Sunday, April 27, 2008

The simplicity and complexity of genetics

If you've read our history over there to the right, you know that we decided to move forward with donor egg.......and then backed off on it. What you may not understand is why we haven't pursued it....yet.

Let's go back to March '07. We had just had our 2nd cancelled IVF cycle and things looked really bleak. There was no reason to believe I couldn't be pregnant. It just looked like (and still looks like) getting enough eggs out of me, enough quality eggs, might never happen. Donor eggs seemed like the perfect solution. We filled out the paperwork and had the required meeting with the psychologist. We put on our happy faces and told her that, while we were sad that we had to get to this point, we were perfectly OK with it. All that time, I knew something was nagging at me and, although I didn't know why at the time, I knew something was there.

We went through the tests, paid the fee, and officially went on the list. Then we went through a four part session with some other wonderful couples where, again, we put up the front that we were ready for this, but, still, something nagged at me.

While on the donor wait list, we decided to continue to keep cycling. Again, as you can see in that list to the right, we did our 4th IVF and I got pregnant. Although I lost that pregnancy, it helped me figure out what had been nagging at me all of those months.

Genetics. It's as simple as that. And, as complicated as that. I want to have a child that is connected to me genetically. But, the reason may not be as clear as you might expect. I love children (this may be the understatement of the . You could put any child in my arms and, within seconds, that child would be mine. Genetics hold absolutely no bearing on my ability to love a child. Anyone who knows me knows how important family is. How important tradition is. How important the continuation of the generations of my family is.

Therein lies the problem. My sister and brother will, most likely, not have children. My mother's family, and the continuation of my maternal bloodline, goes through me. My father's family may or may not end at me, but, as of right now, that bloodline has not continued either.

So, it's that simple. The "K" family genes live or die with me. The "R" family genes may live or die with me. And, that's where this gets complicated.

Is it fair that I put this pressure on myself? Probably not. Does the fact that I put this pressure on myself surprise anyone who knows me? Absolutely not!

Some of the people I've told this to seem to really get why this adds to my struggle. But, more seem to feel that this shouldn't even be a consideration for me, that it's about Glenn and I and I shouldn't let this added pressure sit on my shoulders. The thing is, unless you are in my shoes, you can't understand this fully. Even Glenn can't understand it fully. First of all, if we use donor eggs, it's still his sperm, so, his genes will be accounted for. But, even if we had a child that was not genetically his, there are already 4 nieces and nephews on his side. I know he wants a son to continue the family name (that isn't currently happening on his side), but, that's, at least for me, not even close to the complete ending of a bloodline, possibly two - the pressure I feel constantly.

All of this said, I still completely support the use of donor eggs and, depending on what we find out from our meeting with Dr. Expert this week, we may be back to moving forward on this as our best option.


Bee Cee said...

I understand where you are coming from, my Dad's bloodline only has two options left, me & my nephew. Who knows whether my nephew will have although it seems mad I want to try for a 5th time.

Good luck.

Kami said...

I found you via Mel's blog. Although this isn't the reason I am mourning the loss of a genetic connection, I very much understand not wanting to let go of it.

I am 33 weeks along with DE and, like you, I decided pretty quickly I was ok with it. Unlike you, I jumped in and got pregnant. It's not that I regret the decision - when I think back on that time I just couldn't imagine trying the same thing and hoping for different results. Yet, there are days when I wonder if we would have gotten lucky if we tried just one more time.

Good luck on your journey.

Dagny said...

I totally understand what you mean.

My family is VERY small, (me, my brother, and his daughter) and I would love to have another one 'related' to me, to pass on the bloodlines. Hopefully things will work out.


Bee Cee said...

Thanks for your made me smile, which is a great achievement today!