Friday, July 27, 2007

Week End

First, I want to thank everyone for your kind words and support. I really appreciate it. I am feeling slightly better now. I did check out some donor egg support groups, but of course the next one in my area doesn't meet until mid-September. It seems that most support groups are not meeting much over the summer. I also emailed my local Resolve chapter to volunteer to run a donor sperm group. However, I have emailed and volunteered my services to Resolve before and never got a response back. We shall see what happens.

And as far as getting out my concerns on this blog goes, I do do that. I love this blog. I love having this blog. I find that it helps me tremendously. In fact, even if no one read it (which I think would make me a bit sad) I still think it would help just to get my feelings out through my fingers.

But there are some things that are difficult to write down because you can't even articulate them. There are some things that only come out in conversation with others. Sometimes the only way to reframe an idea is to bounce it off other people who are experiencing the same thing and just looking at it from a different angle. There's something about having a conversation in person that is different from pouring out my emotions on this blog.

That being said, I guess what I'm feeling mostly sad about right now is what was brought up in that NPR story. How the woman, when she saw her son walking next to the woman who had given birth to him, that their walks were the same. How, when I look at baby S, I see his dad in his face and in his body. When I used to teach, sometimes a student's dad would walk in the room and I would think, "That has to be so-and-so's dad" because you could just see it. I am just mourning that connection.

I am also wondering what we're going to say when people ask, "Who does he look like?" And I even believe that people who will not know might even say he looks like T (maybe) and then how do we respond?

When that happens to my brother and sister-in-law with my niece L, they just smile and look at each other and say, "Yup!" People have said that she looks like my brother. So I guess that's what we'll do too.

I mean, I don't feel like we won't be a happy family. I don't even think we'll think about this too much once there is a real live little person around. We will just live our lives as most people do. But that connection that is genetics -- it is not a small one. It will always connect us to this donor, and it is a strong bond. I do not think that it replaces the bond we will have with our children. Our children will always be our children and that is a bond that no one can break. Ever. No matter what. It's just that a small but natural piece of parenthood -- looking for yourself, physically, in your child -- will not be there for T. And though I think we are making the right decision by going with donor sperm, I am still grieving this loss. It does not feel small right now.

I just thought it would be helpful to discuss this feeling of loss with a group of people going through something similar. Donor eggs, donor sperm, whichever. I'd be interested to hear other people talk about it. But it's just not going to happen for now.

For now, I have this blog and other bloggers. But that is a good thing.


Sarah said...

it is a major loss, and it's really important that you grieve it. you moved so fast from your last cycle into picking a donor, i think it's really healthy that you're going through all this now. i hope you do find the support of others in the same place. but if it doesn't happen exactly the way you thought, i know you guys will find your own place.

that probably sounds really trite and annoying right now while you're in the middle of it, but i'm just wishing you peace.

Trace said...

I heard about the story on NPR from my dad and it spawned a discussion about nature vs. nurture.

I guess there is something to be said for genetics, but in our case my hubby has a pretty crappy medical background. His mom was one of 9 and 7 of the nine have had some form of cancer, his dad is bipolar and a recovering alcoholic. In our case if we had been able to have biological children we would have. I'm just trying to think positively.

However, we have gone through the the adoption planning /waiting process and I did mourn not having a biologically related child. It is hard and normal!!! My understanding from adoptive parents that I have met is that you people will tell you how much your child looks like you or reminds them of you. It's sort of weird. I'm not a scientist, but think about recessive genes. Even if you had a baby related to both of you he/she could end up not looking like either of you or having similar personality traits or anything.

Sweetness and I were joking about a recessive gene in the donor. What if our child ends up w/carrot red hair? We decided that we would just laugh and say that we have no idea where that came from.

Anyway, it is a real loss and it's emotionally healthy to grieve and come to terms w/it.

Mary Ellen and Steve said...

We are mourning this loss too. It is so hard isn't it? I am here if you want to talk. Much love to you.

LIW (Lady In Waiting) said...

I think that you should grieve for as long and in whatever way you need to.

I understand your sadness, well at least in part, having contemplated adoption and donor sperm. There's no getting around it: there's something special about your child looking like his/her parents.

I agree 100% about how conversations can help you to crystalize your feelings. A support group is a great idea - it is too bad that they don't start until September.


Samantha said...

I hope that you can find a good support network where you can speak frankly and listen to other people. I also love to blog, but it is different from individual or group conversations, as you said, it's more of a "present an idea, then get reactions" rather than a back-and-forth conversation. I hope you will find a support group for you.

It does also seem like donor eggs are kind of the "big thing" right now in IF treatment, so there is more attention on them. Maybe it's because donor sperm has been around for longer, or maybe donor eggs just hold more media sway because it's a more complex procedure. While this article is about donor eggs, you might want to read a recent article by Peggy Orenstein in the New York Times Magazine about donor eggs. She talks a lot about the loss of biology that the women she interviews feel.

ultimatejourney said...

I have a lot of the same thoughts and concerns, especially in terms of dealing with "people" and answering questions about who our kids look like.

We thought one good response to "He looks just like his dad" would be "Well, he'd better!" It could be our own private joke. Who knows what we'll really say, though.

There may not be any established donor sperm groups in the area, but it seems like there are a few of us bloggers who live relatively close together and are dealing with this. Maybe we should start our own group. I bet there are others who are looking for this type of group, and if we start something, then I bet it would grow. Maybe Resolve would advertise it, even if they aren't responsive to starting their own.

Artblog said...

Just HUGS to you Rachel. XXX

megan said...

i hope you get a positive response from Resolve. it's great that you're being so proactive about this. it's definitely a gap in the support universe.
all i can offer you is a listening ear (eye?) and a virtual hug.