Searching For An Egg Donor Can Help You Prepare for Newborn Care by Anna Baylon, RN, BSN
After years of being a mother/baby nurse and helping a number of Intended Parents and their egg donor, I have discovered that there are parallels between searching for an egg donor and learning to be a new parent.
Listening To Your Gut Feelings
When looking at multiple egg donor proﬁles, most of my clients eventually choose the one who they have an initial positive ‘hunch’ about and not necessarily the one who looks the most like them. Just as parenting a newborn relies upon your natural instincts, the process of finding an egg donor is an instinctive one. Most new parents are well read about what to expect when the baby comes. I have found that all of that theoretical knowledge can be overwhelming and, coupled with fatigue and sleep deprivation, can cause a lot of anxiety. My best advice to new parents is to follow your gut while observing your baby. You will learn to listen to his/her cues and know when to fulﬁll his needs. You will know when something is ‘not right’ because you have seen how your baby acts and looks when he/she is content. Similarly, go with your gut when you choose a donor.
Learning To Let Go
In some cases, your top choice of an egg donor may become unavailable to cycle for a myriad of reasons. Another couple may have booked her before you got the chance or her schedule might have changed. These are common life events that are beyond anyone’s control. At this point, you should move on, let go, and choose another donor. One of the hardest things to do for a new parent is to consider having a baby sleep in a separate area, be it a crib or bassinet. Studies have shown that babies are safest sleeping on a separate but proximate ﬁrm surface. This means that your baby is with you in the room but not next to you to help prevent SIDS and suffocation. If it means your baby’s safety, it is important to take that huge ﬁrst step of letting go, beginning with detaching yourself from the baby during sleep. Despite our desire to control as many aspects of our lives as possible, there are benefits to letting go of some of that control, whether it is in child rearing or choosing a donor.
Living Positively this Not So Perfect Life
There are many variables in the search for the right egg donor and every Intended Parent lists in their criteria what they consider to be ideal. It is important to approach your search with an open mind knowing that your egg donor may not necessarily be just like you in every way you may have hoped but that she has admirable qualities of her own. Be armed with the knowledge that you have done your due diligence in your search and that you are now getting closer to your goal of a pregnancy. Your baby is unique from the moment he/she was conceived. I have seen thousands of babies and they all do not look alike or act alike, even at birth. Your baby may not have blue eyes or not learn how to breastfeed immediately or manage to escape the tightest of swaddles. Yet, once you take the baby home, you will quickly realize that not only will you face head on the challenges of parenting, but you will also bask in the glow of unconditional love.
Anna is one of our Senior Case Managers. She also keeps up her nursing skills as a home visit nurse for newborns and moms. She provides guidance to new mothers as they return home from the hospital with lactation support, infant care, and postpartum education. Anna has had extensive experience as an RN in the postpartum unit, NICU, and Recovery Room of a freestanding women’s hospital in San Diego, CA.