Is the Whole Experience as Wonderful as it Would Have Been?

Will the whole experience be as wonderful as it would have been if I had been able to conceive the baby without egg donation?

This was one of the questions I asked myself in a previous blog post while I was pregnant. I asked myself this because I ran across a site that listed common concerns of people who used egg donors to achieve pregnancy (along with several other questions). Now that the kid’s been on the outside for almost 7 months, what has the egg donor conception aspect really been like?

Is it as wonderful as it would have been?

As far as I can tell. It’s pretty wonderful. I haven’t experienced the alternative, and I’m certain it’s different, but less wonderful? I doubt it.

Did the baby end up looking like your husband? The donor? Someone else? You??

Yes to all. I stare at him and ponder this a lot!

  • I think he resembles my husband. He has the same mouth, smile, and eyelashes.
  • I think he resembles the donor. His hair color is similar (so far), face shape, forehead, skin tone, and eye shape.
  • I think he resembles someone else – my father, somehow. In fact, a lot of people say this. It’s odd, but cute!
  • I don’t really think he resembles me, but a lot of people say he does. They could be right, though sometimes I wonder if they’re just “being nice.” One person clarified that he makes some similar facial expressions. That makes sense to me, because he probably watches and imitates my expressions.
  • And he looks like “himself”/ambiguous in some ways – so far, I can’t tell if his nose resembles anyone’s in particular, and his eyes are still very very dark (but are clearly going to be brown). I don’t know if they’ll lighten up enough to match my husbands. He has the biggest head ever! Someone said he’s shaped like a lollipop 🙂 And his chin dimple – the first thing my husband and I both noticed when he was born – no clue where that came from

Do you think about the donor?

Not every day. But most days, I do. I look at her photos/profile a few times a month, too. I do wish I knew who she was! But it’s ok that I don’t.

How do you think your kid will feel about being donor-conceived, by an anonymous donor?

I expect it’s likely he will be fine with it. As a little kid, I’m sure he will be confused, but I hope to present it as just one of many ways of making a baby. If he’s anything like me, though, he’ll be very curious. He can have certain answers, of course. I’ll show him her profile and photos, if he wants to see them. I’ve considered doing some genetic testing for him and my husband to see where there are differences and just so he can know a little more about how genetics work, once he’s old enough to have any semblance of understanding such things. Maybe do some tests for me, too – I bet there’ll be a few similarities, just by chance, and that might be interesting for him to know, along with the differences and just simple knowledge about his mom’s origins. I am his mom, after all!

What about the other genetic relatives floating around out there? How will you explain that?

I consider this often, too. This seems a lot more complex to explain than simple donor conception. The donor has a family. There’s at least one genetic half-sibling out there he’ll never know, maybe more. The donor might have children of her own. If all goes well, he’ll have a couple of genetic full-siblings that he will know (on some level), who will be the children of two other families. Though not “floating around out there,” at some point we’ll explain that his sister and brothers are half-siblings, and his dad used to be married to their mom.

That’s a lot of different types of genetic relatives. It’s incredibly confusing. I don’t know how we’ll explain that while he’s too young to really fully grasp the whole deal.

What if there are questions about the donor’s medical history?

Funny you should ask that (….ok, I asked that). I already did ask a follow-up question! Since we’re starting to feed the baby solid food, I was wondering if the donor had any family members with food allergies. I knew that she didn’t, personally, but what about others? I wanted to be able to more carefully introduce foods to which he might be at greater risk of being allergic. We are mostly doing baby-led weaning, so he doesn’t get single-ingredient foods a lot of the time. I contacted the clinic, they contacted the donor, she called them back, they got back to me… the process was a bit involved, sure, but it worked out fine (and no family history of food allergies! Whew). Also, I was glad to find out that she was diligent about returning the clinic’s call to answer my question. She seemed diligent, in general, but cycle-adherence doesn’t necessarily translate into follow-up over a year later.

Do you resent your husband for getting to have a genetic connection to your child?

No, I don’t. And, this might be unusual, but I’m glad in some ways that I don’t have a genetic connection to the kid. I wouldn’t have been able to, anyway, so after I found that out, the idea didn’t really cross my mind anymore. But, beyond that, I have to say I’m less worried about the kiddo’s health, because he isn’t at substantial risk for my particular health problems. Also, I really really love my husband, and I feel like the baby being related to him, in some ways, makes me want to take extra special good care of the little guy!

How would you feel if your child wanted to meet the donor someday?

I would feel fine with the idea of it, and I’d understand his desire to do it. I would love to meet her, as well! However, I would not actively encourage him to try to find her, simply because, by accepting an anonymous donation, I see that as a tacit agreement that we wouldn’t actively seek her out. Whatever they were, she had her reasons that she chose to donate anonymously (though it’s also possible that was just because our particular clinic only accepts anonymous donors, and she personally had nothing against meeting a kid resulting from her donation). I will say, though, I also wouldn’t be very active in trying to stop him if I found out he were looking. He didn’t agree to any of this, I’d understand his motivation, and it’s not like I could stop a kid who’s internet-savvy, anyway.

