Monday, August 31, 2009

The Village

Okay so I have been reflecting back on my experience of using a directed donor and I think that since the worst of the storm has blow over I would like to pass on some nuggets of knowledge that we gleaned from our experience so far.

While I know that everyone will have a journey that is unique to their situation, I just want to share some nuggets that resonated with "us". Some are just a reflection on the experience so far others are more technical. I will be breaking the blogs up so they are easier to digest.

Today I want to focus on "The Village" or more importantly our experience with being open with our family and friends about our journey.

When my husband and I first started our infertility treatment "we/us" meant he and I. At the time "we/us" thought that our infertility would be resolved by "we/us". Meaning hubby and I mostly with the assistance of our doctors.

However when we started investigating the idea of using a directed donor a year ago we realized that terms were going to take on new meanings. For Hubby and I, we really wanted to have the support of our friends and family on this. For those of you who just started following the blog if you read the older post you will see why we wanted to take an "open" approach with using a directed donor. Since we already had the support of our friends and family on our current infertility course, we thought the best approach was to sit down and talk to our family and friends and let them know where we wanted to go with our family building journey. We felt that they needed to know why we were changing course and why we needed their help.

Doing this obviously has it's good parts and bad parts. Sometimes you get feed back from you family and friends that is hard to hear and that maybe you don't want to hear. However sometimes you have to take the things you don't want to hear and factor them in because they are relevant. For the most part there was very little negative feedback on the "new plan" but there were a lot of questions about the IVF process.

The hardest part of all this was that our infertility, which before was pretty much between hubby, myself and the doctors now become a matter that we had to discuss openly with well... everyone! Suddenly our infertility was no longer just "we/us" but now included "him" and "them" as well. Meaning the addition of our donor (which "we" all agree "we" hate referring to him as so "we" prefer to say "baby daddy" when we can't use his name), as well as our donors family and then all of our family and friends.

I stepped back one day and realized that "we" now had behind us a village. A village that was very eager to wage the battle on our infertility. Sometimes the village was more eager then the process would allow. So when I say "we/us" please mentally include "the village" as they are all aware of the play by play on our infertility. Down (or all the way up) to my Grams (Grandma). Yes even my Grams will be happy to tell you that "we" have 7 embryos and she is praying for every single one. :) Don't underestimate the young and elderly, their ability to understand will surprise you.

Needless to say our open approach has been filled with so much love that I would not trade it for the world. I know that not everyone can be as open with their journey because I know that not everyone will have as open of a family. However if you have a chance to take an open approach I can say it can be a blessing. I have been very happy overall with the level of support I get from "the village". It means that hubby and I don't have to carry the burden of our infertility alone. It also means that any children we may have will be born into a village where every member will be happy for their arrival. Suddenly the proverb "It takes a village to raise a child" has some real meaning to me. It also means that when you get a phone call from "Aunt Sally" and she asks how your embryos are doing you don't have to worry about being shocked that someone in your family "blabbed" your business. It also means you are less likely to get the "so are you pregnant yet question"? which for a woman who has been trying to have a baby for 7 years can tell you that that question will never lose it's sting.

Well I think that is enough to absorb for today. I hope you have found this blog helpful in some way.


1 comment:

  1. Totally agree that being open is so much easier! And, in my opinion, the best thing for the child(ren). While TTC with my directed donor, I referred to him as "Donor Daddy."

    And, yes, you're right that people can understand complicated situations. It was interesting explaining things to my 10 year old niece, but she totally gets it, and is thrilled about her new cousin's arrival in December.