Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Random Personal Stuff

My Bunny Turns 4

My daughter turned 4 today. It is kind of crazy that four years have passed. Today I went to her preschool and read the kids a story and we donated the book in honor of her birthday. The kids all made her a crown--the coolest crown ever--and special book of drawings for her. She goes to a lovely orthodox Jewish preschool so they sang Happy Birthday to her in English and Hebrew and then her teacher and I lifted her up in the air in her chair four times for four years old. Then they had banana chocolate chip muffin cupcakes. What fun.

Breaking Up with God's Timetable (and then Getting Back Together)

It's hard to know where to start to explain all that I feel and why the unexplained urge to share. I am really a very private person, but here we go. Recently, I ended a relationship that was off an on for about 18 months. Break ups are usually not easy for me, even when I am the one that ends it. But I am feeling remarkably fine this time. Perhaps because I did most of my grieving last year, the first time we broke up. This time around, I went through the stages of loss much faster and with no broken toes. The thing that I had the hardest time with, however, was accepting God's timetable--again! Grieving the fact that I will not be moving forward and growing in a partnership and having any more babies any time soon. I have blogged about surrendering to God's time table before. Well, it turns out that even if you master the art of surrender once, it doesn't get any easier. I was just plain mad.

So I went to my hypnotherapist. We talked about this and he said something so obvious. He said, "Well, whether or not you accept God's time table, you are subject to it." Ha! Oh brother. This is what is so great about seeing a therapist. They state the obvious that you can't see. Then he put me into a deep hypnotic sleep and did some hypno-awesomeness on me and now I feel so completely relieved that God is in charge and not me. Whew. I also feel happy and energized and alive and like the good catch that I am.

So here is the next part.

Sharing DNA

I was talking to a pregnant friend of mine the other day and somehow it came up that she donated her eggs in college. I have never known anyone who donated their eggs, so I asked her a ton of questions about the procedure and all that. I think the biggest question I had, though, was, "Isn't it weird knowing that there could be kid out there that is yours."

In her case, she knew there was at least one successful pregnancy and child that had resulted from her donations (she donated several times and was selected by 5 couples). Her answer was interesting. She said, "I don't really think of myself as her mom. More like an aunt or something. I mean, it's only half my DNA. I didn't have any part in carrying or birthing the child or in choosing the partner or raising it."

This made sense to me. It is just DNA....Well, that brings up the whole nature/nurture question, but I won't even go there.

After that conversation, I couldn't get the thought out of my mind. I have great DNA and it is not being used right now. I'd hate to see it go to waste. I know how that sounds--conceited. While I have a healthy self-esteem, this was not conceit. It was more like the thoughts came straight from my DNA.

I read about egg donation online and found out more about what is involved. It doesn't sound like something fun. I dislike artificial hormones and medicalized anything. But I keep thinking about the people who would actually use an egg donor and how much they had already been through and would go through, just to carry and have a child. I am also thinking about how much more I could empathize with my hypnotherapy clients who come to me for fertility enhancement or pain management. The procedure for retreiving the eggs is a short surgery (maybe 30 minutes?) but it requires general anesthesia--which I wouldn't do--but if they would let me use hypo-anesthesia, I might actually consider donating.

When I have mentioned egg donation to people in the last week, people keep saying: "Oh yeah. You can make a lot of money doing that." This is a turn off. First of all. What is a lot of money? Maybe it might have seemed like a lot of money in college, but now, 5000 dollars is not that much. Not when you consider what you are doing. If I were to do it just for the money, I don't know if any amount would be enough.

One of the articles I read said that the donors who leave the healthiest (mentally) are those that think of it as a donation and not a money making scheme. So I have been considering it as if there were no money involved. I like it better that way. But the fact is there is some compensation. But then what do you do with money you made by sharing your procreative powers. It feels weird. You can't just pay bills with that money or buy a bunch of clothes. Would I put it in a college fund for my daughter? That feels weird, too. I'd probably take it and donate it.... But to whom?

This is all very crazy, and I still haven't made up my mind, but I am meditating on it. I would love to hear any thoughts or comments on all this.


  1. I'm sorry that you broke it off...I'm sure you felt it was the best, so I'm sorry more that this meant not moving forward with a certain part of your life.

    I've been through IVF, so I've gone through all the stuff you'd be going through as an egg donor. The only thing you wouldn't be doing is having the embryo implanted once it's fertilized. So here's the scoop: yes, lots of drugs involved, total manipulation of your cycles. There are some risks, mostly with ovarian hyperstimulation if your dosage of FSH is too high for your body. You have to give yourself twice-daily injections of a few different drugs/hormones at different times to first surpress, then turn on your ovaries, to make them go into hyper-drive.

