Need advice: How did you come to terms with not having your own bio child?

(19 posts)(12 voices)
  1. Hi everyone,
    Congratulations on your pregnancies!
    I am getting ready to do a frozen cycle with donor eggs. My first donor cycle after almost a decade of heartbreak and miscarriages. I have no living children.
    Please help me understand how you came to terms with accepting the idea that you would never have your bio child (if indeed that is your situation). I would really like to help get my head around this.
    Just watch...this cycle probably won't work for me...but that is another hurdle to deal with.
    Please help.
    Many thanks,
    Mary

  2. Dear Mary,

    I am so sorry for the hard road you have walked through in the past 10 years pursuing your dream of family. I can understand the heartbreaking part as we had our share of misfortune as well. I won't bring details, but, after 16 years of marriage, we finally realized our odd of having a miracle living baby with my own genetic connection at the age of 41 is slim.

    We went through adoption, my logic was we could still try while pursuing adoption, so my dream of having my own genetic baby was not entirely gone. But after that attempt was failed, I started to seriously pursue DE. In fact, going through a failed adoption making the transition to DE relatively easier. It also made my desire longing for a child stronger. I don't know if I have 100% come to term with no genetic connection with my future children. But when DH and I talk about our future children, I feel proud to just think about a life is growing inside of me, who is mine and will inherit many of my qualities. The fact of knowing this child also comes from a gift of a 22 year-old young donor makes me less worried about the outcome of this pregnancy. We also have six more embryos on icy, so we can really revisit the possibility to enlarge our family in the future -- it is such a sweet feeling, and we gave up that idea years ago because of so many heart-broken experiences we had. Putting in one sentence, we don't see going through DE as giving up my genetic link, but to think it as a gift that we can finally have a family!

    Good luck on your upcoming cycle!

  3. Thank you, ferda. I am sorry that you have had to go through so much too but very glad that you are able to experience the joy of being pregnant. When are you due?
    I wrestle with the emotions on a daily basis, especially since I work with kids and always hear people telling the parents of the kids"Oh, he or she looks just like you", etc.
    I never thought this would be this hard. I assumed the first IUI I did would work....and then after countless tries of that then the first IVF and then after countless tries of IVF with not even a positive....and giving up at 42 and then getting pregnant 5 times naturally, only to lose them all on or before 8 weeks...I guess my body is trying to tell me something.
    And now, I do worry that at 43 I won't have the energy... I have a lot of worries....
    Thanks for listening,
    Mary

  4. Hi Mary:

    first off, i'm so sorry that this is a struggle for you. I'm not sure my story will help but I'll tell it and if it helps, great. if not, feel free to discard.

    i didn't have a difficult time at all because i was raised by my mom and a step-father whom i couldn't love more if he were my "real" father. My bio father did have visitation and i spent some time with him but mostly an occasional weekend or holiday and maybe a week or 2 during the summer. Not exactly a close relationship like I had with with my step-dad. by the time I matured, married and started TTC, the issue of genetics didn't seem all that important to me; especially compared to the desire of a family of my own. Not to mention, my family doesn't have the greatest genetics so i'm not sure what's so important to pass on to another generation. (that's secondary, though)

    I know this is off the topic but you brought this up so hopefully you don't mind my comments: I was 40 when I had my DS from our fresh DE cycle and am pregnant now with the last frozen embryos from that batch. I'll be 42 at this delivery (should the pg survive -- it's still really early). It is truly exhausting but I would still recommend it a thousand times over an empty nursery. My next door neighbor when we lived in seattle was a single mom from a donor embryo cycle at 43 and she loves LOVES it. She's actually considering adopting a sibling for her DD which to me seems crazy. at least i have help from DH! I hope you don't mind the barge on this point, but I know i find energy i didn't think i had and it's working out great.

    hth

    debbi

  5. What you're feeling is so natural, it's part of the grieving process and to be honest, I'm still grieving the genetic ties a little and I'm 27 weeks with twins. What seems to trigger these fears is me thinking about what will happen after they're born and all the comments on who they look like. I'm not a good liar but I'm also not ready to share with the world how we got these miracles. Also, with each u/s you can see more details and I'm reminded that they'll never look like me. I'm not telling you this to scare you but for me it is something I've struggled with. But I am happy that this pregnancy has been so easy and carefree (thanks to 20 yo eggs) and I know my old eggs (I'm 39) would've had me worried sick about abnormalities.

