Tuesday, October 4, 2011

And They Lived Happily Ever After

I may post again in this space, I may not, but I thought there should be at least some kind of update.  Especially for those who might be considering egg donation and wondering how they might adjust in the long term.  Well, next term or medium term might be a better phrase.

While I am open about the process of our children's conception, I know they really don't get it at all.  You are supposed to tell kids before age 4, but how do you tell it in terms they can understand?  The other day we were driving past the building where our children were conceived and I thought of an opportunity . . . "LB, that is the building where mommy, daddy and Belinda made you and LBII.  Belinda is the lady who donated a cell to mommy and with daddy's cell we created you." 

Already I was thinking it was over her head.  It was.  She responded by pointing at a different building and said, "That is my building and that (the one I pointed at) is your building." 

Well, I tried.

Seriously though, life is good. The other day I was thinking that it is as good as it was prior to TTC when Brad and I would quietly talk about how lucky we were - a little afraid that if we said it too loud then our luck would end. 

In most ways, I suppose, we are just like any other family.  There are a few times when I feel the sadness from not having our mutually genetic baby.  There are times when I wonder what he or she would have been like.  There are times when I still feel resentful that it was my genetics who got axed when I think they could have been preserved had we not needed IVF (and gotten pregnant back when I was only 34) due to MFI.  But those times are fewer and fewer and they never hold the ache that they once did.  I still don't think it will ever entirely go away, but compared to waking up in the middle of the night while I was pregnant with LB thinking that we made a mistake - well, that is quite the difference.

One interesting moment recently came up when (I am assuming) LB noticed how often LBII was said to look like her father.  LB said, "Mommy, I look like you and LBII looks like daddy."  I agreed with her  - justifying it because she looks like me in her mannerisms at least.  Plus I saw no reason to contradict her.  What would be the value in pointing out our differences? We look alike if she says we look alike because she sees it that way.

It has made me thoughtful, however.  I wonder if she really thinks she looks like me or if she is trying to solidify her place in the family.  I wonder what challenges will be to come as her conception becomes more understood.  I think we will find our way.

The whole IVF, infertility, DE stuff does change things.  I was thinking the other day that when we froze LBII we knew the thaw rate (thank goodness vitrification is now possible!) was 50%.  I then saw it from the other side . . . OMG WHAT DID WE DO?!  WE RISKED LBII'S LIFE!" When else would you chose to put your child through something that had only a 50% survival rate?  Well, we didn't know her then and transferring her earlier may have meant we never would know her.  I am convinced I have transferred good embryos that just didn't implant.  Heck, it happens all the time all over the world - we just don't know it. 

Then I was watching them play - as older and younger siblings play  - and wondered how they might have been different if we transferred them at the same time (assuming both would be born no matter what we did) or in reverse order?  It is mind twisting sometimes.

But I digress.  I really meant to just say that the method of their conception still comes up here and there, I still mourn the loss of my genetic child to some degree and, most importantly, we are very happy.  I am so glad we decided to move on and have children in the way that we did.

17 comments:

Leah Maya Benjamin said...

Last night Maya was sitting with me and told me that we looked alike. Except my hair was lighter and my eye's were green, and of course her skin is darker. Still she can see herself in me, I don't know if thats good or bad, ha ha.

Summer said...

Thanks for the update and so happy to see it because I have wondered often how you were doing.

Tracy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tracy said...

I'm so glad you are doing well, Kami. It's good to hear from you!

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you are doing well. I'm going to post anonymously because we are not being open about the method of our conception, but you know me...

Like I said, we have chosen not to tell our children that we used an anonymous donor. We really feel that there is no good reason (in our case and situation) to tell them. They could never hope to know this person under the current circumstances. The medical history is clear (to our knowledge, who knows what the future will uncover) and we don't want them to go through what many adopted children go through wondering, "who is my parent?"

Some may call this decision selfish, and I, who am honest to a fault, really struggle with it. Don't they have a right to know? It was not a decision I made lightly, and it will haunt me the rest of my life, but I do believe it will be easier for my children to never have to think about that stuff. UNTIL such day WHEN/IF they find out that I am not their genetic parent. I pray that day never comes.

Anyway, just wanted to provide a different perspective in case, like you said Kami, somebody is considering donor gametes and is reading this blog.

I often hear from other people that one of my children looks like me. Like you, mannerisms, facial expressions, etc. are largely influenced by me. It's hilarious to watch develop. But every time somebody says, "your daughter looks like your husband," or even, "your son looks like you" (or vice versa), it tugs at my heart a bit.

I wonder...always, I wonder....

Anonymous said...

Thank you sooo much for posting this. My little DE miracle is now 14 weeks old and I experience the exact same feelings you do and you are right they get less and less. I am somewhat terrified and nervous about how I'll tell my son his conception story. I worry of rejection later on in life. Its so stupid I know...but these are real feelings. I totally understand that you will post less often but I hope that you will still blog once in a blue moon on your experiences as you raise DE children. Anyway...keep in touch. I am delighted that you feel so blessed...me too! LisainSK

Anonymous said...

So nice to see an update!

niobe

Sara said...

Kami! I was just thinking about you yesterday and wondering how you are doing, so this post is timely. Thank you for updating. Hearing about your experiences with LB and LBII has been an important part of my process of adjusting to my own reality of needing donor eggs to ttc#2. Obviously my issues are a little different, but knowing that it has all turned out well for you is hugely reassuring. I do hope that you'll continue post every now and then, but obviously I'm in no position to criticize anyone for not posting! I think I last posted in May. Gah!

Sue said...

I'm glad to hear you're doing well.

Lanie said...

Kami - thank you so much for the update. I've pretty much closed down my blog, but I opened it today to check something, and I still have your blog on my blogroll on that site. I was so excited to see an update for you.

I just wanted to thank you sooo much for your support of me (3 years) ago when I began the DE journey. You really helped me - and you might not even remember the conversations. :)

Now, I'm an IVF nurse, and I get to talk to women about DE on a regular basis, so its very rewarding to give back. I'm even speaking to groups contemplating DE, and I'm thinking about writing a book. Crazy, huh?

I will forever send you, H, LB, and LBII my good thoughts.

Thank you, always!

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Sunny said...

A beautiful way to close your blog. Thank you for the update!

Sophia said...

I'm not sure if you even check this anymore, but I just want to thank you. A few weeks ago my RE told me that the only option he had for me was IVF with DE. I was in a dark place for two weeks after that, but have been doing research ever since to find stories of others who have gone through this. Your blog is so thorough, and I love that it looks at this process from all sides - positive and negative. Stories like yours make me hopeful that I CAN do this. Thank you again!

Anonymous said...

I was lucky enough to get pregnant one time and have a child, with donor eggs. We wanted badly to have another child, but subsequent IVFs with DE all failed, for unknown reasons. Our money is running out and we are getting older. But at least we have that one child. I am glad I did not keep trying with my own eggs, it would not have worked anyway.

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Matteo Lieber said...

Thanks for the update, and: it's a very nice blog you've got here! :)

Matteo Lieber said...

It's goot to hear from you! :)