I have been avoiding a few things lately. First, I’m avoiding anyone who doesn’t know what we are going through. I am starting to realize that it has little to do with the shame, and more with the fact that this is such a heavy and sensitive topic that I can’t help but feel guarded. This is a raw, painful, ongoing process and I certainly don’t want to live it out through the town gossip circles. Honestly, there are people I just don’t trust with this. And even for my many great friends I do trust, I just don’t have the strength to have this conversation over and over. Second, I am trying to avoid what seems to be the inevitable. I started to look online for donors. I actually forced myself last week to register for a donor site. And it was as terrible as you could imagine it would be. I don’t want another woman’s eggs. I feel this odd sense of competition with someone I don’t even know. I feel like I am less of a woman than these donors. Who are these ladies who just “freely” give away their potential children. How can someone do that? You couldn’t pay me a million dollars to do it.
I felt like I just needed to look at the donor registry. I kept telling myself that if I needed a kidney or a heart, I would totally be fine accepting another person’s organ. So why is an egg so different? I know why. Think about the first thing people do when a baby is born. They talk about who the baby looks like. Whose nose or eyes it has. What will I say when someone proclaims the baby looks just like me or says they don’t know who it looks like. Yes, everyone has something to say, whether you want to hear it or not. Parenting is probably the same way! For all we know, the baby could come out looking exactly like its maternal grandmother’s sister. My hope is it looks exactly like C so no one asks! With that said, we intend to always be open and honest with our child. As soon as we talk about where babies come from, they will know their story. They will know the gift some woman gave us. We don’t ever want them to feel like it’s weird or odd. It will just be who they are.
I logged onto the donor site and immediately felt like I was on a dating site, except I was trying to find a woman to give me her egg. It was very odd. I instantaneously became super judgmental. Big nose? Didn’t go to college? 28 and still getting her undergraduate degree? yeahhh I’ll have to pass. Who have I become? Do any of these things discount someone as a good person? And whether they were a good person or not, does that have anything to do with the DNA of their egg that I could potentially have inside of me?
Lord help me. How did I get here? How do I accept this? How will I ever be okay with my husband’s sperm fertilizing another woman’s egg?
Now, I know what you are probably thinking, “I could never use a donor’s egg.” Remember, this isn’t ideal. As a little girl I didn’t think, oh wow I can’t wait to grow up and have no viable eggs and then I can pay thousands of dollars for another woman’s eggs, which by the way, may not even work. But, this seems to be my only way out of infertility and into motherhood. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy.
I want more than anything to feel and experience pregnancy in all the ups and downs. Stretch marks, acne (yes, I said acne, and no, you don’t even want to see my face currently after being on all the hormones since July), weight gain, barfing and all. I want to experience it. If someone told you tomorrow that you could never have kids, would you do this too? Oh, what’s that? Adopt you say? Adoption can take many years and costs upwards of $50k. Not to mention, I don’t want to just have a baby given to me. I want to be the oven that at least cooks this bun. It would be a part of my husband, a part of someone I don’t know, and it would grow from within me. Without my body, none of it could happen. And that is what I have to tell myself.
Funny thing, after being on the donor site for 30 mins, I found a girl who looked so much like me in one of the pictures that when I showed it to my friend, she said her boyfriend thought it WAS me. Regardless of if she looked like me or not, I hated her, this stranger, in that moment. I was jealous that she could produce eggs and curious as to why she is willing to do this.
There is sadness as well as liberation in the decision to use a donor. There are so many questions I have and so much still I don’t understand. I do feel like this would be my way out of this hellhole, but also feel that I am grieving for all of my babies that I will never have. I will never know what they look like. I will never know what my genes and C’s genes look like together. My children won’t be half Iranian. The closest we have come to knowing what our babies would look like are the two, 8 cell embryos that we have a picture of. Technology is great but not good enough to know if it would have had my eyes, or cheekbones. All the while, I have to walk around this planet every damn day and act normal. So it made me think, if I am going through this, and no one can even tell, what are other people going through and I have no idea?
We have our meeting tomorrow, May 2, with Dr. E. It’s going to be the, ‘what do we do now that we have attempted IVF 4 times’ talk. C and I still want to try again with my own eggs. I know this means more tears, more shots, more pain, but I need to do it for me. Although I feel like I am approaching my limit mentally and physically, I am still not ready to throw in the towel. We have two more paid insurance cycles and we are still young, for what that is worth. I have a feeling I know what the Dr. is going to say. I already made it clear to my nurse that we want to try again after she told me it was strongly recommended we go the donor route. But… he still wants to meet with us. Ugh.