There’s a war raging out there now: COVID-19. It’s much worse than that any human kind has ever seen before—so much so that the basic human survival is a big fat question mark. They say mankind had prepared itself to combat any war with its heavy artillery, tech-aided weapon systems, yet we find ourselves helpless in fighting this battle.
I am Dr. Mehek Kukreja, a resident pursuing dermatology in India. The residents are known as the backbone of the system, and all my colleagues from various departments are working in COVID-19. We are amongst the forefront health care providers, the so-called front line warriors in this pandemic. It sure is a mental battle for every human, but it certainly is a grueling one for the medical community.
Going into this battle first requires a lot of gear. Our PPE (personal protective equipment) consists of multi-layered clothing, which includes scrubs, an OT cap and gown, two layers of gloves, three layers of masks, two layers of shoe covers, a face shield, and a goggle. Wearing the entire PPE set in a non-air conditioned room full of COVID patients, especially in this burning summer heat, is beyond exhausting. It’s like a super-heated sauna you don’t want to be in. And did I mention a normal shift in the coronavirus outpatient department (OPD) ranges from 8-10 hours?
What makes it worse is that you can’t even wipe your own sweat. Our goggles fog up constantly and visibility fades away. Even breathing becomes really difficult within minutes of entering the OPD. Even at our loudest we aren’t audible enough to our patients. We are dehydrated during the shift, but we CANNOT eat, drink, or even pee for fear of contamination. All we have to do is wait for our duties to come to an end because we cannot afford to waste more PPE, as it is expensive to replace and there’s not enough of it to accommodate us all. Each minute in that room feels like an impossible task. You want to quit but you can’t—and you won’t. It’s human life we’re talking about, after all, and we’ve sworn to protect it under any circumstances whatsoever.
Working in COVID-19, I have witnessed patients succumbing despite our best efforts, the young and the old alike. I’ve seen entire families admitted in wards, unaware how critical the other is. I’ve seen patients unable to bid goodbyes to their loved ones because they themselves are infected. I’ve seen seriously ill patients running from one hospital to another because of the lack of beds.
It’s surreal and scary. The fear of getting infected by the virus is real, as it is spreading faster than we can fathom. The uncertainty of the situation day by day can be overwhelming and it leaves us hanging on the edge. But I also see bravery in everyone surrounding me. Here we are holding up stronger than yesterday, taking it one day at a time as it comes.
Recently, governments in various countries have decided to lift lockdowns because businesses were suffering and the economy was feeling the pinch. Over two-thirds of states in the US have begun easing restrictions to restart the economy. Like other parts of the world, businesses have resumed with fewer employees and customers, social distancing measures, and guidelines mandating the use of face masks.
Meanwhile, the coronavirus is still very much present amongst us, and it is no joke. While the US and Brazil alone share more than a third of the global cases, it is spreading like wildfire in India and parts of Europe. Yemen is said to be suffering the worst humanitarian crisis. In India the number has reached 5 lakhs (five hundred thousand), while the United States is the worst hit by the coronavirus pandemic, with over 1.4 million cases. The whole world is in a situation where quarantine seems to be both a backup and necessity.
As the number of active cases increases, so does the risk of catching the virus. And now with all the asymptomatic and mild cases being treated at home, the risk has increased further. You can never know which person you meet on the street has an infected family member at home, or worse, is infected themselves. So please understand that THE RISK OF GETTING INFECTED IS MUCH MORE TODAY THAN IT WAS EVER BEFORE.
So please please please do not make the mistake of taking this lightly. Please understand that the release of the lockdown doesn’t mean the chances of getting infected have reduced now. As a doctor, it is disheartening to witness an increasing number of cases and deaths every day. It feels like there is a second wave on the way. Also, a big shout-out to all my fellow colleagues around for being brave by putting their life at risk and serving selflessly. It’s not an easy road ahead, I agree. But we’re in it together, and will come out of it stronger than ever before.
Stay strong. Stay safe. Take care.
– A thoroughly exhausted COVID warrior.
Images: theskaman306 / Shutterstock
I have bipolar II, so I knew, even before I got pregnant, that I would have postpartum depression. It was a foregone conclusion, like your iPhone slowing down as soon as the new one’s announced, or y’know, a depressed person getting postpartum depression. This was not going to be a shock.
When I did get pregnant, it was ON. My therapist and I started to prepare for my inevitable transition from Depression Classic™ to Depression New—Now With 100% More Child™. We trained for it like a depression marathon, only there was zero exercise, but still a whole lot of carbo-loading. We talked about medication, self-care, and building a support system. We talked about how our sessions would work in the first few weeks and maybe there could be a few home visits too. But we never talked about it being anything other than PPD. There were mentions of postpartum psychosis and anxiety, because PPD was the goal—it was the darkness at the end of the tunnel.
Throughout my pregnancy I was reminded to “watch out” for signs of postpartum depression. The problem was, I didn’t know the difference between PPD and regular D. I’ve lived with manic depression for years, one could say I was quite the depression maven, but that would be extremely weird and unhealthy, but I was! I assumed the key distinction between the two would be the amount of crying.
When it came to postnatal mental health, the main focus during my appointments was the “Baby Blues” and how it makes you cry a lot. But what we really should have been talking about is how the term “Baby Blues” is bullsh*t and should be renamed to “The Crying Out All The Moisture In Your Body Oh God Please Make It Stop Reds.” It felt as though most of these materials and classes were aimed at people who didn’t have a mental illness or had never experienced clinical depression, both of which I find deeply disturbing. The point is, as an already severely depressed person, I didn’t know which “signs” to “look out for.” That’s like telling a nineteen-year-old me to look out for red flags in the men I dated. How do you expect me to do that when they’re all one giant red flag?!
I went off my medication for my pregnancy. I regret it now, but at the time I was scared and confused. There were no official guidelines for lithium during pregnancy, and every time I thought I had a handle on what to do, a new study or classification would come out and rip the handle out of my hands. The medication goalposts kept changing, so I decided to wean off under the careful monitoring of my psychiatrist. I fell into a deep depression early on. From there it just kept getting worse, and as my stomach grew so did my feelings of guilt and shame—how could someone LUCKY enough to get pregnant now be DEPRESSED and NOT WANTING TO BE PREGNANT?
I felt confused and ridiculous, but more than that I felt lonely. There’s not a lot of information about pre-natal and during-natal depression. And when it came to discussing PPD, the most I’d received during my entire pregnancy was a one-sheeter and a leaflet. I also took a childbirth prep class where the instructor played a video on postpartum depression, but before doing so, polled the class on whether they wanted to watch it because it may be a “bit of a bummer.” The issue with PPD isn’t the lack of information, it’s the distribution.
I’m lucky to have a therapist who I’ve been with for years, who understands my mental state and manages my medication. And I’m lucky I made it through most of my pregnancy without anything dangerous happening. I spoke to my therapist a week before giving birth—by that time I was experiencing suicidal ideation and we agreed I’d get right back on my meds after birth, maybe even a higher dose. This seemed like a solid plan as it was clear PPD was on its way. But we’d been training for the wrong thing and I was in for a shock.
The first day back from the hospital I cried. I cried more in that day than I’ve ever cried in my life. I cried so hard I gagged. It felt endless, and at some point, I thought “I guess this is my life now. I will go through the rest of my life suffocated by tears and overwhelming grief.” And that was all perfectly normal. Two weeks later, it all went wrong.
I woke up feeling wired, like I’d already had a gallon of caffeine. The baby was crying so I fed and changed her. I put her in her (now massively dangerous and recalled) rocker and watched her from the sofa. I’d only left the apartment once for a short walk with the baby and my husband. I couldn’t bring myself to leave alone. I felt safe inside. Outside was evil. People were outside. I had started to develop agoraphobia but everyone, including myself, put it down to “just being a new mom.” My husband would drive me to a postpartum group every Tuesday and I’d ask him to stay and wait outside because I was vibrating with anxiety. Every moment in that group was torture. The other moms and babies with their talking and crying, I hated it and them. It’s important to note here that this venomous behavior is not my modus operandi. I am normally a kind, funny, generous person and you’re just going to have to take my word for it.
I knew how depression felt, I knew how mania felt, but I couldn’t quite grasp what was happening to me. I felt different but I couldn’t describe it. A couple more weeks passed. I had quit the group and spent all my time indoors. But in a few days my husband would be returning to work and every time I thought about it, I cried. These weren’t hormonal, “normal” tears, these were terrified tears. I knew something wasn’t right, but I’d also convinced myself this was just a “new mom thing” and that everyone had fantasies of murdering or being murdered by someone trying to kill their baby. I was filled with so much anxiety and paranoia it felt like I had electricity for blood. I was deathly afraid of being left alone with my baby for fear of something bad happening to her, and for that something to be me.
