I usually post on the over 40 board, but after 2 1/2 years TTC and nearing age 42, my DH and I are considering DE. It's been difficult for him and he's only just come around to DE and he is still a bit uncomfortable. I don't have as big a problem with it - until now.
We are discussing asking a friend or family member since both of us are more comfortable with this than an anonymous donor.
However, I am suddenly having lots of weird feelings. DH and I both excelled academically and we are both very musical and I'm finding myself trying to find these qualities in a donor, as well as someone who resembles me. Despite wanting a child so badly and believing profoundly in unconditional love, I'm finding that my ego is getting in the way. However irrational, I feel like the child will be a reflection of us. I wonder if I would love a tone deaf or unintelligent child as much as a really talented one.
I feel ashamed writing this. I almost want to be anonymous but I don't like anon posts so there it is. Yucky thoughts and feelings, ealy in the DE process. Sigh.
I think we probably all can, even if we can't all admit it and I thank you for bringing it up as it's a shame that I carry too. I do believe though that we would love our children regardless of their talents as we are never guaranteed that anyway, but I do worry that I am placing too much importance over the child looking like me and having similar mannerisms. People see what they want to see and I'm terrified of the times that people will say he / she looks like me when I know they won't.
I'm very early in the process too and as many other women here have reminded me, we need to grieve the loss of our own child before we can even try to comprehend starting in the DE process. I'm very much in the grieving stages now with more hours of the day filled with tears than not, but as I have learned here very recently, I am going to allow myself that time before I make any decisions as to donors.
I am lucky in that my sister has offered to donate which will keep that genetic connection, but it will mean a 3 year wait until she has completed her family. I'm only 34 and she is 32 so it's not as concerning at this point to wait. I'm still tossing up the idea of using someone else to speed up the process though.
There is so much to think about, so much to absorb and so many decisions to make. So my best advice to you is to take some time to look after you! Then worry about the other stuff.
Don't sweat it that you have an ego! All of our egos take a huge knock when we find out that we won't have our mini me's running around. It's completely natural. There's a saying that I love and I never get it completely right but...
"if something makes you feel guilty, change it so you stop feeling guilty, but if you can't change it, there's no point feeling guilty about it."
Look after yourself and keep us posted. Come here anytime!
TTC for 3.5 yrs from age 27
4 rounds on clomifene
About to start IVF when...
DD OE 3.5yrs old now
TTC 2.5 yrs for #2
2 rounds of clomifene BFN
Using DE from sister possibly
Wow I feel like you posted my exact feelings. We are plaaning to use my niece who also offered to donate to us. We looking to start the process the end of this year to the beginning of next year. That genetic link meant the world to me. I was elated when she offered to donate to us.
Hi and a big welcome to the board here. Its a good place so ask any questions you might have. Its a great support network too
If you are musical or academic you will naturally gravitate towards that kind of donor and why wouldn't you? My DH and I are both academics (11 degrees between us). Its not something to be ashamed of. You will have other things you want in a donor as well and this is just one of them.
Our donor is very intelligent academically and emotionally, inter alia, it is something that drew us to her (as well she is very kind and an excellent mother).
Don't feel bad about wanting your child to like the same things you do or to excell where you have - thats lovely not something to be ashamed of.
Take care and again - welcome and may your journey be a short one
I started off on the Over 40 board too then 'moved' here. Its a good place
I live in Canada but funnily enough, I was in Perth late 2011 for a couple of weeks for work and ended up having a negative experience in one of the fertility clinics there where I was seeking some day 3 baseline testing - really awful doctor. I can dig up the name if you are curious.
Everyone finds their own way to DE when turning to this option
March 1 2012, 9:15 PM
I am almost 42 as well and I was told 3 yrs ago that I will never conceive another child w/ my OEs again. I grieved this loss and cried every night for 3-4 months. Once I worked through the initial grief, I became open to DE and then I got pg w/ OE and m/c'd at 6 wk. I kept at the OE journey for another 6 months or so and then gave up again and got pg again w/ OE and m/c'd at 8 wks.
