Could you donate a left over embryo? And by that I mean, your own fertilized egg. Once upon a time I thought I could. That is, before I had my daughter. Since then, the very idea of not knowing where a child of mine is located at any given point—well that’s precisely the kind of stuff my nightmares are made of.
It’s not for me, but I have the utmost respect for those who can. Don’t get me wrong, I think embryo donation is a beautiful thing—and although I could never be so generous, I could no doubt see myself on the receiving end of it (especially as I near the ripe old age of 50).
I just finished reading a great article on embryo donation. I loved how each perspective was addressed: What does it feel like to give away something so intimately connected, how does one accept receiving something so precious and what on earth does it feel like to be the product of such a gift?
Reading about the experience of the donor brought me to tears, but the other layers of this three sided coin, filled me with joy.
What struck me most was how all parties chose to live honestly. In this article, each person, no matter the role, embraced the truth. Why not? After all, how could anyone connected to such a gift feel shame?
Or can they?
Sadly, all too often, they do.
Check out the article—and while you’re at it, listen carefully to the words of the adult conceived this way. What separates her from most, and enabled her to become comfortable with the method in which she was created, was the fact that it was always her story. There was never a time in which her parents had to sit her down and shatter her reality; from as far back as she could remember, she knew where she came from. Her parents chose to celebrate her birth story rather than hide behind it.
Telling the truth early and often is the only way to normalize alternative methods of conception and erase shame from the equation.
So share the story of how you became a family, and share it loud and proud. It will benefit you and your children. And it will honor the one who was courageous and generous enough to part with such a gift.
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