I cried and begged for my husband to not go back to work. I told him I couldn’t look after our baby and I was scared of myself. As much as he sympathized and understood he still needed to go back to work because, money. I don’t have any family here and we didn’t have any childcare, so I decided to join another postpartum group; this one was a fifteen-minute walk away. Before my husband went back to work, we decided to do a dry run of the fifteen-minute walk. I still hadn’t left the apartment by myself with the baby and, unbeknownst to me, was deep in the throes of agoraphobia. But once again, I assumed this is how every new mother feels and acts – like they want to rip their skin off and carry out a murder-suicide on every person who walks too close to them. For me, if it wasn’t PPD then it was “just mom things.” The only mental illness I’d been somewhat “educated” on for postpartum was depression, so if I didn’t have depression, then I didn’t have an illness.
We did the dry run and I was ok. Sweaty, but ok. The overwhelming anxiety had me sweating profusely. Once again, you’ll have to take my word for it, but I’m usually not a sweaty person. When the day came, I felt stable but nervous. I asked a friend if she could talk to me on the phone as I walked there because I needed to think of something that wasn’t dying defending my baby’s life or bursting into flames. My friend had a five-year-old daughter and had been to postpartum groups. I panted at her down the phone “did you hate the other babies when they screamed because it would disturb your baby?” She said, “My baby was one of the screaming babies.” I made it to the group, drenched in all the moisture in my body. Everything was going fine, but towards the end I felt it, a madness, surging through my body. I grabbed my baby, who was sleeping in her car seat, put her in the stroller and bolted. I was so panicked I didn’t even buckle her in. I ran, jostling my tiny baby from side-to-side. I prioritized getting home over her safety, and as I ran, I thought (and I don’t say use this word lightly) “I’m fucking crazy.”
Going to doctors didn’t help because they’d see “bipolar II” on my chart, and it was easy to dismiss my erratic behavior as a hypomanic episode. But I knew what those felt like and this wasn’t that. I cried and begged doctors to see me. I was told it would be a month before the next appointment, “I don’t have a month, I don’t even have a day” I cried down the phone. They said there was nothing they could do. I had now been in, what my therapist diagnosed as, a state of high-functioning psychosis for seven months. I finally saw an endocrinologist, a very old, white man who had previously claimed my issue was that I wasn’t taking my meds because I was mentally ill and prone to that behavior. He’d made this assessment before he’d even met me. I didn’t want to meet him in person, but I had to. There was no one else. After several blood tests and neck scans, it turns out I had a relatively rare postpartum thyroid condition that was set off by Hashimoto’s disease which apparently, I also had. And there was no cure. I just had to wait for the psychosis to go away on its own, which is the wildest sh*t I’ve ever heard. Waiting for PSYCHOSIS to go away on its own like it’s a wart, or hopefully the spider that’s currently chilling in the corner of my bedroom.
After feeling literally insane for seven months all while being gaslit by doctors and looking after an infant, I decided to do my own investigation. I borrowed a book from the library called The Thyroid Solution by Ridha Arem, an endocrinologist based in Houston, Texas. In it, Arem talks extensively on how this postpartum thyroid condition affects people’s mental health. There were countless stories of women who, like me, had lost their minds and not been believed. Women whose husbands had left them because they were “crazy” or because their personalities had changed, and they weren’t “the woman I married” (side note: why are men?) These women had no idea what was happening to them, they’d just given birth and now they felt completely out of control. It was heartbreaking, but they only knew about postpartum depression and maybe postpartum anxiety, so in their minds, this was them. And that was me.
At no point during your pregnancy does someone tell you there is a chance of a total personality change; they do but only in terms of like “you’ll be born a mother” to which I give a hearty Logan Roy style “f*ck off!” I’d spent seven months getting gaslit and scrambling for answers. I knew this wasn’t postpartum depression and I knew it wasn’t my mental illness, but I also knew this birth had changed me on a cellular level .
We will always need a wider and more honest conversation about postpartum recovery, both physical and mental. And even though PPD is the most talked about postpartum illness, it’s still not talked about enough. There’s more to postpartum than depression and anxiety, there’s psychosis, OCD, bipolar, PTSD, Hashimoto’s, and a lot more. We need just as much care and attention put into postpartum recovery as we do during pregnancy. The pain doesn’t go away after we’ve given birth—for many of us, it’s only just begun. We need better access to maternal health services, better maternal mental health care, and most urgently, better black maternal health care. We need medical professionals to give us more information and options for postpartum recovery, but most of all, when we tell them we’re unwell, we need them to believe us. Especially black women who are three to four times more likely to die during or after pregnancy than white women.
