Hi everyone – sorry I’ve been gone for so long. First I want to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart for your thoughts, comments and well wishes. There are times in the last few months when I’ve been in a pretty dark place and your support has been invaluable to me. So, thank you.
Things have been pretty rough ’round these parts. A few days after we found out that my sister has DOR and can’t donate my whole family came out to visit. It was already planned – my mom wanted to be out here while my sister and I got our tests finished. And it was terrible and awkward. We didn’t discuss it. Not even once. Such a huuuuuuuge elephant in the room!! It was awful.
After they left I just tried to put the whole thing from my mind. It was just too big, too much to deal with. Once again, I felt totally overwhelmed, completed defeated and entirely alone. *sigh*
A few weeks ago when my husband was out of town I spent an entire day watching documentaries on adoption. Not gonna lie, they painted a pretty dismal picture of adult children with serious attachment issues, separation anxiety and abandonment issues, even when they were adopted as babies and raised by warm and loving adoptive parents. Clearly, not all (or even most) of adopted people feel that way but it was eye opening. That same night I started looking at egg donor registries, just to see what was out there. I saw a girl who had a teenage photo that looked just like me – I sent it to my mom and she said “I don’t remember you dressing up as a cowgirl for Halloween”. It’s pretty good if even your own mom can’t tell! But, to use that girl would be upwards of $35K (not including travel) which is way outside of our budget considering that our savings are already drained from all this other infertility BS.
So, now I’m looking at frozen eggs. However, the more reading that I do about egg donation the more “on the fence” I become. Most frozen egg donors are anonymous, and I don’t want that. I don’t want them all up in my business, but (if I were to go this route) I believe donor conceived children have a right to know their genetic heritage. After all, S and I would have gone to a hell of a lot of trouble to ensure that our child was genetically related to us (well, one of us), how could we take away our child’s right to know the people they are genetically related to?
Plus, if I were the donor (HA) I would want to know that the eggs I donated went to good people. I don’t know that I would want to be heavily involved with them or the children, but I’d like to know.
There’s a girl in the egg donor registry that I like. A lot. She looks like me – red hair, green eyes, similar build. Her nose is bigger, her lips are fuller, her eyes are slanted. I think she’s lovely – a prettier, more petite version of me. But she’s 22. Which is great, reproductively. But who’s to say that at 27, or 30 or 35 or when she wants to have her own children that she won’t regret her decision to donate? That she won’t wonder about her “other” possible children and be concerned for their health and happiness? I would be, if I were her. So for her, the potential future genetic mother of my potential future donor children and for those children themselves I’d want at least to have the option for limited future contact. But I don’t think that’s possible with frozen eggs.
On top of this, I have all the usual fears about using donor gametes. Will I be able to bond with a child that’s not genetically mine? Will I always be looking for the donors traits? Will I be able to handle it? Will the child love me? Will I always feel second rate, second best, like I’m not really their mother? Will my family/friends/society be able to accept the child? Will the child think we were selfish for focusing on our desire for a child rather than what that decision would mean for the child who has to live with our choices? Would the child feel “incomplete”? Have I thought through this decision enough? Will the child want to find/have a relationship with their donor?
I know a lot of you have been here and have grappled with these same issues. Any thoughts or advice you have would be awesome. We have a meeting with our RE tomorrow to discuss donor eggs (including whether or not this particular donor would be open to limited contact) so hopefully he’ll be able to help clarify some things as well.
Man, remember when things were straightforward and easy? Nah, me neither.
I don’t have any input or advice. You have a tough decision to make, and only you and your husband know the right answers here. But I’m thinking of you and hope you come to a decision that works best for your family. Hugs.
Mountain Skier said:
I have adopted two from China – both were just under a year when we brought them home. First off, if you go seeking people who are miserable and want to blame adoption, you will find plenty of them. It’s similar to racism, used as an excuse, ie “I don’t have a good job because I am X”, “that person cut me off because I am X”, “I got pulled over because I am X”. Fill in the blank: poor, female, black, white, adopted, short, etc. It’s because kids are being raised to be entitled and when they face real life and find out the world doesn’t revolve around them, they find something (that they can’t change) to blame. I don’t believe babies who are adopted and now miserable are miserable because of their adoption. It’s an excuse they latch on to so they can be a victim. I call BS!
I don’t think of my kids as someone elses. I don’t give a shit what others think about my family. Quit worrying about other people’s opinion. Why wouldn’t you love a baby you gave birth to? Adopted? Why would a child question your love for them unless they can sense that you have an issue? I don’t ever think about the fact that my kids are adopted, I don’t focus on it, it doesn’t change anything. You worry too much and are focused on the wrong things.
Thank you for your perspective. First, I’m not “seeking out” miserable people. I watched a series of documentaries which had different people with different points of view on adoption that were discussing their own personal experiences. I completely agree that miserable people are going to find a way to be miserable and will lay the blame on whatever (or whomever) is at hand. That being said, their perspective is still one that I want to hear. What I didn’t mention is that I have several friends who were adopted and we have had lengthy discussions about their feelings and experiences, and even some of them (who are not “victims” or “miserable people”) have had a very hard time dealing with some issues related to their adoption. I am interested in learning about everyone’s experiences-good or bad. These are huge decisions on issues that I have limited experience with, and so I am trying to gather as much information and insight as I can. I am not “worrying about other people’s opinions”. I am trying to learn from the experiences of the people who have walked this path before me, like yourself. I am trying to be honest about my fears (whether they are justified or not) so that I can explicitly address them and deal with them them BEFORE I bring a child into the situation. And while I appreciate your opinion and value your insight, it is not for you to say that I am worrying about or focusing on the wrong things. I am doing what I need to do (for myself, in my own personal situation) in order to make clear, informed, confident choices. So, in short, I thank you for your input and for sharing your personal experience. Congratulations on your sweet boys!
