Just when I think I’m over something, BAM!, I get hit with an emotional bombshell.
At least this time it’s good!
Scrolling through Twitter I came across an interesting article about microRNA’s and how they can change the genetic information of a donor egg while in utero. Specifically,
Molecules known as MicroRNAs that are secreted in the mother’s womb can change the genetic information of the child, the researchers say….Practically speaking, this means the mother’s DNA influences the way the baby develops. Her genetic material essentially helps to “decide” which of her baby’s genes get turned on and off. Even more, it means the baby will acquire some DNA from the mother, even if the egg comes from another woman.
I know all about epigenetics and I have held tight to the idea that my boys were profoundly changed by the environment in which they grew. But the idea that they might actually have some of my DNA hit me like a ton of bricks. The difference is subtle but profound, at least for me. Suddenly I feel like I can take a little credit when people comment on my son’s hair, which is the same color as mine, or when they stop us and say that he’s my spittin’ image. No matter how comfortable I become with the fact that my boys didn’t come from my eggs some things have always hurt, just a little. Sometimes more than a little.
Whether or not they have my genetics doesn’t truly matter – it doesn’t change my love for them or their love for me or the fact that they are my sons – but the process that I had to go through to conceive them was extraordinarily difficult for me. Sometimes it’s good for me to stop and realize that I’m still healing and recovering from that process.
So, wherever you are in your process take a moment and honor your struggle. Give yourself a moment of grace and rest. It’s a long road but it’s worth the trip. And the trip is full of surprises!