Thursday, July 28, 2011

Musical Memories and Sadness of Hopes Past

I'd be lying if I said that since we've decided to do donor eggs, I never get sad about not being able to pass on my own genetics.

Today is one of those days that I am sad.

I spent the night with some girlfriends sitting listening to our city's orchestra perform a free concert.  While this one was inside due to the weather, they are usually outside, downtown, around the center of the city on a big grassy area. Everyone comes out for a beautiful summer night, brings a blanket and maybe a chair, food, wine and friends, and gathers to enjoy music for a few hours. Vendors line the edge of the area with food and drink and people pack in coolers and mini tables. It's one of my favorite things about this place in the summer.

It reminds me of the music I used to play. When I was very young, my mother started me on piano lessons and when I was in 5th grade, I learned to play the flute. I haven't played for many years, but I miss it dearly. I also am happy that mom had me play, even though there were times that I didn't want to go to lessons on Saturdays and would whine and moan, but hey, that's what a 6 yr old does, right?

But tonight, it made me wonder, if my child, when we are lucky enough to have one, would have any musical talent at all... I'm not saying I was Julliard material, but I grew up with music and loved it. Now, I am fully aware that this may have nothing at all to do with genetics, and could very much be because my parents started me in lessons very early in life, but I just wonder if we have child through donor eggs, will they have any musical gifts? Will they even like it? Does it even matter?

I suppose this is a very silly question and in some respects seems like I'm trying to live vicariously through a child I don't yet have... But nonetheless, it's a thought that crosses my mind and reminds me of the characteristics I don't get to pass on to our potential children.

Another reason why I am sad is that a dear friend of mine just went through an IVF retrieval. She did great. She had tons of eggs for her age and I'm hoping beyond hope that this is finally the end of the trail for her... But it is also a reminder that that ship has sailed for us.

I hear the hope in her voice and I know very much how that hope feels, even if it is tentative hope, it's still there. I don't think I will have that type of hope again. I have a different hope, but not that hope. I'm happy for her, but it also reminds me of my chances past, ... of the opportunities we won't have anymore. I will likely never get to know what Tidy and my genetics combine to make. And that's one thing that I've always hoped to see.

I know that all of this won't matter when I finally have my baby. Our baby will be our baby regardless of how she/he was conceived. She/he will be a unique individual that I will love with all of my mind, body and soul, but days like these hit me once in a while as we move down this donor egg path. They hit me with a silent little sadness sitting on my shoulder, nagging at me... why... why are we the ones who are faced with this path?


Glass Case of Emotion said...

I can totally relate to this post. We chose adoption, but similar issues remain. I am firm believer in nurture playing a role, and of nature being no particular guarantee... but it's still something to mourn.

I get sad thinking about it sometimes too, and while I don't regret my decision- find myself envious that even if I had to have IF- that at least IVF couldn't have worked...I totally get it.

NLY said...

I struggle with this too. We are done TTC and moving forward with adoption and maybe egg donation in the future. What gives me hope is seeing my friends adoptive children and their own little personalities, talents and gifts and how much of a blessing they are to their parents and those who get to know them. I do mourn knowing that no one will ever say "she looks just like you" or my DH, or her grandma etc.....I am hoping that the love I have for my future child and his/her own amazing attributes will overrule the need for me to hear that one day.

Anonymous said...

We haven't fully went down the adoption path (obviously) but that thought crosses my mind often and C's. We wont see us in there face or body. Their reason for being good at sport won't be bc of me, but someone else. Their calm demeanor won't be from C but someone else. He worries about his reaction to something good (well that didn't come from me) or something bad (he didn't get that from me) and is fearful of those thoughts. Will it keep him from never saying...thats my boy/girl!

In the other hand...people with biological children have rotten ones too...nature is no guarantee!

I do firmly believe though that the experiences shared and love given to a child (especially early newborns) DOES shape them. Your child may not have a natural ability to play music, but you can plant the desire to try and with desire and practice great things can come. You CAN then say that was bc of you!

You situation is better yet that you will still be able to experience the pregnancy. You will have that 9-month bonding time that so many can't have and grieve over for life.

No matter what, that baby will know the love of their mom and that will make them the best child ever :)

Cory and Molly said...

We are currently in the adoption process after extensive IF treatments. During one of our adoption classes, the class leader (adoptive parent herself) said that she sees families as more like forests than the whole "family tree" concept. And in a family of sturdy oaks, an adopted child may be a beautiful willow--which makes the family all that more interesting and varied. For some reason, that image really spoke to me.
That being said, don't feel badly if you are grieving the loss of your own genetics. It is a hard, tough process and hits in the most unexpected places and times. Nature certainly plays a rĂ´le, but nurture does as well. Hang in there.

Marissa said...

I just want you to know I'm reading this, and my heart goes out to you.

jill's infertility document said...

I hope you are not feeling guilty or beating yourself up for having these feelings. They are what people who give a shrug and suggest donor gametes as if it is no big deal fail to acknowledge, and the idea of not being able to create a child together, with both of your genes, IS something to grieve, so take your time. I just want to point out what you already know, that when you meet your child, those feelings will disappear and not matter anymore. For now though, or maybe just on days here and there, they are important and do matter.

Lots of love.

RunningMama said...

I think there will always be moments like that of wishing for that combination child..the vision of you and your husband uniquely combined. My friends that have adopted have said that they do miss that aspect, but that it means they wouldn't have the children they do have and they wouldn't give them up for the world. But, I guess we should focus on the things we do have rather than those we have lost. Hope beyond hope that you will be feeling this baby moving around in your belly and genetics aside that it would just be a cell without the dreams and faith of you and your husband for bringing him/her into existence.

Heather said...

When we decided we were done with treatments, the grief I felt for losing the genetic link between DH and I was huge. I didn't really care about the pregnancy part, but I really struggled with losing my genetic connection. It's tough and it takes time to work through the feelings.

Thinking of you and your DH.

Anonymous said...

Even though I'm so excited about adoption, thinking about our lost genetics is amongst all of the grief I still feel on occasion. Then I think of my friend who is so proud of who she is and what she looks like (in a humble way) and then her daughter came out exactly (and I mean EXACTLY) like her husband. More lost genetics. lol

Your baby will know love in his/her life...because of YOU. ;-)