    The bottom line is that I know when they're born, I'll fall in love with them no matter what they look like and that's why we chose to go the donor route. Also, I look nothing like the rest of my family, I'm the only blond/blue eyes, both parents and all siblings are brown hair/brown eyes, so even when you're genetically linked you may not look like it.

    I hope you find some resolution and know that it can take some time and even after you've started the process you may have lingering doubts, I think that's totally natural and part of the process. Good luck.

  6. Dear Mary,

    I am so sorry for all your losses. Those are just the most heartbreaking thing a woman can experience. Today is the National Day for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance, and I hope you got a chance to grief your losses.

    We tried almost every methods under the Sun to get pregnant: western approaches and eastern approaches. No of them even brought me to a positive pregnancy test results. Then at the age of 39 (one month shy away from 40 year's birthday), we've got pregnant naturally. I guess all those miracles renewed our confidence, and somehow I felt fertile again. Unfortunately our daughter passed away only two hours after her birth which was expected because of her prenatal dignosis. That was a devastated one year of my life but both DH and I were confident that we would get pregnant naturally again and very easily after the birth and passing of our daughter. That did not happen. Our hearts are just broken facing the reality that no matter how good intention we have and how healthy my body could be, my aging eggs just gave up on me. We are also afraid the same tragedy would happen to us again. Like you, it is not just the issue of getting pregnant, but the issues of keeping the pregnancy and having a healthy child. Thinking all of these possibilities and having experiencing the hardship makes us realize how much different it could make being able to pregnant with a gift from a younger donor.

    Mary, I agree with you that it is a daily battle, and both my husband and I would be in 50th once our child in grade school. We probably will have to postpone our retirement to raise him/her/them. But just thinking about the possibility of having children give us a great deal of comfort, and I hope we will always feel that way. I am much happier and calm than the past summer when I was not sure if DE was right for us. I could only image that I will be even happier and calmer when I hold my baby!

    If all goes well, my baby will be arriving in the mid-May next year (due date is 5/21, but I am sure it will be earlier than that).

    Good luck, Mary! I hope your life in future will be filled with joy and less worrier!

  7. Dear Debbi, Yahia and ferda,
    Thank you so much for your replies. You have no idea how much it means to me that you took the time to answer my questions. I was feeling pretty down today after someone "surprise pregnancy" ambushed me today. She didn't look pregnant but announced to me and everyone that she was and it took me by surprise and then, although I was happy for her, I went into my own "Why not me too?" feelings. I came home and DH said "Don't feel down"...but that's easy to say. And then I remembered to check this thread and after reading your posts now I do not feel so alone and I feel a lot more comforted by so many things that you have said.
    I\'m just waiting for day 1 now which should be in about a week and I guess we'll see about DE in this next cycle. I imagine I'll have to start estrogen on day one. I don't remember from my frozen egg cycles what comes next. Do they stop you from ovulating when you do a frozen DE cycle?
    I feel a lot better when I think about the points that you all have raised.
    Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
    Mary

  8. Hi Mary,

    I'm a 42 year old single Mom of 10 month old boy/girl twins from donor eggs. I had tried many IUIs with no luck and an IVF that was cancelled. I finally became fed up with BFNs. I wanted a pregnancy and a baby ! It was obvious that donor eggs would give me the best chance of ever achieving my goal.
    The aspect of the donor egg process that really made me feel better about it was the ability to carefully choose a donor with the genes that I liked. There are a lot of beautiful, intelligent young women donating their eggs.
    This might sound shallow but I chose someone who had dimples because I've always loved dimples. Nobody in my family had them ...until NOW ! My babies both have cute dimples. I really feel like the twins are 100% mine. I carried them and I'm the one who had the c-section. I don't think I would love them more if they had exactly the same DNA as me.
    People who don't know I used donor eggs have told me that my daughter looks like me, so if you choose somebody with the same hair color or eye color people will probably think that the baby resembles you.
    Best of luck !

