Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Eggs schmegs?

Is it just me or is using another human being's eggs to create a baby to grow in your own uterus a fairly big deal?

I'll tell you what I think (I'm good at that): I think that it's a really really big/scary thing to consider. My reasons for this are numerous but they start at, 'my genetic material is precious and I really wanted a baby that shares my characteristics' and end somewhere around, 'what if my child wants to hook up with their 'gene pool' when they reach 18?' with a huge dollop of, 'will I resent the fact that DH is part of our child when I am not?' somewhere in the middle...

I ask because I found myself having a rather bizarre conversation with a colleague at work yesterday. I work as a Health Professional and was busy firing off an email when in wandered *Sally, moaning that the menopause had caused her periods to become so erratic that she had been 'caught short' by the arrival of one again and had had to stuff toilet roll in her knickers. After obligingly passing over some much needed sanitary-wear (haha!), I grumbled that she wanted to try having that to deal with at 36. It was out of my mouth before I'd really thought about it and of course she wanted to chat about it and compare night-sweat-notes. Sally was a little shocked when after she'd exclaimed, 'thank God you'd finished your family though, eh?', I responded that actually I hadn't and another baby or two would have been nice. Instantly though she became animated and immediately offered me her neice's eggs! She was going round for tea after work and, 'OMG, she looks just like you - tall, dark hair, big brown eyes... She's also quite like you in personality too, loud and outgoing. I'll ask her tonight. Oo, and her sister...It'll be fine, I bet she'll give you some eggs...'. I was a little taken-aback to say the least and briefly wondered whether she had mistook the meaning of 'eggs' in this case for the brown variety sold at Sainsburys.
In fairness, it's not a dissimilar attitude to a couple of my close friends - one who donated eggs herself years ago and another who thinks it's 'just a few cells'. I wish I shared their nonchalance....

I'll be honest - I'm no supermodel. My boobs are too big and all areas of my body missed the 'toned and athletic' gene altogether. I have a big mouth - not physically but vocally and my feet are on the wrong side of a size 6. At 5'9", I'm not petite and demure and my overall countenance is more 'assertive and capable with a tendancy towards impatience' than 'sweet, fair-tempered and obliging' but, YES, these characteristics are all mine and I would have given anything to have had a daughter (for arguments sake) who was tall with big feet, big boobs and a big gob. Just like her mother....

There is also the argument, as a couple of friends have pointed out, that any baby grown by me is mine. I can get with that, I think... Genetic material would be provided by another woman somewhere but once mixed up with DH's sperm and wanged into my (very excited, I imagine) uterus, it would then be me who grew his/her eyelashes, heart valves, legs etc etc and my blood would run through their veins. I would deliver them (hopefully with less trauma than the first time around) and breastfeed them (ditto last set of brackets) and they would be mine mine mine... Wouldn't they?
So, what am I waiting for? I suppose, for that nagging feeling that it wouldn't feel quite like that for me to disappear...

On the bright side, DH and I were seen in the recurrent miscarriage clinic this morning where they took bloods for karaotyping and auto-immune disorders. Oh, and my colposcopy has come back negative - yey!...And you never know, Sally could be dragging her poor niece, kicking and screaming with all her follicles simply bursting forth with eggs, to the GP for some ovarian stimulating hormones as we speak...


  1. Hi,

    you write really well about such a hard topic, you take something really rubbish but still make me smile reading.

    Hope you keep managing to smile!

    Jane x

  2. I really enjoyed reading this - you've got an easy way with words and it made me smile. Good old *Sally eh and her easy pimping of her niece, classic.

    I keep my fingers crossed for you - I suspect that if it happens your new son/daughter would be just as much a part of you as your DH.

    Caroline. :)

  3. Hi

    I post on Mumsnet and following a post where I explained that I had gone through an early menopause someone who knew about your blog directed me to it - it's beautifully written.
    If it's of any use to you I'll summarise what happened to me. Diagnosed - complete surprise - with POF in 2007 at 38. Had been masked by contraceptive pill - probably happened in my early 30s. I take HRT and am totally "normalised". I decided after 6 months to go down the egg donation route to have children (I was childless) and treated it very positively - like something else to project manage - to try and take the stress away. I was told the wait was 4 years in this country and so went to Spain to a clinic with a 6month wiating list and an ability to choose donors based on some outline characteristics so that they looked a bit like me. The donors are also in the main young - so a very high chance of success. My first attempt ended in conception but a miscarriage 3 months later. I was devastated - convinced that meant we could never have a family. I then went for another round and this time had my daughter 9months later. 8 mnths after that I went again (for another donor) and now have my son. I have nothing to compare with in terms of a child that is genetically "mine" but I can't imagine loving any child more than I love them - nor feeling that they "belonged" to me any more than I do. I am quite evangelical about egg donation and 2 of my friends have followed my example (after many rounds of own egg IVF) and have had success - one of them already had a genetic child - so similar to you. We are all over the moon and the whole POF/egg donation trauma seems a long way away. Once you are over the initial pain and if you decide you really want more children I promise that the "implications" of egg donation seem trivial and the only emotional fallout is joy when you have another child. I wish you all the luck in the world with whatever you decide.
    PS One friend of mine who is forever getting accidentally pregnant and having abortions once said to me - wish I could just donate all my eggs to you and solve both our problems. Insensitive cow.

  4. Thank you for sharing your story with me, H. It's such a relif to hear about happy endings. I am so plzd that you have a wonderful family! None of my friends have any experience of my situation so hearing from people like you really keeps me going.
    I'm so plzd Ive had some lovely comments!!