Motivated by a desire to help others wherever she can, Maria is a three-time egg donor with London Egg Bank
I’m the sort of person who naturally just gets joy out of helping people. I was seriously unwell with meningitis as a young baby and thankfully survived it with no serious long-term effects. As a result, I now try to live life to the full, as I feel blessed to have survived.
I have a simple philosophy of life, that it's important to try and do good wherever we can. We can't take material things with us when we die, and our successes won't matter then either, but we can leave a legacy for people through the actions we've done throughout our lives.
While I, unfortunately, don't meet the criteria to donate blood, when I found out I was a good candidate for egg donation I realised this was how I could make a difference, and add to what I felt my calling in life was.
I have been blessed with 2 healthy children, now aged 11 and 8, and I want to be able to help someone else experience the joys of having their own family.
Everyone I spoke with at London Egg Bank was so lovely, they were welcoming and supportive, so it made the clinic an easy choice, as well as the location being convenient for me to donate.
My advice to anyone wanting to embark on the journey of being an egg donor is to make sure you have some support around you, whether it’s your spouse, partner or just a friend. The London Egg Bank will always offer you support, not only during the egg donation process but also at any time afterwards.
I’ve donated eggs with London Egg Bank a total of three times now. Although it was quite slow and nerve-racking at the beginning, with lots of form filling, and waiting for blood test results and scans to see whether I could be accepted, once I got the approval it was an incredible feeling, and I was so excited to get started.
The stimulation process was tough at times, the injections sometimes caused some minor side effects, and at times I was worried if I was doing the injections right. It felt like stimulation was taking longer than it was supposed to, but the nurses in the clinic reassured me and looked after me well.
After the first collection, I felt such a great sense of achievement, and since then I have gone through a further two cycles with a lot more confidence, even though each one was its own mini roller coaster of emotions at times.
It is so worthwhile at the end of the process when you hear from the doctor that the collection was successful, and they tell you how many eggs were harvested.
I’m comfortable, and in a way excited, knowing that in future any donor-conceived children could contact me.
I didn’t learn much about my own fertility specifically, but I did learn things about a woman's reproductive organs which I was never taught in school. For example, I didn't realise that the ovaries aren’t in a fixed place in the body like the heart and lungs are, they can move around and are sometimes tricky to locate! And I have become a bit more in tune with and more appreciative of my body's natural menstrual cycle.
I’m comfortable, and in a way excited, knowing that in future any donor-conceived children could contact me. This could open up many possibilities, including the chance to meet the people who ultimately chose my eggs from the many available. It would just be great to have the potential for more people to get to know and maybe even build a friendship with.
I'm not sure who else in my family knows about my decision, as I only told my husband initially. Some of them may have heard indirectly, but ultimately it was my decision to make and my family knows it's the sort of thing I'd do anyway. It wouldn't come as a surprise to them.
My husband obviously had some initial questions, but once he had answers and could see how determined I was to do this he wasn't going to get in the way. He's been very supportive and there is no way I could have done this without him.
My advice to anyone wanting to embark on the journey of being an egg donor is to make sure you have some support around you, whether it’s your spouse, partner or just a friend. The London Egg Bank will always offer you support, not only during the egg donation process but also at any time afterwards. Once you become a donor, it feels like you’re in a special kind of club, and if ever you want to have a chat with a counsellor it can be arranged for you, however long ago your donation.