Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Bio mom

I had a long conversation with a good friend of mine who was adopted regarding whether she considers her bio mom to be her mom and how connected she feels to her bio mom. I was curious for the obvious reasons around DE and what a DE child might want to know.

The background: my friend did not find out she was adopted until she was 15. Yes she was very angry at not knowing AND it also answered a lot of questions for her as she was so physically different from her parents. About 8 few years ago, as she was turning 30 she decided to look for her bio mom. She wanted to find her bio mom for the medical information AND to well, find her. Her big fear was that she’d register and discover her bio mom had no interest in being found. he entered her info into a registry and within 24 hours had the contact information. She initiated contact and they have been in touch ever since mostly by phone with an occasional visit.

How she feels today: After meeting her bio mom she fantasized about being raised by her her and the bio dad (who actually were not together) but then she realized if she had been, she would not know the people she knows today, would not be married to her husband, have their kids, and basically would be a totally different person. She likes who she is and she loves her parents, so once she thought it through the fantasy stopped.

She went on to say that she does not feel that this women is her mom because they don’t share a common background and she was raised by someone else. As she put it: I feel closer to my aunt than I do to my bio mom. At the same time she is very glad to have her in her life, to find out things about the biological side of her family – there are also half siblings.

Now this is one person’s point of view. There are many other experiences out there. I just thought it was interesting to post what her feelings are regarding the love she has for her mother and father versus what she feels for the women who gave birth to her.

As I’ve mentioned a few times here I did not know my birth father – he died right around the time I was born. He had no siblings, his dad was dead and his mother died when I was very young. After his mother died I had no contact with his side of the family. I know nothing exact about his medical history. I do have a few photos of him with my mom and the stories that have been told to me by those who knew him. I was raised by another man, who adopted me, and who I consider my father. When I was a teenager I fantasized A LOT about my dead dad, as an adult I know I am very happy with my life and that a lot of who I am is because of my adopted father. I’ve grown up thinking a parent is more than a biological connection. In a very real way it has prepared me for the DE path – not that this was a path I ever envisioned or knew existed. I had dreams of having a family the old fashioned way.

I don’t blame myself because my eggs didn’t work – they just didn’t. I accept that we will never know why, and even if we did know why it would just be a fact, not a fault. I do think of myself as someone who perseveres and continues to have hope and I am someone who absolutely believes parenthood is more than genetics because that has been my own experience.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

You never know who has used donor eggs…

Note: I re-wrote this post from the first posting…feel it now says more of what I wanted to convey…and kami thanks for your support as always…when I put this new post up everything got deleted.

It’s good to tell people.

The pediatrician we interviewed this morning has two children via egg donor. This was wonderful news to us. I think I felt my heart lifting when he said that. It re-enforces my belief that being open and honest about DE is the way to go and just for that serendipity – finding someone who has some direct experience with infertility with the issues around DE or DI etc.

I keep wanting to talk about DE with more people. For me it is very freeing and every time we speak about it I feel it becomes less of a big deal, more of a this is what we did. If that makes any sense.

I had a long talk with a friend recently who was adopted and is now in touch with her bio mom. I’ll post about that later as I think there is some correlation between what she has experienced and some of the things I know I’ve thought about when deciding on a donor and thinking about how we would tell the future little one etc.

I’m out of time today, need to get back to work, but will post more on this later.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

It takes 30 weeks plus 1 day

to stop feeling totally terrified that something might happen to the pregnancy (which i still do please see previous post). At least for me. Not that superstition has abated totally. No baby shower and we still have not bought anything for the future little one…although we have plenty of time and I do have a list.

It is very exciting to feel the future little one kick and move. Which it does a lot and is a sign of good health, I’m told. I’m meeting with our doula again this Friday – that’s actually the one thing I did do very early on – find a doula. Like as soon as we passed the 3mnth mark. We are walking the fine line between natural birth and a hospital that does mostly epidural and c-section births. It helps that our obgyn has worked with doulas in the past and is on board. Of course since we’ve prepared for natural I’m also totally prepared to be told I need a c-section for some sudden reason (or not so sudden as I’ve been told the placenta is lying very low and may obscure the cervix so the baby would not be able to come out). You know it’s like planning for a wedding – it wont ever go perfect – and it’s just one day compared to all the days, weeks, months, years after. So we’re doing what we can to plan for a natural birth knowing full well that anything can occur and we just need to go with the flow when/if anything happens. Bottom line is we trust the care we have. Same for the IVF doctor. We very much trust him too. It’s so important to trust and like the people we allow to handle our bodies so intimately.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Infertility doesn’t stop when you're pregnant

It has often been confusing to me being pregnant. Not the pregnancy, that’s been something where I’ve felt afraid the whole time that something will go wrong…no, I’m talking about the signs of visible fertility. Kami has a post about this that got me thinking about it even more. Sometimes I feel very uncomfortable – like when the lady on the street corner asked me my due date and then told me to be careful because there were women out there who could not get pregnant so they might want to steel my baby, possibly even cut it out of my stomach. I’m not kidding. It was so absurd. And of course I am one of those women who could not get pregnant. Could not until DE and even then, it’s not a given. I got lucky. Finally.

I straddle both worlds. Once my husband and I started having our fertility problems five years ago we slowly withdrew from the people we know who were pregnant, or had children. It was just too painful to be around them or to hear them talk about their babies etc. It was our effort at self-protection. And it sort of worked. When I spoke to friends over the phone and they started in with baby related talk I would not go along for the ride because it left me in tears after hanging up. Rather I started saying things like, oh wow, I didn’t realize the time, I’ve got to go, or some version of that. It was much better than going along.

Now we are pregnant and I found myself reluctant to speak about the pregnancy because I remember and know all too well how painful it is to hear about pregnancy and babies if you want them. I do this, apparently to a fault. One friend actually asked my husband if everything was ok with the baby because I never talk about it. She is single and in her 30’s and I just didn’t talk much about it because I didn’t want her to be upset. Same with the other friends of ours who do not have kids or are not in relationships. The interesting thing is that she, unlike me, wants to hear about it. Which means, as Kami discusses in her post (and others discuss in the comments), that it is better to ask and be honest with people. So in that spirit: I grapple with how much to talk about my pregnancy online because I know when I wasn’t pregnant there were many days when I just couldn’t read about someone who was, and then there were the days when reading about someone who’d been through so many hurdles and was finally pregnant gave me great hope. I try to strike a balance here, if I haven’t please let me know.

Ultimately I don’t think infertility stops when something works be it a pregnancy or an adoption or the decision, as some make, to get off the roller coaster completely. Infertility changes all of us and makes us who we are, or will become. I think I am a better person today for all that I’ve been through (and will continue to experience) hopefully more empathetic and sensitive to those around me. I am continually reminded to take nothing for granted. Especially this online community.