Friday, May 1, 2009

Pay it Forward Fridays — Got Embies?

It’s been a while since I did a Pay it Forward Fridays post. About time!

If you’ve been reading for a while, you know how amazing my embryo donation story is. It simply would not have happened without this blog and this community. The gift I have received from Aunt K (Angrycanrn) is so beyond words. I have tried many times here, but I still feel I fail in describing how I feel about it.

But you are all so important to me. Each and every comment means so much. You’ve all helped me keep my sanity during each torturous 2 week wait, supported me after each failed cycle, and are now celebrating with me. My hope is that our story may inspire others with frozen embryos to consider directed donation.

As I’ve said, you are all important to me, but I have a special place in my heart for the single moms by choice and those trying to become one. For most of us, this was not how we originally planned to build our families. Most of us hoped for the typical 2 parent family. We tried. Relationships failed, for whatever reason. Mr. Right didn’t come along in time. As I’ve written in the past, in retrospect, I’m grateful that I didn’t become pregnant with Mr. Wrong. The painful custody issues that my friends and family members go through reinforce those feelings. From this perspective, single moms by choice are often in a better position to give their children a less tumultuous childhood that moms who are single by circumstance.

One unfortunate commonality between many SMCs is that while we looked for the ideal situation, our best fertile years slipped away. It wasn’t easy to give up the dream of my own genetic child, but the dream of motherhood was stronger. When I started investigating embryo donation, I looked into clinic programs. These are anonymous. This didn’t sit well with me. Maybe it’s all the adoptees from closed adoptions that I’ve known, but I didn’t want my child to feel like he/she was created with secrets. In my opinion, embryo donation is such a wonderful thing, it deserves open acknowledgement.

I’ve been so lucky. When one door closed, another opened. When things with one woman with embryos to donate didn’t work out, I wrote about it here. Aunt K read what I wrote and contacted me. Thus began our incredible journey. Her understanding of what I was going through and what I was feeling has been incredible. Even though I was going through my last ditch cycle with my own eggs, she committed to donating her embryos to me. She has been a literal safety net in my life. And here I am, 7 weeks, 4 days pregnant. Thanks to her.

So, where does the Pay it Forward fit in this? Well, I’d like to direct you to a couple of my SMC-wannabe bloggy friends. Princess of Tides at No Yolk and Battynurse at I want to be a mommy. I believe both of them will be wonderful mothers. Princess of Tides is currently in the middle of her last ditch IVF with her eggs and Battynurse is in a holding pattern since her last IVF failed. They have both mentioned being uncomfortable with the idea of anonymous embryo donation, so I would encourage you to read their stories if you are considering some kind of open embryo donation. (BTW, if either of them is uncomfortable with me writing this, I will delete reference to them.) It takes a certain amount of strength and determination to decide to pursue motherhood on your own. These are terrific, loving, strong women who’ve simply hit the brick wall of infertility.

It takes a village, people!


P.S. On another Pay it Forward note, head over to Kristin’s Etsy shop to benefit The Liz Logelin Foundation. I know it’s an odd time of year to buy hats, but they’re so cute! Buy one and tuck it away for the Fall or as an emergency gift.


Michele said...

Congratulations on the 7w4d mark! The idea of killing a baby (aka embryo destruction) just breaks my heart. I'm glad that you are a success story and that embryo adoption is something you considered and went through with. It's a beautiful thing.

Meg said...

You are just the sweetest thing :)

Billy said...

I second Meg - how nice of you!

Beautiful Mess said...

I love Pay it Forward Fridays! It makes my heart swell when I think of getting word out for others in need. I hope someone can help those two beautiful ladies on their journey. You're a beautiful soul to be so thoughtful.

Kristin said... are incredible. I hope someone comes through for them.

battynurse said...

Oh Dora. Now I'm crying again. You're so sweet. Thank you so very much. You give me hope.

Anonymous said...

I would like to encourage people who have embryos remaining after their treatment is completed to consider embryo donation. It isn't for everyone. But I do think it is an option that everyone should at least CONSIDER.

I felt more comfortable donating our embryos to a known recipient because I wanted my children to have the opportunity to meet their genetic sibling one day (if they want to). I wanted to be able to provide that option for them. I would have felt uncomfortable donating to a good friend or family member as I think it would have been more difficult to resist the urge to "co-parent" in that situation. I also appreciate the geographical distance that we have. It isn't like either of us have to have any anxiety about the other just "dropping by" etc.

I've heard many people say that they couldn't tolerate knowing they had "children" out there somewhere if they donated their remaining embryos. I encourage you to think about what might make that tolerable or even a joy for you. Dora and I found a balance that works for us. What might work for you? You owe it to yourself AND to the embryos you had created to at least give it some thought.

I had no qualms about donating to a woman who wanted to be a single mother by choice. But then, I am in the position to know the struggles that a single mother faces. I'm doing it (though not by choice) and I have confidence that Dora will too. I agree that it is infinitely better for a single woman to choose to become a parent independantly vs finding a partner who is less than ideal simply to have a partner. I also know of situations where a marriage or partnership breaks down and the children suffer.

I've hijacked your blog long enough, Dora. But trust me, embryo adoption/donation IS a beautiful thing. Just look at that magnificent flicker.

Bella said...

You and your story story rock! So does Angrycarn! I think both of you have helped pave the way for others! said...

Dear Dora, I just want to come there and give you a massive hug!

I would give away the extra those who need them...but, I have to go create them first..... :) and :(

But you are truly inspirational....

calliope said...

this post makes me so damn proud to be a part of the SMC online community. You are just so amazing and awesome for giving the internets a big nudge!

Shinejil said...

I hope all the gals you mentioned find their perfect embie. It's wonderful that this option is out there.

Michelle said...

Wow 7 weeks and 4 days already! Congrats! I just can not say enough how happy I am for you. You are so sweet and YOU ARE going to make and AMAZING mom!

Jaymee said...

we have been discussing what we will do if we have any extra embies. this was something that i had never really thought of, donating them to someone that i "know." thank you for opening my eyes to this option.

congratulations!!!! (on the pregnancy)