I would help and encourage him if he wanted to see if any half-siblings are listed on the Donor Sibling Network, though. I already check it here and there. Once in a while, previously-anonymous donors also list themselves on it, so hey, if he found her on there, then all bets are off with her anonymity, anyway.

 

 

Tiny Itsy Bitsy Gifts, Free(-ish) to Good Homes

Hello, again! It’s been some time, hasn’t it? Hope you’ve all been well. Baby, mom, dad, and all family are doing great!

We are excited to say that we’re donating our remaining embryos to two other families! One is a done-deal, papers signed, cycle in progress. The other donation is still in progress, as far as all the background bureaucracy. I met the families through a women’s embryo donation/adoption Facebook group (it’s super special secret! But if anyone reading this is a woman and a donor, recipient, or potential donor/recipient, I could request the moderators send an invite. Just let me know!).

I posted a profile on the site and waited to see Read More »

Guess Who’s Here! Or: The Odyssey

Finally, the kid has arrived! A brand new person was born at 9:01am on December 31, 2016 🙂 Now he’s laying beside me, looking around, chewing on his sleeve, occasionally sneezing, at 2:30am. Parenthood!

I’m trying not to do that thing where I tell everyone my harrowing birth story, totally unsolicited. I feel like you should sign a consent form to hear that kind of thing. So, by continuing to read, you indicate that you have read the above information and you voluntarily agree to participate. Read More »

It’s Been A While!

Hi there! I’ve been missing in action! But, I thought I’d pop back in and say hello. Honestly, I haven’t been able to think about much to write. I just don’t feel like my pregnancy has been too different than the norm, and this blog was intended to focus on third-party reproduction, something that’s out of the norm. Now I’m just a regular pregnant lady. Which, I suppose, is exactly what I wanted to be!

Also, most of my posts would be complaining about pregnancy symptoms, Read More »

Apprentice vs. Master Craftsman

I think this is kind of an early Fathers’ Day post.

I like to read articles about what your man should know about your pregnancy and taking care of a newborn (yes, it’s always “your man.” Never “your woman,” or “your partner” or even “your partners,” of course). I get halfway through the article, think “Why am I reading this? He knows all this stuff,” and then realize I’m reading it because I’m the one who doesn’t know all that stuff.

The other day, I found out that you’re not supposed to give an infant water to drink. Read More »

Special Snowflakes

First, fair warning… this post is just chock full o’ morbid musings. Something that’s been on my mind lately is the question of “What do we do with our other embryos, and when do we do it?” When you use donor eggs, you sign a very long contract (I’m guessing you sign one for any assisted reproduction procedure, really). It gives you an overview of different procedures, risks, and options.

One section covers the disposition of stored embryos. Read More »

Good News is Here!

Here is the awesome thing I got to post on Facebook the other day!

“Not many kids can say they were a five-day-old embryo in their first baby photo. But my kid can!! I can’t wait to become a mom, right smack dab in the middle of the holidays! (Sorry ’bout that birthday, kiddo).

I am grateful to the doctors and clinic staff who helped, and for the generosity of our egg donor. But, most of all, I am thankful for [husband], whose love for me, love of children, kindness, and let’s face it, unfathomable indulgence made this possible 💘”

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IT WORKED, FINALLY! It’s still pretty hard to believe. I’ve had a couple of ultrasounds now, though, so of course, it’s also hard not to believe. I am about 8 weeks 4 days.

I did end up testing early, for the first time – I dutifully waited for the blood test the first two times I did transfers. Read More »

Infertility Announcements

I’m sure you all can tell I love dark humor as a coping skill. I really must commend this couple for their creativity and humor in raising visibility and in finding a fun way to accept life for the wrench-throwing jester that it is. And they found their own best solution! Adoption, assisted reproduction, skillful “giving up” (e.g. finding alternative ways to create your life’s meaning and/or contribute to others), raising kids in a different way (e.g. volunteering, stepparenting, being a major support in the life of a child who needs one), finding the silver lining in not having children… all excellent responses to the major curveball of infertility.

See their infertility announcements here!

http://www.someecards.com/parenting/pregnancy/infertility-announcements-spencer-and-whitney-blake/

How to Honor Stepmoms on Mother’s Day

I love this post by stepmomincognito! I am so happy that my husband and stepchildren always make me feel appreciated, and that my husband is taking me out to Mothers’ Day brunch. I’m very grateful that my husband and his kids were a package deal, because they’re all so awesome.

Stepmom Warrior, LLC

Mother’s Day is just around the corner. For stepmoms and their husbands this can be a tricky day to navigate. Emotions can run high. Anxiety can brew.Bio-moms are often recognized, while stepmoms can be overlooked. I attended a church service last Sunday where they were holding a parenting seminar. The pastor kept mentioning mothers and fathers and not once mentioned stepmoms and stepdads. In the greeting card aisle there are hundreds of options for bio-moms, while stepmoms get only a few. Autocorrect doesn’t recognize “stepmoms” as a word. This comes as no surprise. And stepmoms are by no means trying to take credit for carrying a baby for nine months and taking part in the birthing process. We get it. We’re not the bio-mom. However, we are in a mothering role and we deserve to be recognized.

Flowers, gifts, chocolate, wine, and tokens of appreciation are always nice but what…

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