You Came Out of My Vagina

You came out of my vagina, but that’s not when our story began.

Seven months before you came out of my vagina, I got a positive pregnancy test on the day my grandmother died, and I hoped this time I was really pregnant so that my dad (your granddad? weird.) could get some cheery news. Also, it would make me happy. I guess. Yes, of course it would. Happy. Obviously.

Five months before you came out of my vagina, I saw you on an ultrasound and found out you’re a girl. Bummer. I don’t like girls. Don’t get me wrong: I like women; I just find little girls to be annoying as shit – all that squealing and crying and frilly pink shit. It’s so much easier to deal with boys’ broken bones than girls’ broken hearts. But hopefully you’ll be an athlete or a lesbian or into cool music, and you’ll hate pink, too.

Three months before you came out of my vagina, I was scheduled for another ultrasound to get a better picture of your hands because so far it looks like you have no fingers, and I don’t know if I can love a kid with hand stumps. But no matter what the ultrasound shows, 50% of you comes from your dad’s genetics, so I’d be stuck with you. I wondered if this would be different if you were also 50% me, and this is when it becomes clear that I may not have been the best candidate for using a donor’s egg.

One month before you came out of my vagina, conversations with your dad go something like this: But what if I don’t love her? Don’t worry; you will. But what if I don’t? I know you; you will. But what if I don’t? Stop over-thinking it; you will. But what if I don’t? Etc. etc. etc. You can see why this is a problem, right?

The day you came out of my vagina, labor was short, and during the last few minutes, I wondered whether I could stop pushing and change my mind about the whole thing, but there were all these people around me saying things like “you’re almost there” and “I can see her head,” so I plowed forth.

You were a gross, slimy, wrinkly thing.

When it was over, a gross, slimy, wrinkly thing was handed to me, and I asked, “is this her?” Considering that the other end of your umbilical cord was still inside me, it should have been obvious that I wasn’t looking for an answer from the nurse as much as I was looking for an answer from myself.

“Is this her?” meant “Is this it?” It meant is this really happening and did seven years of wanting a baby just come to an end? It meant who will I be as a mom and who will you be as a daughter and what will we be to each other?

It meant that I really wished someone would help me figure out a game plan for what to do if I don’t love you.

During the first couple weeks after you came out of my vagina, you wouldn’t look at me. You just peed and cried and ate and slept and shit. No eye contact whatsoever, which – frankly – wasn’t a great way to get started on your part, now was it? As it was, what with our lack of genetic connection, how did you think we could build a relationship if you wouldn’t even look at me?

It was during this period that your dad asked me if I loved you. I said I didn’t know yet, which upset him. I guess he thought that the reality of your existence would melt my heart, but he overestimated my capacity to adore people that come out of my vagina.

I felt fiercely protective of you, though. I got pissed when you were left unattended on the changing table for a millisecond as if you could somehow leap to your demise at 2 days old. I woke up several times a night in a panic that you’d been scratched or had a fever or died from SIDS. And every time I picked you up, I was terrified that I’d trip and fall and smash your tiny skull into a wall. My every moment was riddled with anxiety that something awful would happen to you, and that with that, my world would crumble. But anxiety is not the same as love.

You looking at me.

And then some time later, you looked at me. Not a passing glance with untamed eyeballs, but actual eye contact. And that’s when I thought, “Oh, hi, baby. How nice to meet you.”

Was it love? Well, let’s not get crazy. I mean, we don’t really know each other yet, and one can’t rush into things like this.

But you came out of my vagina, and a little while after that, we met. And now that we have, and our story has begun, it’s possible that I’ll love you after all.

And as it turns out, you look seriously fucking cute in pink.

Posted in Donor Egg Parenting, Donor Egg Process, My Head, Pregnancy | Tagged , , , , , , | 14 Comments

And Then There Were Three

SNG was born on Saturday, November 23rd, clocking in at 5 lbs 1 oz, 17.5 inches, and off-the-charts cuteness.

Labor was quick (not counting the weeks of hospital-bound preterm labor in September and October). I woke up with contractions at 3am, we got to the hospital at 4:30, and she was born at 6:01am. The delivery was unmedicated with the exception of half a glass of Asahi Black with dinner the night before.

Although petite, both mom and baby are healthy and in great spirits, but both get grumpy when not fed. One of us has been sleeping very well.

Dad is wonderful in every way.

Posted in Donor Egg Fertility Treatments, Donor Egg Parenting, Donor Egg Process, Parenting, Pregnancy | Tagged | 11 Comments

The Pre-Term Labor Movement

28 weeks and 1 day

10:00 am – Arrive at ultrasound to see if baby is still measuring 11 days behind.

10:15 am – Baby is getting back on track at 7 days behind. This is good.
My cervix, however, is 4mm thick when it’s supposed to be 4cm. This is bad.

10:45 am – I’m admitted to the Labor and Delivery ICU to see if I’m having contractions. I am.

