Questions for those doing DI

This is the list of questions we’re asking everyone we can, if any can answer any of them, we’d really appreciate it.  We meet with a donor gametes counsellor on next Saturday, so we’ll get some of them answered then, but infomation from those who’ve done it is always nice.

  • Did you worry about screaming, “She’s not even your kid” or similar in the middle of some terrible argument?  If so, does that worry ever go away?
  • How did you tell your families, if at all?  How receptive were they?  What were some of their concerns?
  • How do you deal with the, “Oh, she’s got his nose and her eyes” questions?  What about with strangers?  How close do you have to be to someone to tell them?
  • Do your kid(s) know, does you plan on telling them?  How?  How’d he/she/they take it?  Have they ever said, “You’re not my dad,” and how was that dealt with?
  • Does the sadness at not getting to “carry his child” go away?
  • Chris(my husband) wants to know: have they noticed anythings that are difficult to deal with?  what would they say the downsides are?

Thanks!

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6 responses to “Questions for those doing DI

  1. 1. No, I’m not worried about that. It will be his kid even if there’s not a direct genetic link.

    2. We told our families by sitting them all down at once. When we starting telling our families about the azoo diagnosis and trying IVF, we just told people as we saw them and it spread like wild fire. This time, it didn’t because everyone was there in the room with us. We just told them that we’ve exhausted our efforts with the biopsied sperm and wanted to continue to try getting pregnant using a donor, and asked if they had any questions.

    3. No baby, yet, so I’m not sure. I plan on just saying thank you.

    4. We plan on disclosing as much as is age appropriate (a little at first, then more with time).

    5. Not pregnant yet, but I think it does. I don’t even think about it as being not his child. If we weren’t married and wanting a child, this child would not be created, which makes it as much his as mine.

    6. Trying to stay positive is hard. Allowing yourself to grieve the loss of the genetic child while moving forward with trying to conceive is also difficult at times.

    I’m jealous you’re going to see a genetic counselor. I’d love to hear how it goes!

    Have you checked out didad.blogspot.com? It was my main resource when we started researching diuis.

  2. Did you worry about screaming, “She’s not even your kid” or similar in the middle of some terrible argument? If so, does that worry ever go away? I worried a little about it more on my husband’s end than on mine. It is somewhat irrational, but I sort of invision a teenager getting into some terrible trouble and my husband saying that I should handle it because it’s my kid. What is a much bigger worry on my husband’s part is our kids yellling at him that he isn’t their father. This has caused a lot of issues!! It is hard because when we went with donor sperm we were on the same page and neither of us could predict the feelings that would come out once we got pregnant.

    How did you tell your families, if at all? How receptive were they? What were some of their concerns? Our original plan was to tell the families shortly after we became pregnant. That was before we got a BFP. Once the test came back positive my husband got very nervous mainly that people wouldn’t view the baby as his and because of what I mentioned in the previous question. We are actually still on very different ends of the spectrum with this. Since our son is so young we have a little bit of time to hash it out, but I feel very, very strongly that we need to be honest with everyone.

    How do you deal with the, “Oh, she’s got his nose and her eyes” questions? What about with strangers? How close do you have to be to someone to tell them? It is funny because a lot of people think our son looks like my husband and since no one knows they aren’t biologically related it is our little joke when people say it. We also get a lot of “Oh, he is such a perfect mix of you both.” I’m glad we hear it though! It is also pretty cool that the baby has a cleft chin because that is a prominent trait on my husband and in his family. No one in my family has one and it wasn’t something the donor had either. When the baby was first born I did get a little flustered when people asked me who I thought he looked like. I would just say he looks like Baby M. Also, my mom would always say, “Sometimes he looks like mommy, sometimes he looks like daddy and sometimes he looks like someone I’ve never met.” It really bothered me!! Now she doesn’t say it and I think it is because he has really started to look like my dad’s side of the family.

    Do your kid(s) know, does you plan on telling them? How? How’d he/she/they take it? Have they ever said, “You’re not my dad,” and how was that dealt with? We are still working on this. If it was totally up to me we would begin at a young age by reading children’s books that deal with various ART and explain how the children are like the character in the DI books. My husband still isn’t comfortable with being open so we will begin talking to a counselor about these issues.

    Does the sadness at not getting to “carry his child” go away? For me once I was pregnant and saw his excitement I was able to put that behind me. I don’t know if the sadness has totally gone away for him.

    Chris(my husband) wants to know: have they noticed anythings that are difficult to deal with? what would they say the downsides are? Well, for us the issue of being open is very difficult for us. I have to respect his feelings, but I totally disagree with not telling. In today’s day and age I don’t think something like this will remain under lock and key forever and if it isn’t revealed early on it could be detrimental to our children’s relationship with us. It is living a lie and I have a very hard time with it. I think if this had come out before we got pregnant we would have definetely hashed it out before hand. His feelings changed once he knew there would be a real life baby. I don’t fault him because they are his feelings, but we’ve got to get on the same page somehow.

