Tuesday, 16 June 2009

What other people want

Yesterday we went to the hospital again. They are very keen to push on us the donor egg idea. Apparently it has a very high chance of success. I can see that my husband is pretty interested in this. I've spent the last twenty four hours in tears. I phoned my Mum and she also thinks that I should be doing the donor egg thing. She tells me that the fact that the baby won't be my baby doesn't really matter at all. I think she's talking about her need for another grandchild, not what is really best for me. The truth is that I've never been anywhere near a new born baby since my daughter died. I find having to go anywhere near a hospital very traumatic. When I think about having a donor egg baby all I can envisage is lying there in a hospital bed, looking at the baby and thinking, 'No, I don't want that one.' I'm so confused and upset by all this. The choice seems to be between living with the pain of our daughters death forever - or doing the donor egg thing and finishing up with a baby which I might not want. Neither option looks good to me. Just to be clear, I'm not anti anyone else doing the donor egg thing. I just don't think it can improve our situation - and anyway it probably wouldn't even work. All we'd be doing is damaging ourselves further by creating the possibility for more disappointment.


k@lakly said...

I wish I had some advice. I had Cason at 41 after having Caleb still at 40. The idea of donor egg was never mentioned. But getting pregnant wasn't an issue for me and I don't remember if it is for you or not.
Maybe you can find other moms who have done the donor egg route and ask them how the emotional side of it went. See if your doc can refer you to someone who can help arrange it.
I totally understand why you feel the way you do. But maybe having the baby grow within you and having your body nourish and protect it for 9 months will change the way you feel. I can't imagine not feeling connected to a baby after the pg and the delivery from your body, but thats just my little mind at work.

caitsmom said...

(((hugs))) It's so hard to sift your feelings and needs from what others want you to do. So hard. Sending love.

Tash said...

I understand this ENTIRELY. I feel the exact same way. Which is a shitty thing to feel in some respects, but I think after having held something that *is* in fact a bit of you and losing it, this particular method loses a bit of resonance for some. It's hard to divorce wanting what you had from what you might want.

You need to do what's right for you, and right now, this is obviously not right. Maybe it will be after you roll it around in your brain for a while; maybe it will never be. Sit with it. And know that I get what your saying completely.

Z said...

I truly don't think that there's the least possibility that you would react like that to a baby you had given birth to. I think that your brain has reasoned that as an explanation for your reluctance to go down this road. That reluctance is completely understandable - I recognise your instinct for protecting yourself from disappointment, and you're still mourning Laura - of course you are and will forever, but it's still so recent for you.

Having said that, maybe you could look at it from a different angle - have you trusted your mother's instinct in the past, and has it been right? It must torment her to see your unhappiness and she knows you better than anyone in the world. I don't think she's putting her wishes against your best interests, and nor is your husband.

I have sometimes found that the things that I've been most reluctant to do have been the things that I've been gladdest to have been pushed into. Can you contemplate letting go and trusting? If your instincts recoil, can you ask for the subject to be dropped, so that you can revisit it in your mind and tell them your decision when you're ready? If you absolutely know it's out of the question, then you still need not to be bothered. Eventually you will start to rebuild a life, but it's far too soon to contemplate that. People are afraid of grief but it can't and mustn't be hurried.

charmedgirl said...

this is a very difficult dilemma, especially if you are not sure about another baby as it is. oh alice, but there is one thing...i'm pretty sure that you will love any baby you carry and birth. i think that's part of the 'problem' we have with our dead babies: we can't let go, even if they were never even born alive. either way you choose, you will still have an empty chair, no matter what the DNA. it is not easy...it really sucks, in fact. there is no answer.

c. said...

I think it's hard to open that door to possibility again, once it's been slammed shut on us and we've made the decision to triple bolt it and throw away the key. I agree with Charmy in that I think, should you go the egg donor route, you will absolutely love the resulting child. There's no question in my mind.

And yet, the question still remains: Do you dare open the door to hope again? Some days I say, with absolute conviction, NO. And other days, I'd take hope over anything at all.

Hoping the answer that is most comfortable for you makes its way to you, Alice. XO.

Alice said...

Thanks so very much for the comments. They really, really help. I can't tell you how much more sense gets talked on these blogs than in the world around me. I'm really touched that people take the time to give their thoughts. Alice

niobe said...

I have to say that I had somewhat similar feelings and fears about going the surrogacy route. And during the pregnancy, I felt kind of disconnected from the whole thing. I honestly didn't believe that the baby was going to truly be mine or that I would feel about it the same way I felt about my older son.

