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Known donor freak out...

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
It may be that I'm 9 months pregnant and hormonal but progressively and more so in the last few weeks, I've started worrying about our entire donor set up. Our KD is a friend who is partnered to a woman. They are planning on their own kids really soon. KD is not undertaking any official role in Squeaks life but obviously, as a friend, he'll be around. Squeak will know that KD is the nice man who helped make him as soon as it's appropriate. In terms of people who won't mess us about or try and screw us over, I trust KD and his partner 100%.

What I'm nervous about is just facilitating a friendship without constantly throwing back to the fact that he is also our KD. Though it's not a secret, we haven't advertised who our KD is, but many people have guessed and more are bound to once Squeak is earthside. Are others going to make a big deal out of KD? Will I be able to look at my babe without seeing this other person who is not me or DP? And what happens when they have kids? We'll have donor siblings who'll prob be close in age and will play together? How do we navigate that?

I feel so mean because KD and his partner are SO supportive and excited for us but I'm pulling further and further back and really, have no desire to see them until well after the babe is born.

Does anyone have any thoughts or experience?
post #2 of 11
Hi MMM! I guess I don't have any advice, but I can commiserate. Since XP left me, KD and his wife(who is my best friend) have been above and beyond supportive. They helped me pay for birthing classes, have been doing construction work on my house, and are hosting the baby shower. They've been GREAT! But, I find myself nervous that they are going to want too much involvement, that KD's parents will see my babe and immediately "know" it is their grandchild. KD's wife and I have talked about them having kids and what we will tell them. It's very sticky and unclear right now. The only thing I know to do is take one day at a time, not reveal too much info before it's necessary, and definitely avoid any outright lies. No advice, but I'm with you. I'll be watching for experienced answers too.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Pranava Glad to hear that I'm not the only one feeling this way...and also glad to hear that you're so well supported. It's a double edged sword isn't it??
post #4 of 11
Our friend was and is a known donor, and I also found the last months of pregnancy a little disconcerting, and was worried, at the same time that I knew that I trusted our kd and his (female) partner 100%. We actually took the opposite approach--we were totally open with everyone, and outspoken and pedantic about correcting everyone's terminology about our kd from "father" to "donor" for months and months (and I still do, no matter what the situation). Everyone has always known who our daughter's (and this babe's) donor is, and so there's no real *zing* to the info--it just is what is.

As far as revealing information--that's obviously a choice that everyone needs to make within their own zones of comfort. But the nervousness is really typical, I think, particularly during the latter parts of pregnancy. It actually probably took until our daughter was a full 6-8 months until I got over it. What I did was to keep my freaking out to myself (and my partner, who just didn't freak out like I did), and just take all the steps that we needed to take--and keep trusting all of us and our decision, particularly as I wasn't seeing any red flags anywhere--it was my own particular vulnerability during pregnancy (when I always seem to feel more vulnerable anyway). So my advice would be to be gentle with yourselves and your donors--this is a tricky time to navigate..

This time around I'm not experiencing any of that, so that's been nice too!
post #5 of 11
I have never really had a donor freak out, but we did choose a donor who lives on the other side of the country partly because of that. Over Q's life, I've gotten more and more comfortable with normalizing the idea of donors/known donors for others. So I talk about it, explain it, be very non-chalant about our donor when others are nervous talking or asking about him. Like Simcon, I always correct folks when they say father or dad when referring to X, our donor. Q does now, too! I find that my level of comfort with the whole thing really helps other people's level.

And as for the privacy of it, once Q knew and understood that X was his donor, it couldn't really be too private. We don't announce it, but Q often does. And X is often around visiting (or helping us try to make a new babe), so it comes up in conversation when folks say, "Is that your uncle?" Q just says, "No, he's my donor." Most kids shrug it off. Adults, who knows. But sometimes I like knowing that they are privately squirming and then that the next time they hear something like that they won't squirm.

As for the half-sibling issue, I can't speak to that. I just know that the world right now has so very many different types of family and family/friend relationships that having half-siblings in another family may be less strange than we actually think. In our house we talk about our family that lives together, our family that lives in other places, and our "love family" -- the folks who are dear like family but not part of it specifically. Even though a bio connection exists with those future half-sibs, perhaps they will be part of your child's love family.

OK. I feel I'm babbling. Mostly I want to say that I LOVE LOVE LOVE that we know our donor. I love the family we've all created together, and I do often think we'll end up living closer to each other in the end and that will work out. I think it is powerful for our children to know how they came about and for others to know about this too.

Good luck,
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
This is all so good and reassuring to hear.

KD and his partner have just been here and I have to say that I'm sure most of my freak out is totally unfounded. They really are incredibly respectful of boundaries and have never once made a reference to their connection with our pregnancy/babe.