    All and all we would both say that using donor sperm was a wonderful experience. My husband adores our son and neither of us could imagine our lives without him. While best case scenario would have been for my husband to have been able to have biological children we wouldn’t have the amazing little boy we have. He was meant for us so we wouldn’t have it any other way!

  3. My husband has a genetic condition that would be pass MFI on to any male heirs. We could not in good conscience put anyone thru the ordeal we have suffered in our own IF journey. So, we decided on DS in the Spring. I am now 17 weeks pregnant with twins from DS-IVF. Hope these answers help your questions:

    1) I absolutely do not worry about these kind of statements. They just aren’t in my nature, or my husband’s. We don’t think that way. In fact, I hardly even remember that we used a donor. I mean, seriously, its all so clinical that it could have been anyone’s sperm.

    2) When we decided to go with donor sperm, the contingency we both wanted was to not disclose it to anyone. It doesn’t matter to us, and we won’t be telling anyone.

    3) Again, we’re not telling anyone about the donor. The social worker we saw before we could be approved for a donor recommended that I be especially conscious of this and really try to talk about this with DH when it occurs, to be sensitive to how it might make him feel. She also cautioned me that there will be other times – wedding, graduation, etc. that may bring on feelings about the donor issue for my DH.

    4) We do not plan to tell the kids. Our donor’s family had no significant medical issues, so other than that, we see no reason to make it public knowledge. My husband will be listed on the birth certificate, even our OB doesn’t know we used a donor.

    5) I have never felt this sadness for me, but did feel it for my husband in the beginning – like after we made the decision, but before we got pregnant. Since we got our BFP, I have noticed that DH is totally a part of this pregnancy. Other than not getting to deposit the seed personally, he is not missing anything. He may change his perspective later in life, but so far, he is just as involved and invested as he would have been had it been his genetic material.

    6) I think the most difficult thing was making the decision and mourning the loss of my husband getting to have a genetic child. There may be more things that we notice once the twins arrive, and I’m sure there will be things that hurt, but I am proud of the choice we made, and especially of my husband’s choice, because it would have been very selfish to have his own child, knowing he could have passed on his MFI.

    Best wishes!

  4. We’re using a donor because my husband was born with a birth defect that has left him infertile.

    It never occurred to us that our potential child would tell him/us that he’s not their child because we cannot have 100% biological children. If this doesn’t work we’ll adopt and an adopted child could just as easily scream those hurtful words. I would think it would be pretty normal and natural the way many children get mad and tell their parents they hate them.

    We have told my parents and my brother. My husband didn’t want to tell his family. My parents have been very supportive. They know we want a family and they are dying to become grandparents so they are totally supportive no matter how we bring a child into our lives.

    We chose a donor who looks amazingly like my husband and me, but if we get comments like that we’ll just say the baby is a nice mix of both of us or make a joke about recessive genes.

    We’re not keeping the donor aspect a secret and plan on telling the child from the beginning the same way we would about adoption. There are age appropriate books and we’ll start when the child is very very young. I feel that if it is always stated as a fact then there will never be this big shock/anger/discussion about it because it just “is”. The child will never know any different scenario so his situation will be his version of normal.

    We are not planning on blurting it to people, but will be open at home. If the child chooses to share then he chooses to share. Both of us are prepared for that. As a matter of fact when we decided to use a donor my husband didn’t want to tell anyone and I was not comfortable wtih that and told him that if he wasn’t willing to be open I didn’t want to pursue DI and I wanted to return to adoption (we went to adoption first, but got scammed). He grudgingly agreed. I don’t think it’s healthy to keep secrets in a family. Especially a big one like this.

    I don’t think the fact that the person was born using a donor should define him. I would never say, “this is Johnny. He was born using donor sperm” anymore than I would say “this is Johnny. He was adopted.” or “He has brown hair”. Do you get what I mean? It’s not a defining factor.

    There is much more to being a parent than genetics. Think about it. What defines your parents. Is it that you have your mothers eyes? No, it’s that she was there to love you cheer on your victories as well as hold your hand when you struggled.

    My husband was sad at first, but since he has known about his infertility for a long time he had a fairly easy transition period. I married him knowing he probably would have fertility issues so I had resigned myself to adoption from the beginning and that was fine with me. I have MS and being pregnant probably isn’t the best thing for me, but we decided to give it a shot.

    Sadness? It doesn’t go away. I accepted that we will never have a “normal” family.

    Downsides? As the female I’m the one going to the doctor and everything. Once we selected our donor my husband really hasn’t played any part in it.

  5. Oh yeah… This website: http://www.donor-conception-network.org/ has a lot of articles and that sort of thing about different aspects of DI. When we were debating about whether to give DI a shot I found it very informative.

  6. Since I’m single the DI was sort of the main way to go about having children. I did let my family know by telling them of my plans in a positive way via a Christmas letter. The only down side of that was it was 2 years ago and I’m still not pregnant. As far as whether I plan to tell the child, yes I will. I think it’s important to be honest about it although do respect others decisions otherwise. As far as telling strangers I’m pretty open about the whole thing and don’t mind telling but it would depend on the situation. Some times and places it’s appropriate and others it’s not. Good luck to you.

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