Public perception

I’ve been kicking this topic around in my head for awhile but it recently came to a head when my sister told me of a conversation that took place between her and a receptionist at the general OB /GYN clinic where she saw my RE for her consult:
“The IVF consult fee will be 165 dollars up front”
“My sister is covering the cost, I am donating eggs to her”
“Wow that is so amazing of you, you must be some kind of saint to do that for her”
“Actually all of my sisters offered to donate eggs to her but I’m just the one who is closest so it makes the most sense to use me”
“I think it would be easier if you lived in a different state, I mean you are going to have to watch your sister raise YOUR baby.”

My sister had a snappy response about how eggs aren’t babies, they are genetic material and that she doesn’t get emotionally attached to her eggs. That she doesn’t cry every month when she gets her period and another egg goes unfertilized (I do but for totally different reasons). But snappy response aside many people hold the belief that if you aren’t the genetic mother to the child then you aren’t the real mother.

It’s not the first time I’ve come across this attitude. I was watching a special on adopting in china and every single person, except the adopting patents, referred to the bio parents as the “real parents”. Personally I think the real parent is the one who raises the child but plenty of people don’t agree. I am also hurt by the idea that just because my egg didn’t create the child that Im not the real mother. I know I shouldn’t let it get to me,but it does.
With using egg donation we have the option of hiding the origin of our child since I will be pregnant with him/her. We could avoid a lot of annoyances, stupid questions and insensitivity if we did that. I also dread the day when my angry teenager hurls the phrase “you’re not my mother” at me when told to do something they don’t like. On the other hand I dislike hiding anything from anyone, I am an incredibly open person (some, like my husband, might say too open). Im struggling with what to do here. I might be putting the cart before the horse as I am not pregnant yet but I think about these things every day. Why couldn’t it have been simple?

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9 thoughts on “Public perception

  1. Wow. I can’t believe a receptionist at an RE CLINIC said that!?! She should know to be a little more sensitive and understanding. Good for your sister for having that quick and snappy response.

    That kind of attitude is one of the reasons I have hesitated with moving forward with a donor. Plus the “you’re not my mother” comment has totally crossed my mind as well. And whether or not to tell people…. Agh, so many barriers. Someday I’ll be ready.

    • I don’t want to make those barriers seem insurmountable though. I’d rather have a child and have to deal with the real mom issue than have no child.

  2. what the heck was that woman thinking?? I totally am on board with you – the one who RAISES the child is the real parent – YOU will be the real parent. And props to your sister for being snarky back! LOVE HER!

    And on the topic of your kiddo saying “you’re not my mother anyway” comment – hey that may happen….but to be honest even if they were your complete biological child – Pretty sure they would still find jabs to hurt you – its kind of their job. At least it was mine growing up – I said some pretty HORRRIBLE things to my mom growing up – but now we have the best relationship ever! So don’t let that be the deciding factor whether you are open and honest with them.

  3. First, that lady at the RE should be kicked in the teeth. Second, I can totally relate tO the “you aren’t my mother comment”. In my case, I’ve really thought this through, I psycho stalked the donor on fb and found out that their kids are barefoot camo wearing mountain children… So my answer will be something like… Go ahead live with them! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    It’s hard. We had to see a counselor before moving forward on this. I think we
    Decided to be upfront about it, I personally feel like the truth comes out. But this is a very personal decision. Follow your heart. You likely already know what you want to do. ๐Ÿ™‚ there are children books that the dr gave us to help explain what happened. If you want the names of them, let me know.

    You will be a great mother whatever you decide to do. Do what feels right. Xoxo-kristie

  4. Wow, good for your sister for having a snappy comeback like that…I always think of good things to say later once it’s too late! I agree with K, there are so many things that a child will say to a parent in the heat of the moment that can sting even when they are a biological child. I once told my sweet lovely mother in a teenage hormonal rage that I wished I lived in a foster home! Ha! Your child will grow up knowing that his/her aunt was your egg donor so won’t have all these “unanswered questions” about where they came from. Kind of an ideal situation I’d say. And of course you will be the “real mother”. Anyone who believes anything different is just ignorant!

    • Valid point. They would already know that life with Auntie L wouldnt be a picnic, all they would have to do is listen to their brosins (brother/cousins) complain!

  5. Wow, I can’t believe someone working in an RE’s office said that! You would think they would have some sort of sense working in the field they do!

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