She was in her early 40s and freshly separated when the desire to live with a child became overwhelming. This was followed by inseminations, test tube experiments, grief and despair, and finally: an embryo donation. The protocol of an insatiable longing.
For fun I say to my two-year-old daughter, when she cries : Since I have made but no cross. And if she does something really great: That can only be the super epi-genetics. Jokes I only allow myself when we’re in twos, because no one knows the kid is the result of a kind of laboratory wizardry.
Seed and egg cell were randomly mixed together at my daughter’s
Even more, this bundle, which makes me happy every day, was born not only in a petri dish, but also in a foreign land with the genetic ingredients of two completely unknown creatures: two donors who probably do not even know each other. Their sperm and ovum were arbitrarily “mixed” by an embryologist or embryologist and frozen after successful division. I do not know what criteria exactly this cell pile was selected for me. Except that I had to send photos of myself and the friend who lent me his signature for the paperwork.
“That’s Frankenstein!”, A friend revolted when I first played with the idea of an egg donation.
If, on the other hand, strangers, given my age of 47 years at the birth of my daughter, speculate that things may not be right, I do not care. Still, I do not talk to anyone about their genetic origin. I am silent, amazed and happy that everything is as it is. About the fact that after an incredibly long and hard way like the proverbial virgin I came to this absolute wish child. And I’m glad that my child, as with “normal” parents my age, not yet pubescent, moves out or already makes Abi.
I felt alone with my longing
I have everything that reproductive medicine has to offer behind me. At the beginning of 40, I noticed with adrenaline rushes that I have no time to lose if I want a baby. I was single for a couple of years, even leaving my friend because he did not feel ready for a kid. He was seven years younger than me and wanted all the strength for his career.
But I wanted to continue towards the family. But a new partner can not knit, even worse, when it is written on the forehead that you only want one thing: Sex! But please only with option on offspring. I found an online forum for singles who wanted to have children and felt at least less alone with my all overshadowing or rather overshadowing feeling of wanting to be a mother. There I found many valuable tips.
It did not work with the cup method
First, I started looking for a private donor. I had found that relatively quickly. A handsome, smart actor in his early thirties, a good family, who first saw the lucrative extra income and, after a while, his job in helping academics to take care of their children. He gave his sperm to “needy”.
After some introductory rounds in the park, he visited me once a month in my apartment, when I had my ovulation, disappeared in my bathroom, then handed me a cup with his sperm and left. What followed then is called the “cup method”. There are women who have used the mug method on motorway restaurants with anonymous donors and have become pregnant. For outsiders, the idea to fertilize themselves with the sperm of a relatively strange man on his own, certainly hard to understand.
For me it was a liberation. I felt self-determined and strong and no longer like a bitch in heat. No more this pressure to hang around the time of my ovulation in bars or clubs hoping to tow old or new lover. Although this idea comes to you in times of need; and also cases of women who secretly incorporate the precious seeds landed on the belly or other parts of the body secretly in the bath with spoon and syringe.
The next attempt: A sperm depot in Denmark
I tried that for about half a year. Without success. I had to drive harder guns. And I made my way to Copenhagen , where midwives “inseminate” in reputable clinics. Some have a sperm depot in Switzerland, I had one in Denmark. For that I spent a lot of time searching through databases. Only the child photos of the donors plus motivation interviews are given. So I chose the very sweetest babies and listened to male voices. And according to these two criteria so-called straws ordered at an international Spermabank. A straw is a vessel – a stalk – in which the seed can be welded and frozen in a nitrogen tank at minus 196 degrees Celsius and stored. Incidentally, German sperm banks are lagging behind in terms of the quality of donor sperm.
In parallel, I attended meetings of members from the forum. Normal, smart women from different areas. Sometimes up to three babies from the same donor were in the café with them. Sometimes, after one of the women had become a successful mother, suddenly an offer for a straw with sperm from “Woodey” hung on the virtual bulletin board.
Zig attempts later: still no success
I heard about the forum from a doctor in Berlin, who helps single women with a desire to have children – I finally did not have to travel to Copenhagen. An attempt, monitored by monitor, ended with as many as seven or eight premature leaking eggs brought together with the expensive seed by insemination. Although the chances of success were low, irresponsible because of the quantity of oocytes alone. The private bill, which fluttered into my house, was over 4000 euros. Ouch.
The next, equally expensive trial yielded two “useful” embryos, both of which were used to me. I was so into the hormone rush that I was 100 percent sure I was pregnant. My breasts swelled, my abdomen throbbed. What should that do, if not my longingly desired baby? All women in this phase listen nonstop to themselves. Almost everyone feels pregnant.
