telling child about being a DE

(21 posts)(14 voices)
  1. i am jumping the gun a little, but is it pretty standard that you tell your child about being a DE....and if so, when? I am just in mock cycle stage but i think of this all day long......thanks in advance

  2. Our clinic required a "psyche" consult. Almost the entire hour was devoted to whether or not and how to tell. I was of the no-tell camp, but the counselor got me thinking and now dh and I have decided to socialize it with our children from a young age. We'll tell our children and it will be their story and their decision to share or not. We (dh and I) will not tell my family because they have crippling religious convictions, and will undoubtedly NEVER understand what we've gone through to conceive. If our child/ren want to share their story, it's theirs to tell.

    Does your clinic require a psyche consult? If so, a good shrink will get you going in the right direction. After talking it out with a counselor, the decision will probably come naturally.

    Hope this helps.

    Dale

  3. this is a nice article that will help address your concerns
    theafa.org/library/article/talking_with_children_about_ovum_donation_2009/

    dale and i are on the same page, we'll tell our kids first and let them tell. we dont want anyone to feel differently about them vs other grandchildren, cousins etc.

    btw, i'm a little further along than you as i'm 12wks pg with a DE baby. everyone told me this when i was contemplating DE and i wasnt sure i believed it, but once you're pg you totally forget about the donor as you're so thrilled to be pg! all dh and i focus on now is getting ready to be parents. i wish you the best of luck, the whole decision process to move on to DE, then to find a donor etc is incredibly draining and stressful so take care of yourself.

  4. Thank you for posting this article, I found it so helpful. I was already part of the "tell camp", but now I am more sure of our decision than ever.

  5. this is a nice article that will help address your concernshttp://www.theafa.org/library/artic..._donation_2009/dale and i are on the same page, we'll tell our kids first and let them tell. we dont want anyone to feel differently about them vs other grandchildren, cousins etc. btw, i'm a little further along than you as i'm 12wks pg with a DE baby. everyone told me this when i was contemplating DE and i wasnt sure i believed it, but once you're pg you totally forget about the donor as you're so thrilled to be pg! all dh and i focus on now is getting ready to be parents. i wish you the best of luck, the whole decision process to move on to DE, then to find a donor etc is incredibly draining and stressful so take care of yourself.

    many thanks for the website i will take a look at it. You are right, it is draining and now that i am doing the mock cycle it is really hitting home that this is a reality. I realize it is our only chance outside of adoption, but it's hard to think that this child will resemble me in no way....i hope you are right, i have heard it before so i am sure it is....i have never been pg so i have no idea what that will feel like. May i ask where you did the DE? I am at Cornell and did have a psyche meeting where they discussed telling the child which we had never really thought of. It makes sense should it come up somewhere down the line, and i believe honesty is always the best way to go or else it can come back to haunt you. I have told my mom but nobody else, i just hope she can keep her mouth shut, i have 2 sisters and have not told them....i just can't make that decision right now as it is all i can do to get through this process. it is scary and exciting, i will be 41 in May so i am closing in on time but with such high success rates we feel this really will happen for us. Well i have to go give our donor match criteria, another thing to deal with....i started Lupron 2 days ago and i think it is already affecting me, i am grouchy and my body aches, normal or just me getting old?

    good luck to you and thanks!

  6. harokal..i am a firm believer in the power of 'nuture' so i am sure your child will resemble you in various ways

    hope the cycle is successful

  7. when we started thinking about DE someone said on here that you can't move forward with it until you can focus on what you're getting out of it, not what you're giving up. try to keep that in mind, it sounds like you understand it logically, it's DE or adopt for you (as it was for us). but just because you get it, doesn't mean it's easy to accept. post your mock cycle it could take months for you to find a match so you'll have lots of time to think about this and to grieve for the loss of a genetic connection. it is good to get this behind you ahead of the cycle so you can really enjoy your pg and not be worried about this stuff.

    once you make the DE decision, then you have to find a donor. that part was the scariest for me because i'm a control freak and there is so much false advertising among the donors and the agencies that represent them. you just dont know that they're telling the truth. but as Vesselin said, a lot of this comes down to nurture vs nature, and as long as you rule out the major hereditary/genetic issues, with a young donor it's highly likely that you will have a healthy child and then you'll go from there. cornell will screen the donors so well that you dont need to worry about this stuff.

