Monday, July 25, 2016

Embryo Donation?

A few months ago, my close friend Kate asked if I would consider donating my embryos to her friend Leslie (not her real name). Leslie had, I think, entertained thoughts of becoming an SMC herself but then met a lovely man in her early forties. Leslie made it clear that having children was a relationship deal breaker for her, and the man agreed. They got married in her mid forties and set about adopting a child. A beautiful baby girl was delivered to them.... and then taken away a few short days later. Leslie and her husband were devastated, but after taking some time to grieve, began the adoption process again. They were about to receive another infant when Leslie's husband had a change of heart. He announced he didn't want children after all.

Leslie had a terrible decision to make. The marriage versus a child. They went to counseling. First once a week, then twice a week. In the end, the decision was made for her. The husband moved out. And two weeks later, Kate shared with Leslie my offer. I hadn't known that Leslie hadn't known of it until then. But Kate was worried that Leslie would feel pressured if she had known.

Yesterday Kate emailed to say that Leslie was very touched by my offer, and would probably be in touch in a few weeks.

My mind is swirling. Will she even want my embryos, when she knows my family's full health history (nothing shockingly bad, but a fair amount of ADHD and some depression and anxiety)? What role would I play in this child's life? Would he or she know me? What relationship would he have with my girls? Would we be honest about their biological relationship? What would they call each other? Brother (or less likely, sister) doesn't feel right, doesn't honor my girls' relationship with each other, but they obviously aren't donor half siblings, either. Would we keep her son's biological origins a secret for our shared community of acquaintances? Would my own siblings know of the origins of this child?

I'm nervous but excited. It feels right to share my wealth -- I've been so lucky in conceiving so many viable embryos. Leslie is a good person. I don't know her well, but what I know of her, I admire. And I know and trust Kate deeply. She wouldn't be close with Leslie is Leslie wasn't good people. So I guess I'm going to lurch forward with this crazy plan, if Leslie chooses to.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Mama Update

This is a harder one to write that monthly updates on the kids.

This has been a hard, hard year. I think Calliope's transition to PreK, and especially to commuting with me, was in many ways harder than being a working parent to two. Mornings weren't so bad but afternoons, while she was tired (and I was too) were draining. I felt like I had to drag her out of the school building and to the car each day, then coax her out of the car at the other end. Errands on the way home were a near impossibility. Having to rush through my work to get her, or leave work for the next day, was exhausting, especially with the implementation of an electronic medical record which slowed my pace considerably.

And then... summer arrived. I feel like I can breathe again. I feel like MYSELF again for the first time, after so many months of battling what might have been a mix of depression and anxiety but might also have been total exhaustion from what felt like a daily sprint from 5:30 am to 6:30 pm each day.

I'm exercising every day. I'm sleeping enough. Usually. I'm enjoying my girls. Mostly. I'm eating so much less! What is it about racing through the day that makes me so hungry???

I'm trying to brainstorm ways to slow the pace next year. I'm going to try Bethany's idea of Mason Jar salads. Maybe having a fabulous fresh meal each day at lunch will help me recharge. I'm hiring a babysitter 2-3 afternoons a week to pick Calliope (and Eleanor) up from school so that I can travel alone and do an errand if needed and otherwise enjoy not cajoling and pleading someone to keep moving. I'm also going to have the sitter stay late 1-2 Friday nights a week so I can go out from work and catch a movie or dinner.

And I'm trying to soak up every last bit rest and relaxation. It's taken me a couple weeks to get used to a slower pace -- at first, Amy and I were racing around, filling every last moment with activities, cleaning, cooking and preparing for the next activity. This week we have my friend Jen and her daughter Luna here and we are enjoying a much slower pace. It's easy for me to start feeling restless... I have to remind myself that this is what summer is for!

I'm hoping, somehow, that I can retain some memory of this slower pace when the school year begins. Fingers crossed!