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…)

Leave a comment


  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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  •© the unexpected trip,, 2012-2017.
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  • About Me

    Me: 41
    DH: 38

    Fertility issue:
    Recurrent Pregnancy Loss
    6 pregnancy losses
    All early
    5 with my own eggs
    1 with donor egg

    Abnormal embryos

    Factor V Leiden heterozygous
    MTHFR heterozygous

    AFC: 2 - 12
    AMH: 0.2
    FSH: 6.8
    E2: 40
    LH: 2.8


    April 2011 -
    Natural conception, first try. Blighted ovum (gestational sac only). D&C to remove products of conception at 9 weeks.

    Oct 2011 -
    Natural conception, first try. Blighted ovum (gestational sac & yolk sac). Took Cytotec to induce miscarriage at 9 weeks. PTSD, depression, anxiety, insomnia, night terrors followed.

    Winter 2012 -
    Two rounds of Femara/Clomid + IUIs at Columbia and RS of NY. The idea: to produce more eggs and increase chances of catching a good one. BFNs.

    April 2012 -
    Natural conception, first try. Ultrasound showed activity in the uterus, but no complete sac. Diagnosed with "missed abortion." Natural miscarriage at 5 weeks.

    June 2012 -
    Conception after 7 mg Femara for 5 days + IUI. Diagnosed with chemical pregnancy. Natural miscarriage at 4.5 weeks.

    August 2012 -
    Natural conception, without trying. Chemical pregnancy and natural miscarriage at 5 weeks.

    October 2012 -
    ODWU at Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine (CCRM).

    January 2013 -
    IVF with Dr. Schoolcraft.
    Straight Antagonist protocol

    What he predicted:
    I will produce 11 eggs
    Good chance 1 will be normal
    30% chance 2 will be normal
    Transfer 1, then a 45% chance of success
    Transfer 2, then a 65% chance of success

    What happened:
    7 follicles stimulated
    6 mature eggs retrieved
    2 died during ICSI
    4 fertilized
    3 out of 4 embryos CCS-tested
    All abnormal

    Aug/Sept 2013-
    Frozen Donor Egg IVF at Reproductive Biology Associates (RBA)
    What Dr. Shapiro predicted:
    6 or 7 will fertilize
    1 we will transfer
    1 - 3 we will freeze

    Protocol: Lupron, Vivelle patches, Crinone

    8 frozen eggs from donor thawed
    6 fertilized
    1 Day-5 Grade A XBbb blastocyst transferred
    1 Day-5 Grade A EBbb blastocyst frozen
    1 Day-6 Grade A XBbb blastocyst frozen

    September 13, 2013: Pregnant

    Prenatal vitamins & baby aspirin,
    Vivelle patches & Crinone

    Beta #1: 171
    Beta #2: 706
    Beta #3: 7,437

    6 w 3 d: measured 6 w 1 d
    FHR: 80 bpm
    Fetus did not grow
    7 w: FHR 121 bpm
    8 w: heart stopped
    9 w: D and C

    Test results: We lost a normal karyotype male for unexplained reasons

    Quit stressful job
    Anti-inflammation diet
    Gluten-free diet
    Vit D, DHA/EPA
    Therapy/energy work
    Creative Visualization
    Art Therapy

    March 14, 2014:
    Double FET at RBA
    1 Day-5 Grade A EBbb blastocyst
    1 Day-6 Grade A XBbb blastocyst

    March 24, 2014:

    Prenatals, baby aspirin, Folgard, Vivelle, Crinone, Lovenox

    Beta #1: 295
    Beta #2: 942
    Beta #3: 12,153

    1 fetus implanted

    Measured on track

    Fetal heart rate:
    7 wk: 127 bpm, 8wk:159 bpm, 9wk: 172 bpm

    Due date: Dec, 4 2014!

    NatureMade (USP Seal) Prenatals and 4000 Vit D3
    Baby aspirin
    40 mg Lovenox
    DHA and EPA
    Folgard 2.2

    Born: One perfect baby boy 12.4.14

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