Group Therapy Th- Um, Friday – Donor Eggs and Banana Hammocks

27 Jul

The Dark Knight Rises beckoned yesterday, but just because it’s Friday that doesn’t mean that we can’t do this, right? So let’s get this show on the road!

Dear Mo and the Group:

We’ve made the decision to go ahead with Egg Donation. Now the next point for us – which country to choose – stay at home, have a mahoosive long wait, but in an environment which maximises the knowledge the child has about where they come from, or go overseas, no wait, but only a limited amount of info about the donor available. Oh what to do! p.s. I prefer anonymous as I don’t want the child to abandon me in the future.  He prefers as much knowledge as possible to help the child know where they have come from.



 Well, I know I’m no DE expert – so I’m gonna let the commenters cover most of this (DE ladies – speak up!). Here’s my take on it though:

I think you and your husband do need to come to a consensus about how/if to disclose to the child that he/she was conceived via donor egg. That will make your decision a helluva lot easier.  On another note, I do have something else to say: I think you may be exaggerating when you say you “don’t want the child abandon you.” You’re  underestimating the power of nurture. Just like adoptive kids don’t “abandon” their adoptive parents. Give yourself some credit. Biology isn’t everything. I actually think it counts for very little in the big picture.

I think you may be skirting the true issue here: I don’t think you’ve forgiven yourself yet for the failed cycles. I think you may be viewing donor eggs as a failure on your part. I get it – I truly do – not having faith in your body, and as a result in yourself is a terrible place to be, and I’ve been there. Take a deep breath, and work on forgiving yourself. That will make the process a whole lot easier. Ok? Ok.

Dear Mo and the Group,

Since our loss earlier this year, we’ve had a falling out with my husband’s parents.  It took them nearly 3 months to visit after the loss and when they did, they didn’t talk about our baby.  When we showed them items from our baby, they avoided grieving with us and basically just left.  I appreciate that this was upsetting to them.  What’s more upsetting is that after my husband expressed how hurt he was by their reaction, they stopped calling.  They used to call 1x/week.  My husband and I are so hurt by this behaviour.  When my husband has called on special occasions (bless him, because frankly I couldn’t be bothered) they act like there is nothing wrong.  They never acknowledged us on Mother’s/Father’s day or on our due date.  I’m just not sure what to do.  I don’t have the energy to grieve, fight infertility and repair relationships with hurtful people.

 The Broken Daughter-In-Law

Oh, TBDIL- I’m so sorry that you’re going through this. Here’s what sucks about our kind of loss: It’s mostly ours. While it’s physical and tangible to us, not everyone will acknowledge what it truly is: Losing a child. I can’t say that your In-Laws are right here – because they’re certainly not. But my guess is that they don’t know how to treat you guys. Maybe your husband did explain that he was hurt – but did he explain why? Did he describe the pain you’re going through?

It’s up to you whether you want to do this or not, but I know this has helped me when it comes to my relationships: Because our kind of loss is so difficult to understand, if I see that someone close to me doesn’t “get it”, I take the time to explain it. To tell them how I feel. To explain that I gave birth, that I’m a mother with empty arms. I even sometimes tell them exactly what I need from them so they don’t feel helpless in the face of my sadness.

It’s not the right thing to do, but people sometimes step away when they don’t know how to deal. Sometimes you need to help them help you.

What do the rest of you guys think? Am I being too easy on the In-Laws?

Dear Mo and the Group,

Would you recommend club soda or bleach for cleaning tomato sauce out of a macrame?


Banana Hammock

Didn’t I say no cleaning questions? Because my answer would be dish soap and paper towels. That’s officially my answer to every cleaning question. Let me know how that works out for you! 😛

Dear Mo and the Group,

I am having a career dilema. I was accepted into a Masters in Social Work program in NYC and am slated to start this fall. However, in the past year or so I have started to wonder if this is a path I want to pursue and began researching nursing. I have taken a term of prerequisites for a nursing program and got all As. Now I have a month to make the final decision: Stay on the west coast and pursue Nursing (and hope I get into a program next year) or move back to NYC and start the MSW program. Any advice/opinions are apprecieated!


Indecisive in Oregon

Oh that’s a tough one IIO. My question to you would be – what do you love? I have a feeling it’s nursing from what you wrote. If that’s the case, stick to it.

Here’s something I have to remind myself constantly because I tend to forget it: No decision is set in stone. Life paths often go off track, or change courses, and you always have the right to change your mind. Uprooting your life to move to New York for a program that you’re unsure about seems a bit extreme. If you got in once, you will be able to get in again if/when you’re more sure of yourself. For now – pursue your passion.

Dear Mo and the Group,

I have always had a very difficult time having an orgasm, and never through penetration. I have heard about, read about, and have gone in search of the elusive g-spot. My husband even went on a “g spot safari” and no luck. I am wondering if I was born without one. Can anyone tell me a fool proof way to know if I have one or not, and if so, find that bugger?

 – Orgasmically Challenged

Most women can’t have the big O through regular intercourse. That’s a fact. It’s not by any means a failure on your part. So my take on this is – if you can’t have it on the inside, make sure you get it on the outside every single time. I would go for a two step process here.

The first – purchase a toy. I would recommend a pocket rocket. They’re inexpensive, and very Jr. Varsity as far as toys go. Experiment with it on your outer bits. Then once you get a groove on with it on your own, start incorporating it into your bedroom routine. Once that’s down and you’re getting in the groove, I am also a big proponent of the vib.ra.ting You’ll never go hungry again! Or something!

Ladies – any other insight?

Dear Mo and the Group,

I had infertility, then a son by IVF (3 years ago), then a recent unexpected pregnancy which ended in a 13 week miscarriage (trisomy.) While I had thought I was ok with no more kids (when it wasn’t really possible), having a surprise pregnancy opened up old wounds and I’m struggling now. Problems are- husband doesn’t want more AT ALL and since we both work full-time, and are high stress people, I don’t think our family could handle kid #2 well (should it happen). Also, I’m 37, last m/c from trisomy- so I’m scared of all that happening again. Question- how do I resolve this painful longing in my life when logically, it seems like a no-brainer? My husband is scheduled for vasectomy this fall… so my ‘window’ for trying is coming to a close. (He’s only waiting as it is to make me feel better (should I decide I HAVE to try again!))

– Totally Vacillating and Not Happy About It

Ohhhh- that’s a tough one TVNHAI. First of all, I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. I know as well as anybody that one of the first instincts after a loss is to want to get pregnant again IMMEDIATELY. That is not, however, always the right thing to do. The question is – is your longing for a second child colored by your loss, or was it there all along? If it’s always been there, then you should definitely give it another shot, if your husband is willing to go along with it. If this is colored by the loss, take another month. Take a step back and take care of yourself a bit. That should be your first, second, and third priority right now. As for a second child in that circumstance – maybe. But only when your head is at least partially cleared of that grief.

Dear Mo and the Group,

What are your thoughts or opinion on reconciling a marriage, mid-divorce, with a history of infidelity? My husband and I have been separated for seven months, I filed for a divorce several months ago and have decided (not 100%), that I want my marriage to work. Since the separation, he has been involved with someone else. He has apologized for this and stated he only did it bc he thought we were over. He has since ended things with her and days he’s ready to be committed to being a husband and a father.. Oh, did I mention we have three boys under three and he only saw them a dozen times during our separation. I want to trust him again and I have strong beliefs on the sanctity of marriage but I’m scared. Help!!

– Separated and Confused

Oh SC, this is so hard! If there weren’t kids involved I would unceremoniously say get rid of the excess baggage and move on. I’m sure that you would do the same much more easily if that were the case.

