Monday, April 11, 2011

The reluctant egg donor - part 2

Had it been a terrible mistake to donate eggs? Was I putting my own cycle in jeopardy? When I called the next morning, 4 of my eggs had been fertilized and I remember the nurse telling me that of the 3 eggs I had donated, only 2 had been usable.

I had 4 embryos transferred on the third day post-retrieval. I've told the story before (see here), but I'll tell it here in brief again. At around 17 days post transfer, I started to feel bad, like I was getting the flu. I was supposed to wait to test until 20 days post transfer (that's how they did it then in Hadassah), but I'd been going in for tests every 4 days and I'm sure that they'd secretly tested my beta-HCG and not told me. So, at day 19, the nurse told me to go in for a test and that evening I found out that I was pregnant. (I actually had to go downtown to pick up the results by hand - and then take the vial of blood to another lab a few buildings away so that they could do a quantitative test - totally insane, if you think about it). After what the doctors suspected to be an early miscarriage of one embryo that implanted but never developed, I went on to give birth to Hadas (now 17-1/2) at 42 weeks.

Early on, I must have asked what ever happened with the eggs, but no one could or would tell me. And then, as time passed, I was both convinced that I would never know what happened and not sure that I really wanted to know.

There were nights that I would wonder if it would be better for me to know or not to know. At the different ages, I would imagine other Hadas-like people who had a part of me in them and didn't even know I existed. Mostly I came to the conclusion that the knowledge that it had succeeded would be unbearable - that it would be so hard for me to know that there were other kids around who looked like me, who were my kids' half-siblings (biologically), so I decided I would probably be better off not knowing.

Later on, as Hadas grew, I could imagine her running into half-siblings who she didn't know existed (especially when she started going to IASA - the top rated school in the country)... and even later, I imagined myself meeting the kid(s). I tried to figure out whether they would be interested in knowing about me, how my family would accept the whole story... it was clear to me that they wouldn't be mine in any way, just perhaps have some sort of interest in me and maybe feel some sort of connection to my other kids.

I found that imagining little kids as people you can't meet is much more difficult than imagining big kids in the same way. Kind of like once they're their own people it would be OK. I tried to get information on the laws concerning egg donors in Israel, but couldn't find any information. Would it be possible for me to leave information saying it was OK for them to get in touch with me once they turned 18 (only 1/2 a year from now)? Would there be any chance that they actually would? In a way, I felt obligated to leave that type of message, if at all possible, because I thought of myself in a similar position - not knowing who my biological parent is - and thought that if I decided that I wanted to know, it would be awfully nice if I knew that my bio parent wanted to get to meet me too.

- to be continued


Sara said...

Really good point about thinking about young children vs. adults. I'll be chewing on that for a while.

I really appreciate these posts, by the way. It's such an interesting insight into the other side of the equation as I contemplate seeking donor eggs.

7wekenzwanger said...

Great post with good points. Thank you for writing it!