The Unpredictable Emotions when Deciding to use Donor Egg
Our fertility therapist said this to me the other day - "Victoria, you are essentially just baking a cake with "her" eggs in your oven. "
We were discussing how we would tell our future child how he/she was conceived. It's something she feels that a child can easily understand - a simple statement - funny, yet accurate. I couldn't help but smile thinking - I will definitely put my own special twist on this one day.
I could really get creative with this!
Something like "Momma borrowed someone else's vodka to make her martini, but you were made in my shaker, baby!" And of course then explain that daddy was the ice. I mean - that's how all perfect martini's are made. Straight up and cold as ice, in the perfect, shiny shaker.
I imagine I would then end with some sort of rump-shaker-esque dance to really seal the deal.
Lord, help this poor un-conceived child.
But really - you can't make a martini without a shaker people! Or at least a damn red solo cup to stir it in. You know what I mean. You need a container! A container is necessary to the making of the martini!!
I AM THE CONTAINER!
Translation - I am necessary to this equation, no matter how you look at it.
My role is extremely important in conceiving this child, even though we aren't using my eggs.
My imagination was running wild with other analogies. I thought - how fun this could be for our family one day! This would be our "inside story" that only we could tell. Oh, the fun we will have!
While my mind drifted away to la-la land thinking of all the other ideas I could think of, I happened to look over at my husband smiling.
OH! I knew it! He's totally thinking the same thing I am! I wonder what ideas he came up with?
I asked him what was so funny and he replied "I was just thinking how you are going to run wild with this one, Victoria" and then looks at the therapist and says "and now this will be in her next blog post".
Damn, that boy is good. So damn good.
Our new donor agency requires that every "intended parent" (yes that's what we are called, sigh) goes through a psych evaluation prior to moving forward with the process. We can't even sign our real names on the legal documents, to ensure anonymity.
They put you through this evaluation to make sure you "ain't cray" before you get pregnant.
Can you imagine if all potential parents had to go through this before being allowed to reproduce? We'd have a LOT less children in the world. Just sayin'.
In our session we talked about things like - our infertility struggles. What we have tried that didn't work. How long we have been trying. What led us to using an egg donor. How we are feeling about the process. If we have shared with our family or friends.
We were SLAYING this evaluation. Bring it on lady, we got yo answers boo boo!
SLAY! SLAY! SLAY!
After about 30 minutes into the session she stopped and said "Gosh, I have to say - you two are by far the most enlightening couple I've ever met going through the egg donor process, especially after having one fail, it's pretty remarkable". And then she stared at us in silence.
It was a nice compliment, we are proud of how far we have come as a couple. We both smiled and sat up a little taller.
What is her deal? Are we done? Have we left her speechless?
As we sat there a little longer I was starting to sense that she was second guessing us. It was almost like she thought we were putting on some sort of show. Like we were faking our positivity in all the negative we have been through.
She gave us a quick stare down and then her demeanor changed to something like - Okay Nino's, now I'm bout' to throw down - you ready?
She paused for another minute and then asked...
"So, how do you feel about being "older" parents?"
Aw, hell no.
Naturally, my first reaction was to get defensive. Which I'm guessing is what she wanted - to strike some sort of nerve.
It worked. I was seeing red.
I took a breath as I contemplated through my response and thought - Victoria, don't ruin this. You need to pass this "evaluation". You've come so far already!
Do. Not. Go. Cray.
BUT - I was seeing red.
I forced myself to run through my thoughts in my head prior to speaking them. I needed to rant it out internally so that I could calmly reply to this RUDE - ASS question. Thinking before speaking is a VERY rare occurrence for me.
And, so I stared back at her in silence and thought...
I'm sorry lady, but it's not like we had a fucking choice to wait this long! And, who are YOU to call us old???? How old do you think we are?? What does "older" mean exactly? Do we look THAT old?? Did you call Gwen Stefani old when she got pregnant? OH NO, you di'ent, cuz that bitch is hot! AND not to mention much older than me! Or what about Janet Jackson? Don't get me started lady.
