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I was stretched out on the floor of my friend's living room thumbing through her copy of the Sunday Dallas Morning News classified ads in search of a puppy. I'd been looking for just the right breeder for some time and had, to that point, been unable to find one that suited my needs in the Oklahoma City area. What I found, instead, was an ad for egg donation. I looked up at my friend and joking said, "Hey, maybe I ought to do this." She, on the other hand, didn't think it was a joke.
"Why not?" she asked. "You're young, you're healthy. You're going to start making student loan payments in two months so you could definitely use the money. And besides, you could really change someone's life."
On the drive back to Oklahoma I kept thinking about what she said, "You could really change someone's life." Those are big words and a big challenge. I knew I was being called to look into egg donation opportunities in my area. After a quick Web search, I discovered the INTEGRIS Bennett Fertility Institute. The application and interview process was relatively simple. Karen, the donor coordinator, was friendly and she made me feel very comfortable. Although it was a full year before she would call me in to begin the donor procedure, she remembered quite a bit about me, including my desire for a puppy!
Karen and the staff at Bennett were phenomenal! Any question I had was immediately answered and they never made this scientifically-inept patient feel stupid for asking even the most basic questions. Dr. Reshef is absolutely the best doctor I have ever known. His abilities as a physician are only matched by his excellent bedside manner and respect for his patients.
The injections were a breeze; I didn't even mind rising at 6:00 a.m. on weekends in order to ensure that my daily shots were administered at the same time every day. On the day of the procedure, I was nervous to go into the operating room. I remember the anesthesiologist was wearing Converese Chuck Taylor high tops with flames on them and he told me he'd bicycled to work that day. For some reason, this calm attitude really rubbed off on me and I, too, felt calmer.
About a month later, I received a card and teddy bear from the couple to whom I had donated. I choked up. Nowhere in my paperwork did I mention that I collect teddy bears. I asked Karen if she knew and no, she did not. This was the most perfect thank you gift anyone could ever give me and I believe on some level, this mom-to-be knew it.
I ended up donating twice more. Each time it was easier. By the end of my time with Bennett, I'd helped three couples become parents; I'd learned a great deal about myself and my needs and I'd met a very dear friend who works at BFI. If you are considering egg donation, I would highly recommend the Bennett Fertility Institute.
If you're wondering about the puppy, I finally found him just one mile from my home! Yes, I do believe we're placed in certain locations at certain times to fulfill a certain need in our lives. For me, choosing Bennett was exactly one of those times!