A woman shared her happiness after donated her eggs to help her gay best friends. She opened up about what a ‘privilege’ it was to help the two men become fathers.
According to daily mail, Erik McEwen, 39, and Adam McEwen, 30, asked to Julie Ventura, 26, from Long Beach, California, if she would consider donating her eggs to help them conceive. She said she was surprised when they asked this question to her.
The couple, who live in Tucson, Arizona, said it was important for their children to know their biological family and were certain Julie embodied qualities they hoped for in their kids – and she agreed.
Now, twins Addisen and Everest, who were carried one of the fathers’ sisters-in-law are thriving, and Julie travels to Arizona every three months to spend time with the girls and their dads.
And she’s relieved that she’s not developed maternal feelings towards the boys after people warned her she might see them as her own children.
‘It takes three or four weeks of preparation and you have to take shots three times every day,’ she explained of the process of egg donation. ‘Your ovaries get so swollen you feel like you’re pregnant and it’s very uncomfortable. I was so hormonal, I cried over every single thing.’
She added: ‘I think it was everyone else’s voice in my head rather than my own that made me a little bit worried.
‘Everyone told me I would want them as soon as I held them, that I would feel this incredible bond with them immediately, so I worried about that beforehand.’
Julie’s fears were unfounded, although she feels affection towards the babies she does not feel as though they are hers.
‘They look a lot like me which is funny, but I also see Adam and Eric in them, although we don’t know officially which one is each of their biological dads,’ said Julie. ‘Seeing how happy this has made my friends have made it so worth it.’
Erik and Adam were relieved when Julie agreed to go through the donation process and doctors retrieved 14 viable eggs in February 2016.
Julie’s eggs were mixed with sperm from both Erik and Adam and the embryos were placed inside the couple’s surrogate Corrin McEwen, 40 – Erik’s sister-in-law.
Julie was thrilled for her friends when Corrin gave birth to 5lb 15oz Addisen and 5lb 9oz Everest in November 2017. The whole process cost the gay couple $70,000 (£54,500).
Nail technician Julie feels very lucky to have been a part of her friends’ journey to parenthood.
‘I have always known that they wanted children and I knew that Erik’s sister-in-law Corrin volunteered to be their surrogate,’ she explained. ‘I was out for lunch one day with Erik – we were having Thai – and he started talking about his sister-in-law.
‘We were talking about egg donation and he just said, ‘I think you’d be perfect for this. I was shocked. My first reaction was to say, “You want my DNA?”
She continued: ‘At the beginning, I didn’t know anything about the procedure or the process. I didn’t know how my family would react, and so I took that time to think about whether or not I could do this. The more I started to think about it, the more it made sense.’
And for Erik, a social media manager, choosing Julie out of their selection of friends was an easy decision.
‘We are so close to Julie and of all the people in our lives she seemed the perfect fit,’ agreed Adam. ‘She encompassed everything we would be proud to see in our children. We really admire her morals.’
‘I’ve never been very maternal and the twins have kind of solidified that for me,’ she explained. ‘I love them and I have fun with them but I don’t feel motherly towards them. Its been a privilege.’
Describing the moment they first held their twins Addisen and Everest as ‘joyous,’ new dads Erik and Adam will always be grateful to Julie for being such a huge part of their journey.
‘I get emotional even thinking about it,’ said Erik. ‘To hold your babies in your arms is indescribable. I think as a gay man in the current society, you think that your dream may never be a possibility. It’s remarkably hard to put into words.’
‘It was such a beautiful moment to hold our girls,’ added Adam, now a stay-at-home dad. ‘Julie was there and it was so special because she is basically an extension of our family.’
And Erik is really ‘proud’ that their friendship with Julie has got stronger through this.
‘We both adore Julie and her strength as a woman,’ he said. ‘To have that in our children’s lives is special.’
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