Egg Donation: One Year On
Egg donation may have had no physical impact, but being a bio-mum has sparked some realisations for Ana Hine
So, the hospital contacted me recently to say my egg donation last summer resulted in a successful pregnancy and that the baby (sex undisclosed) was safely delivered. I am now a bio-mum.
I feel … empty. Pleased, obviously, for the family who now have a healthy child. But, part of me is a little sad. I keep reminding myself it’s not about me, that it has as little impact on my physical health as giving blood. That feeling a sense of loss is incredibly selfish.
It’s not really about that particular child (though I’m sure they’re going to turn out well), but that the nine months of someone else’s pregnancy gave me unwanted time to think about my feelings about motherhood. And my feelings changed.
To say I never wanted children would be a little simplistic, but I didn’t really believe I’d be ‘allowed’ to have children. The possibilities of single-woman adoption and IVF, lesbian co-parenting, marriage and a stable home of my own, seemed so remote as to be laughable.
Yet, while my recipient was, presumably, nervously rubbing her bump, picking out baby names and clothes, decorating a nursery – somehow a transformation occurred in me.
I’d made the donation fresh out of university. Unemployed and searching for a way to get on the career ladder, I couldn’t afford to do much more than mooch around my allocated room in my own mum’s flat and send off CVs.
Nearly a year later and I’m employed in the industry I want to work in and in a committed relationship, which grew out of a friendship of several years. While my laundry has been sitting, washed, in the machine for a couple hours – it’s doing so in my apartment. I’m passing for a functioning adult.
And functioning adults – in the logic of my teenage brain – are ‘allowed’ to have kids. Social services wouldn’t be alerted, because any child of mine would now be warm and fed. The minimum standards of societal ideas of good parenting are suddenly within reach of being met.
So when the email comes through to say that the egg donation was successful, a small part of my brain starts to imagine how a baby would fit into my own life. And I feel empty. Not because of some notion that a child has been taken from me, but because I suddenly realise that the person having a baby safely delivered could, at some stage, be me.