Two

There are two reasons why I don’t publish posts often enough. The first has to do with generic laziness. I can lie and say that I’m busy, but I’m all caught up on Empire, so laziness it is.

The other is that I’m committed to writing only about donor egg related issues, and those don’t come up all the time. And when they do come up, they’re usually too intense for me to want to buckle down and type, so instead I just cry or watch an episode of Empire.

But my daughter is turning two in a couple of days, so I thought I would mark the occasion by telling you about your worst nightmare.

“Mama, go away.”

“Mama, go away” is something I’ve heard a lot these past few months. “Mama, go away. Daddy come.” For days. Then weeks. Then months. “Mama, go away.” Over and over and over again.

I tried to keep composure at first and remember information that I got three years back. During the therapy session required by the clinic before our first donor egg transfer, we were forewarned about how devastating daddy phases can be for donor egg recipients when the father is the genetic parent. “Every kid has a daddy phase,” we were told. “It has nothing to do with genetics. It’s just a part of parenthood.”

A few weeks into the daddy phase, it got worse. She wouldn’t want me next to her when we ate,  and she’d run away when I’d pick her up from daycare. “Mama, go away. Daddy come.”

Like I said. Nightmare.

I cried myself to sleep for nights in a row. I read dozens of articles and blog posts in search of help and hope and advice, and all I got was a bunch of crap about how we should save her favorite books and pastimes for her time with me. None of it worked. It’s not like she was going to forget that she didn’t like me. She just didn’t like me.

So I cried myself to sleep a bunch more. Sometimes I’d lay awake hoping she’d come around, but mostly I wondered if it would matter to her if I died.

I finally came across two articles that actually did help. One suggested that I consider how the favored parent was interacting with the kid, and then advised that the other parent reflect that behavior. The situation in the article — which paralleled ours, actually — was that the kid had entered into a world of imagination, and the favored parent was super engaged in pretend play. The other parent was just too literal to be fun.

OK, so I needed to build forts and make up stories about her dolls. Check.

The second article talked about how toddler brains have a hard time understanding that they can love two people at the same time. It’s a cognitive challenge: how can I adore Mom if I adore Dad? (Side note: how dumb are toddlers?)

But alright. I’ll talk to her about love and about how our hearts are big enough to love our whole family. Check.

Then every once in a while I devolved into toddlerhood myself, and when she would tell me to go away, I’d say it right back. “You go away.” “No, you go away.” “No, you go away.” I’m not proud of the tactic, but it was incredibly effective. She would either end up laughing, or she’d get completely frustrated; either way, I’d catch a break.

Then one night she got sick. Nothing terrible. Just a cold, but she was up most of the night, and all she wanted was her mama, and I knew then that it would matter to her if I died. That helped.

And then it passed. Or at least changed. It gradually lessened, and now she says “go away” to both of us fairly equally. It still feels kinda crappy, but I don’t take it personally anymore. And my husband couldn’t care less when she tries to banish him.

But here’s the crux of the thing: while it was horribly, horribly horrible, not being a parent was worse. It just was. Nightmarish as that rejection was, pining for a child was a whole other level of devastation, and even as I was crying myself to sleep with my kid in the next room, I knew that not having her there would be worse. No question.

So despite my utter failure to keep this blog updated, I was motivated to share this now for two reasons. First, and in keeping with what my readers have come to expect, I feel compelled to be honest that donor egg parenting isn’t always the best. There are a lot of donor egg blogs out there, and I haven’t seen many that are transparent about the hard stuff, so this is for the donor egg moms who are looking for affirmation that they’re not alone: there is indeed hard stuff, and I’m right there with you.

The second reason is that I know that intended parents pore through this blog as a way of processing their fears, and I want to address the question of whether it’s worth it, and yes it is. At least it is to me. “Mama, go away” is a problem I’ll take if the alternative is to never hear someone call me “Mama.”

And yesterday was the first time she said, “Mama, I love you.” Unsolicited, and followed by a kiss.

“Mama, I love you.” Something Daddy’s never heard.

So, yeah. Hard. But worth it.

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About TG

My eggs don't work, so I manifested a baby via egg donation. Let's blog and see what happens.
This entry was posted in Donor Egg Parenting, My Head, Parenting and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Two

  1. Maureen McCullough says:

    Great post! Thanks for checking in and updating, Mama! :-)

    Liked by 2 people

  2. A. says:

    It’s a welcomed transparency.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I have no DE experience, but in my house daddy is ALWAYS favourite. Every night when I go to say goodnight she says “I Want daddy to stay with me!!!” And that is her biggest concern when I try to kiss her goodnight. I TRY not to let it bug me…..but it has been years now.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Wow, I haven’t seen or heard from you in a LONG time. You and I were on the same path for years and apparently we still are! My egg donor twins are 2 years and 4 months old. My twins both go through the no mommy only daddy phase, matter of fact, they are currently in one. It is very difficult emotionally to feel rejected by your children. Fortunately I have a 13 year old son from my own eggs who rejects me all the time so I know it has little or nothing to do with genetics. :) He too prefers his father over me and has since age 3.
    Answer is, being rejected hurts and we will all tell ourselves our own story of why we are being rejected and it may or may not actually be a true story.

