So, I've decided to try my hand at blogging. It's one of those things I keep saying that I want to do, and five years later still haven't done. So, when I heard that Fred Parent was looking for some new bloggers, I thought "Here's my chance" and jumped on it. I spent the day wracking my brain for ideas, only to think that I'm already not good at this, and I haven't even started. And then I picked up my youngest (from here on dubbed Monkey Boy) from school and became inspired by his comments.
As we were making our way to the parking lot, Monkey Boy said something about my children. I told him, "Well, you are my child," to which he replied "No, I'm adopted." Mind you, he isn't adopted. Based on our conversation, I decided that my first post would be about donor eggs because without them, my life would be totally different. But for that, we need to go back a little bit.
I am a carrier for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. I have known this most of my life. My brother passed away from heart complications of DMD at the age of 30 on July 4, 2002. I knew if I had a boy, I had a 50% chance of passing it on to him. I even saw a genetic counselor to discuss my options before having children. Yet, when it came time to have children, I chose to ignore all of that and got pregnant naturally. For some reason, I was convinced I would have a girl. At 17 weeks, I found out I was having a boy during an amniocentesis. It seemed like an interminable 6 week wait for the results, but I got supremely lucky and Master Yi-Yi got the healthy gene.
I figured I had tempted fate enough, so, when I decided to have another child a year later, I turned to IVF and MicroSort® (which made having a girl much more likely). I was young (29 at the time) and healthy, and the doctors were convinced everything would go smoothly. Unfortunately, my body did not react to the drugs appropriately and after one and a half failed cycles with my own eggs, the doctors suggested using an egg donor.
This involved sorting through a long list of prospective donors and then choosing profiles of my favorites to view. For the most part, I chose donors most resembling me and then on a whim added one with red hair (ever since I was a child, I have always wanted a red headed little girl). The first donor I chose fell through, and it just happened that the red headed one was available immediately. I figured it was fate. Nine months later, Little H was born, and I had my red headed little girl. When I decided I wanted one more baby I did another donor cycle, and along came Monkey Boy.
Some recipients of donor eggs never tell their children the origin of their birth. I have been open with mine from day one. Of course, I didn't anticipate all the people who would ask where Little H got her red hair, and for a while I told everyone who asked that I had used donor eggs. For the most part, I got crazy looks, so I just started saying it was back in the family (and we actually did have some red headed relatives) because this was easier.
I couldn't love my children any more if they came from my own genes. And Little H is so much like me, it's sometimes scary. We also share the same mixed up eye color that is part grey, part blue, part brown and part green. She has a pretty good handle on the whole thing. Monkey Boy is still a work in progress as exemplified by his adoption comment.
Stay tuned for more exciting adventures with our clan. In future posts we'll go on a journey through the stimulating process of IVF using donor eggs and I'll share some of my many escapades with Monkey Boy.