So I then gave up on OE and went for DE. It took a while to save and find the money and we went for DE. We got pg w/ twins but sadly m/c'd one at 8 wk and the other at 13 wk.
When I was pg w/ DE, it was no different at all than pg w/ my OE. In fact, it was a much harder pregnancy. FYI, I do have two OE living children, a DD who is 7 and a DS who is 4. Both of my children are very beautiful. The are stunning. However, my DS has some issues w/ socialization and stubborness. My DD is not a perfect child but she is a delight and a joy and easy to mother.
You don't know what you are going to get w/ OE but it is never something you think about. I never once thought about my OE children as OE children or my genetics until I was dx w/ DOR and told that my eggs were ****.
When I turned to DE and got pg, I was so happy that my painful journey was over (so I thought). You will not care if your child can sing or dance or write a dissertation. All you are going to care about is if s/he has 10 fingers and toes and everything is in the proper place and they are breathing and healthy.
My DD and DS are very smart but they do not possess the "it" factor and will not be on american idol or in the movies but I don't aspire for my children to be stars. I want them to be loving and caring human beings who are good to others and have self confidence/esteem.
I think DE is a great option for first time mothers or seasoned mothers who were not done w/ their family building. Please know that once you are pg and then once you hold your baby, you will not care about your eggs that did not work. You will feel blessed that you have a beautiful child to love and help complete your family.
I have a different perception on this (children meant)
March 2 2012, 1:17 AM
First of all welcome.
I truly believe in the nurture of a mother's love. I believe our children are steered in the right direction by us, their parents. I do not believe that a child would be good at music unless they were steered towards it by someone, whether it be a teacher in school or a parent or any other person. Did your parents steer you towards music, were they good at music and wanted you to also have that talent? I have 3 DE children and my first donor was very intelligent with a doctorate degree, my second donor was not so intelligent but had the personality I wanted. I don't see any difference in their intelligence levels but it is me, their mother, who has nurtured them to eat, walk, talk, read and who will hopefully steer them in the right directions in the future.
I'm not saying you shouldn't look for what you really want in a donor, I'm just saying that nothing is guaranteed. Your biological child may decide not to follow your footsteps in music whereas a DE one may and vice versa.
Good luck in finding the right donor and I hope you will very soon have your dreams fulfilled.
I think wanting those things so much goes hand in hand with how much we have to relinquish control over what sort of children we can reasonably expect, given that one half of their genetics is more unknown to us than would be the case if they were our genetic offspring. We try and try to hold onto the things we CAN have some control over, like stipulating certain traits, as part of letting go and grieving our own genetic connection.
The irony is that anyone can have ANY child of any kind regardless of predispositions and strengths and family inheritance. Some kids don't seem to fit into their genetic families at all. I know i felt like this for most of my childhood; I was SO different, physically and emotionally, than every single member of my immediate and extended family...
And yet I was genetically linked ... I asked my poor mother every year whether I was adopted...
Here in New Zealand it is so very hard to find donors; we finally had one pop up out of the blue, she looks nothing like me, has nothing in common with me; but obviously has a very VERY kind heart. And thanks to her, we got the daughter of our dreams.
We couldn't be more happy with her....or grateful to our donor.
The perfect donor, it has to be said, is the one that gets you pregnant.
When you're ready.
We also looked for certain traits and talents in our donor, and I felt as though we were "shopping" for the child we wanted, which we wouldn't be doing with OE. I agree with other posters that nurture is as important as nature, if not more.
I admit, I chose my donor embryo profile in large part (success ment)
March 2 2012, 11:58 AM
due to the academic and professional achievements of the donating family father and the egg donor (and the fact that three prior transfers produced a singleton and two sets of twins). I am sure the choices I made when they were in utero and beyond also have contributed to their intelligence, but I have a couple of very bright little ones now, despite arriving at 25w6d and spending 4 months in the NICU. I think it is ok to hope for smart children but be mindful that even with the best of parental DNA you may have a child who is average or delayed and I bet you will love them dearly with no respect to IQ.
Are you having a hard time finding a known donor who meets your desired traits?
My grandfather apparently had some musical leanings. He and my grandmother had five kids and zero time to nurture musical ability. Four of their kids have little to none. The fifth, my uncle, is a gifted musician. He married a musical woman. Their son is a police officer with no interest in music. You just never know.
So, I have an OE DD who is 5, and although looks a great deal like me, I don't "recognize" a bit of my personality in her. I was shy and quiet as a child; she is loud and outgoing. Some days I look at her and just wonder where she came from! She is developing in her own way in spite of her genetics. And oddly enough, when I was pregnant with her I had this odd feeling that she was not "mine" in this way. That she was 100% her own person and not really "of me" (although she has my genes). And so it is! Even if your child had your genes, and those of your DH, genes are funny things and express themselves in ways we cannot control. So although you are musical, your child might not be, or might reject musical training simply because his/parents are gifted musicians! Although you are smart, your child might be more average, or have learning issues. Even with our OE kids, the ego has to get out of the way at some point. If it doesn't, that's called narcissism, and having a narcissistic mother myself I can say that that pretty much screws a kid up. It's not their job to be like us. It's our job to nurture who they are.
Fast forward to my DE twin boys. First I wanted a donor with my ethnicity, but couldn't find one I liked (very few in our part of the country). That was a hard one to let go. So then I sought someone with my basic body type, same part of the world in terms of ethnicity, who seemed kind and was highly educated, had my coloring. Found one, then another recipient had a second trimester loss from her donation (possible genetic issue) and the genetic counselor recommended we not go with her. I next found a donor with my birth day, blood type, a dancer like me, and the day we called to reserve her another couple got to her first. I just turned 43 and was really fed up. I got practical : young, proven (with my clinic), available right now, well-enough educated. So, her paternal ethnicity is similar to DH's and her mom has darker skin like my family. She has brown eyes. Well, here come the boys...blue eyes, very fair skin, both with blond hair and one looking very Nordic. Seriously looks Scandinavian. WTF??? The donor is 1/2 Mexican and let me tell you, the boys are as far from looking Mexican as possible. So much for getting boys with brown eyes and brown hair, or looking anything like either DH nor myself, or the donor for that matter. But here's the thing...IT DOESN'T MATTER! We tried to control how they turned out but nature had a different idea! They are amazing. I couldn't love them more. And guess what? One boy has my personality in spades in a way my OE DD never will.
So here's the thing my dear...you can't control any of it. A Buddhist perspective on non-attachment is a good thing to work on, or another similar spiritual perspective if you will, such as "Let go and let God". Whether from your egg or not, you aren't in control. It's a hard thing to deal with, but that's life in general, not just baby-making. But if you aren't ready then give yourself some time. Keep posting here. It is seriously a journey to find what is right for you and your family. I know it's hard to talk honestly with our husbands about our feelings sometimes. I tend to share with girlfriends more and just give my DH the basics as he can't seem to handle the full load. Most guys are like that - "Just the facts, ma'am". If there is a RESOLVE group in your area that might be a good place to start.
I really needed to read that; I've been worrying about what kind of child I will have with DE, and wanting them to be much like me. I need to realize that they might be, and they might not, regardless of OE/DE. They have to be loved for their own self, and allowed to be who they are, regardless. Makes me feel much less picky about a donor.
You are grieving the loss of what you had hoped to pass on to your child genetically. It is sad. But even if you were to have a genetic child he/she may or may not be naturally talented in music or naturally intelligent.
Do not feel ashamed for having these worries or feelings. It is just part of the process. If you had a genetic child and he/she was tone deaf or unintelligent would you love him/her any less than a gifted child? I seriously doubt it.
If music is something that is important to you then try and find a donor that also shares that talent. If intelligence is important then you can also look for a donor that has done well academically. But there is no guarantee with any of these things with using OE or DE. The child will have a mind of it's own with his/her own interests.
Of course you can always encourage music and education and provide that environment. But ulitimately it will be up to the child as to whether he or she has a passion for those things.
