Parenting after becoming a parent via egg donation
My son is almost 15 and a half. He is a classic teenager. Gone are the days of wanting to hang out with mom, or run to the store with mom, or go out for a meal with mom, or any of those fun things we moms did with our kids before they were teenagers.
I’m no longer cool.
My kid would rather hang out with his friends, text for hours with his friends, listen to his kind of music, and lecture me about how I just don’t understand the world, and that my politics are just way off the mark.
I’m also in the stupid bucket. I’ve been there for about a year, and I probably won’t come back out of it until he’s 25.
Sometimes at night after he’s gone to bed I will going to his room and for a few minutes just watch them sleep and reminisce about the time when he was in my belly, newly born and in my arms, a toddler, and a little kid. Naively, I thought for sure that since I had this kid in such a special way, through Egg Donation, and many many years of infertility that my relationship with him would be much different then perhaps the relationship I had with my mom.
Boy was I wrong.
I can remember as a teenager thinking my mom was not with it, stupid, a square, Old fashioned, too strict and such a drag. But I sure needed her, and wanted her when I was sick, scared, wanted her to intervene with dad on my behalf, or needed money.
So interestingly enough life is coming full-circle. I turned out pretty darn good, independent, self-assured, great at my job, and overall a pretty darn good egg.
My kid is turning out the same way – so my husband and I must be doing something right. He’s been accepted into a summer music program in another state where he will live for part of the summer, without us, in a dorm, independently. And he so incredibly excited about the prospect of being away from mom and dad for a period of time over the summer that he can’t stand it. And while I am crazy proud of him, his musical ability, and how well he’s doing in his craft there’s part of me that’s sad and nervous about him going away.
The point to all of this is regardless of how our children come into the world – either the old-fashioned way, straight IVF with our own genetics, Egg Donation, embryo donation, Surrogacy, adoption, or foster care they are still our kids. And as I learned from one of my very good friends Carole ( who btw is an amazing mental health therapist) it’s normal for our teenagers to behave the way that they do because they are doing what’s natural which is separating themselves from us because they are growing up and becoming adults.
And this comes full circle for me, “Love not genes makes a family” – Carole LieberWilkins, MA, MFT. And it’s true- having my kid through Egg Donation did not define me as an egg donor mother or him as an egg donor son. When Nick was brought into the world I became his mom and he became my son period.
All of that messy parenting stuff that we all experience as parents happens just the way it supposed you regardless of the genetic makeup of our kids.
So if you’ll excuse me, while I go into his room one more time and sit at his piano bench and just look around his messy bedroom, his pictures, dirty clothes, unmade bed, empty glasses,and breathe in that teenage boy smell only a bedroom of a teenage boy has- i’m going to drink it all in because one of these days this bedroom will truly be a guestroom, a library, or hopefully someplace that his kids will come back and sleep.
But the reality is they all grow up regardless of how they come into the world, and truly the egg donation aspect doesn’t factor in one iota.