I’m back. So sorry about my insanely extended absence. I’ve missed you all terribly. I am still finding it difficult to find “me time” since Ian’s birth. I adore him so much, I happily spend every free waking moment with him. Unfortunately, that means no time for blogging, hair appointments, visiting with friends (well…a little time for that) or much else I used to do. I am also preparing for weight loss surgery in January and the preparations are a lot more energy-zapping and time-consuming than you might think. Balancing taking care of myself and feeling like I am doing a good job as a mother is currently my greatest struggle. But I figure I have a lot of time to work on it.
Since my last substantive post, I have returned to work. I was very scared about going back to work and how it would affect me emotionally. Everyone told me, it will suck for awhile…take tissues. But I (guiltily) have to say…I love being back at work. I trust that Ian is having fun with the nanny all day (she is soooooo great with him) and I’m not worried about him. I get time for a shower every day (okay…almost every day) and get to go have conversations with adults about things other than what Ian’s poop habits are, or the extent of his reflux (which he is FINALLY starting to outgrow). I enjoy my rides to and from work, when it is just me, my blaring music and my thoughts. I know I should want to spend every moment with Ian, but I feel like I enjoy my time with him so much more now that there isn’t quite so much of it. I hope that doesn't make me a bad IF mommy.
As for Ian, he is doing awesome. I’ll attach some pictures to this post (and hope I’m not offending anyone going through a rough time. I want him to be an inspiration, not a source of pain). He is fabulously happy almost all of the time. He is a big eater (which is funny given the time he spent in the NICU because he wouldn’t/couldn’t eat). We joke (perhaps crudely) that our premie now looks like he ate a premie. He is a serious chunk! He just started throwing fits about things he doesn’t like (he’s not even 9 months old yet…boy are we in for it). He spits/does raspberries and gets all red in the face until he gets what he wants...or gives up. It’s so funny, it is hard to say “no” and keep a straight face. He’s going to get picked on a lot when he hits school if he doesn’t find a new way to show his displeasure. He’s still not crawling…at least not forward. He goes backwards really well which only frustrates him more. All-in-all, he is a happy and healthy (and spoiled) little guy.
A commentor who was new to the donor egg journey had asked me on an earlier post if I could comment on my feelings about using a donor, now that I have my baby. I am not even sure where to start, so I’ll try to just hit the big points. Anyone should feel free to ask me questions you might have, and I am MORE than happy to answer them. It will give me incentive to get back on here quickly.
Okay. First and most importantly, I NEVER see him as anything other than 100% mine. I think about the donor or the fact that we used a donor to conceive him for a few seconds, every few days. Usually it is when I am analyzing some feature of his. But there is no sadness connected with those thoughts. It is just a matter of fact and, if anything, he feels that much more special because he was truly a gift. I can’t imagine that it is possible to feel more connected to Ian than I do. DNA makes zero difference when your baby is in your arms.
Next, I would say that your baby may look (and act) a lot more like you than you would think. Ian is almost a spitting image of me (no pun intended with the "spitting" thing). The donor did not look a lot like me, but somehow Ian got my features. He has his daddy’s eye color and ears (poor guy with those ears), but in every other way, he looks like me. A couple of people who know we used a donor have said to me, “Are you sure it’s not possible that you accidentally got pregnant with your own egg?” I smile and say no, but secretly inside, I love that no one questions whose baby he is.
The only downside I’ve found about our use of an egg donor…or perhaps more so our decision to tell people we used an egg donor…is that you must educate, and re-educate, and re-educate people over and over. Stupid comments will be made…not out of malice, but out of ignorance. We are still convinced that our decision to make Ian’s conception story not a secret was the right one, but that decision does come with consequences. I worry about those stupid comments when Ian gets old enough to understand them. A large number of the comments come from my mother, who says things like “What if you run into the mother at some point, what will you do?” A. She’s not his “mother.” B. Even with pictures of her, I’m not going to recognize her if I see her on the street. C. The chances of me running into the donor are amazingly minute given that we don’t live near each other. D. What the f@%^# kind of a question is that?
Another one of my favorites is “What will you do when he wants to track down the donor when he gets older?” A. He may not have any interest in “tracking down the donor.” B. If he does, we will have a conversation about respecting the privacy she requested when she donated eggs. C. This isn’t really the same thing as adoption. The gift she gave us was amazing and resulted in our son…but it isn’t like she gave birth to her son and then gave him to us. There is a difference in the analysis. D. We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. I don’t really have to worry about that when he’s 9 months old and his only words are DADADADADBABAOOOHHHHH!
When confronted with these “concerns,” I just remind myself of how ignorant I was at the start of infertility. Who knew what the different types of cervical mucous were or what they meant, until they had a reason to find out and pay attention to that issue? People need to be educated with patience…not made to feel stupid or mean (even if their comments seem stupid or mean to us). That’s how I feel about it at least.
I’m not sure if that answers “anonymous’s” question, but I hope it helped. I’m really looking forward to writing more soon. But for now…here’s my little miracle: