(Photo courtesy of Unsplash: Ian Baldwin)
When our doctor said “your only option is donor eggs,” I didn’t hear anything that followed. My rational brain went A.W.O.L, my heart broke and I got trapped in a never ending spiral of “But I want a baby that looks like me”…“I don’t want someone else’s baby”…“I’m never going to be a mother”…“I can’t do this”…“why me?”… “why me?”… “why me?”
We left his office. My life fell apart.
But this is a brighter tale. A true love story. The love story of our Rosie.
Our beautiful baby girl was conceived in 2012 through an anonymous egg donor in Alicante, Spain. And Rosie is quite possibly the most amazing baby to have ever existed (yes, she’s gifted) and man I love her like you wouldn’t believe. She lights up my frickin life. And yes she looks nothing like me, and yes that does pop into my head sometimes when I’m loving her with all my being. And I do sometimes think ‘will I be able to answer all her questions as she grows up?’ But when I walk in the room and she sees me, and her face lights up like she is sitting in the audience of the Oprah show on the episode where Oprah gives tonnes of free shit away, my world is at one. And I will listen to my daughter with curiousity and love and my husband and I will answer all of her questions as best we can. And for the ones we can’t, we will work it out together. As a family.
So, because I’m a top 3 kinda girl, here are my personal essential tips for anyone considering the path of anonymous egg donation to create your family.
1. Check out your KNOWN donor options first
What? You ask. Yes, is my unwavering reply. We didn’t and I wish we had. And now there is regret in my world that we have created a gap in our daughter’s (and now her twin brother’s and sister’s) identities that they may never be able to fill.
There is so much research that demonstrates that having no gap in your genetic story is the best place for any child, any human. Check out this great resource on finding an egg donor in Australia. Start there. But whatever you choose as your path…
2. Try your best to see it from your unborn baby’s perspective
Now this can almost be down right impossible, especially when you have been through miscarriages, loss and heartbreak. Trying to imagine a baby that is yet to exist is almost heart breaking, because what if they never exist? I know this, because we were there.
But if you can, try and work out a way to put your heart and mind in the shoes of a child that does not yet exist. When your mind is clouded with “what if I don’t connect with her?” “what if people judge us?” – oh yes, it has happened to me already – “what about me? “what about me?” “what about me?” it takes a lot of courage and perspective to say, “No, enough about us. What about her? What will the impact on her be? How are we going to make it okay for her?” This is crucial. I promise you. Now I’m on the other side, now Rosie is growing up into an awesome little girl, she deserves all of the answers to her questions.
This journey isn’t about you anymore. Well it is, but it’s also about her and because it is, make sure you…
3. Document your baby’s story of conception
Hands down, BEST advice ever. An incredibly insightful counsellor in London said to my husband and me “Document your story. However you can. Because if you use an anonymous egg donor, your baby won’t be able to connect to her genetic history, but you can connect her to your story.” We recorded everything. Video footage. Letters to her. We interviewed each other. I even had a chat on video talking to our 5 day blastocysts (crazy, but true). It was the best move. We now have a beautiful video of our trip to Spain, the culture, the doctors, photos. It’s called “Rosie, your journey to meet us”.