This whole TTC (trying to conceive) journey - all 3 years of it - has been an interesting journey of getting to know myself and how I view and say and do things if my own life. Before, I guess I never really thought about some of the things I may comment on to other people, in the view of how they might do things. However, having one too many people give you their opinions on infertility or choosing NOT to even discuss it with you when it clearly should be discussed has made me hyper-alert to interactions with others.
I guess, in my opinion, if you are unsure about what a person is going through, its better left to say either nothing at all to them, or to question them, if you feel comfortable doing that. I know for myself, I felt better talking openly about what CJ and I were going through, rather than sticking my head in the sand, although it may have appeared I was silent about it more than not. It actually made me feel like people DID care what we were going through, and wanted to know how we were doing in this very important aspect of our lives.
When it comes to our using an egg donor to help us conceive Keifer Lynn, I've had some interesting comments from people within my daily life, and its actually almost amusing to me as to what they say, how they say it, and how the tone of their voice sounds when talking about it.
As for CJ and I, we went through the grief and sadness when we were faced with the reality that my body wasn't cooperating with our earnest attempts to make a baby. Thirteen medicated cycles, down the tubes. Six inseminations, down the tubes. Tears and tears, and Kleenex. I should have stock in Kleenex. But once I realized that if we used an egg donor, I could most likely (there was no reason given that I couldn't) carry a baby in my uterus, my thought process began to change. I initially resisted CJ's desire to use somebody we knew. At first, I thought that it would make me somewhat jealous or feel feelings I couldn't explain knowing they weren't my eggs that helped us make a child (if we were lucky enough to get PG). Then, my thought process changed, after I realized I wanted to know my child's genetic background and know what their egg mother looked like. We initially were going to use a cousin of mine for our egg donor, one who looks very much like me. However, we decided not to, as she was going through personal issues in her life, and when my egg angel Mooshie contacted us, it literally made my heart SOAR with joy and excitement at the possibility of using her. If you've seen pictures of Mooshie, you know her and I resemble each other greatly. When a co-worker of mine saw her picture, she got the chills and said she just "knew" this was it for us. As I got to know Mooshie better, chatting and meeting with her, I knew I wanted her genetics - her personality, her love of life, her sense of humor, as much as I wanted her looks to be a possibility for my child. And looking at her beautiful 2 year old daughter, Maddie, I am honestly over the moon excited to think that Keifer could be as beautiful as her. I've had people come into my classroom that don't know who Maddie is, look at her picture, and ask me how I'm related to her (Maddie). They are always blown away that this child could pass for mine in certain pictures.
I've had people ask me: "won't you have a hard time, knowing your child's egg donor?", "aren't you scared that your egg donor might want to take Keifer and that could be a problem?", "are you going to tell Keifer about her egg donor", and when I say yes, I see shock and disbelief as if this is something not to be talked about.
I find myself to be a very open person, and knowing that some people might have issues with dealing with something as big as this in their life, well, that is their business. As for CJ and I, we were blessed to have Mooshie help us, and I feel blessed, special and extraordinary that our child will have parts of all three of us (CJ, myself and Moosh). She will have 1/3 siblings in Mooshie's children, and I hope and pray that Keifer and Mooshie's kids grow up knowing each other and eventually becoming close, knowing the history involved. Its very special to me - it is not something I am ashamed of, not something I find difficult to comprehend, not something that I find sadness or anger in. It takes a village to raise a child, and in our case, it took a lot of people to make Keifer - the three of us, as well as the doctors and nurses, and people who prayed (and are still praying) for us.
I guess I'm saying - I find it almost funny when people have these doubts and questions. But, I am not in their shoes - shoes that most likely have never had to even CONSIDER using alternative means to conceive a child. I always say, "think about what you might do in my place?". I never went into the TTC process in a million years thinking we'd have somebody else supply our eggs! LOL. We are lucky for the technology and people that are out there to help us. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Onto another topic, one I find very interesting and very controversial.
*drum roll please*
Breastfeeding. Now, I'm an educated woman. I am actually VERY anal about researching topics (ask CJ!), and when it comes to baby making, IVF, egg donation, and now baby products, etc.., I find that I love to research and compare and review each and every opinion before we make decisions. Hell, you should've seen my wedding planning frenzy!
That's why I find it almost comical when I tell people that I am not sure if I am going to breastfeed Keifer - and then I hear the "well, I don't want to bug you/push this on you/tell you what to do, BUT...." and then the big BUT: the list of why breastfeeding is so good for babies, how important it is, the nutrition, blah blah blah. At our hospital tour on Saturday, I think the woman who gave us the tour actually promoted breastfeeding about 3-4 times during that 30 minute visit. And ironically, I've had about 4 different people "slide in" their views of breastfeeding on me in the past week and a half alone, as if I am not thinking about it at all. I'm *honestly* not saying I'm offended or put off by people telling me their views; however, don't you think I know all this? Do you really think I haven't thought about all the benefits, etc., and considered them, and the health of my Keifer? I have. I have not made up my mind yet - I told CJ that I'll make my mind up and see how I feel once Keifer is born and I'm in the hospital. Who knows, maybe I'll feel that instinctive urge to have her latch onto my breast and be a happy BFeeder. But for now, I'm undecided. I myself was not breastfed, nor was Chris. I have good friends who never breastfed their children, and their children are happy, healthy, thriving, SMART!, children who are excelling in all areas. I honestly don't think if I don't breastfeed Keifer, she'll be lacking in anything. The formulas they make these days are filled with the nutrients they need. I already know how connected CJ and I both are to her - even in uteruo. This child will not be at a loss for attention. She will be read to, cuddled, sang to, rocked, held, loved unconditionally, and I'm sure will develop a bond with us, as well as her extended family (who already can't wait to get their hands on her!).
I love this quote: There is no right choice, only the choice that is right for you, that I found on a Berkley parent newsletter regarding breastfeeding. They point out that even if I DO start out BFeeding, whose to say that I won't be a worried freak about how much she is taking in, will it even work, or will I go crazy trying to make it work? My body and hormones will be going through such dynamic changes, whose to say what might happen?
As my father in law told my CJ, "A happy wife is a happy life". I say, " a happy mama is a happy baby".
*as a foot note, I take no offense and MEAN NO OFFENSE to any of you who may read this and feel that I'm targeting you, or feel offended. I'm just summarizing thoughts*