But now.....well, all I can say is that we're on the verge of trying another surrogacy and I couldn't be more thrilled.

Sam said...

I have just found your blog and am sitting here, my two year old son in bed, crying for you and for myself. I too am contemplating donor eggs. I too want a daughter but am failing through IVF to even get pregnant. My son took 12 IVFs - and I would do it again, but know at my age (I am older than you) that it is unlikely to work. I am desperate to pass on my genes just once more. Those who say it doesn't matter, haven't thought it through or are denying something true - of course it matters. Who we are is so much more determined by our genes than anything else. Having a genetic child has to be different from a donor child. I don't look at anyone else's child and envy their parents - I think you will understand when I say that no other child, in my mind, is as good as my own. It is a natural feeling. Those tiny things we notice that remind us of the genetic connection to our child with ourselves and our parents and their parents. My son's nose and fingers like my late father's, his sharp mind, his sense of humour like my own...what happens when you give up on all that and have some other woman's child? I want to have a daughter and I am sure this is the only way (with technology ..i know, I know), but to have a child I might not recognise, who I cannot feel reassured about, who might upset the harmony of the three of us. How do all of us in this position and mental agony, decide what to do? I am given comfort by the comments that say that you will love any child that you get - but I am not sure I believe it. Like you I am not someone who smiles beatifically through adversity. I get mean and bitter and depressed because I cannot kid myself out of the truth. How it feels not to have what you really want - another genetic child. Then there are better days when I oscillate to something more normal and feel that I could cope with an adopted child or a donor child - that this might be the solution for the unending pain and regret. I don't want to spoil my son's life with my own pain - I want to live normally and happily. I want a complete family. Then I worry that I might terribly regret introducing someone else's genes - spoil what we have. My husband tells me I will love another child. He could hide any doubts or disappointments - he is a kind, gentle, stable man. I am complicated and unable to be dishonest - what if I don't like her, don't feel a connection, don't love her like my boy? It was fear that stopped me trying for a family until very late - fear that I couldn't do the most important job in the world well. And I now find that I have never done a job so well as raising my son..it is possible to be utterly wrong about how you will react to something that terrifies you. I did one donor cycle before having my son. I felt totally detached from the process - like an animal undergoing some forced procedure. Yet when it failed, I was devastated. Then when IVF finally worked with my own eggs, I thought how close I had come to not getting my boy. The thought still sends shivers. I know many woman do have donor children. But can an intelligent woman who will not find her special nature in another woman's genes easily, really accept a donor child underneath - in her heart? Won't she always have some critical, negative feeling about that child...something that is present that she wishes were not so. Can love make you blind to something so fundamental as a child not having your genes? Few women will admit they might feel these things. But honest, intelligent women can hide ambivalence less easily. Like you (I suspect), I adore my son, yet I am afraid to miss out on a relationship with a daughter - to know what that would be like. Can you have the same relationship with a donor child as with your own? For you and without Laura, that must be especially painful to contemplate and especially complicated to think through. I will be watching to see how you resolve this and so hope that something can take away your pain. Like you, I am angry at this pain - I don't want pain spoiling my family's happiness.

Alice said...

Thanks to everyone for your messages. Niobe, I really want to know more about the surrogacy thing. That's something we're researching as well. Sam - thanks so much for your long and heart felt message. I understand, I really understand. Of course, genetics matter. I think it's just a question of whether one can lay that aside or not. Perhaps a time comes when we can - but the problem is that often we don't have time. Tried to get in touch with you direct but couldn't make technology work. Sorry, want to send much longer message to you - but life has gone upside down. See new post.


Sarah said...

I understand what you mean. I suspect though that if you carry the babe for 9 months, it will very much become your own. But nonetheless - your body, your baby, your choice. And nobody else's.

Thinking of you :)

Charli said...

Alice - I am so sorry for all your losses. My heart breaks for you and can only hope you find peace with whatever road you choose.

If, by any chance, you are considering donor egg IVF and are worried about the baby feeling like another woman's - I totally understand that. I struggled with that same feeling for a year. Five years on, with my 4 year old son sleeping in his room, I can tell you for me, the only time I think that my son is not genetically mine is when someone says "oh he has your smile" and I think - "he can't". He is so totally my child. He even scrunches his eyebrows the same way I do. He grew under my heart, I knew him and loved him first - he is my own boy.

But Alice, you must find your own right way. Only you can know what is right for you and your life and your heart. I just wanted to tell you my own experience because I so would have wanted to hear someone's story. Sorry this is so long. Blessings to you and your family.