Thursday, November 23, 2006

Does this make sense?

Probably it won't, but I've got a ton of things swirling around in my head.

Firstly, I have much to be thankful for today. I think that goes without saying... but I'm still not confident enough to articulate everything. Suffice to say, I am very thankful.

Secondly, today could have been so much worse. Typically, B spends TurkeyDay with his family, and I spend it with mine*. This year, my parents are out of town visiting the gestating sister, and B is working. G and I got to visit with him earlier, and have turkey on his ship. Although it wasn't a familiar holiday tradition, and we were surrounded by strangers, I was profoundly grateful to see him for even the two hours we had. Next year, he will be far away for the holidays, and I am acutely aware that this year's holiday was a gift.

Thirdly, because I am procrastinating on the cleaning and packing,** I was reading blogs while G napped off his holiday meal. Bloglines wasn't showing anything new for me, so I started following blogroll links and somehow found myself immersed in a few blogs on the opposite side of donor conception - blogs written by children conceived through donors or surrogacy. These were not happy blogs.

I'm going to tread lightly here because I don't want to invalidate someone else's personal feelings about their life and experiences, but it shocked me that I did not see a single blog where the author did not have an overwhelmingly negative view of donation. I understand that for the most part, topic-driven blogs (particularly when the topic is reproductive in nature) are not written because a person is happy and well-adjusted with their circumstances in life... so I suppose that part of the negativity is because these blogs, by their very nature, are a means to work through complex feelings or release pain... and that would somewhat skew the demographics.

Still... You'd think at least someone would pop up and say "hey, it's really not that bad" ... but no.

That aside, each and every blog put a new spin on things I'd never really considered before. Is it a disservice to bring a child into the world through 'artificial means'? Does it really cause lifelong wounds? Is it selfish of all concerned (donors included)?

One blog in particular interested me. It was written by a woman who was the product of egg donation and birthed by a surrogate. Her negative views of donation extended to any and all artificial reproduction, not just donation but ART in general. In fact, one poignant entry about her happiness at knowing her own child was conceived through natural means, created by her marital love and not in an artificial environment both touched me and piqued my ire.

I know what you're thinking - what an interesting duo of emotions to feel simultaneously. Well, I'm a complex kinda gal.

I can see, from her particular point of view, why she would have a negative viewpoint of any conception/family growth that involves a child being raised without personal knowledge of their genetic heritage... and in that sense, I can understand why she has great pride in knowing that her child will have a greater connection and better answers to the age-old question where did I come from?... But I cannot for the life of me understand why any artificial conception would be considered morally wrong, no matter what personal baggage is carried by the one expressing said opinion.

I saw more than one blog today that questioned how it would make a child feel to know that they were not created by an act of love, but rather by a medical procedure. Who implied (or flat-out stated) that people who couldn't easily or 'naturally' have children just plain shouldn't be parents.

Now, I don't know about you, but I never asked my parents for details of my conception. Provided it didn't change the basic truths I knew (that my mother was my mother, and my father was my father), I don't think it would affect me to discover that I'd been conceived in a doctor's office any more than it affected me when, as a child, I realized that my very existence meant that my parents had, indeed, been intimate... a sobering and disgusting realization for a kid.

I remember teasing my brother by saying that he was adopted (he wasn't) ... and I wonder if some day G will taunt little Speck*** with the knowledge that he was conceived au natural, while she was the product of a veritable chemical soup of meds... ? Will he lord over his younger sibling that his conception was the result of spontaneous down-and-dirty while hers was forced intercourse at o'dark thirty in the morning with two barely-willing parents who were going through the motions of need rather than desire?

Well, ok, probably not that last one because, really, that's too much information for any child to have about their parents' sex life.

Maybe it will be like my old friend who found references to himself written into his mother's high school yearbook... and discovered that he was conceived before she married his father, before they even graduated from high school .. ? For him, it was an interesting bit of trivia, a discussion point, and a subject of light teasing towards his parents... but not a life-altering bit of information.

I know that it's more than likely that my child/children will know about my fertility problems. If nothing else, PCOS is genetic, and it's just another piece of medical information for them and their children.

... hopefully, that's all it will be. Medical information. Not a reason to question if they were 'meant to be.'

*seems backwards, eh? B's family tradition is that the men in the family go hunting (sexist perhaps, but remember - there are no girls, so it's basically the whole family that goes).. since we don't live anywhere near his family, I'm fully supportive of his TurkeyWeekend hunt. It is the one time of year where they are within a reasonable driving distance of our town, and I think it's important for him to see them. Just not important enough for me to suffer through it usually.

**because I got suckered into going with B to visit the inlaws this weekend.

***if, knock wood, things work out

1 comment:

DI_Dad said...

As far as kids teasing your kid down the road I would not sweat that fear at the moment. I am not saying its invalid but this stuff is enough to make your head swim.

I think the role we play after we use donor conception methods is to learn as much as we can, from all sources including blogs of folks who are presenting the good and bad, take it all in and be there for our kids when the issues are raised. Not sure what your position is on openess / disclosure but it's a question worth facing as it has an impact all its own.