I have had a lot swirling in this crowded brain of mine. Before I venture there, here is a conversation with the Viking:
Me: Do you still really want a baby?
V: Yes, of course I do.
Me: Well, I've been thinking: the only way we will ever have a living baby is if I give up on my eggs. We would have to go the route to donor eggs.
V: If you could handle that, I could handle that.
Me: Well of course you say that. The baby would still be genetically yours.
Me: But there's also the cost. This could cost tens of thousands of dollars.
V: What if it didn't work?
Me: There are some clinics that offer a money back guarantee if after multiple attempts you never have a baby. But that option is very expensive on the front end. And there is the very real fear I have that this might not work.
I am going to leave that there. There was actually a lot more to this conversation,
but to sum it up: unlike some women I have encountered over the years
whose partners were adamantly opposed to this route, mine is not. He has concerns about the cost, and legitimate concerns about me miscarrying, but he appears to have little to no ethical dilemma on the matter.
But lest you think, oh wow, justonemore, a new path, away we go(!) there are number of reasons why my little family of three will likely remain a family of three during my spirit's current lifetime. Here's a stab at articulating just one of them:
Finding a donor who is willing to be known or semi-known to my future child is non-negotiable for me and this would be an enormous hurdle. In my case, quite literally, the cost is too high.
Let me backtrack: One of the most interesting things perusing donor data-bases this past week of (and whoa, have I been perusing), is that you discover where your priorities lie - and where they don't. For example, finding someone who looks like me isn't the hugest challenge. Like many women out there, I'm fairly pretty. I'm a petite brunette with brown eyes. Frankly, I look like a hell of a lot of people - no seriously, if I had a nickel for every time someone stopped me in a grocery store thinking they already met me somewhere, I would have a fuck-ton of nickels. And I will remind my readers that Niblet, while she has some of my features, is not my carbon copy by any stretch. No, I am not really seeking a mini-me. For all I know this imaginary child could look exactly like Viking. No shit, when I was once in a grocery store with infant-Niblet in a carrier, a woman came up to me and actually said "That is a beautiful baby you are watching." Because she evidently couldn't believe the Valkyrie child I was holding sprung from my Jew-y loins. But I digress.....
Based on what I'm seeing, I truly believe that there are plenty of reasonably attractive, intelligent women out there - who also have some artistic ability (actually one of my preferred criteria) who are donating their eggs. I could probably find them in clinics nearby. I might even find a frozen batch of their eggs somewhere.
Side note - I have to admit I got really intrigued by the frozen egg option. You don't have to sync an IVF cycle with your donor. They're cheaper, by like ten thousand dollars. But there's a cost to everything. These eggs are only available anonymously.
And there's the rub. All of the clinics around me that I could afford to cycle at use donor bases - fresh or frozen - that are entirely anonymous. That just won't work for me. I can't bear a child who grows up wondering, "where do I come from?" without being able to offer them an answer. I just can't do it because while it would be certainly be easier for me to forget that I am not biologically linked to my child, it could be detrimental to my actual child. Just as I couldn't imagine a closed adoption as working for my family, I couldn't imagine a closed egg adoption.
Now, there ARE ways of finding willing-to-be known fresh egg donors, mainly through agencies. But this costs a whole lotta money. Like, twenty grand kinda money on the front end. That's before any IVF meds or cycling. Which also would be entirely out of pocket and yes, also cost about 29 grand for the number of attempts I believe would be necessary for it to work. Yeah, there's that too. I am not convinced I would be one of the lucky ones who hits the jackpot in one cycle. Have I ever hit the jackpot in this journey? I think we can answer that question all together now, right?
I am not looking to find a new bestie in a gorgeous, hopefully brilliant young woman who donates her eggs to me. On the other hand, I absolutely DO need their deets. No let me be clear, my child would need their contact information. I need the assurance that when this genetic material grows up and has questions- Why is my nose so cute? Why am I so good at math? Do we have a cancer history I need to worry about? - that my donor would be open and willing and ready to answer those questions. This is non-negotiable.
So the brief (by brief I mean about 5 day's worth of) excitement that bubbled up in me mulling over this option has been quelled. I don't have 40 or 50 grand. And I cannot in good conscience borrow forty or fifty grand - on a complete gamble - when that money can go to our need to be repaired roof. Or Niblet's very expensive dance lessons.
If I had the money, I'd consider it. It wouldn't be easy, but I could wrap my brain around it I think. I want a baby far more strongly than I want a baby I am genetically linked to. But I'm just a public interest lawyer who makes a little scratch on the side as a zumba instructor. This is money we simply don't have.
Trust me I have so much more to write on this topic. I've been marinating in it days, I have a lot to distill.