  9. Thanks, Stacy,
    Congratulations on your twins! And one of each! How lucky! I would LOVE that too!
    I went ahead with the DE cycle and am now newly pregnant. I don't know how many are in there but I am starting to have m/s and food aversions. I have had a little spotting but the betas are going up so that's comforting. Based on the betas I would think that it's a singleton. I won't know until my 8 week ultrasound in a couple of weeks. My donor looks a little like me in the face but we don't have the same eye colour. But she is a lovely person so I am happy about that.
    I now just want to get to the second trimester because in my other pregnancies with my own eggs, I never made it past 8 weeks...even after we saw the heartbeat the last time so I am very nervous.
    Are you going to go for a third?
    Thanks for taking the time to post to me.
    Hugs,
    Mary

  10. Thank you all for posting in this thread--it was helpful.

  11. Jumping in here a little late but I hope this helps. When we had to choose DE it was such an easy choice. no questions or concerns until about a month ago when for like the millionth time someone said wow your daughter looks just like your dh (she is our bio child) and it hit me none of my children will ever look like me. That made me sad but just for a minute. I told myself that yes we will be getting part of the makings for a child from someone else but that child or children will be mine. They will be placed inside me as a few hundred cells but it will be my body that grows them into little tiny people. My heart will be pumping the blood to their heart. How much closer can you get. No matter what or how the baby first came to be this child along with my bio child will always be the only people who know what my heart sounds like from the inside and that is a huge thing.

    I wish you all the luck in the world and I am so sorry for your loss's and will pray that this is your miracle.

  12. Mary,

    Hi!
    I am curious about how you are feeling now about things? Feel free to post or PM if you are willing to share anything.

    Z

  13. Hi SendrikBlack,
    Well the cycle did work and I am into my 2nd trimester now with a singleton(just over 20 weeks) and it is a relief not to have to worry too much about my old eggs anymore. Clearly my body wanted to be pregnant but my eggs were just too old. I have been okay with everything until another wave hit me yesterday and it was a day of thinking "She'll never be anything like me" and "people will know she's not mine when they look at her" fears. Also, people at work have been quite nosy and one even came out and asked me if it was DE. I told her it wasn't and was fuming inside.
    What about you? Are you in the same situation?
    Take care,
    Mary

  14. Hi,

    Thought I'd put in my two cents' worth...

    I, too, got pregnant with DE (donor egg). I now have a 13-week-old dd and I could not love her more if she were from my own egg (and I already have an adult biological daughter, so this is saying a lot)... I would not change a thing about her... And already people comment on similarities between the two of us - even though she is almost the exact feminine image of her father. I think just carrying her for 9 months, with your body providing the lifesource - not to mention feeling her kicking, squirming, hiccuping inside you - is what makes a baby yours.

    Also, I found the article below posted in one of the other threads which I found very interesting. Thought I would share:

    Dee

    Quote:
    Epigenetics - The Importance of the Birth Mother
    ________________________________________
    An article about epigenetics that referred to the influence of the birth mother on the genetic make up of a child born from donor eggs. .....

    Genes must be ‘expressed’ within an individual in order to have an
    effect.

    The same gene or genes can express in a number of different ways
    depending upon the environment. A gene can remain ’silent’ or
    unexpressed; it can be expressed strongly; it can be expressed weakly,
    and so on. There is also an entire field of study called "imprinting"
    having to do with which gene you ‘activate,’ the copy you received from
    your mother, or the copy you received from your father.

    The field of epigenetics studies these phenomenon, and popular
    journalism is just starting to write about it. While the Human Genome
    Project was still underway, we usually heard genes referred to as ‘the
    Bible’ of the human being, as a kind of absolute truth concerning the
    fundamental nature of the individual.

    That is now changing.

    In a donor egg pregnancy, the pregnant woman’s womb is the environment.
    It is her genes, not the donor’s, that determine the expression of the
    donor-egg baby’s genes.

    A donor egg baby gets her genes from the donor; she gets the
    ‘instructions’ on the expression of those genes from the woman who
    carries her to term.

