Friday, April 25, 2008

Bio Mom or Egg Donor

I was talking to my close friend this week and this egg donor situation and what it was like to choose a donor and she got a little testy with me. She kept pressing me about the fact that it wasn't important who the donor was and that it was only important how we raised our child. That education didn't matter. I tried to explain that I know that but since I have to chose some one, why not chose some one who has a college degree (like I do). She was really rankled by the whole discussion and it was a bit disconcerting to me.

Then yesterday she called me and told me that she had been thinking about our talk and trying to figure out what was going on for her and she decided that she didn't like it that I referred to the egg donor as the "bio mom". She's a mother of three herself and one of hers is adopted. She felt strongly that the egg donor is not a "mom" in any sense - that I will carry the child and give birth to the child so it is very different from a birth mother.

She compared it to a sperm donor and asked if people refer to the sperm donor as the "bio dad". I guess they don't.

I guess I'm confused as to what role, symbolic or otherwise, the egg donor will play in the child's life (assuming a child comes from this). Will the child think of that person and wonder what she is like or will the child think not too much about her at all?

I am aware that as people become young adults, identity becomes a major focus in their lives. I worry most of all about that time period for a child.

How different is a egg donor from a birth mother? Do people call surrogates birth mothers? Any thoughts?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Holy Crap - we have a donor!

The donor said yes! I can't believe it. We've been waiting so long on the other donor that I expected to wait at least a week to hear. Just this morning I e-mailed the donor coordinator and asked her to ask the donor.

Wow! I totally didn't expect this.

They can get things started this Friday if I can bring in $5,000 tomorrow. I am not sure I am ready to start everything so soon. I may ask for another week so I can get mentally prepared. I've been thinking that all this would happen in the summer - maybe even August or September.

I have to stop drinking caffeine.

Is this really happening?

What is Important?

Choosing a donor is not easy. At times I just want anyone who is ready and other times I feel very picky.

Since we've given up hope on our #1 donor (she doesn't know when she would like to donate again, which is fine, but we want to get going on this), I went back to the RE yesterday and looked at the big book of donors. It's very confusing.

Do I pick someone that looks somewhat like me - same eyes, hair, height, weight, etc? Or someone who has the same education? Or similar interests? I was an athlete when I was younger and I find myself drawn to those who played sports in high school or college. I'm also drawn to those who are musical. I'm not musical but both my parents are.

What I want most is that my child can be proud of her bio mom. That I could say, we picked your bio mom because she was smart, athletic, and looked somewhat like me. I want our child to feel good about their bio mom.

I don't know if this is going to sound weird or not, but here it goes. Many of the donors listed their ethnicity as white or Caucasian. The form has an area for them to list the ethnicity of their parents and grandparents as well. Many of the donors listed "white" for all of their grandparents, too. I don't know if that was just laziness or not knowing. My initial reaction was to rule those donors out because I want my child to know his/her ethnic background. I don't want there to be a void for half of her heritage. I'm white but I also happen to know that my ancestors are Irish and German. I have no contact with Ireland or Germany but it does form part of my identity.

And it does come up occasionally - in childhood and adulthood - that you are asked your ethnicity. I want my child to be able to say, " I am part x, part y, and part z" not, "I'm half x but I don't know the other half".

Is this nothing to worry about? Am I worry about something that isn't important?

So, why do I bring this up now? Well, as mentioned, we're not counting on the original donor we chose though she was listed as Irish and German and Swedish and had a lot of characteristics that I like. So, I went through the book and selected a couple of other good options. The one I like the best for her features, her education, etc., listed all her parents/grandparents as "white".

I have asked the donor coordinator to ask the donor if she has more details on her ethnicity. I don't care what it is, I just want to know so when it is time, I can tell the child (that will hopefully come from this).

Other than that, she looks like a great fit for us. She played college basketball, I played college water polo. She is a teacher. I'm a social worker. She is almost exactly the same height,weight, eye color, etc. She doesn't look like me but close enough.

Still on the topic of choosing a donor, what am I supposed to think about eye color? I have light eyes as do both my parents, all my siblings, and all my grandparents. DH has hazel eyes and his sibs have blue eyes. OK, so, would it be weird to have a brown eyed child? Meaning, would people say, oh, where did she/he get those brown eyes? Would it automatically draw attention or would nobody ever notice in a million years? The next two candidates on our list both have brown eyes.

See? I don't know what to worry about. I only want our child to have a good sense of who he/she is and I guess I have the need for the child to chose when to tell people she is an egg donor baby.

