The donor egg aspect of it, Part 1

“Does he get these curls from you?” the woman yelled across the patio full of mingling people. She was a friend’s mom, looking at my baby in my friend’s arms.

“What’s that?” I yelled back, not sure I’d heard her correctly.

“His curls! Does he get them from you?”

“Oh!” I said. “Yeah!”

“Well that’s good because the rest of him is alllll your husband!” At this point, people had stopped talking to listen to the shouting lady. “It’s nice to have just one thing that is yours! Just one thing where you can say, ‘That is mine, he gets that from me!'”

I smiled. “Yeah,” I said. DH and I have told family and close friends about DE, but we’re waiting until S is a little older, and we can begin to introduce the idea to S himself, before telling everyone. DH feels really strongly about this. I would rather be open about DE from the very beginning, but I get DH’s point of view. He just doesn’t want anyone talking to S about DE before we’ve had a chance to do it ourselves, nor does he want to be cavalier about sharing S’s private information without S being in on it. I respect this.

So if these things were not on the table, I probably would have said back, “Well, he was conceived via donor egg, so that’s actually from the donor! But I do have wavy hair.” Or something like that. I’m not embarrassed in the least, and I’m itching to do my part in de-stigmatizing donor gametes. As it was, I just nodded and smiled.

When I told DH about this shouted exchange later, he shook his head, annoyed. But I wasn’t annoyed. How could I explain that I just didn’t care? That I find it slightly amusing, but that it doesn’t get under my skin in any way?

I’m in love with my son. It’s like falling in love with your partner—you just fall deep into sense of rightness, and that’s it. Compared to the force of that love, a funny exchange on a crowded patio is nothing.

(I’ll do Part 2 during his second nap! He’s awake now…)

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  1. Whenever I encounter other moms and their children, I try to make it a point not to make comments like this. Knowing what I know about egg donation etc. It’s funny because people are always saying the same thing to me: “She doesn’t look like you AT ALL,” or “She’s ALL your husband,” or “Mini-Merp.” Sometimes it bothers me, even though I know it shouldn’t! So cool to hear that you take it in stride. How do you feel about having to have that convo with S someday?

  2. Oh man, those comments. I get it all the time too and I’m really open with most everyone about her conception. I told all my mother’s group and the other day one of them said, ‘Look at her curls! Is that from you?’, even bloody Grandma lets slip with some clangers, I have to admit, some days I do it myself! She looks so much like her dad which is great. It makes for interesting times that’s for sure!

  3. Yea we are like your husband and want to wait till they have an understanding of the concert before telling anyone and everyone. So our weird situation is that JD has blonde hair and blue eyes. Now, j had blond hair till I was nine, but clearly that is not where he gets it. We explain that Bs brother had blond hair for two years two, but since he is Asian no one believes it lol. If and when we finally tell like my aunts and cousins they are going to say “oh so THATS why JD had blond hair and blue eyes!”

  4. I have found it so interesting to notice how much DE was a big deal before I had my daughter: all the philosophical questions and the quandaries about biology and belonging. It seems so different now that she is here. It’s no less important but it has just taken a much different shape. Like you, I don’t want to give it power by keeping it hush-hush. The fact of her miraculous existence is far more important to me than exactly how she was conceived, although it is an important part of her story.
    I find the comments about our resemblance interesting too. I do a lot of smiling and nodding.
    It’s lovely to read about your deep love for your son. Thanks for this post.


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