Tuesday, October 2, 2012
I am member of a private Facebook community of women who are going through IF technologies, are pregnant via IF or are parenting post IF. For the most part, it is great to be a part of this community as it is very supportive of everyone but sometimes things happen that disturb me.
An incident happened yesterday though that made me really sad. A girl posed the question ‘if I am a donor egg mother, will I be less of a mother?’ As you can imagine, she got a lot of responses to this question - some were good and some not so good. Some people said things like ‘if you are having doubts, you need to work through it before continuing’ or ‘maybe you need some counselling to work through your issues’. Someone said ‘if you are feeling ashamed, you will pass that feeling on to your child’. I wasn’t really upset by the responses personally because all these questions told me was that these people haven’t actually be in this position before because there is no way in hell you would respond in that way if you had.
To me, the only answer to this question was a flat out ‘no’ (my actual response was ‘no way, no day’). No, you will not be any less of a mother. No, you will not love your child any less. No, you will not treat this child any differently. No. No. No. Unfortunately very few people answered that question directly and tried to assume what was behind the question. Doubts, shame, issues.
How many times do all of us do that – answer the assumption behind the question rather than the question itself? I was the only actual donor egg mother who responded but by the time I did, she had gotten extremely upset, thought that she was upsetting others and removed herself from the group and blocked everyone. I was really sad because I think she just needed to hear ‘no, you will not be any less of a mother’.
I wish I had of gotten in on the conversation earlier because I could have told her that I had my doubts before doing donor eggs but they were wiped away when the cutest, smartest, most loving child came into my life (**there is a chance that I am a little biased on this subject). I would have also pointed out that surely it’s impossible to have doubts when you are going into something so unknown? I would have told her that when I was up night and day for days on end when JBB had Kawasaki disease, I didn’t think I was a ‘donor egg mother’, I was just ‘mother’ – no more, no less. Indeed, JBB tells everyone he meets that I am ‘mummy’. I would tell her that I feel no shame that I couldn’t use my own eggs to have children, I only feel great pride that I was brave enough to walk this path, that I was an integral part in bringing this wonderful miracle into the world.
I also wish that people could have just answered the question that was asked and not assumed the motivation behind it. I feel very sad that this woman came to us for support and we failed her.