I’ve been thinking about this post for a while, trying to put it into words. I’ve been asked many times if I ever look back & wonder “what if” or have any regrets about stopping IVF treatment with my own eggs. As I’ve always said, I have no regrets. It’s not possible to love our girls any more and, although I’m not a big believer in fate, I believe that somehow they were the children we were always meant to have – a life without them is simply unimaginable. I truly believe we made the right decision at the right time for us and I have made peace with not having a child genetically related to me. I know first hand that genetics don’t make a family and are not a requirement for love.
Being totally honest (as I always try to be) what I do think I will always have is an underlying feeling of curiosity about what a child sharing my DNA might have been like. It’s definitely not something I think about often, and not a negative or sad feeling in the slightest, as I am beyond grateful for our donor giving me the chance to carry & bring our girls into the world. I have felt guilt about these ‘musings’ but I’m starting to realise that it is ok to wonder. What would a child with my genetics have looked like? What traits they would have inherited from me or my family? Would they have been like the girl in these pictures, taken when I was a similar age to Mila?
I share this for two reasons; firstly to let others who may also feel some guilt for this ‘wondering’ know that they’re not alone.
Secondly and most importantly, because it’s actually helping me to better prepare and understand the potential curiosity that my girls might have about their own genetic origins. Wonderings that they will no doubt have about what our donor might look like, what traits they may have inherited and whether they look like her. If you look at my questions above, these are a perfect mirroring of my own curiosity. Whereas previously I might have felt threatened and upset by future questions such as this (touching on sensitivities about my legitimacy as a parent) I can now see even more clearly that these are completely natural in the circumstances that we find ourselves.
Acknowledging my own feelings actually helps me to better empathise with their potential feelings, understanding how they might feel. I know that questions they have won’t mean they love me any less, or that I’m any less of their mother, it means they simply want to know more about where they came from. It’s not always easy, but every day I’m becoming better prepared and ready to support any of these questions in the future.
So here’s a promise to Mila, Eska and Lena – I promise I will never deflect your ‘wonderings’ with any forced gratitude or feelings of guilt – I understand you’re curious, I love you no less for it and will do everything in my power to support you. Because that’s what mums do. We’re in this together.
Love, Becky x