Becoming a Donor
If you ask me, the physical application and screening process is rigorous, and even more invasive than the actual egg extraction. If you’re not willing to lay out every detail of your life like a painting so it can be analysed and discussed by strangers, don’t even bother. By the time I was done, I felt that the staff at the clinic knew as much about me as I did.
“When was the last time you cried?”, “Have you ever had suicidal thoughts?”, “How strong is your sex drive?” – this was my introduction to therapy. Soft ambient tunes played in the background of the calming space that was the in-house psychologist’s office. Dr Leanne van der Westhuizen had a bohemian vibe about her; dressed in white linens and she spoke in a perfectly measured tone, she was exactly like what the movies depicted someone of her profession to be. I enjoyed my session with her and left wishing I could book another. However, she cleared me as being sound of mind (well, mostly) and it was on to the next step: paperwork.
After what seemed like a thousand forms and photographs later, my donor profile was complete – right down to the texture of my parent’s hair. (The time lapse between when I filled in the online application and when I walked out of the clinic – pockets slightly heavier, uterus somewhat lighter – was two months.) A month after filling-out my profile, I was informed that I had been selected by a family to be their donor. I was surprised, yet excited. This was actually happening!
Cold and raining outside, the gynaecologist’s office was a welcome contrast. When I walked in, I was immediately put at ease by the kind-faced Dr Nomathamsanqa Matebese, director of Cape Fertility and one of the in-house obstetricians. She gave me a full pelvic exam and assessed my egg numbers to see if they were sufficient enough to go ahead with the procedure. I took a deep breath as she inserted the tiny camera into my uterus, and my insides were magnified and displayed on the monitor. It was fascinating and, admittedly, very strange. Being that I was only 21 at the time, I expected everything to be all-good in that area, but a sense of relief did wash over me when Dr Matebese confirmed it.