11:00 am – Cervical exam #1: I’m not yet dilated. This is (relatively) good.

11:30 am – 3 IV bags in my veins and 2 fetal monitors on my belly attempt to stop the contractions. They aren’t working.

12:00 pm – I get my first steroid shot to develop the baby’s lungs because I might deliver at any moment. It hurts a lot.

10:00 pm – Cervical exam #2: I’m dilated to 1cm. They up my magnesium sulfate to 2.5 grams per hour. I spend the rest of the night throwing up.

12:00 am – I get a second steroid shot. It hurts a lot, too, but I don’t give a shit any more.

28 weeks and 2 days

I lay in the hospital bed, I sweat, I throw up, I pee in a bedpan, and I try not to pass out.
That’s all.
Nothing else.

28 weeks and 4 days

Bed rest continues with no foreseeable end. I’m now off the mag and on progesterone and nifedipine. With those drugs, they think it’s under control. They think that my current pattern of contractions won’t further compromise my cervix. They think I might stay at 1cm till at least the end of the month or 30 weeks gestation.

I’ve entered a world where delivering a baby 10 weeks early is considered a major success. I don’t like this world.

29 weeks and 6 days

They insert a pessary into my vagina, which is a plastic device propped against my cervix that may delay early labor. Next to the speculum, it’s the least fun device that’s ever been in there.

But I don’t really think much about it because instead I’m distracted by the news that I have gestational diabetes because of course I do.

30 weeks

I’ve reached 30 weeks, and I’m still pregnant. They’re sending me home on Saturday, but if I have any contractions, then I need to get to the hospital quickly. The only problems with this plan are (1) I still don’t know what a contraction feels like, and (2) I don’t live close enough to get to the hospital quickly.

Otherwise it’s a great plan.

Water Works: A Retrospective

For the past 2 weeks, this hospital bed has been my bubble bath of self-pity: a chorus of sadness suds popping at my ears and harmonizing in the key of poor me – a soundtrack that shuffles and repeats until long after my fingers are pruned by my tears.

I feel like saying this isn’t fair, but then I don’t believe in fairness. I want to cry that I don’t deserve this, but there’s no such thing as deserts. Yes, there’s fear, but that’s different from wallowing in self-pity, especially when the self in question is privileged, is healthy, and has insurance for those times when the body gives out.

The me-of-a-year-ago wouldn’t feel sorry for the me of today. The me-of-a-year-ago would say, “You know what? You should consider shutting up a little because you’re fine. You’re still pregnant, you’ll probably keep being pregnant, and even if you stop being pregnant and deliver pre-term, your baby will get the care she needs to make it just fine.

“Be grateful,” I’d say to me. “Quit crying, be thankful that you got pregnant in the first place, and remember that things could always be worse.”

I’m not sure if the me-of-a-year-ago is an asshole or not, but I’m fairly certain that the me-of-today could use something of an ass-kicking — but perhaps a gentle kick, because I really want the me-of-5-weeks-from-now to still be pregnant.

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Stunted

This blog isn’t developing the way I thought it would.

Over the past 2 months, I’ve started two posts that have yet to be completed: one about the effects of this pregnancy on my sex life (short answer: not good), and another on how I feel about being pregnant with a girl (short answer: not good).

Truth be told, I may still finish these posts and predate them for purposes of chronology. Yes, I realize that’s cheating, but I’m a woman pregnant with a donor egg baby, so clearly I’m an ends-justify-the-means kind of girl.

Aside from this blog, another thing that appears to be stunted is my baby’s growth.

All was well at the anatomy scan 8 weeks ago. No cleft palate, no incomplete organs, and no structural issues. They couldn’t confirm 10 fingers, though, and I was told that either she was making fists (more likely) or she that had no fingers (less likely). In any case, we needed a follow-up.

Six weeks later, my baby was indeed found to have 10 fingers, but she was also measuring 11 days behind. This puts her in the 10th percentile of fetal development. This isn’t good.

They say it might be nothing. That it could be a blip. That she could catch-up over the coming months, and none of this will have been an issue. On the other hand, her small size could be the start of a pattern that will mean a very risky third trimester of pregnancy, premature delivery, and/or developmental delays. They just don’t know yet.

And they’re making me wait 4 weeks for a follow-up. Their rationale is that the baby needs time to have measurable growth, but I’m pretty sure they’re just fucking with me.

So I’m two weeks post-shitty news, and the only thing keeping me afloat is that I think my baby might be growing. My belly has gotten bigger, and I’ve also been feeling more movements. Like, a lot more movements. Like, the kind of movements where you see limbs protruding from the surface of my abdomen like something out of Alien. It’s gross, but I’ll take it if it means that my baby’s stunted growth will prove to be an inconsequential blip after all.

Either way, it puts the whole “I wish I were having more sex and also not having a girl” thing into perspective, doesn’t it?