My child is now thirteen months old, and while I may not be as sweaty or paranoid, I still have agoraphobia and, of course, still have depression and hypomania. I get regular blood tests to monitor my thyroid and haven’t had any flare ups since. Some days I wake up scared that that switch will flip again, and I’ll have to walk around out of my mind for god knows how long. But even if that did happen, at least I have a diagnosis and this time I’ll know that that’s not me and that I won’t be like that forever.
Images: Alex Pasarelu / Unsplash
As someone who is not sexually active for religious reasons, I’m still *intimately* aware of what it’s like to hoist myself on a sterile exam table and mount my legs in uncomfortable stirrups at the gynecologist. You’re probably wondering why. Well, since my mother has a history of endometriosis, I’ve frequented a gynecologist to ensure that I haven’t inherited the potentially fertility-altering diagnosis (fingers crossed, I’m in the clear). Everybody knows that the first question a gyno asks before they get up close and personal with your lady parts is if you’ve ever been sexually active. Yet, people falsely assume that visiting a doctor who pokes around for STDs and preps patients for childbirth is reserved for people who are having sex. Spoiler alert: There is way more to these visits than routine pelvic exams.
I, like many others, still check on my ovaries even if I don’t plan on having a baby or sexual partner any time soon. “It’s easy to forget that an OB/GYN is a primary care specialty,” explains Dr. Kecia Gaither, OB/GYN. “As such, it’s recommended that women have annual exams for not only Pap smears and screenings for sexually transmitted diseases—but also preventative health evaluations specific to women.” According to Gaither, there are other legit reasons why someone should visit a gynecologist. Read about them all, below.
1. Physical Exams
Many women actually use an obstetrician/gynecologist as their primary care doctor. Which, by the way, makes a whole lot of sense if you’re already at your annual checkup. Killing two birds with one stone is the way to go sometimes, especially when you’re dealing with a women’s health issue that gynos see on a regular basis. For example, if you’re complaining about fatigue and weight gain, your gyno may test your thyroid—which will save you a trip and possible vacation day to your physician. “Depending on your age, family history, medical history your OB/GYN will obtain a thorough medical history, a physical exam, and pertinent testing as dictated by history and findings on your physical,” Dr. Gaither says. But, this does not mean you should shut out your family doctor when dealing with things like mental illnesses, respiratory issues, metabolic conditions, digestive diseases, and other all-inclusive assessments. The bottom line: It’s always wise to see a specialist!
2. Breast Exams
Like your primary care physician, your gynecologist can examine you for breast cancer with a mammogram or an ultrasound. But, if your breasts feel different than usual, you shouldn’t wait for a yearly checkup to make an appointment—especially if you have a family history of breast cancer. “, a patient should refer to genetic analysis for breast cancer,” Dr. Gaither says. This includes the BRCA gene blood test that can determine if you have changes (mutations) in your DNA that increase the risk of breast cancer.
Besides breast cancer, gynos check for other gynecological cancers like endometrial, cervical, ovarian, and vulva cancer. Most of these diagnoses are determined through pelvic exams and pap smears. They’ll then check your lower abdomen, which is by far the most uncomfortable part, to feel the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries for any abnormalities. Once it’s done with, though, you’ll feel so much better knowing that you’re putting your health first. Plus, because these doctors specialize in women’s health, they may be more attuned to these areas of your body that need special TLC.
4. Vaginal Discharge
If you’ve expressed concern about the odor or color of your discharge (most of us have been there!), your gyno will check for yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis, and STDs. Because, yes, contrary to popular opinion, diseases can be transmitted without intercourse! Additionally, your doc may take this opportunity to educate you about good hygiene routines or cleansing products that cause itchiness and inflammation.
5. Abnormal Bleeding
According to Dr. Gaither, abnormal bleeding may be the symptom of fibroids or polyps. Which, of course, sounds like medical jargon but in reality just means non-cancerous growths that form in the uterine wall. Sounds scary as hell, but it’s nothing to worry too much about, though it can be painful and get in the way of your ability to conceive if it’s not treated properly. During a pelvic examination, your gyno may feel your uterus for any irregular shapes and ultimately use an ultrasound if they detect something unusual. Upon inspection, they can examine how these complications may affect your fertility.
