I've been meaning to write a post for a while about donor eggs. It's something I've been giving a lot of thought to as we get ready for our last 1 or 2 cycles with my eggs.
When my doctor first brought up the idea, which was right after my first failed IVF, I was stunned. Both H and I had a very strong "not for us" reaction. But after another poor response to IVF and several depressing second opinions, I have completely transformed my thinking around this issue. I really believe this could be a great solution for us if things don't work out the way we planned. In fact, the only thing that keeps me going sometimes is knowing that we have a real shot at succeeding with donor eggs should all else fail.
That's not to say I don't have reservations and concerns - I think everyone does at some point. But they seem manageable in comparison to the scenario of having no baby at all.
Unfortunately, H is definitely not in the same place as I am on this decision. I started to broach the topic with him right after our second failed IVF. Knowing that he wouldn't otherwise think about it, I asked him to give some serious thought to the issue over the next few months. He agreed to do so, but of course never really did.
I say "of course" because among H's many wonderful qualities is an ability to live in the now. He takes life as it comes, and generally enjoys the hell out of every day. I envy him this quality - I think this is how he maintains such balance and equanimity. I, on the other hand, tend to grab difficult problems by the horns and try to work through them right there and then. I think through possibilities, imagine and plan for future scenarios, and try to prepare myself emotionally for what's to come. I guess that makes me sort of a control freak, but it also makes me more organized and prepared.
Last week I brought up donor eggs again, and we had our first serious discussion. I asked him whether he'd thought about it since we last spoke, and he admitted that he hadn't thought about it much more. He reiterated, however, that he wasn't on board with the idea. If worst came to worst, he'd rather live child free - he feels we could still have a great life without children. I told him that I didn't disagree - we could have a very nice life without children. It would be very comfortable, much less stressful, and much more free. But we would be missing out on one of life's great gifts, one of the things that connects us most directly to Nature and to our humanity. And that thought makes me sad, and would continue to make me sad later in life. Would it ruin my life? Absolutely not. Would I have regrets about it? I'm pretty sure I would.
I probed a little further into what his reservations were. Was it purely having the genetic link that was the issue? After all, he has been willing to go to pretty extensive lengths to have our own children, so why not with donor eggs? And we uncovered that, yes, not having children with my genetic material was the main issue. However, he is slightly more comfortable knowing that the children would be genetically his. If it were the opposite case (my eggs, donor sperm) he said he would really not be on board.
And this is where we left things off. I am not going to push the issue too far while we still have a chance at my own eggs - there's no point. But I'm hoping to slowly acclimate him to the idea and get him to evolve his thinking. I don't blame him for resisting - I did too. And I don't ever want to force him into such a big decision - he has to be truly on board, because he will be a 50% partner to me in raising a child and that is a huge responsibility. But I am hoping that as he thinks about it more, he will come to the same place as I have. All I can do is get him to think about it with an open mind. The rest will be up to him.
More on this to come. I hope we will never have to reach a decision on this topic, but looking objectively at our chances it's far likelier that we will then that we won't. And I'd rather be prepared when that time comes. In the mean time, am very glad I have a place to share all of these thoughts - sometimes I don't know what I would do without this blog (and all of you)!