“You guys obviously care a lot”

“My husband and I had a look at your website as soon as our registration came through, and it was a bit daunting thinking about who to chose, so we will take it step by step.

The questions and answers you had posted up there are brilliant. It put into words all the confusing and conflicting fears and feelings and was very reassuring. Thanks – you guys obviously care ALOT!”

On egg donation number five

Candace Whitehead is one of our donor angels, and we have loved working with her, and reading her blog posts about her donation. This post is taken from her her blog Down the Rabbit Hole (she’s a great blogger to follow!)

Right, so the past week has been insane on so many levels… The Oscar Pistorius story has kinda taken up a lot of emotional and mental energy (and it didn’t help that the increased traffic tanked our site for two days). But finally I get to sit down and do a bit of a catch-up on my egg donation.

As I mentioned, this donation was different – it was at a local hospital instead of the Clinic that I’ve done the previous four at. This meant a lot of things, but mostly a new team and a slightly different way of doing things. Mostly, it meant a lot more waiting than usual. After one of my scans, where I lay in the examination room in a robe for about 10 minutes before the doctor arrived, I decided to bring my Kindle to do some reading while I waited.

But otherwise, things went smoothly – bar one hilarious (okay, not really) incident where, while trying to remove an air bubble from my Lucrin shot (read more about Lucrin here), I forced the plunger down too hard and squirted about 2 units of the precious mixture out and across my bedroom. At 9pm.

I would have loved to have seen my face.

No harm done, though – the nurse in charge of my cycle let me come in for a 2 unit top-up – though I did feel terribly, terribly guilty because I felt as though I’d put everyone out.

Anyway, then it was go time. I was scheduled to check in for 7am and the wonderful X picked me up at the crack of dawn (both of us still yawning our heads off) and dropped me off.

And for the first time, I managed to snap a pic of my snazzy hospital arm band. Look at me go:

Then I was led to the day ward – oh, I wish I’d thought to take photos of it, it was such a wonderful, vintage institutional feeling place, very 1970s with the cream walls, though they did have a super cozy bedspread! – and was given a theatre gown and a robe to put on while I waited. It was very quiet – just me in the ward for the most part – and I didn’t bring anything to read, so I memorised the anaesthesia pamphlet that had been left on the bedside table instead.

Then, the anaesthetist popped by to ask me the usual questions (allergic to anything/have you had a reaction to anaesthesia before/when was your last operation/are you feeling well etc etc) and check my chest and heartrate, before I was called up to walk down the hall to where the little operating area had been set up. I was just about to go in when I met the doctor that was to perform my retrieval – not the doctor who performed my scans, oddly, but I was happy to go with it. The anaesthetist was absolutely wonderful about making me feel happy and relaxed, talking to me and teasing me a little and making sure I felt safe and comfortable. Then he warned me that “If I started feeling funny, it was just him” and I remember thinking that I felt absolutely fine – then I woke up in recovery.

I had a wonderful nurse taking care of me – though in my semi-unconscious state I managed to completely forget her name – who made sure I was well-equipped with a hot water bottle, a pot of tea and a mildly awful toasted cheese and tomato sandwich. And then the best surprise of all – my donor liaison popped round to hang out while I was recovering! In my stoned state I may have been a bit random and possibly quite annoying, but it was great chatting to her and getting a bit more of a “behind-the-scenes” look at the donation agency (who have just opened a branch in London, and it’s really interesting how differently they do things there!)

And she came bearing a gift – a charm that I am already wearing, though I will need to get a stronger chain for…

Anyway, they managed to get a pretty decent haul for my recipient – which I was quite happy with, because I was on a slightly lower protocol of the follicle stimulants than I usually am – and I should hopefully find out in the next few weeks whether or not the pregnancy was successful. Keeping fingers and toes crossed!

And so this is either my last or second-to-last donation. Either way, I’m a little sad at the thought of my journey with Nurture ending – I can’t begin to tell you how this experience has changed my life, in so many ways.

The fact that I’ve (so far) helped two women become mothers has been something that I wish I had the words for. It’s an incredible feeling, knowing that you have changed somebody’s life – undeniably.

As always, if you’re looking to donate – or if you want to become a recipient – visit the amazing (seriously, they’re amazing) women at Nurture. And feel free to either visit my previous FAQ post or ask any questions that you may have here – I’m more than happy to help answer them to the best of my ability.

“An amazing experience”

“My donation was an amazing experience and I am so glad that I did it through Nurture. You guys were wonderful!”

