About a month ago my step-mom sent me a box of old pictures. She had been going through their pictures and my grandmother’s pictures and decided that she wanted to send me some so that I can have them and do with them what I want. She knows about my love of scrapping and thought I might want to make something out of them.
In the box were pictures of my grandparents when they were still married, my dad and aunt when they were little, my grandmother as a young woman...I love these old pictures. There were pictures of me when I was probably 3 or 4 that I had never seen before. I had no idea that I went ice skating with my aunt and grandmother, however, the pictures don’t lie. There were also plenty of pictures of events that I do remember from when I was very little. I showed BJ and the LG many of these pictures and of course so many of them garnered laughs and sneers at my hair and clothes. Rightfully so, I might add. And then I came upon two pictures that made me stop and think about what I am giving up using donor eggs to have a child.
The first picture was a picture of my dad when he was maybe 4 or 5. It was black and white and he was smiling. The next picture I looked at was a picture of me when I was about 3 or 4. I looked exactly like my dad except with different hair. I covered up the hair on both pictures and showed it to BJ. He agreed that we looked alike and went about watching TV. He had no idea the feelings that this sparked in me. Not feelings of regret, not at all. I’m 100% sure that I’m doing the right thing and I feel so hopeful that we will have a child of our own. These were feelings of grief for realizing exactly what my body has failed to do. My body has failed my future child of being able to look back at old pictures and say things like, “mom, I look just like you!” It was such a great feeling to see how much I looked like my dad. Especially since I am now the spitting image of my mother. I know that the child will be genetically linked to BJ so I’m sure there will be resemblances there. And I know that I must sound very vain and ungrateful for this opportunity to make my dreams come true...trust me, I’m not. I’m not vain nor am I ungrateful. I can’t wait to get started with this cycle and I am hoping with everything I have that this works for us. I want to be pregnant again and I want to bring a baby into our home. I want to be a mother. I’m more than ready to be a mother.
I want to be honest here and I want to let people know that this is not easy. Choosing to use donor eggs was just as big of a decision for us as adoption is for other couples. It’s hard to give up on one’s own body. There’s a grieving process to go through. I first had to grieve the loss of my pregnancy and then I had to grieve the loss of being able to try again. Now I’m grieving a different kind of loss, the loss of a genetic family link. I’m not sad about the child not having my eyes or my hair color. Those things don’t mean anything to me. I’m sad that I’m the last in our family line and I can’t carry our heritage on. I’m actually glad that I won’t be passing certain aspects of my physical appearance on. I don’t know if I’m putting this into words well enough. Looking at those old pictures was an emotional high for me. I realized that my child might not have those same feelings and that made me sad. I hope that BJ’s genes come through nice and strong so that our child can have those feelings when he/she sees him/herself in BJ’s childhood photos.
I know I’m getting ahead of myself with believing that we will have a child but I’m so hopeful. As soon as I received those dates yesterday I figured out a due date...probably not the healthiest thing to do but I did it. I want this to work so badly I can taste it. That does not mean that this process is without challenges, though. Donor eggs are not an easy decision, not a quick fix. It’s just as much of a roller coaster ride as other infertility treatments. We are just at the beginning of our ride. I know there is much more to come but I’m ready to face it head on. I fully understand what I have given up and I’m ok with it. There’s more to life and family than who we look like. Those old photos sparked a new understanding in me and in this process. It made me sad but not for myself, for my future child. It means that I am going to have to work extra hard to let him/her know that it doesn’t matter if we look alike, what matters is that we are a family. Family is forever.