Posted in Donor Egg Process, My Head, Pregnancy | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Battle of Wills

Here’s a light-hearted query: who raises the kid if we both die?

Well, if we can hold off for a dozen or so years, then our friend JB would be perfect. I trust his values, his parenting skills, and his integrity, so he and his wife are the top pick. No problem.

But that’s only if we don’t die for a while — if I get to raise the kid for a good chunk of time, and I leave behind a child who’s old enough to have developed a longstanding consciousness about who I am. Under those circumstances, there’d be no problem.

On the other hand, if this death scenario goes down within the next couple years, then I do have a problem:

If we aren’t genetically related, and I die shortly after giving birth, who would I be to this kid? If this baby originates from my donor and is parented by my friends, aren’t I just the middle man? A carrier? A gestational surrogate? A biological host?

Short answer: yes.

If I die when the kid is a baby, and N isn’t around either, then the child and I would have zero relationship. There’d be no fostered bond. There’d be no memories, no lasting love, and no connection that could be sustained. I’d have no more meaning to this kid than the donor would. Probably less.

And during those acne-ridden years of adolescent existentialism, staring back from that mirror would be the kid’s father and donor. Not me.

And in going out into the world, there would be a life, a culture, and an environment constructed by new parents with stories and traditions that are entirely unrelated to me. Nothing of my heritage, my native language, or the flavors of my grandparents’ foods. Nothing of my character, my personality, or my view of the world. Nothing of me.

In other words, both internally and externally, this kid would be built by Not Me. And by extension, I wouldn’t be thought of by this kid as a parent.

Why would I be? Why should I be?

Out of love? Intention? Because it’s what I would have wanted? That’s not how kids’ minds work. For children, those kinds of abstractions don’t carry weight without a few years to cultivate a connection, and if I die when the kid is a tiny baby, … seriously, … I just won’t have earned much value.

A conversational case in point:

The Kid: So, I have a genetic parent.

New Mom: The donor, yes.

The Kid: And you’re the only mom I’ve ever known.

New Mom: I suppose.

The Kid: So why does it matter who carried me?

New Mom: Because she’s the one who wanted you, who loved you before she ever knew you, and who did everything she could do finally have you and be your parent.

The Kid: But she doesn’t know me. And she isn’t my parent. And I wasn’t around for any of that. And everyone in the world wants something, so why should I care about the wants of a dead person that I never knew?

New Mom: Good point, Kid. Want to go for ice cream?

The Kid: Sure, Mom.

See what I mean?

Which is why I’m gunning for the least rational custodial choice I can possibly make: if N and I orphan an infant, then I want the kid to go to my family.

Yes, my family of crazy people. Yes, the same family who – under normal circumstances – I wouldn’t allow near my kid without a buffer. But given the choice between Real Mom and biological host, it’s clear that those crazy people are the only way for me to edge my way into this kid’s heart when I’m gone.

I want crazy people to raise my child because that’s the only way to ensure that I’ll be embedded in that kids life. Granted, there’ll be sacrifices such as the absence of intellectualism, practicality, and true compassion. But no worries, because instead there’ll be plenty of reactionary behavior, backward thinking, and emotional unsophistication.

But you know, that’s how I was raised, and all I needed was a shitload of therapy, which brings me to the second stipulation in my will: besides naming crazy people as parents, I’ll also require weekly therapy sessions. That way, the kid will be steeped in me; I’ll surely be known no matter when I die, because fucked-up role-modeling and Gestalt therapy is as Me as it gets. Problem solved.

Except for that the problem isn’t solved because my husband is never going to go for any of this, so a biological host I’ll remain.

Fingers crossed that I don’t croak too soon.

~~~

PS: I’ve disabled the comments section for this post because I’m entirely uninterested in a lecture comments on this post.

Posted in Donor Egg Parenting, Donor Egg Process, Greatest Hits, My Head | Tagged , , , , , ,

Tiers of Joy

Admitting that I don’t know what to write isn’t the best way to up my readership, but what can I tell you? I have no fucking clue what to say.

No, I still don’t trust that this is happening. No, I’m still not telling people. No, I’m still not excited. Nothing’s going on, and no one wants to read about my continued reservedness, so what am I supposed to post?

I will tell you, however, that I’m not alone in this. Case in point: something a fellow PVED gal said over lunch last week.

I couldn’t trust that I was pregnant until 20 weeks, and then I still couldn’t get excited for several weeks more. Now I’m almost 34 weeks, and I’m still not at ease, but I am starting to believe that it might really happen.

I’ve heard other infertile women say similar things, so this timeline is the one I’m counting on. And since I’m 17 weeks today, I might be getting close.

But in the meantime, I got nothing, because you know what Bob Dylan says, …

you got nothing to lose.

Posted in Donor Egg Fertility Treatments, Donor Egg Process, My Head, Pregnancy, PVED, Quotable Quotes | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments