For a variety of reasons, I've been reconsidering the possibility of donor eggs.
I realized that I've been rejecting something outright without even knowing much about what I'm rejecting. Knee-jerk reactions are for ignorant people. I need to understand exactly what it is I'm rejecting and why. And who knows, I may find that it's not so bad. Besides, I'm guessing now that our IVF cycle will be pushed back into January or even (gasp) February, which means I need to find something else to obsess on for awhile. Researching donor eggs will do, particularly since I'm having a heck of a time finding much information. It's gonna take some digging to find what I'm looking for.
Once I opened up to finding out more, I started thinking, well, if, hypothetically, we used donor eggs, that would mean not passing on my genetic material and gosh, how do I feel about that? In some ways, of course, it makes me really sad. Never to see my physical self in that little munchkin, not to be able to pass on the toothy smile from my mother's side of the family or the mix of artistic temperaments from both sides of my family ... all of that is definitely a bummer. But on the other hand, the child would have the Mister's genetics, which I can't find fault with -- the man has been sick maybe twice in his life, plus he's got musicality, a way with words, and a nice even-keeled temper. In fact, back when I thought that popping out a kid would be a piece of proverbial cake, I was counting on the Mister's traits to mellow out some of my more, um, neurotic tendencies. But could I handle it if our child had only his traits and none at all of my own? Could I?
Then Tony Soprano got me (and, apparently, other folks) thinking. And I have to admit, he made me realize that there are some traits from my side of the genetic pool that, quite frankly, I would not miss at all, not one little bit.
Last week, the Mister and I watched an episode of The Sopranos, in which Tony agonizes over the way that depression had eaten through his family, passing from his mother to him and down to his son A.J.
Tony: "Obviously I’m prone to depression- a certain, bleak attitude about the world. But I know I can handle it. The kids though. . . It’s like: when they’re little, and they get sick,… you’d give anything in the world to trade places wid’em- so they don’t have to suffer. . . and then to think you’re the cause of it…"
Dr. Melfi: "How are you the cause of it?"
Tony: "It's in his blood, this miserable fuckin existence…my rotten fuckin putrid genes have infected my kid’s soul…"
Oh, Tony, I thought, I feel your pain, I really do. It's not fun watching depression knock through your family, but when it hits your kid -- ouch, I can only imagine. And then, my one-track mind said: "hmmmm, donor eggs..."
Depression dances through the genes on both sides of my family, with various forms of mild to debilitating results. It seems to hit men in my dad's line the hardest, requiring everything from counseling to meds to hospitalization. I've had my own brushes with the beast as well, although these days it's just an occasional blue that sticks around longer than it should, 'nuff said about that, knock wood. Let's just say that I can personally attest to the fact that telling a depressed person to cheer up is about as helpful as telling an infertile woman to just relax. Some things can't be changed by force of will. Like Iraqi democracy, for instance.
Our family also has this weird low blood sugar thing that torments us to varying degrees. If we don't eat regularly -- and by regularly I mean every few hours or so, we get spacy, confused, irritable or just plain crazy. At its worst, this Food Problem results in screaming crying tantrums that disappear magically two minutes after someone shoves a peanut butter sandwich in our mouths. If I skip lunch at work, I am physically and mentally unable to proceed beyond 2pm without having a total meltdown. It's a real problem. Normal people do not cut you any slack just because you haven't eaten, but then their brains don't turn into oatmeal when they skip a meal. All they get is a growly stomach.
Fortunately, we have finally recognized the Food Problem for what it is and our loved ones now know that when we say we're hungry, we don't mean we'll be hungry in an hour or so -- we mean that if food doesn't appear under our noses in the next five minutes, all hell will break loose. My sister-in-law was going into labor with one of my nephews and actually waited to go to the hospital until she'd had time to pack my brother a bag of food so that he wouldn't go all loopy on her during labor. They always travel with snacks for the kids, just as my husband always suggests that I bring food when we go for a drive, and when one of our family calls another one in tears, the first question is always "Did you eat?" The Food Problem is one family trait that I'd be happy to see left in the dust.
Now this is not to say that I think my family has "rotten fuckin putrid genes." Far from it. But ... well ... I'm just sayin'. If donor eggs could result in a happier more balanced kid, wouldn't that be a good thing?