Every time people find this out about me they are very curious and ask lots of questions…so I might as well write the answers down and save myself the talking points for when the subject comes up from now until ever. I will just direct them to this FAQ-esque blog post.
I sold my eggs.
It pays well.
Technically I “donated” them, because by law you are not allowed to sell your own body parts. Therefore, the compensation I received is for “pain and suffering” as opposed to my actual output, but meh…I more-or-less sold my own body parts to pay off my credit cards.
I decided to do it because finances are harrd y’all, and I really hate accruing debt, like REALLY hate it…and I wanted to be done with it.
I read this article (which is also a good FAQ-y article) and thought I might be a good candidate as a tallish, college-educated female with solid bone structuring. Also… I look like a lot of people. Therefore, I look like I could share genes with a lot of people.
I google searched some programs and settled on one in my area (I don’t want to mention it but you can just ask me if you’re that curious), requested an information packet, filled out said information packet (like 20 freakin’ pages worth– about my job, my hobbies, talents, family history, etc), and sent it back in. They asked me in for a consultation, where I filled out even more paperwork.
They determined that I was a reasonable candidate…so onto the extensive medical testing. I had genetic tests, infectious disease tests, fertility tests… tests I would never have had otherwise. This was kind of cool in the respect that they determined I wasn’t a genetic carrier for any birth-defects, nor did I have any STDs and my reproductive system was in excellent health! All of this testing was of course absolutely FREE to me. They also had me talk to a psychiatrist to make sure I wasn’t populating crazytown.
Once I passed the tests, they took my information packet, and two pictures of me (as a child, and current) and put it in… a big binder full of women… for interested couples to peruse.
Then two months passed.
Then I got a call that I had been selected and if I was still interested in donating I should come in for a blood test.
They did a couple more tests just to make sure I was still infection free, which I was, so thus I was to start the injections.
Yes, you have to inject yourself. Daily. Sometimes twice. Sometimes three times.
I’m not terrified of needles or anything, but I was still unsure how I was going to muster sticking them in myself so often. But once I started (and this is totally weird), I got some sick, masochistic pleasure out of it. I would almost look forward to it, in a way. And I was never a cutter, or anything, but there was something fascinating to me about being able to watch.
For the record, the needles were tiny, like EPI-pen style, and you inject yourself in your stomach—not painful at all. I started with Follistim, then they put me on daily doses of Follistim and Menopur (this makes you estrogen levels go way up, and your egg production increase significantly). Then for the last few days they added Gannerelix to the mix, which keeps you from ovulating before they want you to. So yeah, that’s three injections a day– one in the morning, two at night. I did this for 12 days.
Most of those 12 days I also had to report to the hospital in the morning for blood testing and frequently ultrasounds to make sure my body was responding to the medication. Here’s a fun fact…before administering an ultrasound they put a condom on the probe.
Because if you’re going to be having sex with an ultrasound probe, best be safe about it.
On the 13th day I took two trigger shots which makes your body release the eggs, like, exactly 36 hours later. Seriously, there’s a precise science to it.
On the 15th day was the egg retrieval operation. It’s a legit operation. They put you under completely ( I had previously only had anesthesia once in my life when I was 11, and despite the risks, it’s kind of fun).
I’ll spare you the details of the actual procedure.
Whatever, you wake up and it’s over.
The pain is pretty slight and comparable to menstrual cramping, it’s more just very, very uncomfortable. You blow up like a balloon in the abdominal region and stay that way for several days.
Obviously, being the weight-obsessed freak that I am, weight gain was one of my primary concerns when undergoing the procedure and I will say, the day I started the injections I put on 5 or 6 pounds instantaneously, and by the day of the retrieval and the week or so after its up to like 10 or 12. I don’t know exactly, I avoid all scales during this part because I don’t want to have suicidal tendencies.
Throughout the whole process I was just as strict about my eating habits, and sure enough about 10 days later the weight dropped off and I was back to normal… and credit card debt- free!
There, that’s it.
I have many friends who knew about the first cycle but only a couple know that I just did it again. I got selected again and rationalized that since I made mature financial decisions with the payout in the first go-round, I would do it one more time so I could spend the money on something fun and crazy.
I completed the last cycle two days ago and am still walking around with a 10lb food baby that is actually just excessive hormones and fluid. It fucking sucks. I will not do this again unless I get into really dire financial straits.
But on the plus side, I’m going on vacation! Sweden, Finland, Denmark and St. Petersberg Russia! I set a goal for myself this year that I would try to visit two countries that I had never been to, and instead I’m going to four! Obviously, I would not have been able to do this otherwise.
So there, that’s my story.
I understand that ethically this is somewhat controversial. I even think about walking down the street one day and running into a kid that looks like me and always wondering if it shares half of my genetic code. I mean, there could be 15 or more little me’s running around in about 5 years and that’s…well…weird.
The hospital does everything they can to keep everything as anonymous as possible. Everytime I would go in for an appointment I used a pseudonym, and the appointment coordinator makes sure that I was never going to be in the building the same time as the couple that had solicited my donation.
Judge me if you will, but I agree with my friend Avuhduhbuh– it’s a perfect example of a woman’s right to do what she wants with her body. Men, after all, don’t get stigmatized for donating sperm. Nor do they get the big bucks. This is probably one of the few income opportunities where women will always come out the financial winners over men, so fucking there.
But personally, I prefer to think of it philanthropically. I made it more possible for a couple (two couples) to have a child when they otherwise could not.
And frankly, I’m pretty fucking awesome and there should be more me’s populating the Earth.