Saturday, September 20, 2008

One year old today

LB is one year old today. September 20, 2007 she was conceived in a lab. She was one of 17 eggs, 16 of which were mature. Her other half was hand picked by Uncle Jimmy (the embryologist) from several hundred thousand sperm. She and 8 other embryos were created. There she lived in a dish with her siblings in an incubator. Two days later we learned that although they were all growing, only 4 were eight cell. I suspect she was one of those 4. When she was five days old, she was either "compacted" or an early blast. On day 6, we transferred her and two siblings (All grade A expanded blasts) into my eagerly awaiting womb.

Today she has been growing for exactly one year. I still can't get my mind around it all - the infertility, Ernest's miracle conception and death, miscarriages, 37 dead embryos, countless eggs and then to have our LB via donor eggs. It all seems so unreal sometimes.

It seemed even more . . . I am at a loss for words . . . different? strange? awkward? It it just what it is, I guess. Let me tell you why I am currently at a loss for words and why my choices above were less than positive.

Tonight we accidentally meant our egg donor's mother - Belinda's mom. We met up with Belinda to celebrate LB's conception. We didn't have much time between our two schedules, so after meeting with her for about 30 minutes, we decided to go with her and see where she worked (Her third job!). She is a part-time baker at a cafe / bistro that her sister owns. Unexpectedly, her mother was there. In hind site, I should have known that her mother didn't know about LB or that Belinda never told her that she had donated her eggs. At the time, I wanted her mother to know how much we adored and were thankful for Belinda so I introduced LB as the child Belinda helped create.

Big mistake.

I have yet to know what, if any, the ramifications were for Belinda, but the following conversation was entirely unpleasant for me. Besides bragging about how fertile she was, BM (Belinda's mom), claimed herself as LB's grandmother. She then began to tell me about LB's "family" and "cousin". She was suddenly excited to hold LB, when moments before she either didn't care to or didn't feel that she could presume to ask. Not wanting to cause Belinda any more strife, I didn't say what came to my mind ("You are NOT her grandmother", "No, she will not be playing with this child you claim to be her cousin." , "I think this will be the last time you see LB, not the first of many."). I just smiled and quietly said these things to myself. I doubt she even noticed that I wasn't responding. She seemed to be more than a little wrapped up in herself.

I think I might feel a little bit threatened in my role as LB's mother. I certainly feel creeped out by the whole experience.


Lori Lavender Luz said...

Yowza. What a day.

It must have been hard not to be prepared for that meeting.

Still, what a momentous day!

Lorraine said...

Maybe she was just trying too hard to do the right thing?

Otherwise, how amazing to celebrate a year since the very first spark of existence! Many happy (less creepy) returns.

luna said...

oh gosh, how awkward. I imagine you each caught each other off guard, and people can say silly things when they are uncomfortable... sorry you found yourself in that situation.

but how momentous a day is right! worthy of celebration for sure. how wonderful for all of you, except belinda's mother of course.

Abc said...

Wow, now that is awkward! Hopefully you don't run into the "grandmother" again.

Sara said...

Oh dear. That doesn't sound like a very pleasant encounter. I agree with lorraine and luna that it is entirely possible (likely, really) that Belinda's mom just didn't know what to say or do, and made the wrong choices in her shock. I can imagine my own mother reacting the same way, without intending any harm, or meaning to sound at all proprietary. It sounds like you handled yourself very well. It must have been very hard not to say some of those things hat were going through your head to her.

On a happier note, happy conception day LB!

Anonymous said...

That's rough. But I imagine it's nearly impossible for a woman to see the product of her daughter's egg and not think, hey, that's "technically" my grandchild and respond accordingly.

I give you enormous credit for having contact with Belinda, you're a more secure woman than I. But contact with the rest of Belinda's family, I think, will lead to many more instances in which they are unlikely to disconnect with the genetic link and as time goes by, it will be even harder for them.

And I can only imagine how LB would feel as a six-year-old being told by Belinda's family how much she looks like cousin-so-and-so or having them whip pictures out to show you all the resemblances, etc. And it's not even fair to ask them not to do that, it's as natural to them as it is to you not to want that confusing behavior.

Proceed in a manner that's best for your family, especially LB.

Good luck not running into that clan in the future.

Ryan's Mommy said...

Ah, the perils of using a known donor. That would have creeped me out, too. But I bet that Belinda's mom was just following her instinct and trying to say and do the "right" thing. Hopefully Belinda will set her straight.

Ryan's Mommy said...

Ah, the perils of using a known donor. That would have creeped me out, too. But I bet that Belinda's mom was just following her instinct and trying to say and do the "right" thing. Hopefully Belinda will set her straight.

battynurse said...

Wow, a year.
And Wow! what a day. Sorry about the experience with Belinda's mom. I know with the donor sperm and the possibility of donor eggs at some point in the future I've wondered about certain similar aspects of using a known donor etc. It's interesting to see how people react to things. Hopefully though you will be able to avoid her in the future.

Jill said...

oh my gosh I could feel a pit in my stomach just hearing the story. I can't imagine living it. I'm sure Belinda will sort it all out so you don't have to deal with it. But whoa. What a mess.

It's not your fault that B didn't tell her mom, so don't feel guilty about it.

MrsSpock said...

Happy 1st LB!

Um, yah- totally uncomfortable. I'm sure she intended well, but I think I would feel the same as you. The fewer meetings with her the better.

DE Mommy said...


That is an amazing example of why anonymity is important.

Wow again

Anonymous said...

A year already! Man it seems like just yesterday you guys were in the prep stages for egg retrieval! Where has the time gone!

Happy Conception Day LB!!!

Peeveme said...

Thanks for sharing this. DE can get complicated and it;s hard to know how and what is complicated about it until you run into it. You have done a lot of research/emotional work ect to be a mom and understand what it is to do DE. Other people have not. It just reinforces to me the need to not tell other people because they don't/can't get it.

It's probably best that you did not try to set her straight right then and there. Just never see her again.

Summer said...

Yikes! I hope that you won't be seeing her mom again any time soon considering her mom's reaction this time.

Have you had a chance to talk to Belinda to see how she took the whole encounter? Do you think Belinda will be able to talk to her mom and set her mom straight?

Geohde said...

Oh, that all sounds awkward in the extreme. LB is your baby, and this lady appears to have forgotten that point. SHe really should have asked rather than presumed....


Anonymous said...

Congrats on LB's Day!!

Awkward comes to mind right now. I'm not sure how I would have handled the situation had I been in your shoes. I hope and pray that this is the first and last time you run into Belinda's mom.

Panamahat said...

One of those situations where an uncomfortable silence may have actually been better!

Big wave to LB and her year of living :-)