On the other hand, your husband doesn’t seem to really be making an effort here. A good mommy is a happy mommy, and I have a feeling your happiness isn’t really on the top of this guy’s list.

I’m not personally a child of divorce, but I have plenty of friends who have said that in the long run, they are glad their parents separated. I also have some friends who grew up in homes with loveless marriages and have serious commitment issues as a result.

In the end – whatever decision you make – don’t forget that your happiness is key to these kids happiness.

What do you guys think?

Have at it in the comments – tell me where I went terribly wrong!

16 Responses to “Group Therapy Th- Um, Friday – Donor Eggs and Banana Hammocks”

  1. jak July 27, 2012 at 19:00 #

    holy crap, mo, you’re good. you’re like an oracle.

  2. April July 27, 2012 at 19:26 #

    Oh, GTT, I’ve missed you! Thanks for bringing it back, Mo!

    Separated and Confused: it is a long, hard road to save your marriage. We are almost three years after his infidelity, and it’s still a struggle sometimes. But it gets better, it gets easier, as long as you both know that this is what you want and are willing to work for it. You’re not going to always be on the same page; my husband was still keeping major secrets from me until last year.

    A lot of people will never understand why you would still want to be married after infidelity, and their questions may make you question yourself. You’re not going to know 100% that this is what you want, but as long as that’s what you’re leaning towards, it’s YOUR choice, no one else’s.

    If he will see a marriage counselor with you, that’s fantastic, but if not, you can go by yourself and still learn a lot. You have a lot to work through just with your own feelings, and it’s so important to understand them.

    If you need someone to talk to or have other questions about our story you can email me at aprilvak at yahoo dot com.

  3. K.Smitty July 27, 2012 at 19:27 #

    @scared and confused, I second Mo, on the fact that children of divorce tend to do better if the divorce was truly meant to be. My parents got divorced, but my mom refused to file until I was 18. Our lives were better after that, but I resented her for a long time for not doing it sooner “for my sake.” A second thought to add, I have a dear friend who is my age who has been married less than 2 years and recently filed for divorce. The relationship was always dysfunctional, but she finally realized that she kept taking him back because she missed being in a relationship, not necessarily because she missed him. But she missed sitting on the couch watching TV with a buddy who liked the same shows. I would make sure you don’t want your husband back for that reason too. Divorce sucks, and I’m a strong proponent that marriage is worth fighting for. But sometimes people simply get (and stay) together for the wrong reasons. It doesn’t mean you’re in love, it’s just a testament to the fact that we usually don’t like to be alone. Before you go and fight for your marriage again, be sure it’s worth fighting for. Otherwise, moving on will be tough at first, but I really do think that you’ll be happier in the end. It will just take time.
    Best of luck!

  4. pjsarecomfyn July 27, 2012 at 19:32 #

    I think your responses were great. The only one I feel qualified at all to tackle is the vibrator one. I have the same issues. There was a point in my life I could achieve the O through intercourse alone. Those days are gone. Now it can only be achieved externally. So the vibrator is a MUST. And I have never encountered an attendant at a adult store who wasn’t super helpful in picking out a good model/brand. It feels weird, but once you are there it becomes super comfortable. “anal beads? I talk about those all the time on a normal basis”.

  5. cassiedash July 27, 2012 at 20:29 #

    I thing you pretty much covered it all, Mo, and you did it so well!

    But I do have one thing to say to Flowergirl: As a child who was conceived from Donor Sperm in the ’80s, I have almost no information about the donor, but that has not stopped me from searching high and low for all the information that I can find. In fact, I think knowing nothing has made me want to know SOMEthing even more. What I’m trying to say is that having an anonymous donor won’t keep your child from wondering and wanting to know more. Instead, it’s a painful longing that never ends. On a somewhat different note…I do not have a good relationship with my “dad,” but that has nothing to do with the fact that he isn’t my biological dad. It’s just the way the cards fell because of what he has put my mom and I through. I have no doubt that if he had been a good father who loved and nurtured me my whole life, that relationship would be irreplaceable and I would maybe not even feel the desire to know more about the donor. So as long as you love your child and do the best you can (no need for perfection here) — then your child will love you no less, whether s/he knows the egg donor or not. You will always be “Mom.” Good luck in making the decision where to go and with proceeding forward!