I've learned that therapists love silence. They do it on purpose to see how we react. They want to see if we will cave and blurt out something because we are uncomfortable, or if we will we be able to sit in the silence with them. Oh, I was sitting alright. Sitting there thinking about how I was going to tell her ass off - Baltimore style.
If she only knew what I was doing with those few minutes of silence in my brain.
I finally replied with something like "Actually, I know plenty of people that have been much "older" than us and I feel very good about the fact that we would be bringing a child into a financially stable home with two parents that kick major ass in life. So, how do I feel? I feel good. Thank you for asking."
My sweet husband sensed my bottled rage and bailed me out with some nicer responses/diversions. He's always so damn clutch.
You're my boy blue!
As he was responding to her question, I had some time to calm down. I just sat and listened. As he talked further on the topic I learned something new about him. I learned that he actually is NOT all that comfortable with being "older" parents. He has a bit of sadness about it. He told her about how he wants to be there for all the special moments later in life and to be able to be an active parent. He talked about how he worries about when his child gets to be his age, he will be in his 80's, not in his 60's like his parents are.
Cue my tears.
And we were doing sooooo good, damn it!
I couldn't help it. He is just too damn sweet. I mean, look at him?
I know how desperately he wants the chance to be someones dad. I know how much he has thought about the type of father he would be. When I look at him I see a man who deserves this more than anyone. A man who has so much love to give. A man who would be present for every little thing and never miss a precious moment.
I see a man who didn't ask for this. A man who doesn't deserve to be faced with the worries of being an "older" dad. Who doesn't deserve to be asked this question. It's not his fault.
I hate to see him sad. I just hate it.
The tears just would not stop.
He turned towards me, handed me a tissue and squeezed me on my knee - subliminal message - come on Vic, you got this - let's bring this shit home.
And so, I rubbed some dirt on my tears and pushed through like I always do.
We continued the session and she asked questions like...
How will you handle it if your child wants to meet your egg donor one day?
How will you answer questions about why and how you chose your egg donor?
What will you do when your child asks about his/her family tree?
What about all the siblings your child has out there, don't you think the child might want to know about them too?
But, we handled these questions with finesse. We've thought about all of this stuff, over and over again. We've talked about it at length. We know it's not going to be easy, but as long as we are open and honest with our child about our conception process, everything will be okay in the end.
Our answers to these questions are always the same - we will do whatever is best for the child.
We have chosen a donor who has similar genetic traits and ethnic origin to me. I wanted to choose someone who is from my family's part of the world. I realize that my genetics will not pass on, but why can't my heritage?
When reading her profile I was able to see some of myself in her and I found comfort in that.
She likes doing makeup and taking pictures of EVERYTHING just like me. She's outgoing, personable and has naturally wavy hair. Her favorite movie is Step Brothers.
"Did we just become best friends??"
We went through countless profiles, but this girl stood out to both of us for many reasons. The two most important reasons were that she is healthy and FERTILE! She has two healthy, beautiful children of her own and has helped other families get pregnant.
The third most important reason, per Jonathan, is that she has big hammers. Otherwise known as jugs, hooters, bombs, missiles, cannons, fun-bags, kahunas, or my personal favorite, sweater stretchers.
The details that surround our child's conception will be a natural part of our family's story. Our child will know at a very young age about all the "helpers" we needed to create him/her - the doctors, the nurses, the scientists and the nice lady that shared her eggs with me to bake our beautiful baby cake. Our child will have a stable sense of security about his/her identity from very early on.
We plan to have inspiring conversations with our child so that he/she understands that life sometimes means struggles and pain, but those struggles can lead to greatness and new perspectives on life. That every family is different and special in their own way and built on emotional ties, rather than genetic ties.
This is our story, this is our family, and we will be proud to tell it. The ingredients that will make up our cake (or martini) are all necessary to the equation.
And, as it turns out, we ain't too cray to have a baby, after all.
Here we go!