You may be surprised when it comes time to actually pick out a donor as to what really matters to you. My DH and I are both professionals with college degrees and I thought for sure I would want a donor that had completed college. But in the end I picked a donor that looks similar to me, same body type, loves animals and her family, shares the same ancestry and only graduated from high school from a blue collar family. She has had a somewhat difficult life and I realize she may not have had great opportunities to go to college. But from her writings I feel she has a good heart, is well adjusted and happy and I found that to be more important than her education. I think she was the perfect donor for me.
The love will be overwhelming the day they place the baby in your arms and your child looks up at you. Regarding DH I am not worried about him cause most men are extremly proud papa's either the mini me in their son's or daddy's little girl. You should ask this question on the pink board if you have not already. I am sure someone felt the same way when deciding to go the DE route or not.
...for the warm welcome and all the wisdom. So very reassuring. Your posts gave me some genuine excitement about the future and the possibility of having a baby in my arms - something I lost over that heartbreaking years of TTC.
Even over the past couple of days I'm getting more comfortable and excited about DE.
We have not decided for sure whether we will try one last OE attempt(IVF) or just move to DE now. Still working on this.
We have not approached any possible donors yet but I am thinking of some friends/former colleagues. I have worked in the humanitarian field so I figure that some lovely, intelligent young woman who has a vocation to serve others might be willing to be an altruistic donor. We'll see. Some of them probably have way better genes than me!
I liked Lauranz's post because that really said it well - we have to give up so much control in doing DE that it makes sense that if we have to replace ourselves, we would want to try to pick a donor who is most like us, if possible.
I think nurture is very important but I will differ a bit from other posters in that I think nature is also very important. Intelligence and musical ability are known to be heritable - BUT, that doesn't mean there are any guarantees. It just means you are stacking the deck in your favor when you choose a donor with certain traits.
It is very important for you to feel comfortable with your donor as feelings may very well resurface time and again not only during your pregnancy, but also as your child grows. Please don't get hung up on what you "should" feel if only you were a better person, bla bla bla. You don't need that kind of pressure after everything you have gone through.
I can tell you from personal experience that I am so thankful now that I was comfortable with my donor's traits. I had three different donors, and only got pregnant with the last one. The first donor was educated, compassionate, and while she didn't look like me, she had my coloring, sort of. The eggs didn't work but I have no doubt I'd have been comfortable with having children from her eggs.
The second donor was chosen out of desperation. She was not educated, could not write or spell, and honestly I cannot believe I even chose her to begin with, but like I said, I was desperate but won't bore you with the details of the circumstances at that time. Those eggs did not work either and now I am SO GLAD they didn't. I think I would be obsessed with fears if they had.
My third donor is like the first in that I feel very comfortable with what I know about her, college-graduate, intelligent though not a high achiever or a genius or even in possession of any extraordinary talents, just a nice person who can write well, is thoughtful and kind, is healthy, and comes from a highly educated family - that last part was good enough for me in terms of choosing intelligence genes. One of the most important things about her aside from being proven (which jumps to the top of the list when you've had two DE failures already!) is that she looked like my DH. Everyone in her family has brown hair and brown eyes, just like in DH's family. I assumed we would get brown hair/brown eyes. Well one twin did but the other twin is blonde and blue eyed! He is way too old for that to change now - this is his coloring. My DH even asked his family if anyone had blue eyes and no one could think of a single person going back three generations. Unless there is some new science out there that I am unaware of, I thought blue eyes were recessive and that both genetic parents needed to provide a blue eye allele in order for blue eyes to be expressed in the progeny. We have even gone so far as to wonder if the IVF clinic made a mistake, that is how unlikely it seems we would get a blonde haired blue eyed child from DH and this donor. So all that to say, go ahead and stack your deck in favor of what you want and don't be ashamed for wanting what you want, but just realize you might get something else anyway. As the saying goes, "Man plans and God laughs."
And all I'm hoping is that this eSet worked and i dont have to endure this multiple times...i dont mean to offend at all, but i worried about the same things. And yet here i sit, terrified it won't work. All the concerns i had before seem so trivial from this vantage point.