This post is about three years late, but I wasn't ready to share this part of our lives back then. Even some of our friends don’t know about it, not because we are uncomfortable sharing, just because it’s not something that would come up in everyday conversations. Sometimes I share our story voluntarily, and sometimes I just don’t.
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you might remember my post about our Embryo transfer. The part we never shared about our IVF journey, was the Egg Retrieval. Because if I would’ve told you about it, I would’ve also had to tell you that it wasn’t me who underwent the egg retrieval. It was Katie.
So while I carried our precious boy for 9 months, he is Katie’s biological child.
So let’s back up and go all the way back to February of 2013. We had just found out that our 7th IUI with me didn’t work and I was devastated. I had tried it all…pills, injections, changing donors, changing doctors, crazy diets and even bee stings. Our fertility doctor didn’t think I was a good candidate for IVF and didn’t give me any hope that I would ever get pregnant. We had spent about $20,000 at this point and were out of funds and hope to keep trying.
That’s when Katie’s grandma approached us with a proposal. She was going to pay for an IVF cycle, but only if we used Katie’s eggs. Katie did not care about having a biological child, nor did she want to carry a child. It was never even discussed to use Katie’s eggs and here we were, with only one option left that left me completely devastated. While I was happy and grateful that we would get the opportunity to try IVF, I had never in my life considered that my future child wouldn’t be my biological child. I loved the idea of carrying Katie’s biological child, but deep inside I mourned the loss of “my” child. Obviously we both knew that the child would be ours, no matter which egg we used, but this new route we were taking was hard for me to accept.
There was definitely a grieving period for me and Katie wasn’t thrilled about having to go through daily injections and an egg retrieval.
We had multiple vials of sperm left at our fertility clinic and while we had 14 frozen embryos after our embryo transfer, I kept holding on to those vials, just in case I wanted to try again with my eggs for the second child. I always kept that option open for me, until the day Fox was born. When he was born, none of this mattered anymore. He was mine (ours of course, but you know what I mean), biologically or not. We sold the vials to one of our half sibling families shortly after, because I knew I wanted to give Fox a full sibling and carry Katie’s egg again when the time came.
There are often times that we both forget who’s genes he is carrying. I catch myself often, thinking that he looks like one of my family members and people always comment how he looks just like me, but then I remember how that’s impossible. Biology is a funny thing.
Getting here wasn’t an easy process. Katie was considered an “egg donor” in the fertility clinic and they were trying to force her to sign her rights away because she was donating her eggs to me. We were already working with a lawyer that helped us work with the clinic so she wouldn’t have to sign that piece of paper, but when Fox was born, he was legally mine and Katie had no rights whatsoever. I’m sure it’s different in each state, but Arizona was definitely behind the times and I can’t imagine the emotions Katie must have had, knowing her child was not hers, and could be taken at any point.
Six months after his birth, our petition with the court was finally granted and our awesome lawyer found a loophole in the law that made it possible for both of us to be on the birth certificate with equal rights.
Looking back, I can’t remember or understand why I had such a hard time with it all. Fox is my child and even though he doesn’t carry any of my genes, he sure has many mannerisms from me (but his personality is all Katie!) and I’m his Mama.
We have 14 frozen embryos waiting for us and we are looking forward to giving him a full sibling when the time is right.