Sunday, November 13, 2011

Telling My Dad (Part 2)

And now for the conclusion of this story from yesterday's post...

After giving thought to my dad's email, I took some time over lunch that day to craft a response back. I thought it would be hard, but the words just flowed. Here was my response:

Well, Dad, we were hoping to have this discussion with you in a different form and at a different time  (ie in person, not via email) but since you asked, no, they are not my eggs. 

We found a very giving young woman, who is anonymous to us (except for some early childhood pictures and characteristics and health history), and we are anonymous to her, to donate her eggs to help us have our dream of building our family. It's a very gracious gift and one we can not thank her enough for helping us get to this point.   

L, C & J are all aware of this. They have been "in the loop" since earlier this spring when Tidy and I had made the decision to go down this path. In fact, they helped me one weekend when they came to our house. I explained all of our options to them and the potential costs and success rates and graphed it out on a white board. We sat and discussed with wine and cheese and laughed and cried and it was great. They were very supportive of this route and it really helped me feel supported in our next steps.   

Tidy and I then decided to keep it quiet between L, C & J until we had any news to share because we thought there was no need to get "too many cooks in the kitchen" and ultimately, this is Tidy and my decision to make. And why make a whole bunch of people start to develop their own opinions, worries and thoughts on something that might not work. 

Thankfully, this worked ... and we now have to determine the best way forward in sharing our news. We do know that we want to raise our kids so that they understand their story and how they came into this world and how much we went through to get them and how much we  wanted them and why we felt this was the right option for all of us. I don't believe in hiding this information from them, so we did intended to let everyone in on the news so that it just becomes a non-issue at some yet undetermined point in time...   

It's possible this all might be a bit overwhelming, so I'd love to talk with you more about it. And I do ask that right now, you keep it to yourself. I'd like to share this with Mom in our own way....  So I'm  very sorry to put you in this position right now. I'd be happy to hear your thoughts on what you think might be the best way to broach this subject with her.   

Honestly, I had thought to not tell anyone else (except J, C & L) about using donor eggs until after they had met our babies and fallen in love with them. And even then, more so on a 'need to know' basis, or if we were asked. There's many books on this topic and Tidy and I had decided to venture into those as we get close to meeting our babies, or at least past the 1st trimester when we have more confidence that they are going to stick around.... 

Either way, managing everyone's emotions will be hard, but something we are going to prepare ourselves for. We want to be open about this and educate everyone as much as possible. I know we can't change anyone's opinions, but we do hope that people can set aside their beliefs and focus on our babies as they would any other child that would come into our life via natural methods or adoption.   

Know this... regardless of the genetic makeup of our children, I get to carry them.. it is MY blood coursing through their bodies right now, it  is MY immune system protecting them, it is MY food and exercise choices nourishing them and sustaining them to grow, and ultimately, some of their genetic expression of traits is unique because they are inside me (google the term "epigenetics") and not someone else... Yes I grieved my genetic loss and I will always be curious about what that combination with Tidy would look like, but I don't believe they are any less MY/OUR children or any less YOUR grandchildren.  

I hope that you can feel this way... maybe not right away, but at some point.   

And we are OH so very excited to meet our unique, individual babies...   

(Clearly this is a very deep and emotional issue and I could go on and on and on...)   

We also have not told anyone from Tidy's family yet either, so as of right now, only You, J, C & L are in the know... Please keep it that way until we determine our next steps.   

Should we talk more on the phone? Maybe you have lots of questions? I have tons of answers :-) What else do you want to know? 

Love, Tippy

And after I hit send, I realized that email might NOT be a bad way to share this topic with certain people. It is giving my dad some time to process this on his own and then be able to ask me questions on he is ready.

And that is basically the response I got from him:

Yes, I will keep it to myself no problem, and work through my own thoughts and then we can talk; in the grand scheme of things it certainly matters not, I believe its the initial feelings I will work through and then we can talk soon. The mom issue, that's a tough one.  It's almost like I would initially say never or not for a long time, but then again that's your call.  Obviously, it's Tidy and your decision when.   

Ok, thanks for telling me and it'll be fine. Let me reread this later again and ponder the mom thing. I will have a goodly share of questions.

This response from my dad makes me happy. It may not seem very overjoyed to the reader here, but knowing the person my dad is, a very analytical, well thought out and emotional, this is exactly the response I was hoping for. I look forward to talking with him more about out babies beginnings and know that as he processes this more, this will be a non-issue and he will see the true miracle that our babies are.

The next challenge is how and when to tell my mom. Soon? Or wait until the babies are born... tbd.

Stay tuned!


Sybil said...

I am so glad your Dad had an reasonable response!! I would tell your mom after they are born...hopefuly once she has fallen in love with them it won't matter anymore.

Baby Hopes said...

I'm so glad that his response was thoughtful and supportive. Your message was so well written. I hope your mom is able to be supportive as well.

Anonymous said...

I love his response :) No its not woohoo but there is care love and support in his words and no doubt he will love those babes :)
The email prob was a good way to go. It's sorta like telling an infertile you are pregnant, easier to read it and be able to process it your own way than face-to-face.

jill's infertility document said...

Thank you for sharing this aspect of your journey. Really tough, personal and emotional conversations for your families to have, anchored by wonderful and exciting news, but still tough.

P.S. the blog name adjustment made me smile with joy!

KV said...

