not have the money to do the cycle.

By the time we got to our second donor IVF things had changed a bit. Our clinic had stopped looking for donor’s and had begun using donor agencies. I was quite pissed of about this at first because it added MASSIVE extra expenses on to the cycle. R20 000 to be exact! R15 000 for the agency and R5000 for the donor. But, what can you do? It’s this or nothing!

We had a choice between two different agencies and finally settled on the one because they had pictures of the donors as well as a profile. I was drawn to this idea because it made me feel more involved. My previous involvement  in choosing a donor was limited and this whole picture thing really sold me. I managed to find a donor who was not only very close to me in physical attributes, but also in personality. My co-ordinater at the clinic actually commented on it during our cycle. Which made me feel good.

Now you may think to yourself, it’s just a picture, but to me it’s so much more.Firstly it helps you to feel connected. A donor IVF makes you feel so disconnected. After doing your own IVF cycle and being involved in the scans, the injections and ER it is quite frustrating to have to sit around and wait for information. I don’t necessarily think that  that you need to have a picture to feel connected, but I do feel that your agency needs to help you feel connected with your donor. For me, the picture helped.  While your donor is going through stimms and you are waiting patiently you can think of her with some kind of image in mind. There was definitely  a huge difference in the connection and the involvement that I felt with DE IVF ONE and DE IVF TWO.

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