Comparison Shopping for Donor Eggs

Comparison shopping when buying donor eggs is a must.  The price for the same donor’s eggs can vary widely.  Donors often list with numerous agencies.  It is imperative to check the list price for the donor as well as the fee of the agency.  Some agencies charge a percentage of the donor’s price and and others charge a flat fee.  An educated donor egg consumer will be a savy shopper and discover the best bargains.  Unless of course you want the elite eggs of an an Ivy League student that may sell for $50,000 or more.


When I read The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, I focused on the infertility section.  When the Afghani boy Amir grew up and married Soraya, the couple couldn’t have children.  They went to the hospital for IVF.  Hosseini brilliantly captured the tortured gist of their failed fertility treatments in a few paragraphs.  The wife did not choose to adopt because she wanted the opportunity to look for genetic signs of herself and her husband in their child. I fully identified with her.  When my husband was lobbying for a donor egg, with its greatly increased odds of success, I only wanted my own genetic baby. Eventually Soraya had a change of heart when she agreed to adopt the Afghani son of her husband’s kite runner. Amir had rescued the boy from captivity back in Afghanistan.  I too underwent a transformation when I agreed to try donor egg after five failed attempts with my own eggs. I finally decided it would still be my baby even if it didn’t have my genes.


A new study discovered that women in their 50’s are physically fit for pregnancy.  Other than possibly a bit higher  blood pressure, there were no physical differences between 101 pregnant women in their 50’s versus younger women.  When I decided to use a donor egg in my 40’s, I had to obtain physical clearance.  The doctor had to find my body physically fit, and my EKG had to show that there was no risk of heart attack while enduring the rigors of labor.  I passed with flying colors.  Of course my 40- something-year-old eggs weren’t up to the task, but according to this new study at least I had the body of a 20 year old.


DNA can’t keep a secret. Adopted children are swabbing their cheeks, sending in their DNA samples and turning up biological mothers. I wanted the anonymous egg donation. The egg donor wouldn’t know me, and I wouldn’t know her. Our baby would belong only to my husband and me. But if adopted children can overturn the sealed adoption papers, donor egg offspring can do the same. Years from now my donor egg baby could be an egg donor DNA detective and mail order for a genetic set of long lost biological relatives to add to the family tree. I must be prepared for that possibility.

KIRKUS REVIEWS-Grade A Baby Eggs “Well-written and thoughtful”

Kirkus Reviews said Grade A Baby Eggs: An Infertility Memoir was “well-written and thoughtful…a candid, valuable view of infertility.”  Except I didn’t know what they said because I didn’t open the review.  I was afraid that I would get the Rotten Tomatoes version describing my book as incoherent, infertility rants written at the level of  a fourth grader. I waited until I was in a really good mood before I peeked so hopefully I wouldn’t crash as far. Then I screamed and yelled like I just chose the right door and won the game show. Whether I will get my baby is questionable, but at least I gave birth to a healthy book that received a good Apgar score from Kirkus.



What if I delivered a donor egg monster baby? I had to journey toward acceptance of using a donor egg.  I rented a DVD called Blessed.  It featured an infertile couple who went to have an IVF cycle at a sterile, sinister looking facility.  Unbeknownst to them, the doctor switched the husband’s sperm for the seed of Satan himself.  The woman gave birth to two beautiful, angelic-appearing daughters who later made the face rot off of a bratty boy.  I too could have the next Rosemary’s baby. Once I became involved in choosing my egg donor, it alleviated my anxiety.  I felt that she would represent my side of the family, and I no longer felt that using a donor egg would be alien to me.



When I remarried at age 44, I was determined to have my IVF baby with my own eggs.  I kept searching for an older mother who beat the odds and delivered an infant.  At last I found my shining light example in the waiting room, a vivacious woman finally pregnant with her much desired baby at age 44.  However, on the way out from her doctor’s appointment, she pulled me aside and confessed that she really had used a donor egg.  Now at last the New York Times has supplied my super mom who gave birth at age  44 with a 1 in 1,000 chance.  She had a little help by going to the fertility temple in Bhutan and getting hit on the head with a piece of wood by the monk.  I too would be happy to be blessed by the Bhutan monk. I’d gladly endure being clobbered with a wooden spoon, prodded with a fork or cut with a butter knife if it brought me my baby.


“Infertility treatments will kill you!” my mother exclaimed.  She was not taking the proud to be a grandmother stance that I had hoped.  Instead she was focusing on cancer.  My mother was convinced that the IVF hormones would be a breeding ground for tumors. “Victoria, your grandmother died of melanoma now you’ll be dead too!”  I disregarded my mother’s dire prophecies and proceeded with five IVF treatments with my own eggs. When those failed, I decided to try IVF again with donor eggs. My beautiful baby that beckoned at the end was worth fighting for. However, I knew that my mother was just being melodramatic when she claimed that I’d be dying for a baby as well.  Except that my mother was proven right.  A recent New York Times article found that IVF increases the risk of ovarian cancer fourfold.  Now I’d have to beat the odds to get pregnant and to not get a malignancy.



A fertility statue emerged intact from the ashes of Mt Vesuvius’ eruption almost two thousand years ago.  It sat behind glass at the Times Square Pompeii exhibit.  The relic featured a disembodied hand holding the fertility god, Sabazius, whose own outstretched hands were blessing the nursing mother and infant reclining beneath him.  For added potency, the bronze sculpture also included a snake, pine cone and bird.  In the first century A.D. Roman women must have knelt beneath the statue and prayed for a baby.  They did not have IVF, but they had their own magical method.  The rebirth of this relic in modern-day New York was proof positive of its fecundity.  I wanted to return with a baby blanket as an offering.  Then I too could ignite the spark of life in my womb.  Unfortunately, it was the last day of the exhibit, and I did not have the opportunity to appeal to the god of procreation for his blessing.

Pregnant by 50 or Bust


50 was my pregnancy cut-off. Afterwards I would be going against nature and my own body. Hospitals had IVF and donor egg recipient age restrictions for additional reasons. My doctor told me that they wanted the mothers to stay alive long enough to raise their children. The egg donor counselor warned me that I would be called “Grandma” when I appeared in public with my baby. My husband and I were prepared to take our child with us to the retirement home. Of course I didn’t want to look as old as the pregnant woman on the cover of New York Magazine. Apparently women in their 50’s are lining up in droves for their egg donor babies. Even though 60 is the new 40, I couldn’t risk having two of us on wheels-me in the wheelchair and my donor egg child in the stroller.