no. 643 – Donor Decision

I’ve been asked on separate occasions, whether by bloggers who are just finding out that they, too, have donor egg recommended to them; or by those just curious about donor egg, how we came to our decision to move forward.

While I have moments of second-guessing and even grief about donor egg, they are brief and nothing like the mental anguish I had when a cycle failed or when I miscarried. The chance of having another child, regardless of the means, was like a shiny object in the grass glittering with possibilities and promises.

When I read about other bloggers who struggle with donor egg, or even those who are frank enough to say donor assisted technology is absolutely NOT for them, each time I feel the doubt and worry wash over me anew. What if I made a rash decision? Did I give this enough thought or did I move forward out of desperation?

I say “I” because I’ve never talked about these wavering moments with Mr. DD. When the option was placed on the table and he gave his tentative blessing, I ran with it knowing how difficult it had been up to that time for him to take the leap of faith into the first IVF and then failing that, donor sperm. It took months for him to accept that a second child wasn’t going to come to us like the first.

While I know it will be important for Murdock to know about his/her conception, as well as for XBoy to understand, being able to have it all figured out now just doesn’t seem as relevant as it did at the beginning. There are just so many other things that I believe are more important than raising a child who understands the finer points of assisted reproductive technology.

I also strongly believe, whether you agree or not, that the egg that became Murdock came from the genetic donor, not the biological donor. I can’t say we would have chosen a known donor over anonymous if that had been an option. It’s an act of defeatism to try to imagine it. How many times do we already beat ourselves up with the “what ifs?” (what if we had tried to have children sooner; what if we hadn’t waited 3 years after the first one; what if that pregnancy wouldn’t have ended…)?

There’s no way that I’ll ever be able to push out of my mind that Murdock is the result of a stranger’s act, whether it was purely altruistic or if she was in desperate financial need. It only matters that she did and I’m sure I will silently thank her, and even curse her, a million times over during the time I have with Murdock on this earth.

Our donor may give Murdock some physical characteristics that are visibly different than both Mr. DD and me, but it will be Mr. DD, XBoy and I that will give him/her what’s immediately essential: love, strength, importance, and family. And those intangible items are what helped me decide that the one factual idea of donor egg was really the simplest hurdle to overcome.

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11 thoughts on “no. 643 – Donor Decision”

  1. I STILL THINK IT WOULD HAVE BEEN COOL IF MURDOCK LOOKED LIKE ME!
    PARENTING IS WHAT YOU TEACH, YOU ARE AN EXCELLENT TEACHER.

  2. I know we have had this discussion before, but since you posted about it I will go ahead and again reinforce that you made the right decision for you and your family. It is quite evident you put thought into your process and you proceeded as is best for you, Mr. DD & XBoy. As you have said it is part of her life but it is not her entire life. (OK I just noticed I wrote her, not intentional)

  3. There is no perfection in conception for anyone. There’s no perfection in carrying, none in delivery, none in raising kids. It’s a day to day. I have the feeling you will have those moments of perfection in love, in holding that baby’s tight fingers, in smelling the soft hair. In that there is perfection. Everything else is simply everything else. love well. (I know, I sound cheesy…that’s ’cause I am.)

  4. I was a donor too, and I never once viewed it as “I am giving you life, lalalalala!” I was the biological/genetic donor (I liked biological donor, “genetic donor” struck me as a little too like that Uma Thurman/Ethan Hawke film). I like to think that had I been on the receiving end of donor eggs, I wouldn’t have had a problem getting past the idea that it wasn’t my egg. Sure genetics play a role, but at the end of the day it’s the one who cleans Mach-10 vomit off their shoulders that gets the mommy badge.

  5. I had never really thought about the terms genetic donor vs biological donor before. You state it very well. Murdock is so lucky to feel so much love and have such a wonderful family.

  6. The last paragraph makes me love you even more.

    No matter whos DNA Murdock carries, he/she is YOUR baby. You, Mr DD and Xboy will shape, mold and impart your values, knowlege and sense of family. I don’t think a child could ask for or deserve any more. Murdock is one very very lucky kid.

  7. Being a donor, I agree completely with your differentiation between genetic and biological parentage. I gave some dna but my recipient gave birth. That trumps my donation of some cells any day of the week in my book and makes her the biological mommy.

    Ours being a known donor/recipient relationship would not work for most people, but it does for us. I think of the kids as long-distance nephews, as there really isn’t a word for this type of relationship. It certainly is a whole new world when families are built through donor gametes. We need some terminology that fits!

    I think you made the best choice for your family and Murdock is gonna be loved like crazy by not only his/her immediate family, but by tons of cyber aunties and uncles!

  8. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your questioning of your decision with us. I think it’s hard to have everything all figured out because you don’t know what the child will be like and what they will need or want to know. You can only know what is right for yourself and I think the rest of it will fall into place. At least that’s what I hope!

  9. The intangibles are what matter in the end. My first son, Ben, was not fathered by my husband. He was fathered by someone that neither The Daver or I even like, but that doesn’t diminish our love for him at all.

    I’m sure it was a hard decision to make, buy you made the right one for you and your family.

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