Thursday, April 2, 2009

Working it out

I continue to think about what it means and doesn't mean to have a DE baby as well as what it might mean and might not mean to have a mutually genetic child.

Last night, Brad and I were laying in bed with LB sleeping between us. It was a magical time as Brad and I had a chance to talk and reconnect. For a moment I imagined this continuation between us. Brad blending into LB; LB blending into me. It's as if Brad was yellow and I was blue and LB was green - the blend of us, the physical form of our love for each other. Then I realized that wasn't entirely true. There is a line between LB and me. It is as if Brad was yellow, LB was orange (Belinda being red) and here I am, a nice shade of blue. We are happy, it is good, it's just different then it would have been. It is also more and less than this, but I don't know how to explain it.

I asked Brad if he ever thinks about how it might have been had the cycle with my eggs and donor sperm worked out. He has, often in fact. Likewise, he found it hard to explain. I am sure this a simpler version of what is in his mind but he said, "I don't think it would bug me, but I am glad I was needed for something. If she wasn't my genetic child, I would feel cut off." I tried to clarify the "wouldn't bug me" with "I would feel cut off" but there is the fuzzy part he can't really explain. It's an interesting discussion and one I hope to have again (and again?) as LB grows up. Right now Brad is happy to be her second favorite person and only sees her a couple of hours on week days. I wonder if things will change as their relationship changes and she becomes Daddy's little girl. I suspect there is, understandably, some insecurity in his role right now.

I continued to be thoughtful as I went to my pre-cycle physical at the clinic today. Since the last time I went there a couple of weeks ago triggered a melt down, I changed my strategy. Instead of repeating to myself, "Don't think about it." ("It" being all the crap we went through. ) , I let the thoughts and visions come and wash over me: the high anxiety times during follicle measurements, crossing the street to the clinic on the day of a transfer, sitting in the chair while Belinda had her follicles counted, Dr. R standing right there as we discussed whether to do a D&C or let nature take its course. And: the heartbeat that kept going higher, the baby I danced with that morning, the house that is no longer empty. I didn't judge, I didn't linger; I remembered it, felt it and let it go.

I left the clinic thinking maybe I do have it in me to try again. Perhaps I am even healing.

I got home and found that I am not the only one who is working out what it means or might mean to have a donor egg baby instead of a mutually genetic one.

Sarah wonders if it wouldn't be a better path to live childfree if this last cycle with her eggs doesn't work.

Sian has a beautiful post about mourning the loss of her precious Eggbert, her dream of a mutually genetic baby.

Lisa DG wonders what it means to continue a genetic legacy as well one that goes beyond genetics. She envisions scenes from her future and tries to figure out what her motivations are in becoming a mother and if she should stay the course or move on to donor eggs.


Sian said...

I am glad that you liked the post. It really was from the heart. I am also glad that I have found a your blog. :-)

Leah and Maya said...

Good Lord all we go thru emotionally and physically even if now have a child. Glad your visit up the elevator was better. thanks for talking yesterday! Enjoy the freakin snow again today.

Sky said...

Kami, I can't speak for Brad but I've always thought that in many ways, it has to be so much more difficult for a father to not have a genetic child. And the reason is simple - the involvement of men is, as you all know already - VERY small in the conception/gestation process.

Women get to carry the baby, feel it grow, nourish it, communicate cravings and emotions for 40 weeks in an incredibly intimate and special bonding experience. And as if that's not enough - even after the baby is born, women have not only a stronger biological imperative towards the child but they have the physical connection of nursing.

I mean, I will have ALL of the above even though any child I birth will have zero of my DNA. But for a father who uses a sperm donor, he has none of the above or the DNA.

Ultimately, I think the answer of how it all works out is proven out by millions of families who've adopted - wanted babies will be pampered and adored and the bonding will always happen, whether there are any genetics involved or not.

Lorraine said...

In general, I agree with Sky. But I also think that I would resent that connection in my particular marriage. My husband was the one who didn't want to pursue ART at first ("let's just have more sex")and he wouldn't have been willing to consider donor sperm.

I think it must depend on the couple, and the specific circumstances. It seems like you and Brad have a good balance about it. And maybe you're not so much just different colors as perfectly complementary ones?

Coming2Terms said...

There are so many confusing emotions wrapped up in carrying a child, contributing DNA, the questions of connection and identity and what it all means. I respect your questions and wonder what I might be thinking had we chosen a different path. Thank you for your continued honesty.

Anonymous said...

And now I find myself extremeley sad at the thought of my genetics being in play,and my husbands not. It is all so strange and complicated.
What I got from Brad's "at least I was needed for something" was that he feels a similar sense of being out of place that father's feel during the first couple of years of a child's life. You are the center of her world, if not her genetic world, and he is not.