Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Letter to my donor

I have some unfinished business I need to settle. For the longest time, I've been putting off writing a letter to my egg donor. You see, I picked her off of an egg donation website, and never actually met her face to face. I feel a little weird about that, and want to express to her that she is so much more than a contractually obligated ovum donor. So I finally drafted a thank you note. (The term thank you note sounds so inferior for such an important letter, doesn't it?) Anyway, here it is, at least a first draft.

Let me start off this letter by letting you know it is a long time in the making, and I apologize for getting it to you so late. I’ve often sat daydreaming about what exactly it is I wanted to say to you, and how to say it. My name is XXXXX, and last December I was the lucky recipient of two embryos created with your eggs and my husband’s sperm. Today I am six and a half months pregnant with a baby that would not be here without your precious contribution.
When I first saw your profile last summer on XXXX, we were still at a place where my husband and I were dreaming, saving our money, and wondering if we ever would become parents. My journey to motherhood started six and a half long years before that, when I was first told that I had a problem. Strangely enough, I found out about my fertility issues when I was undergoing testing to become an egg donor for someone else (my sister). As you can imagine, those years were fraught with much emotional pain and suffering, as we tried treatment after treatment to get pregnant on our own. It took me a long time to make peace with the fact that egg donation might be the only way to our goal. Looking back now, I wonder why I let myself suffer so long. I am blessed beyond belief to be anxiously awaiting this miracle baby.
You might be wondering what it is that made me pick you. For starters, we have similar ethnic backgrounds. I am half Mexican, and the other half Danish and German. I have curly dark hair, and although it may sound silly, was hoping to find someone who might pass that trait on to my child as well.  I was thrilled when they told me you had already done this successfully before—anything to increase my chances and avoid more heartache. Beyond that, something inside of me just said “this is the one”. It’s such a surreal process, picking your egg donor, and I had to go with my gut.
I imagine it wasn’t totally easy for you, taking all the shots and making every appointment, especially since you had to travel to California. I hope you don’t think me rude for not meeting you face-to-face; it was something I struggled with deciding whether or not to do. In the end I thought it might be awkward for both of us, so I passed on the chance. We plan on being very open with our child about where they came from, so if he or she decides one day to communicate with you or meet you, I hope you would be open to that. Maybe then I could meet you too, and thank you in person.
You may think in donating your eggs that you were just doing a job, and probably glad to have it finished. But I want you to know that I never considered your role in this as that of just some paid attendant. Together, you, myself, and my husband have created a new life; and that to me is something magical, significant, and blessed by God. 
So although the words seem hardly sufficient, thank you for making this all possible. I wish you the very best in life; and trust that in treasuring your own child/children, you will know exactly what this all has meant to me. 

So, what do you all think?

Monday, April 18, 2011

What pregnancy looks like

For me, pregnancy looks pretty much what non-pregnancy looks like. Meaning a slightly flabby belly that still fits into my size 8 jeans (albeit snuggly). I'm at 21 weeks now, folks, well into my second trimester. And what do I have to show for it? A pile of hand-me down maternity clothes I fear I'll never use.  

A woman I met this weekend actually patted my belly in that adoring way women do when they find out you are pregnant. This is the first time this has happened to me. I won't say I was bothered by it (I know this can be a point of contention for some women but for me, I say finally, hallelujah!) However, it was slightly awkward because to the casual observer, it might have looked like she was just congratulating me on finishing a whole cheesecake. 

Well, there are other ways to know when a woman is pregnant, right? Like when she "glows". Now I'm not sure if I'm glowing or not, but at least I'm not green with nausea anymore. I see that as a step in the right direction. Or when she waddles. My husband accused me of starting to waddle last week but truth be told, I was just gassy and exhausted and trying to shake out a leg cramp. Also, when she wears one of these:

Now I've looked through the boxes of hand-me-downs and I can't for the life of me find one of these. Luckily my mommy friends have better taste than that. And that's probably a good thing, because I'm starting to get desperate on my morning commute ferryboat ride for an empty seat, and why can't people see that I'm 21 weeks pregnant as I lovingly rub my muffin top?!? Is chivalry completely dead? 

My sister actually suggested even though I can fit pretty comfortably into my own clothes, that I start wearing the maternity clothes anyway "for the fun of it". Now I don't know about you, but I do have my limits, and I will not resort to wearing pants with that stretchy panel thingie I'd have to stuff with onesies just so people will be nicer to me. Besides, I'd hate to suffer some kind of pre-natal wardrobe malfunction. Like what if those big pants drop to my ankles as I'm running to cross the street before the light turns red? Mortifying. And potentially dangerous to my unborn child.

So for now, I guess I'll just have to be satisfied with the fact that yes, my baby is growing normally even if I'm not (phew!). And, I will have my reward, it's just that it's not due for another 19 weeks or so. But until then, I might have to get myself one of these: