Sunday, March 28, 2010

Why Donor Eggs?

This post is me working through some of my feelings around donor eggs and the choices that I have made.

It has been on my mind a lot, the reasons why I chose donor eggs instead of adoption or stopping to try altogether. It was not a decision that I made easily, nor wanted to make at all. No one should be put in this situation. I hate that my young body failed me and I have to go a less than traditional route to be a parent. I am not embarrassed nor ashamed of using ART and donor eggs, but I am sad and angry about it.

I often think back to when I first went off the pill before we were actually trying. Many friends (fertile ones) told me to be careful because you are more likely to get pregnant in those first few months. Obviously they were wrong. I think back to how naive I was about this process. I had feelings like everyone else, that it would happen naturally and quickly. Well, no actually, I didn't. I always had it somewhere in the back of my mind that it would be difficult, but I never dreamed of this. I guess it didn't help matters much that for my IUIs and two of my IVFs, we were all sure it was going to work. With each failure we were all devastated and left with the question of what went wrong. It was only then, my eggs started becoming the topic of conversation. It was not a conversation I was ready or interested in having. I will however admit that once the idea was put in my head, it really never went away, it was always in the back of my mind as a sort of insurance package or nagging feeling. I still can't believe that my Plan B is my reality.

A. was not completely on board at first. He desperately wanted us both to be genetically connected to our children. Of course, I did as well, but not to the same degree. It turns out he just needed some time to process and grieve the loss. I am not sure if I have 100% done that yet. I do not know if it has completely sunk in that if I get pregnant with these embryos, I will not be genetically related to them. I try not dwell on that part, because it still saddens me, but I know it isn't healthy either to pretend it doesn't exist. In my head I understand, but I am not sure my heart is completely there yet.

Last night A. and I watched the movie, The Blind Side. It was beyond fantastic. It is about a white family that takes in a teenage black boy and raises him as their own and how he ends up becoming a professional football player. WOW! Watching the movie, I kept thinking to myself that genes don't matter. They love this boy as if he was their own and he was seventeen when they met him. Why can't I adopt? It would be more of a sure thing, and it would probably cost less, why am I not ready to think of this as an option?

I guess I am selfish. I want to experience pregnancy (labour, not so much!). I want a child more than anything, but I want to feel like I had a role in bringing them into the world. It is not completely about genetics, although it is a bonus that they will have A.'s, it is about me. I need to be a part of the process. I am scared to death about what happens when the baby will arrive. I think about how I will feel when people say, "he has your eyes" or "she has your smile". I can only imagine at this point, that I will feel upset by this, even though I am told by many DE parents that once the baby arrives, it doesn't matter. I also worry about jealousy. Will I be jealous of A. if they look like him or have his mannerisms? I hope not. In my head I believe that, but in my heart, I am still unsure. I guess I feel the need to bond with the fetus because I am worried that my connection will not be instant. Maybe genetics do play a role? Maybe the baby will not bond with me instantly because it will know that I am somehow a fake. I haven't really worked out these feelings yet and they are sounding a bit like ramblings, but they are there. When I think about the early bonding between mother and child, I am worried that if I don't have at least some role to play (like carrying the fetus) then I will disconnected completely.

Thinking back to the movie, maybe it was easy for them to accept this child as their own because they already had two children. They were not looking to fill a void in their lives, just do the right thing. I can't express in words the respect I feel for this family, but I wonder if I could do it. I would like to think I could. I wish I could. I am just not there yet. If our DE cycle fails and none of the embryos turn into a live baby, I will have to think about out next steps, but I am not ready for that yet. For today, I am hopeful that with these embryos, A. and I will be parents.



  1. First of all, I feel VERY hopeful for you and your embryos.

    Secondly, I completely understand all of your thought processes. Although we decided not to do DEs it's not because I don't think it can be a wonderful way to build a family. I think your feelings are natural and I am sure you just need time to process everything.

    And I'm just sorry it all has to be so hard.


  2. i don't think you need to justify your feelings on wanting to be pregnant and experience all that brings. that is human nature and what we are programmed to do.

    from the little i know about you, i am completely sure that ANY child of yours, no matter the origin, will be loved and cherished because they WILL be yours.