Thanks folks for helping me to put this in perspective. Sure, it's mostly uncharted waters but it's our reality and before we know it, we'll have completely normalised it. We'll be fine. In fact, we'll be great!
post #7 of 11
If it makes you feel any better, I also have had periods of "freak out" about our choice to use an anonymous donor. I had it a little bit at the end of the pregnancy, just because we had NO IDEA what the donor looked like (we later got a baby photo of him, so now we have some idea), and it was a little nerve-wracking to be pregnant with two mystery babies. Then, after the babies were born, I found myself thinking about the donor more than I ever had before. It felt odd that he couldn't know that these babies had just been born in part thanks to his genetic contribution. And I would think about the donor's mother and what she would think about our babies if she could know about them . . . So I really went through a period of wishing that we had used a known donor (still feel that way often).

You will be surprised at how often you have to "out" yourself about the fact that you used donor sperm. It comes up in all sorts of minor confrontations with strangers (i.e. "did he get the red hair from his dad?" "actually, he doesn't have a dad"). It will all become easier and feel more natural with time and practice.

When I imagine what it would be like to make a baby out of a combination of mine and dw's genes, I feel a tightness in my chest. How amazing would that be. I think maybe heterosexual couples take that for granted sometimes (we've had straight friends lament about how lucky we are to not have to worry about birth control, and I'm always like, "are you KIDDING me? You guys can MAKE BABIES TOGETHER!"). Of course, we wouldn't love our children anymore than we already do, but it would still be really cool.

I hope that baby makes an appearance SOON!

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks Lex. It's so true. I resent so much that I can't make a babe with DP. I'd do anything to have a mini DP running around. You wouldn't get cuter that's for certain!!

But thanks for input from your perspective - it's all really useful in helping me process my thoughts and feelings.
post #9 of 11
I found that, for sure. My donor is quite a distance away but I found toward the end of my pregnancy and immediately after my baby's birth I got really anxious and wanted to pull away from him, pretend he didn't exist, tell him as little as possible about my baby, etc. This was all me and I got no sense from him that he was being pushy or wanting involvement. He did offer to send info about bio-half-siblings and I totally balked. I want my babe to have these connections as she grows for sure, but first and foremost I wanted to establish that feeling that she is *mine*, yk? Necessary for attachment I think, totally normal, my friends felt the same way when they accidentally found bio half siblings when their daughter was a baby. Now she is bigger and they welcome more contact but at first they kinda freaked.

I was also worried about my baby looking like him, with my first she looks like her daddy who has a lot of involvement in both our lives and who I feel emotionally connected to. My baby looks mostly like me as far as ppl tell me, her chin looks like his if I look for it, but mosty to me she looks like her, her sweet face is her own sweet face, yk? I am bonded to her deeply, that she was conceived with a donor has had no impact on that, it is their look, and also very much their smell, holding them, seeing them respond to you, watching them develop into themselves, etc that facilitates the bonding I have found. When your LO gets here, you will see, it won't matter.
post #10 of 11
FWIW I have talked to DH about being a donor. I would want what every mama wants. Happy bouncy babies I don't think I would "let" DH donate to a couple (or single mama) that I didn't think could provide that.

So, I guess I would feel I had stake in the child, but not because they are mine, but because they are a child and I am a mother. KWIM? I would feel like my family gave 'your' family a gift. Thats it. A very very precious gift, but its you gift to do whatever you would like to with!

I think donors are great!
post #11 of 11
My son was conceived with the use of a KD/dear friend. I also recall a similar 'freak out' around the end of my pregnancy which lasted utnil we witnessed him sign off on his parental rights a couple days after the birth. Technically there was a 4 week window in which he good have changed his mind (we would have had very little legal recourse), but for some reason, that visit to the notary calmed my nerves.

I definitly feel that as a new mama, it is natural to feel protective and maybe even a little obsessive about preserving your family unit. This is your baby we're talking about and biologically, there is nothing more important to you from a hormonal standpoint. Geez, I remember witnessing my DP's brother hold our son the first time and I broke out in sweats worried he would..I don't even know what!

I think that anxiety about it is probably really normal and it took us all three (me, DP and KND) some time to navigate our new relationship. We have been really open and honest and discussed any issues that have arrived...including DP break-up with his partner, his medical issues, our son;s medical issues, etc... Our son is 16 months now and we couldn't feel more fortunate to have KD in our lives. He is our regular babysitter and our son has a great connection with him that we are really happy to nurture and celebrate. Ironically, we are considering a move out of state and our biggest hesitation is moving our son away, not from grandparents, but from KD!

One last thing-at the advice of our attorney, we also kept quiet about our KD's identity. It was a relief to finally be open with friends (who mostly had guessed) and made the whole situation just seem less stressful.

BTW, Happy birthing!


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