De Mommy has a post about celebrities in their 40's having babies and the likelihood that they are using Donor Eggs. I share her frustration that these women, while under no obligation to talk openly about something so private, give the wrong impression to women (and society) that one can be fertile well into their 40's not as a statistical anomaly but as a matter of fact. All you need is a few rounds of IVF and you, too, can have babies right up to the dawn of menopause. Nevermind that fertility for women starts to decline at about 25 and then a more rapid decline at 35.
It got me thinking about the pull if feel between privacy and using my experience to broaden understanding of infertility. While I don't think celebrities are obligated to tell I HATE that it that they don't. It has a negative effect on women because they think they can wait. They think science has not only extended but defeated the biological clock. Additionally, those of us who have trouble conceiving (at any age) are bombarded with these "outliers" as proof that we could...no....should be able to do the same. If I had a nickle for everyone who told me, "look at so and so...they had twins at 40", I could have afforded a few more tries at IVF with my own eggs.
Now I will be one of them (hopefully) and have babies at 40-ish after a few failed IVF's. I'll just let people think that eventually IVF works for everyone. I realize that I will be contributing to what I HATE...I will be part of the problem. I can live with that because I don't want my personal mission to use my experience to build empathy in the world (or my little-infertile corner of it) to overshadow my children's need for normalcy and privacy.
I'm not publicly disclosing that I did DE not because I am ashamed but because I think my future children deserve some privacy...I will tell them and they can decide who/if they tell. I probably know people who have convinced from donor sperm/eggs. I just don't know it. And why should I? It's none of my business. However, if I had known it might have made my decision to do DE easier. Even now I feel alone with my decision which makes me feel the slightest bit unsure. I wish I knew other women IRL who have done/are doing this. This may sound shallow but I felt a-lot better about doing DE when I came to the realization that all those Hollywood actresses probably did it.
Knowing of other families who used third-party reproduction makes me feel less alone. Less of a failure. Like we will be just as ligitimate as other families.
Going public would open up my children and our family to a lot of disapproval. IVF seems to be generally accepted (if misunderstood) but I am learning that third-party rerpoduction is look on, at best, as an unfortunate and pitiable extreme and at worst some Frankenstein-violation of nautre, God and my marital vows.
I understand why Hollywood actresses don't tell. I'm not telling either. Not my mom, dad, in-laws, friends, priest, community, co-workers, brothers. I have 2 IRL friends who know, my two sisters, and I guess I will have to tell my OB/GYN. I think that might be it for a while. (Other than you, my dear internets.)
If I know someone who is struggling with infertility I will tell them so they know the facts....not naively believing some fantasy. I don't want other people to feel alone like I do. I wish I knew someone who had done it. Who understood. Who I wouldn't feel judged by. Someone who would not be prone to describe some other woman as the "real" mother of my children. Someone who would not make them feel like a lesser part of the family than Piccolina.
So while am a transparent person, no secrets, no lies, I will have a secret and will lie if I have to. While I live to clear up erroneous assumptions and set folks straight on all things infertility I will have to simmer down, bite my tongue and let people assume that I am the genetic mother of my children. I can't see doing it any other way and still protect my family.
I'm not even pregnant. They don't even exist yet but I am fiercely protective. Hmm Just like a "real" mom.