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Under My Skin

Strangely enough, a post by Mel about The Haircut has me thinking about random comments by people who don’t understand ovum donation that have really stuck and really gotten under my skin.

For instance, an anonymous poster, who asked that the comment not be published, said ‘Sparky will know who his donor was when he reaches 18’. I’ve really let this comment bother me.  I know it by heart.  It’s partly because it shows a bit of a misunderstanding of how donation works, but also partly because in the back of my mind worry that he won’t regard me as his mother; that he will reject me.  And of course it’s partly because the anonymous poster didn’t use a real email address; I cannot email back.  I cannot say ‘that’s not how it works’.

Sparky has the right to find out who his donor was when he reaches 18 years old. This doesn’t mean he will. He might; he would have to contact my clinic. However it isn’t automatic. He won’t receive an envelope in the post on his 18th birthday or receive a phone call from some woman.  We won’t open the door to a stranger holding a teddy bear on the day he turns 18.  He may wish to contact the clinic; he may not. It’s all up to him, and I wouldn’t try to influence him either way.

My rational mind knows there is no way he wouldn’t regard me as his mother.  I’m the one who gives him love, who is trying to teach him how to be human, who cooks for him and bathes him, who ensures his socks don’t clash with his outfit, whose nose he points to when someone asks him where mummy’s nose is.  I’m the one creating the flavours that will remind him of home and of holidays and am the one who is overprotective of him in the playground.

However as I’m one of the world’s most paranoid people, in the back of my mind I’ve tortured myself with the idea that he might have access to this knowledge at a time in his life when he may be naturally rebellious. That at 18 he could not like something I’ve done – not necessarily because I’ve done something wrong but just because I think we rebel a bit from our parents at that age because it’s a natural part of growing up – and seek this other person out out of spite.  My rational brain doesn’t think this is likely – this is the middle-of-the-night-worst-case-scenario-nightmare brain talking.

And then I think how unfair it is for me to let this get under my skin.  Just as Mel should believe her husband is the primary source for finding out how her husband feels about her hair, I shouldn’t let a random comment from someone who doesn’t know me, my son, or the ovum donation process get under my skin or allow my insecurities to flourish more than they do.  Random comments shouldn’t undermine the love my son gives to me.

But they do.

  1. 12/02/2013 at 10:04 pm

    Sometimes it’s not even just a comment your blog it can be on another persons blog or a whole blog post and I think why am I letting this person I don’t even know upset me? But they do because we are only human and we want to be liked and respected. I don’t understand the intricacies of ovum donation but what I do know is that it might not have been your egg but you had him a home, you nurtured him, you birthed him and fed him. It will be you the comforts him when he falls it will be you that teaches him to read and right from wrong. I know that you are his mother and he will know that to. He might be interested in genetics but you will always be his mum and he will always love you.

  2. a
    13/02/2013 at 4:33 am

    I guess, depending on how much this has gotten under your skin (because it never gets back out, does it?), you could make it a non-issue by telling him the facts as soon as he asks where babies come from. That way, if it’s part of his worldview from the beginning, it’s unlikely he would think of it as a tool to hurt you with at some later date. I don’t know – I guess this is the extremely difficult part of accepting a donated egg or embryo…how that information will affect your future relationship.

    It’s easy to say “Don’t let it bother you! People just don’t understand!” It’s not so easy to accept that, especially when it plays on fears you already have examined. I doubt your Sparky will think twice about it, because society evolves and what was once odd becomes more common.

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