I bit the bullet last friday and had a long - like nearly three-hour-long - conversation with my mom.
Her initial response to my positing the scenario of attempting a donor egg pregnancy was not encouraging: "You have to make the decision that makes you happy," she said, in that unconvincing tone.
She was very concerned about a whole mess of things that are rational to be concerned about when you know less than jack about this form of ART. Could the donor seek custody of the baby? What if the donor carries a disease? What if they're a serial killer? Isn't there inherently something wrong with a woman who would donate her eggs for money? Wouldn't Niblet be confused?
I gave her as many assurances I could about the whole process - the fine-tuned screening of donors.... the legal contract that prevents them from claiming custody.... the cross your fingers element on serial killers. Niblet would be genetically related, but at the end of the day, Niblet would have a sibling.
Think of the young women who have lost their ovaries to cancer or premature menopause, or who carry genetic diseases, who would be childless but for this option. This is a miracle, it's been around for decades, it isn't going away and it's a means to build a family.
And the biggest: "Think of your own DNA." You see, my mom has some shitty as all fuck relatives. Abusive, horrible human beings, and that is putting it lightly. She has often said aloud, "I used to wish that I was adopted, they're so awful I didn't think it was possible that I could be related to them."
We had a crash course in vocabulary. What is a gestational carrier? What is a bio mother? What is a genetic mother? What is a MOTHER.
Mom, you know how you tell me what an incredible mother I am to Niblet? Well, the same lady who loves and supports this amazing girl, would parent a baby from donor DNA no differently. When Niblet says, "I hate you mom" (as one does), because I make her eat a vegetable with her meal, well, I would be making this child eat a vegetable with their meal too. You know how I schlep this girl to ballet lessons? Yeah, I would do that too. The most meaningful thing I have ever done is mother this child. The way I mother - the devotion to the act of mothering that you know I possess - that is what makes me a mother. The way I deeply consider every action and its ramifications upon my family. It would be no different with a baby that didn't share my DNA.
I pulled out all of the rhetorical guns I have. I guess it's a testament to the fact that I used to argue for a living, that I moved my Mom. I also don't think she realized how much my whole family aches for an addition. How painfully incomplete we have all felt.
After two hours, Mom was convinced that my exploring this option was a good thing. That if I'm going to do this, it needs to be now. That I shouldn't even consider the money (but that's for another post). And her biggest concern with the whole shebang came to be the exact same one I have now: That I will fall into the percentage of people for whom this does not work. That I will lose another baby, heartbreakingly, in utero.
I feel you Mom, I sure do.