Posts Tagged ‘donor conception’

How do I feel about children who are biologically related to me, yet not mine?

September 4, 2012

Awhile back, the lovely Lyssie asked about how I felt regarding eggsharing. You know, that little sidenote of IVF that led to an anonymous recipient having a baby last time around – and the same woman is getting my eggs this time as well. (Though they become her eggs, in my mind, the instant they leave my body.)

You know, before I thought about the mechanics of lesbians having children, I was pretty against sharing my DNA with a stranger. I had a selfish this-is-mine attitude that I think is totally normal and probably the more prevalent attitude in society. I also think there is more stigma, emotions, etc attached to donating eggs because it is about a million times more demanding than donating sperm. (Not that I don’t appreciate sperm donors. Holla!)

Years ago we went to a presentation by our clinic aimed at couples who were considering using reproductive technology to expand their families. And it was during this presentation that my eyes filled with tears and my heart with longing and I knew I would do whatever it took to have children. Anything and everything, and that was before I knew how incredible (and fucking exhausting) parenthood was.

Not to  mention the success rates. If we did IUI (intrauterine insemination, when washed sperm is placed directly into the uterus), the success rate at our prestigious and worldwide reputed clinic was 23 percent over THREE cycles (and that’s back when I was fucking young). The success rate quoted to me for IVF, at that time, was 55 percent.

WELL. I liked the maths, and the only way we could afford IVF was to eggshare. (A note on eggsharing – at age 16, the children in Country B who were conceived using donor eggs or sperm can get confirmation that someone they are dating is not related to them. At 18, their donor’s name and contact information is released to them, should they want it. I hope this other family does reach out to us one day, but that is perhaps the subject of another entry…if you remind me.)

When the head nurse called to say she had a match for me, and the match was super excited and grateful, something flared in my chest. Like a big firework of happiness and love for this random woman I’d never met.

You guys, women who need eggs have probably been trying to have a child for years. Trying conventional ways,  having testing, more invasive ways, multiple cycles of IVF, and then facing a two to three year wait for an egg donor – and this is at a private clinic, where things move more quickly. Can you fucking imagine that, all the agony and money and time and dashed hopes? I can’t.

I’m lucky because I can’t.

So we did it. And we got a card from her, and I plan to write HER a card this time – and I know that I feel better about this decision BECAUSE it is this same woman. I don’t know why, I know it’s illogical, but there it is. I didn’t think much about it during my pregnancy, but once my children were born I’d be lying if I said it didn’t bother me. A lot.

I looked at the gorgeousness of Snort and Coconut and couldn’t help wondering about that third child. Did they have the same birthday? Were they smiling yet? Had I made an awful mistake?

But you know, the bottom line is that I can’t regret anything I did that led to the successful pregnancy and birth of my most beloved twins. Not one thing. And the joy they bring to me….knowing I helped another family have that makes me feel good. Just plain old ordinary good. Warm and steady and happy.

And of course, my children were created with the assistance of a generous anonymous man who gave us his sperm. It doesn’t make those kids any less ours, just as I hope the woman who birthed that other child loves him or her fiercely and amazingly. Like I know she must, because that baby was so wanted. And she felt that baby kick at her ribs, she birthed that baby, she bonded with her child. And I hope she gets to do it again, just as I hope to see my wife’s belly swell with our much wanted child, this third baby wonder my children will embrace, her breasts will feed, my body will comfort as she or he is wrapped close to my heart.

What a world where our children are so wanted and valued and we have to work so damn hard to get them. And it’s a community of people standing shoulder to shoulder with us. That man as he donates sperm, and a second man who gives us new sperm to create this new life. Me as I give eggs to that woman who longs for a baby, a sibling for her baby. We’re all connected together, and the bottom line is that this is a path of love and selflessness and hope. We may do what we do for different reasons, but our goal is the same:

to hear that new baby cry as they enter the world, to draw them close, to expand our families and hearts.

 

 

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I am speechless, and that doesn’t happen often.

November 2, 2009

Reading the story of a funky, big hearted lady about to give birth to her baby, who was a lovingly donated embryo – from another blogger!! People amaze me.

So does this video, which I shamelessly ripped off of her website. It made me cry cry cry…happy and sad tears.

When people are united by those things we all want – love, acceptance, hope – how powerful we are both as individuals and as a community.

I really recommend you taking the next three minutes to watch this. Love is stronger than fear.

Can’t figure out how to embed this into this entry. Any help is appreciated!

 

Two spermies, two eggies, two babies.

November 2, 2009

My babies were conceived with donor sperm. Somewhere out there, another little baby was conceived with my donor eggs. Somehow it just seems like a big, sloppy, supportive world sometimes.

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I’m glad about that.

Our egg recipient is preggers, too.

April 16, 2009

Ooh, I feel funny. This is going to be an unfiltered post (well, they ALL are, but this one more than most) as I don’t know what I think/feel about this. Just got the call from the clinic.

And jesus are my eggs ripe. The woman I donated eggs to is pregnant with one baby.

I feel funny about this. Funny dunny.

Once we decided to donate eggs – no, once our IVF cycle was underway, really – I felt a-okay about helping another person. When we received an anonymous card from our egg recipient, I felt amazing and warm and gushy for both her and me. Me, like what an amazing person I am. Her, like – OH MY GOD I might be helping another woman with her dream of having a child. That felt fucking fantastic.

It was only a couple of days ago that a bit of….’something’ creeped in. To be real, I hadn’t really thought much or cared in any but a generic way whether or not the other woman was pregnant. Then all of a sudden I have a tap dancing troupe living in my womb and I find myself caring.