Anyway, I think we have chosen a new donor - only need to hear if she will accept and when will she be willing to do it.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Not your ordinary 2WW (2MW?)

I finally talked to the Egg Donor Coordinator at my REs office. These past weeks of waiting have really tried my patience. And DH was losing it, too. We struggled with this decision, agreed to spend $30,000 on the process, chose a donor, and since then, we have been on hold. We've been waiting to find out if the donor will agree to do it.

We really want this donor and I see that that was our big mistake - we literally put all our eggs in one basket. If we had chosen 2 or 3, they could have asked all of them and the one who was ready soonest would be our gal. But no, we had to pick the one that was just about to cycle for someone else and thus they wouldn't ask her to do it again until she finished this cycle.

Well, she had the egg retrieval on Saturday. (Somehow I thought she had it last week so that explains why I was eager for them to call and tell me what was up.) The good news? She donated 20 eggs!! Wow! I was medicated to the gills and could only come up with sorta 8 (since most were crap probably anyway).

They asked her if she would be willing to cycle again and she said YES. Yes, that's good news. But, she didn't know when she would want to do it again. That's the bad news. I don't blame her. If I just came up with 20 eggs for someone else and had to leave my two kids at home for a week (since she is out of the area), I might like to think about that, too.

I, however, am feeling a big in a rush. I am ready to give this a try. Our last IUI was in January. That's seems like forever ago. We could have done another cycle during this time. Not that I want to - I'm just starting to feel like my body is getting back to its old (well not that old) self again.

So, I told the Egg Donor Coordinator that we would be willing to wait for her until July or August but if she didn't think she could do it by then, we'd come in and pick someone else (or a couple of someone elses).

So, that's where things are. If she says she will do it in August, I will be happy to wait until August. If she says she won't do it, then I'll be happy to move on. I guess, like most things, I just want to know.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Once again with the waiting...

I still haven't heard anything from the RE about the egg donor. I don't think this is a good sign. Either they haven't asked her yet or she is taking time to think about it. I left a message yesterday and I hope they will call me on Monday to at least let me know what is going on. We are ready to move forward.

If you are in the mood for a good cry, check out the International Infertility Film Festival I didn't know I was in the mood for a good but I followed some links and watched some videos that broke my heart.

I also saw this one which was interesting: DIyoutube Film by a father of children conceived with donor sperm. He brings up some interesting points about the impact on the child's sense of identity as he/she matures.

This is something I have worried about for our child(ren)(assuming this works and we have them). What will it be like to have a blank for one half of their lineage. I don't know how important that is. When I think of myself, I can see that I am part of my father's side and part of my mother's side. I clearly identify with both and have characteristics in common with my cousins on those sides. I don't know what it would be like to not be related to one side of the family. And my side of the family is much bigger than my husbands. I have a lot of siblings, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, etc, and most of them live in the same state. Our child(ren) will spend a lot more time with their cousins on my side of the family and I wonder what it will be like for them to not be biologically related to the side of the family they have the greatest identity with. My husband's siblings live out of state and their children are much older than ours will be.

I feel strongly that we will tell our child the truth as his/her age permits. I don't want it to be a shameful secret. I want them to have a healthy sense of who they are.

Anyway, lots to think about. And I don't even know if the egg donor will actually do it yet and if she won't, we are back to square one picking out a new donor and waiting to hear if she will accept. I thought the hard part was making the decision to go with an egg donor. Now it is all about waiting. I guess I am used to that...

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Finally, some news (sort of)

I've been patiently waiting to hear about the egg donor and whether or not she will agree to do a cycle with us in the near future. The longer I wait, the more I've been losing momentum on the whole idea. It's hard to believe that this will actually happen and even harder to believe that I will get pregnant from it.

But back to the egg donor. We've been waiting for the RE to ask her. She is doing a cycle for someone right now and they didn't want to ask her about the next cycle until she had gone through ER. She is going through ER this weekend. They will call me next week and tell me her answer. Now I am getting excited again.

Unless she says no. If she says no, I think we will throw out our list of what we want from an egg donor and just pick some one who is available right away. I don't want to wait too long to get this going. While I was away from blogland, I turned 42. Boo. If possible, it would be nice to have a baby before I turn 43. Fat chance, I'm sure, but 42 seems so much younger than 43 (early 40s rather than mid 40s).

So cross your fingers that she says yes and that we can get this show on the road!