It wasn’t a simple choice based on odds alone, it was a complex emotional decision that took time. I realise now that one blocker for me was worrying about what others might think – the main worry being “would people think I wasn’t the ‘real’ Mum?” This stemmed from my deeply engrained societal view that creating a family was solely down to shared genetics. Based on my life experiences and limited exposure I’d been programmed to believe that this idyllic family would inevitably happen at some point and my view was, quite ignorantly, that being a parent was all about DNA. In my naive mind it was all about the sharing of features and looking alike, which I realise now was actually very simplistic. I’d never considered in my wildest dreams that I’d need to imagine anything other than a genetic child. I worried that everyone else would think the same and automatically question my role as a parent.
It was only through seeing what I call a ‘positive reality’ that I realised my worries stemmed from my own fears. It was through speaking online to Sarah, who is now a dear friend, where I witnessed first-hand the true meaning of being a Mum. Seeing the deep relationship and bond Sarah had with her son, I instantly realised that no-one would question their relationship as Mother and Son as they were intrinsically linked and loved each other unconditionally. I realised that there were so many more ways they were ‘related’ other than genes. (You can find out more about Sarah’s story here.)
Was I going to let a worry about what other people might think stop me from becoming the only thing I have ever wanted to be in life? I realised what mattered most what was I thought, not what other people might think. I had to step back and realise what it was I truly wanted – I had to re-define my vision of a Mother. So, what was it I wanted?
I knew I had a deep desire to be pregnant, grow a child and give birth – to me this would provide a deep connection from the start. I would be the one responsible for playing a part in the expression of their genetic make-up (something called Epigenetics – see my previous post here), effectively giving them life. I wanted to be the most trusted person in a child’s world – to comfort them, sing to them, read to them, feed them, teach them – to have the chance to shape a human of my own and show them how to live their life. As I’d drive in my car I would look in the rear view mirror and desperately want to see a little face smiling back at me, calling me ‘Mama‘. I wanted to do all of the things that any Mum does – even the mundane everyday tasks…the sleepless nights and endless nappies.
I craved it all, and when I asked myself the question of what I wanted from life as a Mum, I just knew in my heart that using donor eggs could still give me everything I’d ever dreamed of. Since I was a child I’d pictured a ‘mini-me’ running around with my green eyes and brown hair, but after thinking about those cherished moments I desperately craved, I began to realise that these physical features were just not important. I’d been grieving for the loss of the genetic child I’d always imagined but I began to accept that, although using donor eggs would mean I would be sacrificing the passing on of my genetic traits, ultimately my child sharing my eye colour never actually popped up in the list of things I truly wanted. I had to accept sacrifices would need to be made but that didn’t mean that I couldn’t still have everything I had always wanted.
Now that I am on the other side, I can truly say that my worries were completely unnecessary – I know that no-one would ever question my role as Mum to Mila, Eska and Lena. They’ve seen my body grow whilst pregnant, bring them into this world, feed them, raise them and love them unconditionally. I’m so blessed to now look into my rear view mirror and see three faces smiling back at me, calling me “Mummy” and “Mama”.
I’m not one to usually believe in ‘fate’ but I can’t help but think everything happened for a reason. I couldn’t imagine anything other than being Mum to these 3 girls – they were destined to be mine, and I was meant to be their Mum. I would say that this was the best decision I have ever made (albeit the most terrifying). Quite simply, it has given me everything I have ever dreamed of, and possibly more. I am pretty sure that if I had been lucky enough to conceive with my own eggs it would have been a one-off miracle, one we would have been incredibly grateful for, but with little hope of a sibling to grow the family. Now I am blessed with three miraculous individual children to complete our family, I just can’t wait to see them grow up together.