Sigh, I’m so sorry. This is such a tough, tough thing. I’m going through something similar, although we’re not quite at the donor egg stage–there’s still some hope for my eggs (not much, but some), but there’s even less of a chance for my husband who’s has non obstructive azoospermia. I’ve probably commented here before (as Martha, but I started a blog recently because it all became too much, and therefore changed my id), but it seems that everytime we go see the RE or the urologist, we get more bad news. I think you said it best earlier, we’re always on the wrong side of the statistics. I think a lot about bonding with a non-genetically related baby, and I still have a lot of thinking to do. This is going to sound really weird and really dumb and probably offensive, but here goes. I think about our animals and how much we love them and I think I can do this–we can love a baby that’s not’s genetically related to us. I know that it’s not analogous, that babies grow up into thinking, feeling, independent adults, but right now I feel like the biggest hurdle is having a baby that doesn’t feel like ours. That is probably naive and there’s a lot more to life than infant/childhood. It could be because this has been such a tough struggle for us, that I can barely convince myself there will be a baby after all this. I do think some about the tough teenage years and if, say, the child has a wild streak, will I blame it on the donor and find myself regretting my decisions. Will the child blame me/my husband for taking them away from the people genetically related to them. I don’t think so, and I like to remind myself that genes are only a small part of what makes a family and why you love someone. I have 2 adopted cousins and we never thought of them as anything less than our cousins, they’re treated the same as all the biological children of our generation. I don’t know much about how they feel–I know they’ve struggled some with whether or not they wanted to contact their birth parents and so far have not felt ready, but we’re not super close so they likely have more complex feelings about it that I’m not aware of. Everyone’s been open about the adoption since day one, and their parents are still their parents and my cousins treat them the same way I treat mine. Christmas’s spent at Grandma’s house, their Dad flying out to bring her a cat, her fiance asking her Dad for permission to marry her. Them paying for his rent to help him get started with life post-college. From the outside, I don’t see much difference. And interstingly, their pretty anti-teen mothers; they’re proponents of adoption in those cases.
Blue Skies said:
Good postvand I agree. We love our fur babies so much and don’t think about them not being related to us.
I have so much to say, but I can’t get my thoughts in order. If you want to check my blog, I did put some of the stuff I struggled with as we came to use donor eggs there, and would be happy to tell you more about it if you’re interested. I am 7 wk 1 day pg with our DE baby…so my brain is a little frazzled right now!
Bachelor's Button said:
It is very difficult but I believe that there are lots of ways to have a family. The modern world is a complex place, so why should families be any different? We were lucky (very) to have our little boy following round two of ivf last year, although in terrible circumstances. We are now attempting ivf again with my elderly ovaries, but are also thinking donor eggs (have you considered a trip to Europe btw? Spain or Greece where children do have the right to find out about their genetic history and the treatment costs about £10,000?), or adoption which I think can be positive if the child is under four years old. I have two friends who have just had donor egg babies and they couldn’t love their children more. The babies love them too- it is evident. A cousin recently adopted a five year old boy. He calls her mummy, and means it. I think that if love is the solid foundation of the parent child relationship, then the rest will follow. If you need to use donor eggs, then use them. It isn’t what you imagined, but it is such an amazing option and it will enable you to produce a family, and will bring a new little life into the world, who would not otherwise be.
Bachelor's Button said:
Sorry, I forgot to say that There are biological children who would claim to have some of the same negative issues that you mention. I am sure that adoption is challenging as children are likely to arrive ‘damaged’ in some way, and donor egg children will mo doubt have questions, but you will be a thoughtful and committed and living parent, however you produce your family, and your child will know how much they were wanted, and that will go a long way towards making things good.
Gypsy Mama said:
Wow can I ever relate to absolutely everything you just said!! The only difference being that we are looking at donor sperm instead of eggs.
As for me, I am leaning towards traditional adoption but I am still on the fence. Its hard because this is such a huge, difficult, complex decision that I don’t think there will ever be a clear answer as to which is the best to do. According to my research, there is heartbreak all over the spectrum from adoption to donor eggs/sperm etc. And there are also a lot of amazing stories as well.
I wish you the best from the bottom of my heart!
We went through everything you’re discussing, and it’s all kind of terrible. Never choices you want to have to make. I wasn’t given the option to use my own eggs (even though I was only 32 when we started this mess), so we knew we had to go straight to donor eggs. I would spend a lot of time talking to your clinic about fresh/frozen eggs. We were counceled (by the donor coordinator) to go with frozen eggs because of the cost, and I found a lovely donor. We had everthing set and then the doctor called me and said, “So, I just want you to think about what you will do if this doesn’t work.” With frozen eggs, the clinic only provides two (they are generally “leftovers” from fresh donation). Because they tend to transfer two embryos with frozen eggs, it’s only a one-time option–for $18000! It was more expensive to go with fresh, but the donor produced 20 eggs-and we had nine embryos. Now that I’ve miscarried twice, I feel SOOOO grateful to have those second, third, and fourth chances.
I found it extremely irritating and difficult that the donor coordinator didn’t lay this out clearly–and while I really appreciated the doctor’s insight, I wish it had come months earlier.
I’m not sure what the difference is at your clinic. I’d be happy to talk to you about our process. I don’t feel good about so many aspects of the donor process, but I do feel good about our donor. We don’t look anything alike, but she looks like my husband. I usually forget our embryos come from donor eggs, and I don’t worry about my own feelings as a mom. But I do worry about my kid feeling “different.” If I can manage to stay pregnant, I’m going to work very hard to find a group of families who’ve had kids through ART. There are a lot of us, but we’re usually pretty quiet . . .
Good luck with everything.