Lost and Longing
I am 37. At the age of twenty I made the decision to donate my eggs. The recipient couple was a homosexual male couple that wished to conceive and had plans to use a surrogate. The only way I was able to wrap my head around this decision at the time was the knowledge that it would be anonymous- not because I didn’t care about the child produced or feel a desire for any kind of connection, but because I knew it would be too difficult for me otherwise. I communicated this. My decision to donate anonymously was also motivated by money; not by any means to get rich mind you, but to survive. To survive without hurting others, doing porn, stealing or otherwise disrespecting myself. I saw a chance to help as well. But anonymity is what allowed me to make that gift possible, in love and light. If the prospective parents were not comfortable with that, they should have chosen an alternative route.
Some how, some way I have yet to identify, they were given my name. They then made the decision to give my name to their daughter. She reached out to me last week at my place of employment and I now know has been following me online through social media for a bit of time. I received a text on my work phone in the middle of an event. I was floored of course. She looks exactly like me, has a brother and a sister (triplets!), says she loves her life but that it has been difficult without a mother, that she has so many questions for me about her and me and us. I have nothing but love for this child and deeper than I could ever imagine. Also a tremendous amount of compassion and empathy that she is naturally curious about herself. At the same time, I also feel a deep rage towards the medical providers and her parents for sharing my information. They have opened a Pandora’s box of emotions and placed me in a very precarious position emotionally and otherwise. I wrote the provider the letter below:
“I feel deep sadness and disappointment that you shared my name in a way that made this possible, as anonymity was a part of my agreement and your only real burden to bear. Why you and/or the parents decided it was appropriate to share I do not know. Why it was even available to share is not something I understand. But I cannot un-know what I know now. And it is not my desire that the children bear any blame as they are only naturally curious about themselves. It does however place me in a very precarious situation and has caused me tremendous sadness, anxiety, and even regret.
I feel robbed by you in many ways in light of this and am only writing to you because I remembered you to be a kind and fair woman. I wanted to give us an opportunity to discuss but in fairness I do not know how I’m going to proceed at this point.”
And that’s the truth of where I’m at, desperately searching through blogs online and finding this one. I have no idea what’s next or what I should do. I’ve read so many stories from women who have used IVF and feel that egg donors are just donating genetic material- discounting their role completely and seeming to be solely focused on who the title of “real mother” is. It has made me question and regret my decision to be involved in this process now more than ever. Did these men ever think about the pain and suffering I may have experienced in making this initial donation? Did they ever think how revealing my identity would affect me? Having seen this girls picture I have no question she is my child. What are her expectations? The pain of not knowing her is now heavy on my heart and the anxiety of what our future relationship may or may not be has sunk me into a major depression. Perhaps she just wants to ask a few family history questions and never speak with me again? That would destroy in some ways. And if she wants more than that- how does that affect the family I’ve created and our future together. I was five years older than her when I made the donation to her fathers. They were significantly older and I wonder if, as the parents of these beautiful children, they would want either of their daughters to go through such a potentially dangerous procedure with unknown medical and emotional future consequences. Do they care about the financial hardships and medical consequences I may have suffered as a result since? Should I contact them to confront? I don’t want to betray the girl who has reached out either. Very lost at the moment and grateful to share.