Friday, June 8, 2012

a rose by any other name

Hopeful parents start trying to give a name to their unborn child soon after they've learned of the pregnancy. For women, it starts, long before then, like in high school during sleepovers with girlfriends and discussions of a Harlequin romance you were going to have with a muscular, square-jawed piece of a man, and then have several of his babies, and name them Tiffany, Crystal, and Corey.

The conversation at our dinner table last night was about naming. Naming our donor, that is. We're 10000 steps away from holding a baby in our arms. However, we are entering into this cycle more fully as of today because our donor starts her stimulation meds. She is on my mind, this goddess of eggs and generosity and youth.

The anonymity bothers me. I accept it and I understand why and I am very good with abiding by the rules. But the anonymity niggles at me. I would like to know her. I would like to be able to thank her in person so she could see in my eyes that this actually DOES mean the world to me. I would like to be able to tell my (hypothetical) child exactly which female human being on this earth is the one whose genetic material and whose generosity contributed to him or her being born into our family.

With Sattva, we had some established parameters around the relationships we were going to foster. She would be our child's aunt, and our children would be cousins. Our child would have had access to Sattva, and would have known all along that she was the egg donor. We considered the possibility that either family would move away from Pleasantville, and how we would be travelling to see each other and keep our families connected.

It is strange not make these plans with this donor. Even stranger to me is that I don't know what her name is. I think of her so often, and I wonder what she is doing right now, and how she is feeling and where is she going to do her injections this evening and will her son ask her what those are for. I wonder how long it will take her to drive to the clininc for monitoring. I wonder what car she is driving. I look at her pictures and my heart fills with love and gratitude. "thank you,____"

It's been on my mind for a while, but I decided yesterday that I must give her a name. It's not like I can guess what her real name is, but having accepted that, I'll pick a name that I can use in my offerings of gratitude, a name Mr. A and I can use when we are referring to her.

After my yoga practice last evening, I took some time to look at her pictures and decided on a name. I bounced a few names around in my mind and settled on that one. Mr. A and I talked about it at supper afterwards, and he challenged me on it (in a good way). The name I picked is one of Sattva's given names. Wouldn't that be confusing for our child if we kept that made-up name in the future and the child thought it was Sattva? Yes, I thought, that's not going to work. I guess that's partly why that name felt so right to me, because it is one of Sattva's names, because I love Sattva so much and so completely embraced the fact that our child would come from her gift.

Yes, I am still sad that Sattva won't be our donor. And of course, very grateful that we are able to do DE in the US where chances of success are so much greater. And I am seeking some form of connection with the donor, beyond accepting the embryos formed with her eggs into my uterus (how's that for connection).

So we will give her a name. And we will writer her a letter. I'm not sure we can have the clinic give it to her, or if it will be against their policy. We are hoping we can send her flowers on the day of retrieval. Do you think she will be able to know that we are deeply thankful?


  1. That is a very sweet post. I had some of the same feelings with our cycle. How can one not be allowed to thank someone for the greatest gift another can give? Our clinic allowed me to write a thank you as long as we didn't sign it. I told her our story in short and thanked her repeatedly for the opportunity. I still think of her and hope that she knows how much she changed our lives. Good luck with everything upcoming for you :)

  2. As I was reading through this post I was planning to suggest you write her a letter and then of course at the end you wrote of your plans to do so. Even if it isn't able to reach her I think it would be beneficial for you to get your thoughts & emotions towards her onto paper. I'm certain she knows how grateful you are as she likely wouldn't be a donor if she didn't know how much it means to those who are receiving her gift.
    She would likely love to read a letter from you and who knows she may want the opportunity to write you as well.
    Continuing to think of you as you begin this cycle & holding hope for all the future may hold for you

  3. I think writing her a letter is a great idea - hopefully the clinic will be willing to pass it on to her.
    Wishing great things for you for this cycle!

  4. I was hard on myself that I never wrote a letter. In fact, can you believe I contacted the agency only yesterday to work on putting this to bed. I think it is a great idea if the words come to you.

    I thought of my donor almost every other minute. I know just the questions you have... hope she isnt too uncomfortable today... hope she find parking easily... anything and everything.

  5. This is lovely. We made up a silly nickname for our donor, based on something she said in her profile. I kind of wish we had a better one.

    I would think that your clinic would be willing to pass on a letter to her, as long as it is completely anonymous. Our clinic allowed us to do that and we were glad. I hope you can too!

  6. I love everything about this. you are such a lovely, thoughtful woman. here's to hoping

  7. Great post, thanks so much for sharing your gratitude and feelings about your donor with us, I think it's wonderful.

  8. We did a donor egg cycle in the States and now have a three month old daughter... I wish you all the best as you move forward.

  9. I'm betting your letter will move her to tears. I think I'd be SO grateful, if I were able to donate, to get a little glimpse into the recipient's heart. Surely the clinic will facilitate this. And it seems right to give her a name, because, as you say, she'll be a part of your lives forever. (Lookit me assuming this cycle will be successful. Probably a bit cavalier of me, but I just gotta believe.)

  10. What a beautiful post my dear friend. I started to think about our situation and how it relates to this post. I think one of my biggest hopes in our adoption journey is to have an open adoption where our child will know their roots. I am also thankful for the chance to express my sincere gratitude to the woman who hopefully will make our dreams come true.

    I hope the clinic is willing to pass on your letter. I can't imagine why they wouldn't think this was ok. Thinking nothing but positive thoughts for you my friend!

  11. Lovely. You AND this post. And, lovely, if I were an egg donor (that is one very whacked out hypothetical, considering my history) I would want those eggs to go to someone like you. I think a letter - and flowers - are a lovely idea and I hope very much that she receives them.

  12. so happy that your donor is starting the injections and that things are progressing. It must be so hard to not know her. I think writing her a letter and sending her flowers on retrieval day is a very nice idea. I don't think anyone can ever truly know how much this means to you.