Ultimately, people will always assume gynecologists only see patients who are sexually active unless they’re educated about the many ways in which these doctors examine all women’s health issues. So, the next time you’re thinking of paying a visit to your gyno you can be sure that they’re on the lookout for way more than just STDs.
There I was, legs elevated in metal stirrups, counting backward from ten, losing consciousness by the second. Why? For $7K… duh.
There’s not much I won’t consider doing for money. As a kid, I worked a lemonade stand, sold snacks at yard sales, and scammed grown-ups with bets like $20 for throwing an inflated football through a tire. I’ve had an array of jobs since I was 16 and almost never just one at a time. I was even offered $200 in high school to take a guy’s virginity. I didn’t, but does that matter?
Donating your eggs is not easy money, but that is the illusion.
Just the lengthy application alone can weed out the weary. Then you have to get over the fear of stabbing yourself with needles, followed by the realization that you might release children into the world. It’s enough to make anyone think twice.
Obviously, money is a primary motivator when it comes to a procedure like this. A study published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine notes that 81% of egg donors “indicated that the offer of payment was significant to their decision.” Yet, I found that the end result was way more rewarding than the cash, and that’s why I donated my eggs not once, but twice. The money is long gone. After Uncle Sam reached between my legs for a quarter of it, I used the rest to leave a job I hated, pay off debt, and buy myself some boobs. But when I look back on my donation process, it’s not the money I remember.
First, it’s important to clear up a common misconception: Donating doesn’t affect your egg count. According to the Cleveland Clinic, women are born with approximately one million eggs. Even prior to puberty, these eggs die each month. So the eggs you donate would naturally die in your next menstrual cycle.
Thrust into living alone after my boyfriend broke up with me unexpectedly, my credit card became a crutch. I couldn’t get through the week without dipping into unpromised money. A friend of mine introduced me to Shady Grove Fertility, an organization dedicated to infertility treatments. She had considered donating her eggs but was daunted by the application process due to her family medical history. Less than 40% of applicants pass the initial screening, a statistic specific to SGF provided to me upon completion. I answered the preliminary application, which consisted of a few essential questions used to easily disqualify any red flags—one of which I held. I had traveled to the Caribbean with my ex (eye roll) just five months prior and ZIKA was a major concern. I was asked to apply again in another month, since six months was the threshold for exposure.
After re-applying, I was accepted and provided a link for the comprehensive application. Holy Moly. Now, I’m a writer and fully enjoy talking about myself, but this was on another level. I provided personal statements and short essays about everything down to my musical ability and every detail about my family including the color of my dead paternal grandfather’s eyes. The application actually serves as a profile for a donor when they are being selected by hopeful recipients. I uploaded pictures of myself as a child and an adult—the latter is not required but increases the probability and rate of being chosen.
I was then invited to begin the medical screening portion. Based on when I had started my most recent pack of birth control, an ultrasound and bloodwork appointment were scheduled. They also performed genetic screening which tested for 105 conditions. At this point, it had been about three months since I first reached out. I received $150 through an application promotion and $50 for approved lab work.
*calls produce manager of whole foods* hi yes i’m interested in donating my eggs
— you thoughtttttttttttttttttttttttt (@youonebigyike) September 1, 2019
I took a brief online course that provided an overview of the procedure and then was scheduled for “Donor Day,” which requires a day off from work when current donors meet at the office with a nurse for in-person training and screening. After screening, we took a 150 question multiple choice personality test, learned about the procedure, ate pizza, and practiced our first injection. We practiced mixing solution, dialing the pen to the correct dosage, and finally pinching some stomach fat and stabbing ourselves. I bled, which never happened again, but I had my first “what have I done?” moment. The day earned me $450.
Then, I signed consent forms and met with a social worker. Basically, it was a therapy session to ensure my sanity and comfort with the process, especially the fact that this would likely result in real live children running around with my DNA. I was and am completely comfortable with this fact. Once cleared, my profile went live for recipients to view. I was selected within a week. They switched my birth control in order to sync with my recipient’s and I received fertility medication to my home.