    in order of priority, i want to have several kids, i want them to be healthy, i want to be healthy as a mother, i want to experience a pg and birth, i really favor DE over adoption for many reasons, especially i'm thrilled that the kids will have a genetic connection with my DH, i dont want to be any older as a parent...and of course, DE is not a sure thing, there was always the chance that it wouldnt work so we made the decision to move forward...i'm 37 and had never been pg either so i know where you're coming from. one of the great things about DE is that nobody needs to know.

    we decided that we will tell our kids first, so we're not telling anyone, no family, friends etc on either side. there is no need or reason for them to know, that is comforting to us because we dont want anyone to be gossiping about our kids or to think less of them. remember that once you tell someone, you can't untell. you never know if they'll tell anyone else or why so it's easier to rely on ivfc for support and then tell folks later. or get a great shrink to help you and DH think through if that would help, we did this and it's been a great resource.

    we cycled with Dr T at SIRM NY. we did three cycles last year with my eggs and never made it to ET. he was always v honest with us that he didn't think my eggs were viable, even though we also have severe MF and other REs we consulted with actually thought it might be the swimmers that were at fault.

    anyway, my view is that life is short, we wanted to be parents, and dealing with IF sucks the life out of you. at age 41 the reality is that you're on the wrong side of the odds for having a healthy, successful pg. using a DE increases your chances exponentially, plus if you have a proven donor who cycles well it's highly likely that you'll have extra embys for siblings! post our three cycles we were told that our chance of success was 10%, vs with a proven donor it was closer to 80%. we were ready to get on with life and we're thrilled that we did.

    SIRM does not have inhouse donors and we only wanted to cycle with Dr T which is why we went the agency route. we were incredibly fortunate to find a donor who we loved on paper, and we actually got to meet her too! that was v cool, looks wise she's very different to me but we have similar backgrounds and smarts, and she and her family are very healthy. DH and i were so happy after we met with her, it was just so reassuring, and post our cycle we're pg now with a singleton and we've 7 embys on ice.

    everything that you're experiencing now is totally normal. try not to make any big decisions while you're on the lupron. it makes you totally loopy, angry, hot flushes, tired, irritable, achy...it's miserable. so just take care of yourself, take one day at a time, dont make too many plans as you'll probably want to flake, take baths, read books, be gentle on yourself. one step at a time, assuming the mock cycle goes great then you'll have a few months to think about the pros & cons of DE before you actually move forward. and we'll all be here to help you along the way.

  8. Great article Mairead, thanks for sharing. I'm so happy for you - congrats on hitting 12 weeks!

    We were originally thinking of not telling, but now I'm leaning toward telling the child only. I'm not pg yet, but it's also something I think about constantly. I'm in the 2ww after transferring a frozen DE blast, so hopefully soon I'll have reason to really contemplate what we will do.... I think my family and DH's will freak out about how extreme it is - it is honestly how they will handle it that bugs me, more than how the child will feel about it... Good luck everyone!

  9. freckles - wow you're in the 2ww, i have everything crossed for you!

    i totally agree w you re the family's reactions, ours are just so old and small minded i'd hate to subject my kids to their prejudices. my SIL is adopted and my DH's parents mention that every time her name comes up in conversation. she's 40yo and has been married to their son for 10 years, who cares if she's adopted!!!

