This is a really emotional topic for many people and in my Facebook support groups, it often brings about a lot of discussion and sadly it doesn’t always end well with many members saying things they may not mean and may regret 🙁
My boys know their story, as a passionate advocate for egg donation and my cause Egg Donor Angels, I tell and share their story all the time and they know I spend many hours helping others with their journey xox
My belief has always been to tell, agree or disagree. I feel it’s in the best interests of the child going forwards. This is the family we worked so hard to get I think they deserve to know our “journey” to get them and they need to know how much they were wanted!
So I’ve always told the boys our story, our four trips to Cape Town to have them.. I prefer to sit down with them and tell them about it, show photos of our trips, show the photos of their donors and weave it into the fabric of their lives… to me this helps them to understand their story… I did read them the simple rhyming books when they were little but now they are 4 and 6 I find it’s better to talk about our journey to have them and show them their story.
The hardest part about donor conception is the “letting go of our own fertility and grieving” and sometimes I feel that many have not done this when not wanting to “tell their story”
Liam, the 6yo already asks interesting questions about babies and life, last night it was “did you choose if you were having a boy or a girl?” What I love is spending the time answering these questions and as crazy as this sounds telling them how it works as best I can before their eyes glaze over! So I explained how the sperm swims to the egg and one sperm will penetrate the egg and that sperm determines if the baby is a boy or a girl… I did a quiet sigh of relief when he didn’t ask how the sperm got to the egg.. of course I could explain the IVF version rather than the more intimate version 🙂
Everyone knows my boys are donor conceived and whilst I share our story with anyone that will listen, I know they will know that their story is there to help others know there is hope and to navigate infertility xox
I know for me and for many of us there have been or will be some comments made where we will feel judged, for example being called the grandparent or being told your too old and won’t live to see your children get older… I always smile, correct t them that I’m the mother and then I even go on to tell our story, to me it’s always about awareness… and educating people xox
I know our children will say things when they are angry or don’t get their own way that will hurt us right to the core of our heart and soul.. I fear they will say things like “you’re not my mother/father/parent”, “you couldn’t have your own children” or that the donor is their parent… deep breaths my friends, this is where we need to be strong again and resilient…. you’ve been strong before you can do this! I would sit them down when they are open to listening and say how much that hurt you and that you are their mother/parent/father and explain why you are, that it’s not just about “genetics” that its about love and creating a family that comes in all shapes and sizes. Repeat your story, maybe it’s time to tell more detail about the heartbreak you’ve endured to have them, miscarriages, loss etc. as hard as that is xox If needed I strongly suggest counselling, but find someone who understands IVF and donor conception. (I do plan to put together a list of IVF counsellors together soon)
Telling your child/children, family and friends about your IVF and donor conception journey is important for your child’s/children’s ongoing trust and knowledge about who they are and where they came from… Agree or disagree, sadly it’s not about our emotions and our grief xox