Thursday, January 28, 2010

Egg donor child: Video!



Watching and listening to this beautiful girl, I'm reminded that sometimes, just sometimes, life gives you what you need, when you need it.

I came across this video tonight when I found a new blog, that of the lovely Donor Diva--check it!--and I just yelled for my husband to come and listen to Allegra with me. I've been thinking lately that it's time to introduce the idea of donor egg to my darling girls, who are four and two this year.

I've always been in the "tell" camp, for reasons I'll blog about one of these days when I have time to get into the tall grass. Instinct -- and now Allegra -- has led me to believe that if I plan to tell my girls of their origins at all, it had better be when they are young. Very young. That way, as they grow it will simply be part of their normal. Egg donation will no doubt be a topic we return to many times over the years as my daughters grow and understand more, but it will never be a shock or a betrayal.

Lately, Madelyn has been putting little stuffed animals under her shirt and telling me, "I have a baby in my tummy!" so I think the time is right for this conversation. Tomorrow, I'm going to order some children's books, and maybe by next week I'll be reading them to her.

But I am nervous. In dread, actually. So I am deeply grateful to have "met" this a dazzling young woman, who embodies all that my girls can become. And who has, for tonight at least, laid my fears to rest.

35 comments:

Maredsous said...

That is such a balanced child. Wow. She is so mature and articulate. Thanks for sharing the video.

musicmakermomma said...

I saw this video on Dora's blog, it is heartwarming. If I EVER get knocked up with DE (currently trying for the 4th time) we plan to tell. Early on, like you. I think there are some books that others have recommended for this purpose - aimed at toddler age children. Good luck!

Susan said...

Thank you for this. My daughter is 10 months old (DE and DS). I sometimes get a crippling sense of fear when I think about telling her about her genetic origins. I worry that she will hate me for the decisions we made. This video makes me a little braver.
Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Hi. We're just about to do a donor egg cycle in the UK. Counselling is a prerequisite for this in the UK, and we were strongly advised that - if we are successful - we make it so that the child knows its origins from the get-go. As in, making it a fact of life, talking about it before the child is even aware. Research (and my own experience talking to friends who are adopted) suggests that the earlier a child knows the truth of its origins, the better it will handle any implications. I love this video, and I just hope that I might end up with such a cool kid!

thepennychronicles said...

My partner and I watched the video and loved it. Thanks for sharing. We are about to fly from Australia to South Africa for our first egg donation IVF cycle. I can only hope our child is as well balanced about their origins as this child. It is certainly our aim to tell from the get go. Why don't these stories get more press than the current 'human egg raffle' story from the UK. It would be much more helpful for all concerned. Hope you don't mind if I share it on my blog as well (if I can figure out how to).

Anonymous said...

We want our children to feel just this way! They are 3-1/2 and 2-1/2, boy and girl. Best thing we ever did, and we've been talking about "the donor" since they were born. Our son will say "tell me about the donor" every day for a while, then forget about it. Our counselor says we should bring it up twice a year, like daylight savings time!

Anonymous said...

I'm not going to be popular but- we have chosent not to tell our six year old daughters of their origin. We have older biological children and it was with a great deal of thought that we arrived at our decision. We told no one of our struggle with infertility and we feel no need to open up the entire thorny subject. They are all brothers and sisters. End of story.

Anonymous said...

We chose a family member to be the egg donor, so it is definitely not a family secret (which in my family is nearly an impossible task). We plan to discuss egg donation with our child, I am currently in my first trimester, when we feel it is the right time. This child will have siblings as well via the donor and that is going to be a more complicated conversation. Anyone have this experience or know any resources about this?

Jericho said...

Wow----thanks so much for sharing that.

Anonymous said...

Hi! I've really enjoyed your blog. I am SO happy to see how positive this whole egg donor experience has been for you.I am 37 and have been through the Clomid, IVF, etc...my ovaries are failing. We are about to start the egg donor process and I just wanted to ask you a few questions. I couldnt' make the contact section work. My email address is: jenndama@hotmail.com
Thank you in advance for reading this. God Bless!
Jenn

Laura said...

I think that this is absolutely amazing!!! Thanks for posting!

Anonymous said...

I absolutely LOVED this video and the young lady in it. I really have to applaud her mother for helping her be so articulate, and together and just proud of her identity. That is tough landscape for a teen to navigate even when their genetic makeup is derived from both of their parents. My husband and I are going through the decision process of using egg donation. We have an absolutely fantastic 2 year old son together and have been trying to have another child, but recently were told that we have secondary infertility. I have some of the same apprehensions as Susan, and worry that any children that we have from using DE would always have questions about the donor. Questions that we would not be able to answer about a person who we would know so little about. I also wonder if the information is something that should be shared just with the child, your entire family, extended family, friends, or is it best to share the information with the child conceived through DE and let them decide what to do with that information once they are older? I am curious about the impact. Do you know of any online support groups with whom I might be able to engage in discussion regarding decisions and feelings surrounding DE?
Thanks so much for the post! It has left me searching for answers but that can be a good thing.

Anonymous said...

Bullshit! "It's supposed to be a mystery." No, it's not!

This is not a small matter. And not one word on the vanity aspect of it from the dad's point of view. In fact very little mention of this in these discussions.

Bravo to the kid and her parents (and her brother) for being so coherent. But this terrifies me (prospective IVF/DE... Dad, I should add). She seems on the edge of a nervous breakdown, frankly. Or maybe I'm just projecting.

Beedrew said...

Um, yeah, I'd say you are projecting. ;D Which is completely understandable when you are just contemplating this difficult experience.

I don't think Allegra looked like she was having a nervous breakdown at all, and if she likes the fact that her donor's identity is mysterious and in her words, a miracle -- then that is OK for her and her parents. I have a friend who's adopted and she's told me that although she's always been curious, she feels no great need to know her birth parents. And I've read of exactly the opposite experience. So it all depends on how the children feel when they are grown, if they're told about their origins.

What is meant by "the vanity aspect of it from the dad's point of view" -- I don't know what you're getting at there.

I do wish that my clinic had facilitated an exchange of information between donor and prospective parents so the girls could meet her when they are older if they want. But that was not an option. I did ask to be matched with someone who was open to that and was told informally that my donor said she'd be willing -- but she's under no obligation to do that, or even to keep the clinic informed of address changes. So I don't know how it will work out. It is a worry for me.

And to the other Anonymous, my favorite support board is this one:
Looking to be a Mom Thru DE. The people there are wonderful. Be sure and tell them Bee said "Hi!"

thatonebasket said...

Wow. What a great story. I've been looking for fertility blogs and I'm excited I've found yours. I started one a couple of weeks ago to cope with my infertility adventures. It's http://thatonebasket.wordpress.com Adventures in Inftertility and TTC: Personal Story of a Professional Counselor. I'd love to have you check it out, and I'm so excited to keep reading your exciting blog. Thank you so much for writing this. It's great to hear about other brave women going through this.

ever hopeful said...

This girl is incredible. I am a mature woman who is thinking of egg donation. This video is so inspirational. To bring a child like that into the world would be an incredible benefit for humankind and for the future of the planet. My own mother, who is still alive, often used to say, "Your children are only leant to you." How wise and true - and what a wonderful and precious gift they are, however long they decide to stay with you.

TABI said...

Love it! Just found this video and boy what a joy to watch. It really makes me feel more confident about my daughter's future as a DE child and me as a DE mom. Thanks for posting this!

Anonymous said...

I grew up with a BIG family secret which I happened upon at age 11. It shaped so much of my life thereafter (trust issues, etc.)and I certainly wished that the truth had been told from the beginning so that I did not have to re-digest family dynamics at such an impressionable age. That said, I am now in the process of using an egg donor to conceive and have decided that, for me, the truth of my future child's origin will be known right away by everyone. Children are smart and spiritual beings and deserve honesty to build trust. I know this firsthand.

quickhomesaleuk said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Egg Bank Mom said...

Such a touching video and great post!. Thanks

Simple Surrogacy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I just went to my first egg donation consultation today. I support myself and as a college student trying to get by, it takes a lot of work! I saw that video of the girl on YouTube and was very touched. I would be happy to help someone grow their family. I also had the chance to be contacted in the future by the child and I said yes. I hope that my family contacts me honestly. Also, I hope I can have some contact with the family and feel involved in some way. I am very excited to help someone in need :)

Bee said...

Anonymous, I am desperately sorry to hear that you came to harm through egg donation. When performed properly, stimulation and retrieval are supposed to be safe for donors. But I must admit, concern for our donor's health is one of the reasons I asked to match with a person who had already had the children she wanted. Nothing about this process is "surefire."

Jennifer S said...

I donated eggs to my sister 14 years ago today resulting in twins, Grant & Carolyn. My sister still has not told them or anyone about it. It makes me sad and worried. My own daughter will be ten next year and I plan on telling her the truth about how her cousins are biologically her 1/2 siblings. I'm confused as how to handle this whole situation. Honesty from the beginning is best. Truly it is.

Steph said...

What happened in the end? Did you tell them?

Julie Collins said...

This girl is truly remarkable! A lot of teenagers would have lashed out and use this against their parents; however, it is clear that she is well mannered and has led a good life. There is no shame in being a child of an egg donor

Eggies Canada said...

She seems like such a good child. I sometimes wonder how these children turn out who come from egg donors. I assume the screening process is very strict. But i also wonder how these children accept where they came from.

Anonymous said...

I truly believe in telling your donor child from an early age of how they came about. We all talk to our children about sex rather openly and at school so why not tell them that little bit extra that "made" them. You dont need to be explicit just truthful and as they get older then we can go into greater details. No one wants to hold onto secrets of any kind or to find out secrets.

Brit said...

Our little miracle is from donor embryos and he is one and a half now. I know it won't be long before we have to think of the way to explain where he came from. Thanks for sharing this!

Alison said...

This so moving, raises awareness of a difficult subject to a new audience while dispelling some of the negative attitudes that still exist out there.

Journey Toablessing said...

Staring my process of donating. Follow my journey at http://journeytoablessing2.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Check out the book "Mommy, Was Your Tummy Big?" by Carolina Nadel - written for young children to explain donor eggs. I got if for my son when he was born. I love it!! and so do all my family and friends.

Emma said...

Thanks. Such a touching video and great post

Anonymous said...

I realize this was posted long ago, but I came upon it today and I am so glad I did. I'm 5 weeks pregnant and we conceived using donor sperm. I hope and pray that our child is as well adjusted and accepting as Allegra!

Anonymous said...

I'm so happy I found your blog! I have PCOS, so my only chance to become a mother was ed ivf. The greatest fear was that I will not be able to love child, who is not genetically related to me. It's much more easier for man to accept this procedure, because a baby will be from him. As it was my only way out, I decided we should try. It was a difficult, but the result changed our lives! One more problem was prices. Costs for this procedure are very high in USA and Greece. It was hard to find clinic with professional doctors, quality service and affordable price. Also we've read so many reviews about scammers! Those people know nothing about empathy and understanding. After a couple of months of thorough search, reading of hundreds reviews and contacting clinics directly we've found Ukrainian biotexcom. I wanted a baby who I will carry and give birth by myself. I wanted to be with him from the moment of his birth, from his first breath. Of course, I wanted baby to look like us. But as soon as the doctor made an embryo transfer, the only thing I was thinking about was pregnancy to be successful and my baby to be born healthy! Now, when I remember how I suffered and couldn't bear the thought that I have to resort to donor eggs, I cannot help laughing. My child is at home right now and every time I look at him, I see that every day he more and more looks like me. I raise healthy and, of course, the most beautiful baby in the world! We asked our doctor to find egg donor, who will have same features as I have. Now I have absolutely no feeling that my son is not mine genetically! No one can ever tell he is from donor egg. We decided not to tell our parents the whole truth. For them we had ivf with my eggs and my husband's sperm. If you have firmly decided to become a mother, no difficulties will stop you. I'm not going to tell my son that I used donor egg of another woman to get pregnant. I'm sure he doesn't need to worry about this in the future. This fact will change nothing for him. We are very happy that we addressed to biotexcom for this procedures. Thanks to their doctors I was able to get pregnant using egg donation program and I've never regret about my decision!