“You never know how strong your are until being strong is the only choice you have.”
Faced with our new reality for conceiving a child, the next few months were anything, but easy or pleasant. My husband Jeff and I struggled both individually and as a couple to grapple with our new reality. The more he pushed the more I froze. Our strengths and wills were tested on almost a daily basis. We both felt like hamsters on a wheel, and knew that in order to move forward with the next step, we needed to learn how to better communicate our needs and feelings.
After some research, Jeff was able to find a therapist who has first hand experience herself with the realities of infertility and IVF. Our first session was emotional and raw. A wave of fears crashed over me. My insecurities welled up and overcame me. I began to question my value and worth as a woman and wife. We grow up, good or bad, with an ideal picture of marriage, which includes: kids, a house and a pet. Unfortunately, the most important component for both of us, despite our best attempts was missing.
For the past few years, I have sat back and watched my friends live what I perceive to be the pre-conceived ideal. My strength has been tested, and in many senses I had given up on ever having my own child. I felt like I was a disappointment to my husband and family.
The concept of egg donation re-kindled a sadness that I had tried to bury deep inside. Initially, I was not onboard or even comfortable with this idea. In my mind, I believed that I would not have a biological connection to this child. Additionally, I felt like I was an outsider to a pre-consentual affair that Jeff was going to have with some strange women to create a child for us. Albeit, dramatic and completely inaccurate, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I struggled to make sense of this new reality.
Jeff was not completely comfortable with the idea himself, but instead of communicating his feelings, his pain and sadness manifested in counter productive words. He chose to dwell on what he perceived to be missed opportunities in the first two years of our marriage. His pain was heartbreaking, but refreshing. I realized that both of us were in fact on the same page. We desperately wanted a child and were committed to figuring out how we could make our dream a reality.
As we worked through our next few sessions, with the help and guidance of our therapist, communication become positive and productive. Additionally, thanks to the shared experience of a women who had successfully used an egg donor, I was able to see the big picture: a child that comes from an egg donor will be our child.
Our next challenge was to locate the proper facility to move forward with the process, another test of our strength…