Even at an early age, Sarah’s perspective on family was a progressive one. Like many modern families, she had a biological father, but wasn’t raised by him. She considered family to be those closest to her, regardless of biological connection.
That belief came into play when she got a job at Reproductive Science Center in 2004. There, she worked with many couples who wanted to build a family, but struggled with infertility.
Sarah* saw firsthand how much many of these families went through while battling infertility. She learned that many of these women could not produce viable eggs of their own, and needed an egg donor to have a baby.
“Seeing how many couples are affected by infertility truly opened my eyes. I saw what they were going through, and my heart ached for them,” she says.
Inspired by the ability to change couples’ lives, she considered donating her eggs and discussed the idea with family and friends. To her surprise, she learned her mother had also considered becoming an egg donor in the past. After discussing egg donation in detail with her husband, she received his blessing. Her decision was set.
At the age of 22, Sarah underwent screening and was quickly approved as an egg donor. Within three months, a family selected her and she began the egg donation process. Sarah was now faced with a new challenge – overcoming her fear of needles. Fertility medication is administered through a small daily injection for 10-13 days in order to stimulate ovaries and prepare the body for egg retrieval. Luckily, her husband stepped in and helped Sarah with her injections. After attending ultrasound appointments and monitoring for less than two weeks, her retrieval day arrived.
Sarah says the donation process was simple and any discomfort was minimal when compared to the pride she felt in helping others. With the exception of occasional hot flashes and feeling sluggish and bloated after the retrieval, she had no complaints.
The couple who received Sarah’s anonymous donation was ecstatic with the results. Not only was the cycle successful, more than 30 eggs were collected during retrieval. Months later, Sarah received a letter and picture of a happy baby through the egg donation agency. Her gift had created a new family. She was deeply touched by the thank you letter she was sent, and inspired further.
“If this is my gift to give, I want to help,” says Sarah. “There are so many couples who want to have children. They will be amazing parents and their child would be raised in a loving home, but they need help to achieve their dream.”
Over the next two years, Sarah continued to donate her eggs. It felt good to help, and know that she was making a difference in the lives of others. Sarah completed six donor cycles, and has been a direct part of starting five new families. Investing in their future, Sarah and her husband used the additional income to buy a home and have a special place to grow a family of their own.
Sarah is now the mother of three-year-old fraternal twins and a four-month-old baby, so she knows how precious children are. She also found out that infertility issues can happen to anyone. After experiencing ovulation issues, Sarah took Clomid and underwent ovulation monitoring in order to become pregnant.
Incredibly grateful for her family, Sarah is now able to understand her gift in ways she did not before.
“Children are miracles everyone should have. If you are comfortable with becoming an egg donor, there is no greater gift to give,” she says.
She encourages other women to donate and help others, and feel empowered by their gift in the process. The mother of two young daughters, Sarah has often pondered whether they will want to donate in the future. Many of her friends have asked, would she support their decision to donate? Without hesitation, she confidently advises her answer.
*real name not provided for donor anonymity