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I was ready to write about something else for my post this
week, but then I was contacted by someone who reads my blog, asking me about
donor eggs and if I had any tips on how to cope with it. My reply back to her
was long enough to fill this article and then some. It got me thinking. I
hesitated even writing about donor eggs anymore because I'm sixteen weeks
pregnant and frankly, I was hoping everyone would just forget about it. I know
that makes me sound like I'm ashamed of it, but I think it comes from a place
of fear. That I'll somehow remind those close to me that my baby inside me
isn't genetically mine and then they'll remember that after I've pushed the
baby out and start looking for physical features on her, or worse, start asking
questions again. Clearly, writing an article for the public is the best
solution for this.
In all seriousness, after I wrote to that person, I knew I
needed to visit my donor egg cycle again. I've written plenty about it when I was
in the throes of the embryo transfer, as well as before that. But how am I feeling when that donor egg became an embryo, fertilized with my husband's sperm and is now currently squirming around in my stomach as a full-blown baby? The answer: It's still complicated. One that will probably be addressed on here in the next few articles as well.
Let me let you in on a little secret: I hardly even think
about this being a donor egg baby anymore. The truth is, this is simply my
baby. Her little heart is pumping my blood through her body, about twenty-five
quarts a day. I've heard her heart beating inside me, even hearing her kick at
the wand on my home Doppler. She's made me dry heave, and give up sleeping on
my back, and call her a girl because I feel guilty calling her an "it." She's
my baby all the way. If I didn't do this donor egg cycle, I wouldn't have her.
I wouldn't be pregnant.
But I still catch myself thinking every so often, if she
will look like me. A lump will form in my throat when I wonder if I will stare
into her face in December, her body covered in goop, and not recognize me in
her. Will my breath catch when we make eye contact? Will we be strangers to
I love this baby. I love her so much that tears come to my eyes, and my heart physically aches to have her in my arms. I have fought for her, tooth and nail, long before she was conceived.
A few weeks ago my husband and I were watching a reality
show on television and one of the contestants had a home video with his toddler
daughter running around the house. Suddenly I was crying, because that little
girl looked exactly like me when I was little. It was who my own little girl
was supposed to look like. And now I'm crying as I write this, because it's
such a betrayal to this little baby inside me and I think it's all part of the
grieving process, but still, it's a complex mix of emotions.
So I have moments. I hate the loss of my genetics. I am
terrified of people who will search my child's face, wondering who the donor
looked like. I am torn between wishing I had kept this all a secret and wanting
to show people that families come in all sorts of ways.
One thing has remained constant. I love this baby. I love
her so much that tears come to my eyes, and my heart physically aches to have
her in my arms. I have fought for her, tooth and nail, long before she was
conceived. When I look at the big picture, when I truly look at how much love
my heart can hold for her, it doesn't matter that she didn't come from my eggs.
I have no idea what I will feel come her birth. But I'd like
to imagine when the time comes, and she is placed on my chest, I will only be
thinking about her. Not the pain I felt when I was told I needed to use a
donor. Not how different she could look from me. But how she felt moving inside
me. How carefully I had taken care of her the past nine months. The fact that
she was conceived in absolute love and so very wanted. So the donor cycle? It's
complicated. But isn't life complicated? When we get down to it, she is mine,
and I am hers.