Working side by side with clients in their journey to parenthood is one of the most rewarding jobs I’ve experienced in my career. I work with diverse clientele on a daily basis; who make up different ethnic backgrounds and cultures from around the world. While each client has their own unique story to tell, each client also shares the same goal: to become a parent. This is what makes life at DEB USA so fulfilling.
From time to time, I’ve worked with couples in which the male partner is the only point of contact from start to finish. I never hear from the wife or significant other, nor think to ask why. We understand that the topic can be sensitive and our goal is to make the process as stress-free as possible. I’ve always assumed that the wife is probably too busy, or perhaps is too emotionally exhausted to fully concentrate on the logistics of this new step. If I were going through donor egg treatment, I know how much I would need my husband to help me through the emotional ups and downs of such a stressful journey. From a woman’s point of view, there may be a sense of loss for not passing down her family lineage. Some women may find this feeling of loss overwhelming and forget that their husbands or partners also have emotions and dreams regarding a baby. Men sometimes have a different style of communicating; often they do not share their emotions and ‘suck it up,’ as some say. But the truth is that at some point in the donor egg process, whether it is in the beginning or before hitting the “Select” donor button, he may also feel a sense of loss.
When I was a little girl, I would daydream about the children that I would one day have. For many of our clients, remembering those day dreams may be painful and it is completely normal for couples to grieve their genetics. As Heidi Hayes, CEO of Donor Egg Bank USA says in her blog, grieving your genetics, feeling a sense of loss is normal. Both mom and dad will feel these emotions from time to time, but the love a baby will bring to their lives can replace those emotions with feelings of gratefulness. Whether or not the baby is conceived through donor egg or even through a gestational carrier, parents are made by what they do. Parents wake up in the middle of the night with a frightened child, are available to kiss away the boo-boos of life, and to ensure a child has their physical and emotional needs met. This baby may not have the same eyes as their parents, but be certain that this same baby will look into those eyes and feel loved.
We celebrate and applaud the special men who provide strength and encouragement during a couple’s journey to parenthood. Good husbands make wonderful fathers. Someone may not be celebrating the “father” in you this year, but if you persevere, that does not mean you won’t be celebrated next year.
While I definitely mourned the genetic loss, and both my husband and I were very sad not to see what kind of baby the mix of our genes produced, much of this original sadness has been dispelled by the fact that our son looks a lot like his father and paternal family. While I'll always be a little sad not to have passed on the genes from my wonderful family, our little boy is an absolute gem and the most important being in the whole wide world to me. He has made both his father's family and his mother's family extremely happy, and he was obviously what was meant to be!
Submitted by Antonia Stephens 4 years, 9 months ago