Thursday, August 9, 2007

Choices

I had an interesting discussion with a good friend today and I had a couple of revelations. Or at least what seem to be revelations. I have too much experience with waffling about how I feel on this infertility road to fully commit to any idea that hasn't withstood the test of time.

The first thing that struck me is that I really am doing quite well adjusting to - even embracing - the use of donor eggs. Not that I don't have my moments of sadness. Actually, my moments of sadness are also moments of hope. It has all been very confusing at times. I recently told Brad that I feel like crying, but I am too happy. As I was trying to explain all these conflicting feelings to my friend, I sorted out that I am doing quite well and I feel guilty about it.

Sounds crazy, doesn't it? I could understand if we were talking about donor sperm. It would make sense to feel guilty about being more excited to have a baby than sad about my husband losing his chance for genetic offspring, but how can I feel guilty for not feeling bad enough about my own genetic component? Maybe it is similar to running a race. This is a very important race and I am going to cross that finish line no matter what it takes. But the finish line keeps moving farther and farther away and I am getting more and more weary. "I can do it", I tell myself. "Just keep going . . . one more step, one more try." And then someone (actually many someones) comes along and offers to help me make it over that line. I am grateful for the assistance, but then I wonder, "Is it cheating? Does it still count if I have help? Could I make it on my own if I just try a little bit longer?"

I have an answer to those questions. They are: No; Yes; and Maybe, but I am ok if I never find out. These answers may not be inherently true, but is my choice to believe in them.

There is another choice I have made today. It is a choice I hope will feel as good tomorrow as it does tonight. Here is how that choice unfolded:

While I was talking with my friend I wondered when I would feel like the child (if we are fortunate enough to get pregnant and have a baby) was mine. Would it be sometime during the pregnancy? After the child is born? Will it feel weird to visualize the embryo implanting in my uterus knowing that the embryo was not from and of me? "Why not just decide?", my friend asked.

She used the right words because it reminded me of the day I knew I would spend the rest of my life with Brad and it is a story I love to tell. We dated for a long time mostly because I was afraid of ending up in an unhappy marriage. I knew that Brad was capable of loving me forever, but I wasn't sure I could stay in love with him. Then one day while I was in the Peace Corps, about four months since I had last seen him and five years since our first date, it occurred to me that I could decide that he was the love of my life. I could just commit fully to being in love with Brad - forever. In a split second all my doubts about staying in love where gone. It was just that easy.

So why can't I just decide that the embryos would be my children? Heck, why not just decide that the eggs are mine too. What a nice thought . . . Belinda currently incubating a bunch of follicles on the cusp of growing my eggs which will lead to our embryos. At transfer, they will be our embryos that I will visualize snuggling in for an eight and a half month stay. So tonight I make that choice. I just wonder how Belinda will feel when she finds out she is walking around with my eggs. I think she would be ok with it.

12 comments:

Babe* said...

They say that when you are given choices on a particular situation it makes it easier to pick one. Not so when it comes to ttc and IF.

You want to make the right choice for you and your body, however our bodies don't typically work like the fertiles. With IF, we are almost always second guessing ourselves and our choices.

With that being said, it doesn't matter how you become a mother...YOU ARE A MOTHER. You will not only love your child but you will love him/her unconditionally.

Meg said...

From reading some of your previous posts from Belinda she seems like a giving, caring and compassionate woman. I think she'll be happy to know that you are at peace with your decision. Hell - imho they are your embryos.

Lori said...

I've heard it said, "People are as happy as they decide to be."

I bet that applies to other things, as well. Such as, "People are as in love as they decide to be," and "People are as mother-y as they decide to be."

Bravo to you for consciously making your choices today.

Fertilize Me said...

I have to say that I think Belinda has already in some way decided that they are your embryo's long before this post. I am very glad to read that you are working through all these difficult scenarios. You are doing a marvelous job!!

Foreverhopeful said...

This whole journey is so hard and I've had many conflicting emotions myself. I feel hope for the 1st time in a long time but I have moments where I still cry and wish that I was like everybody else and have a baby with my own eggs. There are so many issues we have to deal with that most people don't even have to think about. I tell myself I just have to focus on things one step at a time and we will get there (we will finish our race). Hang in there and good luck to you. Belinda sounds like a wonderful women and yes they are our eggs. Its the most amazing gift they gave us and I see it as ours. My sis even refers to them as mine already.

Jill said...

I don't know if this helps or not... but sometimes I don't feel like Ben is "mine"... and he is, obviously, but the whole thing still is just so surreal to me. I love this little boy, but I almost wonder where he came from. I don't know how to explain it really. But I guess my point is that having a baby, no matter how you have one, is so strange and new, that I don't know if you'll know the difference between what you think you should feel and what you actually do feel. It is what it is. You will love your baby no matter how you get him/her. And you won't know anything different...

I think that the fact that you're worrying about that part shows that you have faith in this working. And I think that's a great omen!

wifethereof said...

So many of the things you said are exactly what I am feeling. The race analogy, the feeling of cheating, etc. We are also now turning to donor eggs and trying to adjust to the emotions it entails. Thanks for expressing yourself so well. I don't feel that alone.

Irish Girl said...

What a great post! Thanks for reminding us that we have the power to choose.

Also - getting excited for you! :)

Pamela Jeanne said...

I can fully understand the larger philosophical wondering going on in your mind. It's good to consider all of this in advance -- to prepare yourself for a new and unexpected journey.

Lori makes a great point -- and very much in support of your friend's suggestion. Sometimes the power is in our hands; we just needed to be reminded that's the case.

Changing Expectations said...

Choices are so tough. DE is particularly hard.

Cut yourself some slack, it is normal to feel the way that you do.

Hang in there. Thinking about you.

Kim said...

What a great question your friend asked!

It's great to be able to reframe things. It helps you to not feel backed against a wall or to turn something that has been so hard (IF) into something that can be so good (a baby!!!)

Enjoy your trip!

Laura said...

I always said, "They're my eggs! I paid for them!" As if they were picked up from the supermarket. LOL! Good for you for exercising your power to be happy. Feels better than wallowing, doesn't it?

Sending only good wishes,
Laura