    This means that a donor egg baby has 3 biological parents: a father, the
    egg donor, and the woman who carries the pregnancy.

    The child who is born would have been a physically & no doubt
    emotionally different person if carried by his genetic mother.

    In horse breeding for example, it’s not uncommon to implant a pony
    embryo into the womb of a horse.

    The foals that result, are different from normal ponies.
    They’re bigger. These animals’ genotype – their genes – are the same as a
    pony’s, but their phenotype – what their genes actually look like in the
    living animal – is different.

    ........

    The implication of epigenetics is that the child inherits characteristics from the woman who carries the child even if the original DNA comes from a donor egg. In other words the birth mother influences what the child is like at a genetic level - it IS her child.

  15. Hi Mary! Sorry you have a stupdi coworker! If others ask if you did DE, you can say "Why do you want to know?" and maybe they'll back off.

    I just wanted to jump in here and say that my DD is 3.5 and couldn't be more like me if she were my bio child. I think that hanging out with me so much has shaped many of her expressions and mannerisms, vocabulary, etc. It's funny because lots of close relatives (including my mom) who know she's DE still mention she's definitely me (and then they remember..........a bit awkward, but OK!)

    I dress her, take her to the hair cutters, so I determine what she looks like, for the most part. I pick most of our activities, books, music, movies, etc, so am also shaping what goes into her cute little brain. We have our own special rituals too, so I'm teaching her about things to like, not like, etc. It's not like I'm consciously trying to "warP' her into me, but because she spends so much time with me, she's naturally taking after me...........

    So even though your child might not look like you initially, or might have a different personality than yours, or something like that, you'll come to a day where you'll see something in her/him that is just from you, and you'll recognize it. That will make you feel better!

    I have to say that I LOVE DE and if we had the $$ would do it again in a second. I really don't even think about it anymore, because DD is totally mine and always will be. (Just don't tell her future DH that haha!)

    Good luck to you!
    Suz

  16. Thank you, Suz and Dee!
    Hugs,
    Mary

  17. Hi Mary,

    thanks so much for sharing...and congratulations.

    Sorry I didn't check this sooner...been a tough week and I just wasn't up to reading the pg boards earlier.

    It really helps me to read your story and others...especially how people are feeling after getting pg with donor eggs (embryos etc..). We are looking into donor embryos and I was wanting to hear other people say how they felt about it once it happened (especially initially during pregnancy).

    thanks again!

  18. I have been okay with everything until another wave hit me yesterday and it was a day of thinking "She'll never be anything like me" and "people will know she's not mine when they look at her" fears. Also, people at work have been quite nosy and one even came out and asked me if it was DE. I told her it wasn't and was fuming inside.What about you? Are you in the same situation? Mary

    Hi Mary, congratulations for your pg. I have 3 DE childrens, we where very lucky as our donor produced many eggs and whe had frosties. I had doubts in my mind all the way through my 1st pregnancies (did we made the right choice, how will I bound with my child, what happens if he looks like the donor, should we have tried once more with my eggs...etc). I was sad that I would never have a bio child and i was worried that it would be an obstacle to really bound with my baby. All I can tell is, all thoses fears went out the window the minute I had my son in my arms. I love him so much, he is my son and I am very happy we decided to do DE (i would most probably be childless if it werent of DE). <br /> <br />Etienne is now 30 months old and although he is my DH clone he does, sometimes, look like me as he adopted some of my mimics and some expressions I have. Dont worry about what the people around say. Some say my children`s look like me and some say otherwise. Also I have a few white lies prepared for nosy people (Gabrielle has my nose, Etienne has my mouth etc...up to now no one contradited me.)

    Hi SendrikBlack.

  19. HI ivangjeli and all,

    Mary, I felt exactly like you before and during my pregnancy with DE, maybe even worse. But today I have a 7 yr dd who is the love of my life. couldn't be more mine if you cut her from me, oh wait, they did! ha. (c-section) The love I have for her is so fierce and beautiful. I still smell her head like when she was a baby.

    And that article someone printed about the influence the birth mother has should really encourage you also.

    best to you

    pragkou

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