WHEN Medowie woman Stevie Wilkinson became a mother for the first time in December 2015, she found the incredible, life-altering love she felt for the tiny little person really overwhelming.
Stevie began to feel a sort of grief for women who, for whatever reason, could not have children of their own.
In April of this year, she came across an advertisement, asking for women who might be prepared to gift their eggs to another woman unable to produce their own to carry a child.
After discussing her thoughts and feelings with her husband, Stevie began making enquiries about donating her eggs.
She also joined two social groups, Egg Donation Australia and Egg Donor Angels.
Stevie spoke to a lot of like-minded women, donors and recipients, and then eventually met her recipient to-be.
Stevie’s recipient had gone through years of infertility and two failed IVF cycles before learning that at just 36 years old, she was premenopausal with a low ovarian reserve and poor egg quality.
Her only option if she wanted to carry her own baby, was that of an egg donation.
Stevie told News Of The Area when she and her recipient met, “We got chatting and met for coffee several times before we both decided we wanted to proceed with each other.”
“We had counselling both individually with our respective husbands and all four of us together, blood tests and genetic screening to ensure I wasn’t a carrier for any genetic conditions before I could begin cycling, she said.
“Now after almost 5 months my recipient has two perfect blastocysts on ice ready to be transferred and we have become amazing, life-long friends,” Ms Wilkinson said.
Stevie’s recipient will begin IVF next month to receive the fertilised egg, and hopefully progress with a healthy pregnancy.
Stevie said, “My decision to become an egg donor has been one of the greatest experiences of my life and I encourage any woman who thinks they could give someone in desperate need, the gift of their eggs to please consider doing so.”
There is a critical shortage of donor gametes with waiting lists in Australia up to five years long.
In Australia, it is illegal to buy or sell any human tissue, including sperm, eggs and embryos, therefore egg donation is purely altruistic.
However, legislation permits reimbursement of reasonable expenses involved, such as travel costs, accommodation, pain relief and time off work to be covered.
Under current NSW law, a child born from a donated egg, sperm or embryo is deemed to be the child of the birth mother.
Donors are under no legal or financial obligation to the child.
In 2010 the NSW Health Department established a Central Register for donors and donor-conceived offspring.
Once a child conceived using donated gametes turns 18, they will be able to access certain information on the Register if they wish.
For more information, please visit – http://newcastleeggdonors.com.au/
By Rachael VAUGHAN