IF and the City

I used to feel sad when I watched the episodes with Charlotte failing over and over again while trying to get pregnant. Little did I know that my own attempts would lead me on the same sad journey. We've now passed 4 years in the trenches. 6 failed IVF/ICSI cycles = nothing. Time for something new - donor eggs. Success at last. Now for round 2.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

When to Blab?

We have always planned on being open. Clearly we are going through a known donorship with Star, we have all also discussed a ‘least expectation’ situation, that will mean we always keep up-to-date addresses and emails. What we hope, but cannot predict, is that our donor relationship turns into lifetime friendship.

We are so advanced in our discussions, our Counsellor was taken aback, this is not the usual scenario for people who have met in a forum. Most IP’s go into donor relationships with the idea that they will keep the donor egg a secret – from everyone – child, grandparents and friends.

We have done enough research and then attended the adoption seminar to know that this is not the best possible situation for a child. Yep, the genie is out of the bottle for us and will not go back in, and truthfully we’ve become comfortable with all of it.

We are not ashamed that we will be using donor eggs, and we don’t want our child to be.

What we haven’t figured out is when to start having those conversations with our family and friends.

I have tried to ‘bring up the discussion’ a few times with my closest female friends – most, not ready. Their immediate reactions were that it was something too far-fetched to consider – something for the stars(!)

Finally, on Friday night, having dinner with friends I was able to tell someone. My friend Magenta, she got married late last year and is going to start trying for a baby in the next couple of months. But somehow, she is someone I felt would be receptive.

Once we had established that it wasn’t surrogacy, that I would be carrying the baby, that we would go through an IVF cycle to get Star’s eggs, that it would be Mr. S’s sperm AND I’d told her about Star -
‘Fantastic’, was her response. ‘I know you, and you would have done all your research and looked into everything, what a great thing to do.’

It felt good.

Then we started discussing strategies for me to use, so I can tell my other friends … and family.

Telling my family is not something I will look forward to. My mother NEVER got IVF – how many times did I hear ‘Oh it’s all Brave New World stuff isn’t it?’ She doesn’t know it, but she’s a Fertility-Ist. She judges women on how easily they fall pregnant – because she had no trouble conceiving and giving birth to five.

Growing up I remember her saying things like ‘Some women are just not meant to have children’. Well I can tell you it’s been a long time since she’s ever said anything like that to me after the last time I blew up her and my father for saying ‘Some people think it’s God’s will that that certain people can’t have children’, after I first started IVF!

My thinking is that I will wait till I’m actually pregnant (please) – that way any ‘unintentional’ cruel remarks that come my way, will not mar our cycle.

Mr. S’s family - bloody hell, I’ve been thinking, another dicey one. They are very conservative people. Our surprise on our journey has been how supportive they’ve been to us (we thought it’d be mine!)

They know that we have investigated adoption and have come to understand that if we pursue it further, we will be undertaking an International adoption - we will be a multi-cultural family.

Then, on Saturday, Mrs S Senior surprised us.

She had been talking to her niece who lives in San Francisco. Her niece was updating her on her best friend that has just had a baby.

‘She did what’s called Embryo Adoption, have you heard of that, apparently it’s cheaper than IVF?!’

‘Yes we have, we’ve looked into it’.

‘Well apparently, she was matched with looks, colouring, build and now she has a beautiful baby. She’s been able to experience the pregnancy, the birth, and she’s really open about it – and will talk to you about it if you want?’


‘We have looked into our options here, and spoken to our doctors, we haven’t shut any doors, but we’re just not ready to talk about how far we’ve got with everything’. We replied.

‘Well I think that’s great, I think the way you’re doing things is great, there was none of this available to us in our day’.

Mr & Mrs S Senior experienced IF themselves and consider themselves lucky that they had one.

[I think the enthusiasm for this option is not based on opposition to adoption, more so for the obvious - me being able to experience pregnancy, also, because the waiting game has blown out incredibly – we’d be looking at around 18 months to 2 years to get through adoption.]

‘Well, wasn’t that amazing?’ Mr. S & I were saying on the way home. We didn’t need to work out when to broach this subject, it was done for us!

I don’t know who was more surprised – Mr. S or me?


At October 25, 2006 4:55 am , Blogger Lut C. said...

I still haven't managed to tell my in-laws about our IF, and we're still doing relatively simple things. I just don't know how to bring it up.
My MIL talks so much herself, that when I see an opportunity to work it into conversation, she's already on to another topic. It doesn't help that we rarely see them alone, without all the BILs and SILs.

I can see how you're not keen on telling your parents. I think you're right to wait. There's no point in causing yourself more stress now.

It's odd to realize that the people around us can live their lives in blissful ignorence of ART. Too far-fetched indeed.
Don't they read the papers? Stars don't bother with donor eggs, they swoop into a country, plunk down an orphanage and leave with an adoptive kid, never mind proper procedure. ;-)

At October 25, 2006 5:47 am , Blogger Millie said...

It sounds like Mr and Mrs S Senior just want y'all to become parents and are open to anything. I think that's fab. And how cool that a cousin's friend did donor embryo!

Good luck with telling the rest of the family. We've decided to tell our families when we're pregnant but not before. Mostly because it was easier for us cycling that way.

At October 25, 2006 10:07 am , Blogger Mary Ellen and Steve said...

I am so glad that your in-laws were so receptive. As far as telling others, that's tough. Hopefully you will just know when the time is right. We just blabbed straight away so that everyone could get used to the idea before we get, dare I even say it, pregnant. I am so happy that you have found Star, and that your donor egg journey has been smooth so far. Hugs to you.

At October 25, 2006 10:26 pm , Blogger Thalia said...

I tell my family most stuff, and H similarly, and I have thought about what we'd do if we did donor egg - I think it would be as you've done, telling people gradualy as we go. Not sure about work colleagues, that one seems harder to me for some reason.

At November 03, 2006 9:06 am , Blogger Becky said...

I have been contemplating donor embryos too--it's my insane way of trying to plan in case ivf fails for me. And that's so wonderful that your inlaws were way open to the idea and you didn't even have to broach the topic! I find that I am constantly surprised by who does and who doesn't "get it". There's no rhyme or reason to it.


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