  10. mbp, I completely understand your feelings about DE and what you will feel like once you have that baby (or babies) here with you. I have 6.5 month old b/b twins from a DE cycle. After five years of cycling with my own eggs, beginning at age 30, and 3 IF related operations, I had success on my first donor cycle. I did two IVF cycles at RMA NJ and three with Cornell (Dr. Spandorfer) before finally giving in and doing DE at IVF NJ with Dr. Michael Darder. When I went for my consult with IVF NJ, Dr. Darder told me that if I wanted to cycle again with my eggs, he recommended I go back to Cornell where I had the best cycle with co-culture. He felt that after so many cycles and transfers and never a BFP, my eggs were the culprit. He gently handed me a package on DE and asked me to look it over when I was ready (I had totally fallen apart in his office). A few months later I made the decision to proceed and had a myomectomy to remove a fibroid prior to my cycle, just to increase our chances even more. I have to tell you- once I started the process, all of my fears went out the window and throughout my entire pregnancy, it did not bother me that I had no genetic link to my children. MY blood was flowing through their veins, I was carrying them for 9 (well, 8) months and they WOULD have traits like me. Furthermore, we did tell our close family that we did DE. Having that additional support was so amazing for us and it could not have been better received. My parents are so in awe of our "miracle boys" that sometimes I feel like they treat them even more special than their other biological grandchildren. I guess my children being treated different is never even a thought in my mind because everyone in our lives are so supportive and just thrilled we have these beautiful babies. My sons look so much like my husband but every now and then someone says one of them looks like me, which makes me smile. Once you have those babies in your arms, they are ALL YOURS...there is nothing like it. My boys look at me with so much love that it fills me heart and I feel like it will burst..it doesn't matter at all that your DNA is not a part of them. And we willd definitely tell them because other people in our lives know, but more importantly, because we want them to know just how much they were wanted and what we went through to have them. Good luck and I wish you success in your cycle!!!

  11. Olgag78, congrats on your baby boys! Your message brought tears to my eyes, in a good way . I am so glad your family has been so supportive about DE! I can only imagine how much you love your boys. Kite

  12. Olgag78 so nice to hear your your story, especially the part about how happy you are when someone says the boys look like you. We have 1 yo twin DE girls and one looks just like dh and the other like the donor but so many people say she looks like me, it makes me laugh b/c she really doesn't but it's nice to hear.

    So far only a handful of people know we used DE and I'm ready to tell our immediate circle of friends but how and when to do it is tricky. I think I'm making it a bigger deal than it is and I know that like Olgag78 said, once our friends and the girls know how hard we worked to get them, they will be supportive.

    Thanks for sharing your experience ladies. This is a great thread and I hope others who've been down this road will contribute.

  13. Mairead, thanks for posting that great article- i've added it to my little archive. and sage advice for harokal, i thought.

    harokal, i've got 2 sons from DE IVF : a 2 1/2 year old and a 9 month old. i think you kind of have to go into it knowing that all the decisions aren't made yet, but that you will trust yourself to make the right decisions at the right times. you've got a lifetime with your child to think about whether s/he is ready to start the discussion, etc etc. at 2 1/2, mine is still rather focused on "where does the poop come out?" so i know i've got a year or two to go.

    one thing about the genetic connection that i was musing about this afternoon: i came in from meeting a client and the little one saw me, cracked a huge smile, and put up his hands for me to pick him up. i had to use the restroom, so i left the room, and he had hysterics till i came back. calmed right down when i came back and wouldn't let me put him down. no need for a genetic connection: i'm his and he's mine.

    one thing i'm considering doing is making a book for the boys about their origins. we've got photos of the donor as an adult and as a baby and child, photos of the boys as embryos, and ultrasound photos, as well as, of course, photos of them. i'm thinking of making a shutterfly book, then i can read it to them and it will be a nice springboard for discussion.

  14. i think you kind of have to go into it knowing that all the decisions aren't made yet, but that you will trust yourself to make the right decisions at the right times. you've got a lifetime with your child to think about whether s/he is ready to start the discussion, etc etc. at 2 1/2, mine is still rather focused on "where does the poop come out?" so i know i've got a year or two to go.
    Well said pilma. I think the hardest part is that you don't have all the answers but you do your best with each situation.

    And I forgot to thank mairead for the great article, I've bookmarked it too.

  15. pilma, I LOVE the idea of the book! That really is a great idea and a great way to lead into the conversation. I have been researching online and Amazon has some books about DE, including ones for the child to read about the process and ones for adults to read about different things you deal with. I may just order a few of them to see what they are all about.

  16. thanks, Olgag78- i'd love to swap ideas about how to write it

    i have a whole collection of the books for kids- they all have something in them i'd tweak....