No more drinking, sex, drugs, tattoos, piercings, smoking, etc. Over the next two weeks, I injected hormones into my stomach at the same time each night and went into the office for bloodwork and an ultrasound about three times a week. The one shot, which I administered through an insulin pen, didn’t bother me. But the second shot, which required mixing a powder and liquid, burned as I pressed the plunger releasing the solution under my skin. You get used to it, but I always dreaded the second shot. The medication grows the egg follicles, and the ultrasound measures that growth process. With a lubed-up wand between my legs, I watched my uterus morph into a crop field on a blurry screen, and it was fascinating. My monitoring visits increased with my follicle size. Eventually, I added a third shot to my daily routine. The nurses followed my progress and emailed me with specific dosing instructions as they changed.
All of the coordinators, nurses, and doctors I worked with throughout the process were incredibly helpful. They answered my questions, wrote me a note to freeze my gym membership, and even worked around the travel required for my job, scheduling me at locations that were convenient to my home, office, and wherever I was traveling. And yes, I did this while working for an event production company (one of my bosses had actually used a donor herself). I brought my medication in a cooler and took strategic breaks so that I could shuttle to an offsite condo where I’d disappear into the bathroom with my needles.
I actually relished the time that preceded the retrieval procedure. My body felt productive, like a factory. I was preparing for this really important gift while still working full time and living my life. Around three days out, I could actually feel my ovaries sloshing beneath my pelvis. The hormones swell each ovary from the size of a ping-pong ball to that of an orange.
After about two weeks, monitoring took place every day and they watched my progress closely to determine the exact date and time of retrieval. My mom was on standby to come stay and drive me to and from surgery. Once a date was defined (about two days out) I was instructed to take my trigger shot at a very specific time two nights before retrieval. I also took an antibiotic the night before with no food or water following.
My mom and I woke at 4am and drove to the surgery center 45 minutes away. I started to cramp. The building was immaculate. I felt very safe and comfortable. The staff was warm and attentive and kept thanking me for my “gift”. They also handed me a check for $6,500.
I dressed in some fabulous surgery attire (booties, gown, hair net) and received an IV. The cramping started to increase minutes away from surgery. I received anesthesia through my IV. Aside from having my wisdom teeth extracted, this was my first surgery. I walked with my IV tree and a nurse to the procedure room. I laid on a table and lifted my legs into metal stirrups. For the first time, I suddenly felt incredibly exposed. The anesthesiologist placed a gas mask over my nose and mouth and before I knew it, I was asleep. While I was out, a long needle-like vacuum was inserted into my vagina and pierced the vaginal wall on each side to essentially suck out the eggs from each of my ovaries. They retrieved 13 mature eggs. The actual retrieval only took about 20 minutes.
The drive back to Baltimore was rough. I wanted to sleep, but the bumpy roads aggravated the cramping. Plus, my ovaries were still enlarged. I slept when I got home and watched Fixer Upper for the rest of the day. The doctor gave me a prescription for pain that I ended up not needing. By that night, I felt back to normal. I stayed home from work the next day because why not, ya know? I returned for a follow-up visit about a week later and I was on my way! I had sex the following weekend even though I shouldn’t have. But I missed alcohol and d*ck. TG for Plan B.
SGF reached out to me about three months later encouraging me to donate again. Although hesitant at first, I excitedly agreed. Since I was already vetted, the process proceeded much quicker—only about two months. They completed an initial screening before reactivating my donor profile. Unlike the first time, my profile was selected by three families instead of just one and my retrieval was split amongst them.
Things went even smoother the second time around. And not just because I knew the ropes, but because my body did too. I hardly experienced any cramping before and after surgery. They retrieved 22 mature eggs the second time and I received a total of $7,500.
I haven’t donated a third time (worth $8k) for a few reasons. Honestly, I’m nervous to jinx myself. The last thing I want is for something to hinder my ability to have my own children in the future. Another reason, which I only thought of more recently, is that I plan to stay in the Baltimore area as I have my own kids. This sounds like the plot to a titillating beach read, but my future kids could very well meet and date my donor children. One reason women aren’t allowed to donate more than six times with one organization is for this very reason.
Moral of the story: egg donation is incredibly involved, but it’s an extraordinary way to help a fellow human. If you made it to the end of this whirlwind article and are still interested in donating, do as much research as you can, especially as it pertains to the options in your area. Really consider the possibility of a child seeking you out in the future. Although the information is private, we all see the leaps and bounds DNA technology have already made. If you have more questions about my experience, feel free to DM me. Although I don’t plan to continue donating, I’d love to facilitate that opportunity for others.
Images: Kara Kinnamon (2); Nikola Radojcic / Unsplash; SGFertility, youonebigyike / Twitter