I'm not ashamed to admit my former dalliances in the internet dating world. I'm sure I'm not alone . If you haven't done it personally, you've looked over your cousin/best friend/co-workers shoulder to peak at their dating site with hundreds of hopeful 'this may be the one.'
So it doesn't surprise me at all that my first look at a Donor Egg site feels strangely familiar. These sites have clever names like 'Conceivabilities' and 'Alternative Conceptions.' They list dozens of women with attractive photos and sparkling white teeth. Suddenly it feels like I'm cyber trolling for dates again. There are so many sites. So many choices. It's overwhelming. We laugh through some of it and I break down more than once. It can bring on jealously you didn't know you had inside.
Get ready for it all.
I feel shallow when I pass on the girl with the big nose (my honey has a honker and I fear we might have a girl.) I feel ashamed when I reject the one who didn't go to college or the pre-med who revealed her mother's depression. This is one of the toughest choices you'll ever make.
But that's only the beginning. Wait till you learn what your partner is looking for. Education and intelligence were at the top of his list ( he never would have picked me, my college GPA sucked.) He swore he could detect hapiness and he wanted someone with a sparkle like mine (his sweet quote.) I wanted an artist with dark hair and eyes like my own. I gravitated towards good writers with warm smiles who volunteered and travelled around the world. I suppose I was looking for a little part of me.
We chose not to meet the donors in person. It felt too complicated and uncomfortable for me. Respect those feelings. Donor profiles are fairly detailed and you can learn a great deal about someone's personal and health history in a few pages. Honestly, I was fascinated by the whole process of it all.
And now for the difficult part. The choice. After scouring dozens of sites, I kept coming back to one woman. I was drawn into her deep brown eyes and porcelain skin. She was an artist who worked as a nanny because she loved children. She seemed smart and good natured. I could be friends with her. And then I thought to myself, "I have an egg crush." And then I said it out loud to my man who was buried in his computer. I thought it would make him laugh and it did. But I meant it. Despite my good intentions to stay detached, I was smitten.
Serendipity came into play when the agency we chose turned out to be run by a childhood friend of mine. Only days prior to deciding, we had reconnected via Facebook. I knew we could trust her. She suggested that we pick at least three candidates in case one might not be available. Excellent advise.
I definitely lead the search, but we both had the veto vote. He was far more detached then I pretended to be. We took nearly a month to decide on our choices of egg donors. Looking back, I wish we had made them sooner.
Here's a few lessons we learned the hard way.
Websites are not always accurate. The girl who's 'In Cycle' may actually be available and the girl who is not "In Cycle," might be. We wanted someone local and that wasn't easy to determine on most sites. The ex-beauty queen pre-med student might charge you $12,000 (average is $5500-8500) for her prime-proven eggs. There's lots of reasons why someone may or may not be available. And think about this, if you have an 'egg crush, ' you're probably not the only one. You might have to wait in line for her next cycle. We weren't willing to delay another cycle. We were ready now.
It's human nature to get attached, but you can't alway control the outcome. Trust your gut and jump right in. Turned out another couple felt the same way about my crush as I did, but they acted on it one week sooner. I was disappointed, but moved forward. Picks two and three were in cycle also. Shit, could everyone else really have the same DNA taste as us? This was getting depressing. It felt like dating all over again.
And then I remembered what lead me to find my perfect match (my wonderful him.) Getting out there again even when you're sick and tired of being let down. The search was back on and this time we had more inside information.
We picked another three women more easily this time. I looked closer at the green eyed mother with the beautiful young son. She was 'in cycle' and we hadn't thought to ask the first time around. She was our bonus pick and turned out to be the one we decided to choose after all.
I will forever be grateful for the women who choose to donate. They are goddesses to me. But I am the mother. Or I hope I will be. I think I lost sight of that in the dating pool of youth and fertility. I hope I won't lose sight again.
I'll always remember my first crush, but it was time to let it go. Or was it? That's another blog. Another story. Another night.