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Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Donor Egg Mother (Part 2)

This is the belated second part of the post that I did a couple of weeks ago - it still has been bubbling around within me. As usual, I would like to put in the disclaimer that there is nothing that I am more grateful in my life than JBB, every day, I am shocked with how much I love him more and more. This is not about being grateful, this is about something underneath, something that I don't think that I have quite dealt with yet.
JourneyMan and I went to the final session of our council run 'Baby Makes 3' course on Thursday night. Both of us have found this course quite wonderful, it has given us plenty to talk about and work out as well as some great ideas to help us as a family going forwards. As part of the final wrap up, the facilitators handed out the number of a counsellor that we could go and see individually or as a couple if we so chose to. After the course, I went to ask the facilitator privately if I could discuss my situation regarding JBB being a donor egg baby with the cousellor. She, of course, said that it was fine but what shocked me was that I started crying. Poor old JourneyMan didn't know what the hell was up because I was fine the previous minute before. I rushed him off to the car and started sobbing. The crazy thing is, I don't really know myself though I am starting to have an inkling.
I guess it started when JourneyMan's Aunt asked me at lunch 'Oh, JBB's skin is so beautiful and dark, where did he get that from?'. I wasn't prepared for a question framed in that way and when I said that JBB is a donor egg baby, she seemed a little embarrassed and quickly changed the subject. Then last week I was over at a girlfriend's for lunch and there were a few gals there who were all commenting on how much on each others' new babies were starting to look like them - you know, things like 'oh, so and so is really starting to look like you around the eyes now'. Strangely enough and as a bit of a side point, I have never been able to see that a baby looks like a parent or not. Anyway, this has happened a few times and each time the same thoughts run through my head. Firstly, I hear - 'that will never happen to me', which is quickly followed by 'who cares?', which then leads on to 'is there some part of me that cares - why would I bring this up to myself?' and then I start to feel guilty and beat myself up a bit. This goes round and round for a while.
I talked to JourneyMan about this the other night and he was wonderful - he is completely heartfelt in his knowledge that he understands that I am not saying that there is anything wrong with my bond with JBB or that I am anything less that esctatic about having JBB in our family - he knows that I am just trying to express myself so that I can find out what the feeling is underneath the tears.
I am now wondering about whether I have not completely grieved being able to have my own biological child or whether it is simply that I have not prepared myself for the situations that I have been placed in or could it even just be hormones. In some respects I do feel very alone because there are very few people that understand my situation. I am definitely a person that likes to be prepared for situations and how I would like to handle them. In some ways I am disappointed with myself that I didn't think to prepare myself for these earlier but I can't beat myself up too much, I have been very busy chasing after that little wigglemunch, JBB!!
Okay - so I kind of feel better about this going forward. I am going to try this as a plan:
1. If people ask where JBB got his beautiful skin (surprisingly this is asked fairly often cos honestly, he has the most divine skin you have ever seen - thankfully not my freckled version and JourneyMan, well, he has skin of the very pale variety!!), I am going to openly say that he is a donor egg baby who is our beloved miracle. I will be open to questions and will happily answer them but if the person seems to be embarrassed, I will be happy to answer anything that anyone has to ask.
2. When people are talking about their own children, and how they look like them, I am going to remember our beautiful holiday to Thailand that we had to have our darling boy. I am going to look closely at my gorgeous son, I am going to search his features and see if there is anything I would change about him because I know with absolute 100% certainty, there is nothing I would change - he is one of the reasons that I rejoice every day. I am going to hold that precious gift of his presence in my heart and smile knowingly to myself that when my friends, family or anyone else are looking at their children and seeing themselves - I will look at my JBB and see a beautiful miracle that I am priveleged to behold.
I am sure that I am going to trip over these situations more in the future but I am not afraid of looking at them now.
It has been a tough week for my darling JourneyMan. His Nanna died on Tuesday morning. She was a wonderfully warm and beautiful woman. We were lucky enough to see her last Saturday when they called all of the family in. JourneyMan was able to sit with her and spend some time showing off JBB to her - it was very special. My heart has hurt for him as he loved his Nanna dearly.


  1. I can't even imagine what you must be feeling but sounds to me like you atte handling it well. IMO you have no reason to feel guilty about feeling sad when in those situations and it definitely doesn't mean you love JBB any less!

    I'm sorry for the loss of your husband's grandmother :( Poor guy.

  2. Sorry for the loss of your husband's grandmother. Wonderful that she had time with JBB.

    Re being a donor egg mom, I'm not sure you can prepare yourself for the situations that come up any more than you can prepare yourself for the intensity of sleepless nights with a newborn. I'm an SMC with an incredible donor embie baby girl. I really think I'm completely at peace with not having my own genetic child, but my gorgeous daughter really doesn't look like me. At all. (Okay, maybe in the chubby thigh area.) I'm still caught off guard by all the "where does she get her red hair?" and "who's the redhead?" questions. I recently found a counselor who specializes in infertility to work on this. I want to handle the questions in a truthful way that my daughter will be comfortable with as she get's older. She will be one next week, so I still have some time.

    I also would not change one damn thing about her. She's my amazing miracle girl!

  3. I am sorry to hear about the loss of your husband's Nana. It doesn't matter how old they are, it always leaves an empty space when they go. :(

    I absolutely love your attitude about JBB being a donor egg. I love that you aren't embarrassed, hurt, or shy about it. I love that instead of feeling upset, you are choosing to find the positive in that you can help people understand not only what a miracle he is, but about the world of infertility and egg donation. I am sure that people aren't embarrassed so much as they are afraid they have stumbled upon a touchy subject. I love that you are so open as to helping them understand just how much you went through to get your son and that he was 100% worth it.