Then the call in practice after the blood test. Negative. This is brutal and unbearable. It has been reported to me that it is hard for doctors to work too long in the fertility industry because they are dealing with such a highly emotionally charged topic. I can confirm that from my side.
I could not imagine a life without a child. Even a therapy could not dissuade me from this desire.
My laboriously earned money melted away. The emotional pressure: without words. The yearning for a baby: unfulfilled. The Tunnelblick: obviously. These friends, who advised me: If you do not stop it, then you take damage. To body and soul.
I was advised to donate eggs, but I wanted an embryo donation
In the expensive practice, which helps quite a lot of women to the desired child, I was told to go over to the egg donation. “Your eggs can not do any more, so if you want to be successful, you’ll be able to make friends with the subject, which we can not offer here, but you have a good chance abroad, for example in Spain , Poland or the Czech Republic.”
As a woman without a husband I decided to donate the embryo. In England or Finland open donations are possible – you can even decide who gets mixed with whom. But in my case, the money was not enough and I decided to donate anonymous embryos.
I traveled several times to Spain, had several tubal pregnancies , and I was removed a fallopian tube with the embryo who had lost there. I was mentally exhausted. I have not talked to my friends for a long time about my “wrong ways”. I felt sad, lost and hopeless. I tried to put an end to everything, let it go somehow, and turn to new things in life. Even if I could not think of it.
I took a long break. A woman from the forum, with whom I shared a similar history of suffering, said to me: “You can still get pregnant, so do not give up.” She was now a mother thanks to a clinic in the Czech Republic. So I went, deeply sad, to this clinic and had an embryo in tears transfer.
To distract myself, I drove afterwards in the mountains. It all felt the same as the other pseudo-pregnancies. When I did the pee-test, he was positive. No reason to enjoy. I had a lot of positive tests before that. Then the blood test at the gynecologist. She phoned me on the phone at ten in the evening to tell me about a hCG-worthy picture. Then the ultrasound. A beautiful little gummy bear in the right place. It went on and on. I had to spit until the end. Being pregnant, I found stupid.
And was so relieved. I no longer felt like childlessness. I could be together again with friends who have children, could pass playgrounds without a lump in my throat. Could smile at parents carrying babies in front of their bellies.
I’m amazed every day about my girl – what a miracle!
Although I could barely tell anyone until almost the end and it seemed unreal to me until the day of her birth. I could not imagine anything. Until she was born. Since then, nothing is as it was. I’m amazed every day about my girl. What a wonder she exists. Each of their cells nourished by mine. Only the ingredients are not from my clan. Like a recipe. A great recipe.
Of course, I wonder where their ingredients come from. Who are the donors? Do her parents know about her? Do you know if a child has grown from their egg donation or sperm cell? Did siblings or half-siblings emerge from this, as in our women’s group? Where do both live? Scattered across continents?
At the same time I think: That this child has found to me, is so incredibly unique. Just as unique as the miracle that a child arises from a sperm and an egg. This too is the product of an infinite coincidence. The two donors probably do not know each other, would not have come together in normal life. And my daughter would not be there without this clinic, which would not exist if people like me did not long for such “gene kits.”
What outsiders probably do not understand: It’s not about designer kids, IQ, looks. It’s about the deep longing for motherhood or fatherhood. It is a selfish motive. But is it less so with other parents?
Sometimes the question also drives me to the question: What if the energetic person really wants to know everything, and persistently investigates? But I always think that without me she would not be in this world. It would still be in a refrigerator would have been “exported” elsewhere. Or a performance would have failed, as so many with me. Then she would not be there.
She reconciles me with my destiny. Being in the world, I am glad that up to her every attempt has failed. Otherwise I would not have gone so far, and she would not have come into my life. For me it feels like a very early adoption that would not have been officially possible for me as a single. And it’s also a bit exciting and special that she’s not descended from my unmusical, unsportsmanlike clan. Much more exotic.
Luckily I never gave up!
It is the greatest gift of my life that we have come together. I silence her, I give her everything I have and what I can. Every day. Everyone who sees us says how similar we see each other. And when I lose sight of them in the playground for a moment, I feel the throbbing fear that I could be crazy and just dreamed the last two years.
My feelings for this wild little person are bigger, more beautiful and stronger than anything I’ve ever imagined. And I’m incredibly relieved that I never gave up. And when she cries again and raves, I just whisper to her again: “But I did not make any cross, my darling.”
An article from BRIGITTE Woman 06/2019
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