I’ve been thinking for a while now about donating some eggs. I don’t mean as a weird raffle prize or anything, I’m talking my actual eggs. Part of me. From my ovaries. You get the picture.
I’ve never had any trouble getting pregnant, even at times when I didn’t really mean to. First time round, at 16, it obviously wasn’t planned. The second time, it was a conscious choice, but I remember it more as a ‘yeah, having a baby might be quite nice to do at some point, let’s see what happens…’ sort of decision. A bit like considering a weekend at Centre Parcs. A few weeks off the pill though and bam. Baby on board.
Because motherhood has come so easily (and unexpectedly), I’ve never felt overwhelmed by any particular maternal urges. I’ve never really wanted babies. Sure, I love them and all that, and I’m not completely adverse to the idea of more at some point, but I have never longed for them. I have never looked at other pregnant women and envied them. I have never waited expectantly all month, willing my period not to arrive. I have never held a baby and felt my heart break because I don’t have one of my own. I imagine though that all those things would really suck after a while.
As well as apparently being ridiculously fertile, I do think I make really good babies. I know, everyone would say that about their own kids, but they are pretty. They’re nice too. And clever. And funny. What’s not to love?
So for a few years now I’ve been thinking about how lucky I am to have children, to have never even had to try, and how awful it must be not to be able to just think ‘Oh go on then..’ and pop out a baby. Being fairly generous by nature, I feel I should share.
The whole process of donating eggs is similar to going through IVF treatment – you get lots of hormones to stimulate egg production, then the eggs get ‘retrieved’. Obviously I won’t think too much for now about what ‘retrieval’ might involve, especially with my elusive cervix. Of course it isn’t ideal to pump yourself full of hormones, but it’s only temporary, and surely it’s nothing really compared to how it must feel to know you can’t have children of your own?
Bee isn’t keen. She doesn’t like the idea of technically having half-siblings roaming the country without her knowing about them. I think she’s worried she’ll accidentally marry one of them or something. I can understand her concerns of course, especially at the age she is. Being a teenager is very much about establishing your identity, and part of that I suppose is thinking about where you come from, and your place in a family.
Personally, I’m confident that I wouldn’t think of any potential baby as ‘my child’. Yes, it would have half my DNA, but what really does that mean? Aside from perhaps giving it a tendency towards overeating and arranging things in colour order, that baby would be a product of its upbringing, the values and attitudes instilled in it by its parents, a mish-mash of experiences, lessons learnt, and relationships with the people it grows up with. It wouldn’t be me.
What do you think? Am I crazy to consider it, or could it be a fantastic gift to give? Can nurture really overcome nature, or would that child always be ‘mine’?