Your dad is so eloquent over email! My emails with my family are just sort of verbage tossed onto the page. :)

I agree that the response is good. It seems more honest than if he just said, OK, cool. He's being honest about his feelings, but also understanding about yours. That's quite a gift he's giving you, being that honest. He could have just brushed those feelings to the side in favor of forcing uncomplicated (and perhaps feigned) acceptance, which would have caused you both to miss out on an opportunity to grow closer. Ultimately, of course, he will be happy with this part of your journey, but it's also completely understandable that he has emotions to work through, just as you did. I can see a lot of you in him, Tip (or him in you?). Anyway, good luck with whatever you decide to do about your mom...I wish he knew right away what to do about it, but I'm also glad that he's available now to you to sort through your options.

LisaB said...

You did a beautiful, awesome job on that email!! I really hope your Dad and Mom comes around. Hugs!!!

michelle said...

Hi Tippy, I find your dad's response to be very thoughtful and I bet he supports you and his grandchildren 100%. I'm glad he's processing it. My mom (although we have many other issues) and I haven't talked since I told her 5 months ago. She reacted negatively and I reacted to her reaction negatively. It's all really sad. I think you are in for a pleasant surprise with your parents.

As for exercise, my main advice is to listen to your body. Every pregnancy is different. Every woman is different. Twin pregnancies are harder!!!

You know me, I'm a trail runner, snowboarder/backcountry skier, yogini, alpine rock climber and sometimes, triathlete. I even climbed right after my double mastectomy and through 6 mos of chemotherapy.

HOWEVER, this pregnancy has me on my butt. I gave up mountain biking and climbing right away due to risk of impact. I had to give up trail running as soon as I went to daily PIO shots because my buttocks were so bruised, I could hardly to a slow jog because of the pain. PIO shots lasted up to 10/11 weeks and even then it took awhile for the bruises to heal. However, during this time I was able to road ride (HR no more than 140), do regular, lightly-heated yoga and lift weights.

By the time by butt healed I had other problems, particularly with fainting. Our blood volume increases by 50% and mine did this pretty early on because of the twins. I had near-fainting spells every other day. My body was definitely telling me to slow down. So then I dropped down to prenatal yoga, walking and lap swimming.

Sometime around week 15 I had to give up lap swimming because my acid reflux got so bad I couldn't have my body be horizontal at all. Walking has become difficult because the volume of the babies is putting pressure on my lungs. I'm out of breath after 10 feet. Now my only exercise is short walks with my dogs when I'm feeling well, prenatal aqua aerobics and prenatal yoga.

Yes, I'm disappointed that I'm not able to exercise more but my body and my babies need me to slow down for one time in my life. I talked about this disappointment with my peri on Friday who kindly wrote me permission to get a handicap parking permit. He's glad I've slowed down and relayed a story of another current patient of his, also pregnant with twins. She is having trouble with cardio too so he asked her how her cardio was pre-pregnancy and she has 30 recent marathons under her belt. That made me feel better! :)

So I say continue to do what feels good. Keep an eye out for signals your body might be sending you. Your situation will evolve week by week and your decline in activity will not be linear. I keep telling myself I'll have plenty of time to get fit and lose the weight after my healthy babies are born. I've gained 22 lbs at 25w (according to my docs, they'd like to see me gain 45 in total) and that's a lot to carry on a 5'2" frame!

All the best to you!

Mags said...

What an intense time for your whole family, huh? Glad your dad gave you a response that seems grounded and thoughtful and what you were hoping for. I believe your mom will fall in love with your babies and will find a way to accept and be grateful for how they were conceived. Keep enjoying this precious time!

Jenny said...

I'm happy you were honest and open with your dad. We can never control other people's reactions and feelings, but we can certainly try to educate and help them understand a different perspective! I'm glad your dad is sensitive and honest too. It's very mature of him to say what he thinks and communicate so well. I've had a number of heartfelt discussions with my father, snd in the long run I'm grateful for it although at the time it was nerve-racking. Happy for you! I'm sure he will love his grandchildren no matter what!

Gurlee said...

Your dad is awesome, I loved his response, it seems so honest and thoughtful. If I were you (assvice warning) I would probably wait to tell your mom especially because of her feelings on IVF in general.

I really am so happy for you!

marilyn said...

thank you for sharing this process with us. I feel so blessed to be part of something so deep and emotional. This must have been hard to make such a big decision for yourself..and then have the pressure of family. YOur letter to your dad is is perfect and very to the point and your parents should respect your decision. I am sure..once the babies are hear your parents will fall in love with them.

Brave IVF Girl said...

Thanks for sharing this. We just transferred a perfect embryo from a DEIVF cycle and are waiting for beta. We've decided not to tell anyone until the baby is born (apart from my sister in law who knows we're doing DEIVF), but it's super helpful to see how other people talk about it.

Roccie said...

It is pretty heavy, isnt it? Think about how long it took us to process, hell, I am still processing it and this baby could come any day. Of course your dad might take a little different path to get his head around it.

I am glad you have a good relationship with your parents. Using your dad to help you guide your mom through the process is really thoughtful. I am sure this will mean a lot to her once it all comes out into the open again.

Best wishes as always.

Anonymous said...

Wow...your dad is awesome. What a fantastic response to such a weighty topic. And, even better, YOU're happy with it. :-)

Jana said...

I am so glad your dad's reaction was quite ok, considering.

I've been wanting to ask - while you were in the process of deciding whether to use DE, did you read any books or other materials to make the decision-making easier? Anything you could recommend? I am currently pondering this issue myself and could use some recommendations.

Thanks and enjoy your pregnancy!