    The egg retrieval, at least mine, didn't use general anesthesia but sedation. Which are different things if I understand properly. They described it as light sedation, but it was heavy enough that I was asleep for the actual procedure. Which was more than fine for me!

    Going through IVF was traumatic for me, more emotionally than physically, because I didn't like the hyper-medicalization of the process, but I felt trapped because of our specific situation (extremely extremely low sperm count, so they had to do sperm injection into each egg). So it wasn't the physical process per se, but the psychological ramifications of it for me personally, that I really disliked. Plus I just didn't like being a passive patient at a time when I was so thoroughly immersed in learning and writing about empowerment through childbirth. Really dissonant experiences going on at the same time.

    CJane just blogged about accepting God's timing. Good stuff there.

  2. What an amazing gift you want to share. I can't wait to hear more about it.

  3. I had also considered this at one time. It is an incredible gift. Ecclesiastically speaking, there may be some yellow lights. I don't think it's in the handbook as "wrong," but I also don't think "The Brethren" encourage it. It's definitely an aspect worth looking into before proceeding.

  4. Rixa,

    Yeah it sucks, but honestly, I think that in breaking it off I am moving forward. Staying with him, well, he just couldn't move forward.


    I don't know what handbook you are referring to, but since there is no official doctrine on it, I get my approval from personal revelation. Meditating on it, I feel peace. But I almost always feel peace when I meditate. Ha! Double bind? We'll see. I'm in no rush. I also think adoption is a great answer for couples, but if there is nothing wrong with a woman's ability to birth except for her eggs, how cool for her to be able to have the experience of being pregnant and giving birth. I have several cousins who had to do IVF. They didn't use a donor (that I know of) but once they got the baby in, their bodies were golden.

    Definitely controversial, though, I realize. But I guess so is everything surrounding birth these days. Why is that?

  5. I have been thinking some about this topic since reading this post yesterday. A thought came to my mind--I wonder if when the Proclamation on the Family states "the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife," if IVF would be included in using the "powers of procreation" and, then that children conceived through IVF should only be biological children of married couples? I don't know. I'm not trying to imply that egg donation is the equivalent of sexual immorality, because I don't think it is. Just a thought I had.

  6. Interesting. When I read "the sacred powers of procreation" I think it is referring to sex. And when I read "the means by which life is created" I believe it is referring to pregnancy and childbirth--that it is divinely appointed. I think it means that only legally married men and women should be having sex and having babies (or adopting).

    As far as how life is created--in a tube with your own DNA or someone else's, there is nothing that leads me to believe it would be against God's plan. Because to be able to carry and give birth to a child is Goddess work. Work that God would love for all of his daughters to be able to experience. That's what's so great about the church is that they don't have official stances on a lot of these gray areas--they let each individual person get their own revelation because they know it may be different for everyone.

    CJane has a great story about miscarriage that illustrates this point. We are going to include it in our book. You should check it out. It's titled "The Hourglass Theory."

  7. Thanks for sharing that. It was a beautiful story. I think sometimes our brains want to view things in black and white and search for the One Right Answer, but we have to remember that it isn't always that simple.

  8. Is it really controversial? I don't think Heavenly Father cares one bit whose DNA is being used. Good for you for wanting to help! I think with most (all?) of science, Heavenly Father gives his children the gifts of discovering all sorts of exciting things like IVF and egg donation to be used for our good. Who CARES as long as it's being used to bring more souls to earth into good family? If Heavenly Father had a rule about egg donation, rest assured "The Brethren" would have given it to us in no uncertain terms already.

  9. I've never given much thought to this, but I did read on another website about this recently. It quoted from the 1999 Church General Handbook of Instructions: "Surrogate motherhood is strongly discouraged." (Also, "the donation of sperm is discouraged.")

    So, it doesn't specifically say anything about egg donation, but I think it's closely related to surrogate motherhood and sperm donation. Just another something to think about.

  10. Thanks Tianna. I have never heard that. Interesting. I have always thought it would be a great gift to be a surrogate, but would be really hard, emotionally. I can see why they would discourage both. Actually, I'm not so interested in egg donation anymore--i think it was just a hormonal freak out when I didn't have my period for a few months. But I do have to say, on a different note than creation, that sometimes, even though things are discouraged by the leaders of the church, God sometimes still inspires us to do them. Like dating someone of another faith--which I did for about a year. I didn't know the reasons at the time, and it was definitely hard, but I know it was the right thing for me at that time for many reasons. And I have learned first hand that one can never judge.



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