December 9, 2016
Joy for Wessex Fertility Egg Donor
Vicky, from Southampton, has donated her eggs 8 times and is overwhelmed when her recipients become pregnant.
Egg donation is such an amazing gift for someone who might not otherwise be able to have a baby. Many donors at Wessex Fertility choose to donate several times, but for Vicky* the feeling of joy when she hears that her recipients have achieved a pregnancy is so great that she wants to donate enough times to make the maximum 10 family limit set by the HFEA. She tells us about her donation journey.
Vicky first considered egg donation when she was flicking through the TV and saw a clip of someone talking about egg donation and that recipients are waiting 2-3 years for a donor and how she felt so sad that people had to wait this huge length of time. “My family was complete, my husband and I knew that we didn’t want any more children but I felt I wanted to give that amazing gift to others.” Vicky contacted the HFEA (Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority) to get more information and discovered Wessex Fertility clinic in Southampton. “My husband wasn’t sure about me donating at first,” explained Vicky, “so we got all the information and he came along to the appointments and he felt a lot better about the process once he was clear of what was involved. When I had my initial tests I was really nervous,” remembers Vicky, “I’m really scared of needles and didn’t know what to expect with the treatment but I just wanted it to work out for the recipients.”
I told them that some people don’t have eggs so mummy is going to give her eggs to them. When it gets near egg collection time each donation my daughter pats my belly and says “are you looking after the eggies mummy?Vicky
Vicky and her husband, Chris, were open with their children from the beginning. Vicky explains that although they were too young to understand at first they wanted it to be part of their lives growing up.
“I told them that some people don’t have eggs so mummy is going to give her eggs to them. When it gets near egg collection time each donation my daughter pats my belly and says “are you looking after the eggies mummy?”
Vicky remembers back to her first donation, several years ago. “I had a few side effects from the drugs during my first cycle, I think my body has got used to it now! It really wasn’t a difficult process to go through and I had quite a few eggs collected. Everyone at Wessex Fertility made me feel special and at ease at every donation. I am always treated as an individual and never just a number.” Vicky kept in contact with Shelley, Wessex Fertility’s Egg Donor Co-ordinator, and was delighted to hear that her recipient had become pregnant, she then sent them a congratulations card, anonymously through the clinic. It was this feeling which made her want to donate again and again.
Although donors are paid £750 expenses for every donation cycle, Vicky’s motivations are clear, “the recipient parents are so strong,” explains Vicky, “I don’t know whether I could go through what they have. I feel honoured that they let me be a part of their journey. I didn’t actually know about the expenses compensation on my first cycle and I really don’t do it for the money. I just get such a sense of overwhelming joy thinking that I have helped to create a family.”
Each time I would say “this is my last time”, then I would get a thank you and it’s so overwhelming! Now I want to achieve the 10 family limit whilst I am still young enough to donate. Being an egg donor has made me a better parent – I am so lucky to have my children and it really makes me appreciate what I have got.Vicky
In the UK egg donors are kept anonymous from their recipients at the time of donation and donors are often matched based on hair colour, eye colour, blood type and build. When a donor conceived child is 18 they can find out identifiable details about their donor which can allow them to track down their genetic parent. Vicky explains that she is excited at the prospect of a potential child contacting her and looks forward to meeting them and their parents. “I keep a scrap book detailing my donations and when the resulting babies are born, whether they are boys or girls, so that I’ll be prepared if they knock on my door in the future. They can see that I have taken it all very seriously. People often say to me doesn’t it bother you that your children are out there and you don’t know them and I explain it that if your neighbour asks you for an egg to bake a cake you can’t then claim that cake is yours. Their parents, who were so desperate to have them, have raised them for 18 years, so they are the real parents. I’m just pleased to be a small part of something so amazing.”
Vicky is always open about her donations in the hope that it encourages others to donate, “I found it quite daunting when I first considered donation, there was no information out there, that’s why I wanted to share my story for others,” explains Vicky. Wessex Fertility have seen an increase in egg donors in recent years and have now managed to get the recipients’ waiting time down to roughly 6 months which is a huge improvement.
Vicky is now about to start her 9th cycle of donation.
*Names have been changed to protect anonymity
For more information on donating eggs, please see our egg donation page.