  17. Hi Olgag78,
    I just wanted to tell you I could have written your post! My boys are 4 1/2 months now. We were in the Tell camp from the get-go and my family and friends all express such deep abiding love for our little "miracle" babies it makes me gush with pride. I couldn't imagine my parents loving them any more than they do!! One is the spitting imagine ( mini-me) of daddy and the other looks so much like his nephews! I will confess, a few days after they were born when everyone was in awe and remarking how much they looked like daddy, uncle___, cousin___, I had about 7 hours of melancholy because they did not necessarily look like me or anyone in my family. My MIL asked me if it made me feel bad or awkward that there was so much talk about who they looked like. It was perfect validation from someone who doesn't usually share or express feelings. We don't really have that kind of relationship. BUT, Once she asked, it went away. It was almost as if I just needed that little push of validation.
    I know one baby looks like my donor, but he is the one people say looks like me. It makes me chuckle too. I picked my donor because she looked like someone I would like to have as a friend. She seemed like a genuine, kind, adventurous person. AND, she's taller than I am so that was bonus for our babies!
    All I know is the babies look at ME with such love and admiration, it too makes my heart melt and swell and grow larger everyday! There is NOTHING I can compare this too!
    For those of you considering DE or in the process...I just want to restate what Juni said, it is your blood, your body and your love that nurtures your babies! Our babies will have genetics that we don't share, but you will nurture how those gentics are expressed or supressed. I can't say it enough, this is absolutely the best thing to have ever happened. With that being said, you are the one that has to come to peace and acceptance in your decision. I certainly wasn't ready for awhile. My dh says he wishes now we would have moved on to DE sooner. I have to remind him that I wasn't ready sooner.

  18. Olgag78 & Michelle - thank you both so much for sharing your wonderful success stories with us, i got a chill from reading each of them because they are just so touching.

    making the decision to move on to DE is hard enough and then having to navigate the whole process is incredibly stressful and draining. i am now 12wks pg with a DE singleton and DH and i couldnt be happier. we think about today vs this time last yr as we started our first of three cycles with my eggs and how hopeless the whole process was. it's such a joy today to actually be planning for a family finally.

    Michelle, it's funny that your DH wanted to move sooner, i was the one who wanted to move on as my older sisters and my mother had so many problems conceiving, but DH was v reluctant to move on to DE. i had to bargain with him that if i could find a donor we agreed on, we could meet her, and have one child i would be happy with that. already he's talking about trying for #2 when i'm sick as a dog every day with m.s!!

  19. Eiichiro

    Quote:
    ...counselor got me thinking and now dh and I have decided to socialize it with our children from a young age. We'll tell our children and it will be their story and their decision to share or not. We (dh and I) will not tell my family because they have crippling religious convictions

    We just had our psych consult and that got us really thinking about telling or not telling. No one in this world knows we are even trying to have kids let along doing DE. After talking to the counselor we kind of starting thinking like you did, that it would be good to socialize from a young age. But, like in your case, how on earth do you socialize it into the child but not have the child running around telling your family with the "crippling religious convictions"? How does a three year old make an informed decision to share their story?
    I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.

  20. EiichiroWe just had our psych consult and that got us really thinking about telling or not telling. No one in this world knows we are even trying to have kids let along doing DE. After talking to the counselor we kind of starting thinking like you did, that it would be good to socialize from a young age. But, like in your case, how on earth do you socialize it into the child but not have the child running around telling your family with the "crippling religious convictions"? How does a three year old make an informed decision to share their story?I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.
    I have the same concerns as well. There is no way we are telling anyone for now. We are very active in our church, and it's not that they would be against it, it's just that some of them may get weird about it, and we just don't want that.
    We also don't want DS and DD (from my previous marriage) to know as they might feel some disconnection as they won't share a genetic connection. Too many variables that we're working with.
    If we decide to down the road, we will start with the child.

  21. As far as "telling" a three year old.. well you don't actually TELL them what there is no way they can understand. At the very young age you start in broad generalities... there is a kids book out there called The Family Book. It is simple and anything or nothing can be read into it. It talks about how people in some families look similar and some don't. Families come in all shapes and sizes. Some have two mommies, etc. Some have children from adoption. etc.

    So at the youngest ages you are just socializing them to the fact (DE or not) that all families are different and come to be in different ways. It's not until they get into older ages where you can build upon that concept in a more specific way (e.g. when they start to understand reproduction where you can introduce more specifics (5th, 6th grade). And obviously there are many steps in between 3 years old and 5th/6th grade where you build on the general concept. This was the recommendation we received from psych counselor.

    Having said that.. I still don't know if we are going to tell. I've always thought no - but now that we are having more children with a different donor I realize I may have to be open to it.

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