A letter from a recipient to her donor

Dear Donor

I am so grateful to have been matched with you. You are special and unique, and God created you with a purpose. That purpose is to fill the emptiness and loneliness of the childless woman who is desperate and feels like a failure in life.

Being infertile is the most cruel and stressful experience. It eats you alive day and night.

I wish I could find more words to say thank you. I wish you good health and success in life. God bless you and your family.

Love your recipient

“Thank you for letting me give back and help”

I just wanted to extend my thanks for the opportunity to donate.

Firstly to Melany and the Nurture team for providing opportunities where one (me) can give back and help someone.

Lastly and most importantly to Dr Heylen, for ALWAYS taking good care of me. I have just finished my donation and I feel good.

I hope all my eggs were of good quality and that the final step is a huge success!

Nurture in the news: Real life story in Rapport newspaper

“Keep doing the awesome things you do”

“Melany, you’ve been a star. It’s been really comforting just knowing that you are there. Thank you so much for everything you’ve done for me. You are like a real close friend.

And oh, I wore my gift from my recipient today, it is so beautiful, I love it:) Please thank them for me.

Once again Melany, thank you. Keep being awesome and keep doing the awesome things you do.

I hope to be working with you again soon”

Sperm or egg donors to same-sex couples in the US could be liable to pay child support

Questions on whether or not sperm or egg donors could be liable to pay child support have been raised since a US judge ruled that a man must pay child support for the child of a lesbian couple who he donated sperm to, after they split up.

A Kansas judge recently ordered William Marotta, a sperm donor to a lesbian couple, to pay child support after they split up, raising questions of how the law protects sperm donors, reports Yahoo.

Mr Marotta and the couple he donated to did not use official channels, and instead met up using the website Craigslist, and they wrote up their own agreement.

Because the US state of Kansas did not have a legal way for same-sex couples to marry, when the couple split up, the Kansas Department of Children and Families sought out the biological father of the child for child support.

The department said that laws protecting sperm donors only if they follow state laws, such as using a registered doctor, and filling in the appropriate forms, which would normally exempt sperm donors from owing child support.

Laws in the state of New Jersey are similar to those in Kansas, said Bari Weinberger, a leading family law attorney, and managing partner of Weinberger Law Group.

He said that a judge could rule that any agreement made between a couple and a donor is null and void, unless they use official channels, and follow the appropriate laws.

He said: “In Kansas, as in New Jersey, sperm donation laws state that when artificial insemination takes place under the supervision of a licensed physician with semen donated from a man who is not the woman’s husband, the husband is treated as the child’s natural father under the law.

“The husband (and wife) both must consent to the procedure in writing which is then validated by the administering physician,” Weinberger explained, referring New Jersey Law.

Mr Weinberger went on to say that he beleived the case of Mr Marotta, could possibly highlight a grey area in the law, which needed to be updated.

He said: “New Jersey [sperm donor and artificial insemination] statute discusses husband and wife specifically, and is outdated. New Jersey now recognizes civil unions and many states are now recognizing same sex marriages, so perhaps this issue is ripe for litigation or legislative updating,”

Some states, including New Jersey, recognised “psychological parents”, such as the step-parent of a child, who could be liable to pay child support as the result of a couple breaking up.

Mr Weinberger said that these definitions, and the liability of people in relationships with children in their care to pay child support, needed to be updated and clearly laid out.

Via Pinknews

“I am honoured to have worked with your team”

“I can’t thank you ladies enough for granting me the opportunity to donate my eggs. The joy of knowing that someone out there is happy cause of me brings nothing but happiness to my heart.

I am glad to have donated through Nurture, and I’m happy to have met such a bunch of wonderful ladies. Mel, Lee and Gerida you guys are the best and I wish you all the best of luck in your future endeavours.

Tertia, thank you so much. I am so honoured to have worked with your team. Sadly, this is my last donation. I pray for nothing but blessings upon your lives and those who wish to work with you. A big thumbs up.”
:)

“Your kind approach touches so many”

“It has been three years since we last spoke and I wanted to thank all of you for the very special work you do.

I was unfortunately unable to complete the donation process and I really hope the couple I would have donated to found another donor and successfully conceived but I was so moved by my dealings with all of you I thought I would send you a quick mail.

A few years ago my husband and I decided to start trying for a baby and we conceived immediately. We are very blessed by our beautiful young son.

Keep up the good work and know that your kind approach to your work really touches so many.”