Starting Our Family

The reality of infertility, IVF and donor eggs

Getting On The Same Page About Using Donor Eggs

on June 23, 2013


I was talking with M the other day about disclosing our use of donor eggs.  He told me he’s a private person and wants to stay that way especially about using donor eggs.  The Gemini in me went into an instant panic and felt like I was being thrown into the secret infertility prison chamber.  Apparently that’s not the case.

Since we started this process I’ve felt like we’ve been on the same side- the tell camp.  Even when we met with the psychologist (required 1 hour session through our clinic) she felt we were both from the same school of thought- full disclosure.    After our conversation the other night I felt differently.  I internalized his request for privacy as his version of “don’t ask, don’t tell”.  He reminded me that he’s a private person and doesn’t like to tell anyone anything about his personal life.  I’m the complete opposite especially when it comes to Facebook.  My status updates are more like a diary and I “check in” everywhere.  M hates that and refuses to let me check him in or tag him in things.  He doesn’t want people knowing what’s going on in his life and certainly does not want people knowing he’s at Target with 3 other people lol.   He’s very private.  I don’t know how he got that way or why he just is.  I’ve always known that but it never really included or affected me- at least until now.   He knows I’ve already told some people so I was a little confused and taken back.  He said I could tell whoever (whomever?) I wanted but he wanted me to know how he felt about it.  Great- I was then left with the catholic school guilt of whether or not to respect his wishes or mine.  If it was up to me I would probably tell the world and would probably have a reality show about it.  Especially since I’ve been so involved with the infertility forums, Tweets and blogs.  I’ve said it before- infertility has become a full time job- and therein lies the problem. 

I admittedly have a very addictive and obsessive personality.  I can never just “dabble” in something- it’s all or nothing.  I always have to dive in head first and sometimes before even stopping to look if there is water in the pool.   M reminded me that I’ve done this with infertility and donor eggs.  I’m obsessed with it!  Yes, I know being obsessed with anything is not healthy and I need to learn how to find a happy medium.  But since I’ve been so vocal about “telling” I felt like I would be a hypocrite if I didn’t follow my own advise to others.  How can I blog about “coming out of the closet” and “not making infertility a dirty little secret” if I can’t follow through with it myself?  So what did I do?  I once again obsessed and took my problem to the forum.  I wrote about the issue at hand and asked if anyone else had the same situation- not being on the same page as their significant other.  I got a lot of responses, some based on experience and others based on opinion.  I also got a call from the PVED founder which scared the shit out of me.  When I picked up the phone and she said who she was I thought I was getting in trouble or something lol.  Marna was just calling to give me some personal advise.  How freaking cool is that!?  So after talking to Marna and reading what others had to say I figured I would once again bring the topic up with M.

In a passive aggressive manner I said, “so, I know you want to be private but can I blog about your wanting to be private?”  I guess he knew where I was going with this so he laughed and said “honey, your blog is anonymous so you can write about anything you want.”  Hook line and sinker- my fishy took the bait!  He knows me well so he stopped washing his golf balls and came inside to wait for my further questions to come.  And of course, me being me, I was then able to parlay the original question into another open discussion about donor disclosure- score!

Long story longer, we just had a great conversation about it.  I guess we are not on the extreme sides that I thought.  He said he’s ok telling certain people- he still probably won’t- but he said I can tell anyone I feel comfortable with.  He’s going to trust my judgement.  His major concern is that it will become the topic of every conversation and that my good intentions of educating people and our child about his/her origins might unintentionally ostracize the child.  He doesn’t want the use of a donor to further consume our life- or at least to be made to feel that way.  I know it’s not too late for this I just have to be smarter about who I tell, what I say and how often I talk about it.  I do have to admit I’ve been a little out of control with it lately.  He just wants our baby to be allowed to be a baby and not have to have the “donor egg” label on his/her forehead.  He said its OK for others and our child to know but not be focused on it.  I totally get where he is coming from now.  I forget that in these forums everyone is in the same boat but there is a total other world outside of here- admittedly I forget that sometimes.  I forget that not everyone is educated about it or even comfortable with it.  Being engulfed in the infertility world has not allowed me to remember the regular world.  We can share our life but that doesn’t mean we have to volunteer to be on Dr. Phil and share our private world with everyone.   He’s OK with buying children’s books about donor eggs as long as there is other varieties of books.  I guess he envisioned an entire book shelf of just those books- sans Dr. Seuss and The Berenstain Bears.   I calmed his fears and let him know I plan to educate or child about everything I can- not only alternate ways families are created.  I think he’s afraid I will introduce our child as “this is Johnny- he’s a donor egg baby”.  I would never do that but explained that if someone was talking about it I should feel free to join in the conversation- he agreed.  He said he just likes knowing we will have a baby and wants that to be the primary focus, not the donor portion.  I know he has been involved in conversations I’ve had with other friends that are doing IVF.  I also know he’s had conversations with a client about infertility because he knows she has dealt with it.  So I now know he doesn’t want our story to be a total secret but to find a healthy balance between privacy and full disclosure.  I guess he just doesn’t want to find our story turn into a coffee table book.  Compromise achieved!


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