    Recommended reading
    The Four Agreements,
    by Don Miguel Ruiz

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Gina says:

    Your posts get me every time. So right there with you (except my show is Scandal :) Thankfully, the daddy phase only lasted a few days in our house, for now. Thank you for posting.
    p.s. I also got my first “I love my mama” (or at least that ‘s what I think she said?) last week. To die.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. KP says:

    I don’t know how I missed this post! Oh how I love your candid, transparent, no-sugar-coating updates. Real. I don’t see it as “being negative”, more as just telling it like it is. I’m sure hearing “mama go away, daddy come” over and over was like taking a knife in the neck. Knowing about phases is fine, but actually weathering them a whole other kettle of stinking, rotting fish, I’m sure. I hope to find out myself some day, and like you, there is always going to be that fear of rejection, of being disliked and unloved by the child you fought so hard to bring into existence. But also like you, I’d rather be rejected than not have the opportunity to be rejected. Anyway……you’re a huge inspiration and a great writer and while I’m glad donor egg issues don’t come up for you that often, I kinda wish they did? Because I love your take on things. :)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Essie says:

    Thanks for telling the truth. Waiting (still) for our turn to try our luck with DE, I’m reading everything there is. And there isn’t much that is honest. This post makes my stomach turn with fear, but it mean a lot to hear that it’s still worth it.

    Like

  8. Cage8 says:

    I applaud you for insisting on knowing your child’s genetic mother, and for being honest and open.

    Being an ill-informed egg donor in the late ’90s destroyed my reproductive system, and now I am a childless 40s woman with several genetic offspring. I am in contact with one, and the rest are unknown, and may be forever. I stuck my DNA on all of the major sites, so if anyone else comes looking for me or for their important-to-know medical/family history, it’s there.

    Like

    • TG says:

      I’m sorry to hear that you have some regrets about the anonymity of your donation. I imagine that’s very hard to grapple with now. What makes your think your donations destroyed your reproductive system? I’ve never heard of this outcome resulting from egg retrievals.

      Like

  9. justonemore says:

    So you may never see this as it’s been a while since you’ve posted, but I wanted to thank you for this beautiful exercise in truth telling. I am navigating my own next steps after years of hell, and it is so helpful to see a voice in the interwebs speaking a language I understand. The biggest challenge I am currently facing – apart from you know, raising the thousands of dollars this would take….and oh yeah, the narcissism that comes with the pesky loss of my genetics….and the ethical quandaries surrounding how some donors are treated – is finding the elusive donor who is willing to be known. How the hell are so many clinics and agencies in the dark about how important it is for some children to unearth their genetic links in the future?

    Like

    • TG says:

      I’m here, I’m here! I do always intend to blog some more, and then I get caught up with life, so I fail and fail and fail again. A happy/sad state of affairs.

      First, I’m glad that my dark and batty confessional made you feel a little less alone. I and many, many others are with you.

      As for navigating the dark ages of donor anonymity, I agree. It’s confounding. For me to find a donor willing to be known, I had to go with an outside agency, which costs millions more dollars. I used the donor source, and I was happy overall, but there are many others.

      On the flip side, I have to admit that I’ve become less adamant that all donors should be known to our kids. But that’s a story for another blog post (that I’ll probably never write).

      Listen, if you need any handholding. You can email me at chickandeggs at gmail. I’m pretty shitty at getting back to people, but I always respond eventually. And by always, I mean usually.

      Stay in touch either way. Best, tg

      Like

  10. S says:

    Thank you for this posts and keeping it real! New mom via donor and I truly appreciate your honesty.

    Like

  11. Nicole says:

    Hello,
    My first egg donor was tested today. I’m nervous and very scared about how I will feel if everything goes well. Help?

    Like

    • TG says:

      That’s a tough one. Everyone feels differently, of course. Do you have supports around you? I wonder if it would help to check out an online community and get a sense of different people’s experiences. I used to use PVED, which was useful for that stage in the process. A therapist with experience in egg donation or infertility would be ideal, but that doesn’t exist everywhere. There isn’t much out there, but I hope this helps. Wishing you the very best of luck!

      Like

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