I think as parents we sometimes take for granted just how blessed we are to have our children. Both of my children were hard-won through IVF and even though I swore blind that I’d have patience with my children and give them my undivided attention whenever they asked a question, I still get frustrated and act like a toddler myself when I have to clean up the lounge room for the ten millionth time that day.
During my IVF journey, I met numerous women that weren’t as lucky as us and I swore to myself that I would donate my eggs to someone after we finished having our family. Unlike my promise not to lose my patience with my children (I seriously had NO idea how hard parenting would be!), I actually kept my vow to donate my eggs. I met a lady through a website who had all but given up hope of having a child of her own and the look in her eyes when we first met almost broke my heart. I can’t imagine how hard it is to meet a complete stranger and have to share intimate details of your life in the hopes that they will fulfil your hearts most desire to have a family. After months of speaking and the obligatory psychologist’s appointments, I offered to do one round of IVF for her and her husband. If that round was unsuccessful, then they would have to search for another donor. I had concerns that I was potentially connecting my own children biologically with someone for the rest of their lives without their consent (they were still very young), but I reasoned that the motivation behind my donation came from a good place and that as long as I am honest with them from the beginning, then there will be no nasty surprises later in life.
I am delighted to say that the round of IVF was successful and 9 months later a very healthy baby boy was born. What’s more, they have several embryos left if they want to give that little boy a sibling. My children have met the baby and know the basic story of how mummy helped the lady have him. We exchange gifts and photos regularly. Although the donor family would be happy to have a closer relationship, I have chosen to keep my distance because (to me), he is not my son. He would not be alive without me and he contains half my genetic material, but his mum is the woman who comforts him when he’s sick or scared and will nurture and treasure him like I treasure my own little miracles. If you’re under 35 and you’re thinking of donating your eggs, I urge you to please read or talk to someone about it. If you’d seen the look on the mum’s face when I visited her in hospital, you’d realise that ordinary people can do extraordinary things. If donation is not for you, then I implore you to go and kiss your children and take a moment to appreciate just how lucky you are.
Posted anonymously, 21st February 2014