Another Kind of Love Story

I don’t see him so much any more.

Years ago, when the boys were small and made up more of biology than their own individual personalities, I looked for – and found – him all of the time. Anything unfamiliar was attributed to our donor and I would feel this pull of gratitude around my heart that somebody helped us and now, here we were, a family, with his blue-eyed boy laughing up at us, a tiny tribe of me and him. These days, when I look at my children I see themselves, their own quirks and personality, their mother’s expressions fleeting across their own small faces. I don’t see him. I barely think of him.

That’s how I knew that I was ready.

I don’t believe in karma.  I don’t believe in balance.  And yet sometimes I look around myself these days, at my beautiful partner and my perfect gaggle of children and I think yes, that’s what it was all for.  And now I have you.  And I wanted to give something back.  Don’t get me wrong, quite often I find myself closing my eyes and mouthing silent thanks to all of the gods in whom I don’t believe.  And I hope very much that the doctors and nurses who helped to make my babies still read my blog, as they used to, and they feel a sense of pride and satisfaction every time they happen upon a photograph of us radiating joy, a modern love story personified.  But he doesn’t read my blog.  He doesn’t know who I am.

I wanted to give something back.  Not to him.  Not to fate.  But to the universe.  I wanted to open my hands, palms outstretched, and to say, here you are.  Take it.  And thank you.

I wanted to make a difference.  To someone.  I wanted to change a life.

I wanted to create one.

We called it Project Omelette.  We shared a picnic in my garden, and her son and my children took turns to race their toy cars down the slide.  I sat beside her husband and we used an app to analyse our features, to predict what our child would be like.  I joked that with our combined genetics, the baby would just be an eyebrow; she promised to love it anyway.  And I could just picture it, this baby of theirs with my genetics.  Our little scrambled egg.  Their little scrambled egg.

It was an easy decision to make.

Women are born with somewhere between tens of thousands to millions of eggs, so I knew that I wouldn’t miss them.  And as you will know from following our journey, I am somewhat familiar with the IVF process.  Needles don’t faze me much; I’m a whizz at mixing solution with solvent and poking it into myself.  I thought about it in terms of injections and blood tests, follicle-stimulating hormone and transvaginal ultrasounds and the euphoric, glorious moment where you can’t believe your own eyes when you stare at a test and it says Pregnant.

There are things that frighten me.  Things that occurred to me after I said I will.  Perfect, superfluous embryos being discarded – there is something about that idea that makes my heart clench.  And I’m terrified to happen upon her at an industry event and to realise that her baby looks like my babies, and to feel some bizarre biological pull toward that child.  I am afraid that in ten years’ time, they will find themselves in the middle of a dreadful, acrimonious marital breakdown and this child of theirs, the baby we’ve fought as a team to create, will be cast ashore and drifting and all I’ll want to do is to scoop up that child, him or her, but the child won’t know who I am.

And don’t get me started on my mother.  When I told her what we were up to, she gave this aghast shriek and in the space of five minutes, she had this child married to one of my children in a strange Shakespeare-meets-V. C. Andrews plot twist.

But I can give hope.  I can give happiness.  I can complete a family and provide one of the building blocks that will create a life.  I can try.

Because somebody did this for me.  I am not doing this for him; I’m doing this because these days, I look at my babies and I don’t even think of him and there is something so beautiful about just getting to be a normal family.  I want to give them that.

And I’m doing it for them.  I am donating my eggs because Balthazar, Lysander, Embla and Olympia mean the whole world to me, they are the love story I could never have written for myself.  I want to help Jules and Steve to write the newest chapter of their love story, the chapter with a brother or sister for little Joshie.  I’m doing it because I can’t imagine life without my four.

I can’t wait for you to follow our journey over on the Channel Mum page.

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13 Comments

  1. October 31, 2017 / 4:39 pm

    This is such an awesome gift! I wanna write more but I have no words. So kind and generous of you xxxx

  2. October 31, 2017 / 4:55 pm

    What a precious gift you are giving. Good luck with it all – in some ways it is probably easier if you don’t know where the egg goes, although I suppose that would create altogether another set of questions for you to ponder about. Wish you all well!

  3. October 31, 2017 / 6:04 pm

    What an amazing gift to give
    The kindest gift they will ever recieve. I’m in awe of your family x

  4. Chloe
    October 31, 2017 / 6:04 pm

    I had my egg collection yesterday after deciding to become an egg donor and think it would be great for you to document the process. When I’d decided it was something I wanted to do I found very little from people who had actually been through the process and no massive support from someone who had done it before. Hopefully this may encourage woman to just think about it because it’s an amazing thing to do and I can honestly say the process wasn’t as hard as I imagined it would be xx

  5. October 31, 2017 / 6:11 pm

    What an incredably selfless gift to give. A true gift of love… that only a mother will understand. I am crossing everything and sending so many positive thoughts to Jules… but also to you for this brave thing you have done. … an amazing blog post, beautifully written. I look forward to following the journey. Xxx

  6. October 31, 2017 / 7:26 pm

    Oh Amber. What an amazing, no, PRICELESS gift. How very very generous of you.

    I’ll look forward to following your journey. You absolutely beautiful person. Xxx

  7. October 31, 2017 / 9:19 pm

    Amber, you lovely, lovely woman! This is just so…you! You are beyond generous and I’m so excited to follow your journey. Ahhhh this is just amazing, I can’t even explain how beautiful this is! xx

  8. October 31, 2017 / 9:30 pm

    Your son or daughter may one day know you–through commercial DNA testing becoming the norm. Even if you don’t personally test, if one of your extended family members does, or one of your children one day does, and your other biological child does, too, they will be matched. There is no such thing as anonymous donation anymore. As a donor conceived person who recently found their “anonymous” donor (and half-siblings), I know this first hand. In fact, I found out accidentally this way at the age of 31. It has been incredibly difficult as a donor conceived person who was never told their origin story to have been denied access to my ancestral ties and half of my biological family–intentionally–since before I was ever born. I strongly hope that if you haven’t already, you will consider an open donor relationship with your genetic children’s family, and for the sake of not rendering your biological children strangers to one another. They deserve to have the opportunity to have each other in their lives, like just about any other biological siblings. The adoptee community has also recognized that open adoption is in the best interests of the child (and siblings). Please, please consider the same–the most love possible–for your children. Also check out https://anonymousus.org to hear many more donor conceived persons’ perspectives.

  9. Deborah
    October 31, 2017 / 9:48 pm

    My beautiful, brave and generous Bambi. I’m very proud to be your Mum xxx

  10. November 1, 2017 / 4:34 am

    I’m in tears reading this. When I messaged jules about my insta blog post and who to follow she said she couldn’t believe id out you together and that I would squeal when I saw this weeks news about you. I knew when I read it. I bet A is her donor. Its amazing. I’m so excited for you both. You are both amazing. Eeeeeeekkkkkkk!!! Xxxx

  11. November 1, 2017 / 7:44 pm

    Such a gorgeous gift to be able to give, and savery generous one. Wishing you loads of luck and happiness on the journey xx

    • November 1, 2017 / 7:47 pm

      Savery?! That should have been ‘a very’ ????

  12. November 2, 2017 / 9:24 am

    This is amazing Amber, the most selfless gift. Welled up watching this x

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