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.