29th January 2021
My egg donation journey began in the summer of 2020, initially I was unsure if I would even be able to donate due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The donation team at CRGH were very quick to respond to my initial query and booked me in for a telephone consultation with one of the doctors.
Everything was explained to me in great detail but in terms that I could easily understand so I knew before I had even stepped foot in the clinic exactly what would be happening at every stage in the process and the estimated time line of my donation.
The team were very good at keeping the lines of communication open and responded quickly to any questions I had and were always at the other end of an e-mail.
I had a telephone appointment with a counsellor and we talked about the outcome of the donation, be it a successful birth or not, and how I was feeling about every scenario. I was frustrated at this point that it was taking so long to get into the clinic and start the treatment but I understood that there were legalities and paperwork to be considered. Not to mention my own body, as the process can only start when a period arrives. Like all good plans, what can go wrong will and my period (usually like clockwork) arrived 2 weeks early and I had no time to donate at that point so the waiting game remained.
The donation team were understanding and patient, so when my next period finally arrived it was very exciting for me. I contacted the team and had a scan and blood test booked in the very next day.
Internal scans sound incredibly daunting but they are an inconvenience at worst. For me it was just “part of the job” and the staff were incredibly sensitive to my modesty at all times, so nobody actually saw my lady parts. The probe looks terrifying but is covered in plenty of lubrication so it is painless. Everything they were doing was explained at each step and the scan lasted just a few minutes.
Blood tests are just as they can be expected, although I found them to be some of the least uncomfortable I have ever had so I praise the nurses for being gentle!
Everything sped up at that point, I had gone from twiddling my thumbs and waiting for 2 months to on a very intense course of scans, blood tests and medication for the following 10 days.
I was horrified with the idea of self-injecting the medication twice daily (twice daily!) how could I ever do that? Well it was a lot easier than your brain makes out. The nurse went through the process in detail and sent me on my way with the thinnest needles I had ever seen. At my first injection I was terrified but I thought of the reason I was going through this and it gave me courage. It turned out it was easy and virtually painless, the needle went into the fat of my belly and that was that.Thankfully I was given a print-out detailing my medication, the doses to take and the time to administer them – the process is very time critical so there were lots of alarms set on my phone to keep track of what to take and when!
I also had the journey to Great Portland Street every other day to have scans to check on my egg development and also blood tests. It was very interesting to hear how things developed so fast and I felt like I was on a rollercoaster!
It was a relief to reach the final injection – the trigger for the retrieval. It was the most important one and everything balanced on taking the right dose at the right time (11pm on a Friday night of all times!) But I managed it and made it to the egg collection on Sunday morning. I have never had a procedure like it done before and I should have been nervous but I honesty wasn’t. Everyone I had met up to that point had been so amazingly kind, patient and honest that I knew I was in incredibly good hands for the procedure. I was right, the nurse was very gentle in inserting the cannula and took what was left of my blood! The whole procedure was explained to me beforehand and also what would happen in recovery.
I was given heavy sedation for the procedure and was only asleep for about 20minutes. The best part was the cup of tea and biscuits I had immediately after – I had been fasting for over 12 hours and was absolutely ravenous! Within half an hour of waking up, I was ready to go home (accompanied by somebody) and I felt amazing. Well, I was hungry, groggy and had a bit of a belly ache but it was nothing to write home about. I felt absolutely amazing knowing the gift I had just given somebody.
After a day of eating chocolate (I deserved it!) and a good night’s sleep, I felt totally back to normal. I had forgotten all about the daily injections and the 6 blood tests I’d had in 10 days – I was keen to get the process started again.
My body needs to recover for a month or 2 but I am itching to go through the process again. The feeling it gave me is almost indescribable and the staff at CRGH are just some of the best people I’ve ever met and had care for me. Their kindness and professionalism is just part of the reason I’m going to donate again!