I found myself having the hateful, mean wish that the other woman had not conceived – not because I wished her any evil, but because, well, look at what I am making. These two little babies are part me. And I wondered about that other child – will she/he look like me? Love reading? etc etc  An altogether odd feeling. I kept picturing myself on my tenth birthday; I was an unfortunate looking kid, and I suddenly was wondering about this non-child of mine, walking around with bits of me in him/her. I feel like it’s a her.

This child will be able to contact me when they are 18 years old. It’s odd to think that while my two babies are doing their thing, there is another child exactly their age who is also conceived from my eggs. Am I an awful person for questioning this and feeling this way?

When we wanted a baby, I developed a huge pool of empathy towards other people who were trying to get pregnant. I can’t actually imagine what that other woman must have gone through. Perhaps trying ‘the regular way’ or through IUI for ages, then IVF with their own eggs, then IVF with another woman’s eggs. I hope she loves that baby like a mofo, because some blogs I read where people are conceived via donor eggs have a lot of awkward, awful feeling about having to use a donor.

I find that amazing, because the only negative-ish thought I can conjour up about us using a (sperm) donor is that we don’t know what the guy looks like. The babies are uncontrovertably ours, 100%.

Okay.

Enough for now, I think my pizza is probably ready.

September evenings smell so good.

September 20, 2008

Went back to the clinic this week for – drumroll, please – more blood tests. We also had ‘counselling.’ Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve had an intensifying feeling that I really may not be very good at my new job. Still, TMD keeps doing impressions of the counsellor we saw, and I think all I have to do to remember that I don’t suck is realise that at least I’m not OPENING MY MAIL during sessions.

Still, she hooked us up with what will probably be a useful network, told us to sort out our wills, and also showed us a book I really rilly want. It’s called Our Story, or something like that. It’s the story of two moms and their baby/child – how they had to go to the hospital to help get pregnant, etc. It’s not as creepy as Heather Has Two Moms (sorry, I know I am offending all you right on lesbians out there, but I remember that book being fucking WEIRD), and has cute kid-drawn illustrations. I want it, dudettes. Only seven smackaroonies.

The other useful thing the counsellor said was that we are already trying to conceive. In a bizarre way I already feel pregnant, though obviously that hasn’t happened. However, A Good Friend Who May Wish To Remain Anonymous thinks she’s pregnant with the next Jesus, and if that’s true I’m pregnant with Jesus III.

I think the only thing I have any doubts about is donating eggs. Am I not the altruistic kind? In a way, it feels like giving a child up for adoption or something. It’s odd as I have no ethical qualms about using donor sperm; though I do think women tend to be more precious about their eggs. Since our visit to the clinic on Thursday (?), I’ve been googling ‘IVF versus IUI’ a lot, and I am feeling really rock solid about IVF. It is the right choice for us.

There are fears – if IVF doesn’t work, it would feel sort of hope-draining to have to go ‘backwards’ to IUI. But as much as I resist it, I am feeling ridiculously positive and shining about the baby I know IVF will bring us. We’re going to the clinic again next week to have the IVF consult. The only thing hanging over my head is this fucking laparoscopy. The pain in my lower right abdomen is clearly going away, and I am so impatient to cook me up some baby pancakes that I almost don’t want to bother with the surgery. I’ve got the consult for that next Monday.

I’ve been to hospitals/clinics/my doctor more times since July than I have in the ENTIRE time I’ve lived in this country.  (Oh, I’m almost an official citizen! My ceremony is on October 6. Rock on free passport holder!)

Have I ever told you about Daisy and Joey? When we were growing up, my sister liked punching me in the stomach. Fuck knows why. I got around this for a number of years by telling her I had twins growing in me. At one point, another baby called Petunia joined the crew – but it was really Daisy and Joey who ruled the roost.

In a completely crazy, mostly unscientific sort of way, I am convinced we are going to have twins. One in four IVF births does result in multiples, so it’s not too unreasonable to think it might happen to us. I think the whole Daisy and Joey argument is perhaps erring on the side of wack-a-doodle-doo…..but my friend Opposite Gender Soulmate told me he had a dream a few months back that he was looking at pictures of me and TMD on Facebook, and we had twins. While he initially wrote this off due to stalking my profile AND seeing a scary movie about twins (why oh why didn’t I ask the name of it? I wish my wife liked scary movies!), he now says he thinks he ‘saw the faces of our future children.’

He also pointed out that I do like having two of everything (ie ‘one for best’).

Fuck it. If I’m not allowed to be chirpy and charmingly superstitious in my own diary, where can I be?

(I still am having big pooping problems. TMD is not amused.)

PS – The counsellor asked me what my orientation was. My reaction was a quiet astonishment, since I was there with my wife. Turns out she meant my theorectical counselling orientation.

PPS – I had a PPS but wanted to get down the PS first, and now I forgot it. Fuck.

PPPS – Fuck! Thought I remembered it, but then got dissauded by another PS and now I think I’ve forgot that one as well.

PPPPS – YES. Had a dream last night – been dreaming a lot about IVF. Last night we had two perfect embryos ready to be put back in my womb, and it was a boy and a girl. (No, we’re not planning on asking for this information in real life.) This is what TMD would like to happen, and I turned to her in the dream and sort of sigh-talked, ‘It’s just what we wanted!’

PPPPPS – I changed the name of this country’s currency for ‘smackaroonies.’ Am I uber-paraboid or what?