Monday, November 14, 2016

The Next Conversation: Embryo Donation

Leslie and I spoke on the phone a couple of days ago. She met with a lawyer a few days ago, out on the west coast where she lives. The lawyer said I have to get a lawyer as well. Which I get, intellectually, but emotionally it feels distasteful. I feel like once the embryos are handed over, she's the mom and should have all decision making rights. But I guess we have to spell out the terms of how many of the embryos (I have four but prefer not to hand them all over in one fell swoop).

Tomorrow I meet with the same psychologist I met with before using donor sperm to conceive Calliope. I journeyed out into Long Island by train to meet with her last time, no small feat after a full day of work, only to discover that she is a parent of one of my patients... and she dropped her son off to school every day!

This time we are meeting for tea at the Chocolate Room and she is charging me the price of a cup of tea. When we meet with Leslie, too, and she has to fill out a bunch of forms certifiying our mutual psychological well being before the transfer of embryos takes placed, she is charging me with bringing her a bag of bulbs to plant at the public school across the street from her home.

I love my village!

Anyway, the more the the idea of donating my embryos to Leslie percolates, the more excited I get. I'm suddenly remembering how physically miserable I was in my mid-pregnancy with Amelie -- the reflux was so awful and I was so nauseated and had to sleep sitting up so often. I will never miss that! And while I do adore infants, it's so lovely to put my children to bed at 6:30 pm and be pretty much assured that I have the rest of the night to myself. I love sleeping all night, every night. Well, almost every night.

And I very hesitantly told Leslie that I loved the idea of donating an embryo to her as a way to grow my family. The thing I didn't realize when I decided to become an SMC is that not only would my child only have one parent, she would also be missing an entire set of grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. And now they have no grandparents, and all their first cousins (currently four of them but a fifth is expected this winter, hooray!) are at least four hours away. Too far to see on a weekend.

So having a donor sibling (is that even the right term?) possibly in upstate New York would be wonderful! Calliope has a "milk sister" -- a little girl who received donated milk from me when I was nursing Calliope -- and this little girl is now in our school. And both girls are fascinated by each other. I imagine she would love the idea of even more family. I mentioned the idea of calling the kids "Super Cousins" and Leslie loved the idea. It's complicated because they are not "diblings" -- donor half siblings -- they are full siblings. Yet calling this other child a brother or sister feels like a disservice, to me, to the beloved relationship between Calliope and Amelie. This child won't share a room with my girls. He'll belong to his own family.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with the felling of hiring a lawyer... But I guess you do what you have to do. Other than that, it all sounds wonderful!