  6. Courtney July 27, 2012 at 20:36 #

    @flowergirl – in regards to you not wanting your child to abandon you, I’m with Mo on this. I’m sure you’re worried about that, but donor egg is different from adoption in the sense that the donor didn’t birth the child and give it away – she donated an egg that YOU will carry. I am not a mother of a DE baby, but I did research this at one point as we were failing our cycles and the general consensus was that DE is very different from adoption in this regard. The child was not a child when the donor decided to give it away – it wasn’t even a cell yet because they cycle hadn’t started yet when she decided to take part in the DE cycle with you. The sense of abandonment just isn’t the same with DE as it can be (and often times, isn’t) with adoption. I hope this helps. It will be OK!

    @TBDL – oh the inlaws. They are avoiding what makes them uncomfortable. I think they’re handling your loss the same way my family handled our IF – they just don’t get it. Unless they’ve been through it themselves, they just don’t get it. I’m sorry. We get it though!

    Mo – I am not the OC writer – but thanks for the advice 😉 I needed that 😉

  7. alexmmr July 27, 2012 at 22:24 #

    Separated and confused – no. Just no. He displays no interest in you as a person or his family. If you had said he’s been devoted, visiting constantly, parenting as best he can from another household, he misses you, than maybe there might be a reason to reconcile. But no. He didn’t exactly mourn the loss of his life partner and family while they were gone now did he? Nope, he got himself some replacement tail and took a vacation from fatherhood. You’re only considering him back because of fear. The devil you know isn’t as scary as the devil you don’t. You left for a reason. That reason is still there, and you can see that even more reasons have shown themselves. If you go back to him, you’ll be doing this all over again a year from now. I’m sorry, but he’s just not that into you. A marriage and family is built around 2 people who care for each other more than themselves. And he obviously doesn’t care at all. Please don’t be that woman, you know who I’m talking about – unhappy, the victim of infidelity, and clinging to something that’s both hopeless and worthless. Don’t teach your children that’s what they should strive for in life. Teach them to strive for more by insisting on having more for yourself.

    • April July 28, 2012 at 00:40 #

      alexmmr, ‘He has since ended things with her and says he’s ready to be committed to being a husband and a father.’ That’s the first and most important thing he can do to show that he cares.

      Remember, nothing can be unsaid once it’s said. If this were your sister or best friend or daughter, and she did reconcile happily ever after, vitriolic advice can damage your relationship for a long time. I know it’s most people’s gut reaction to infidelity, but ultimately, the choice to reconcile is the couple’s, and theirs alone.

      She asked for opinions in general first, then went on to give specifics, but did not ask directly what she should do.

      Mo, if you think I’m out of line or being disrespectful, please let me know. That’s definitely not my intention here.

      • Mo July 28, 2012 at 00:43 #

        Not at all – this whole thing is about lively conversation. Keep it going!

      • alexmmr July 28, 2012 at 05:52 #

        My advice was not meant to be vitriol, but rather a tough love reality check. He’s said he’s ready to be a husband and father. Well that’s awesome. But don’t they all say that? She says nothing about how he’s demonstrated his commitment. All we know is that he’s been unfaithful before, as soon as she left he found someone else to spend his time with, and he hasn’t shown an interest in raising his children. To me, that indicates someone who simply isn’t invested. No heartbreak on his behalf at losing his family and the woman he loves, he just let them go and replaced her with someone else to spend his time with. And his reason? “I thought we were through.” I’m sorry, but that’s not the response of someone who’s having any emotional turmoil at all, and if I were to lose the person I want to spend my life with, I’d be having some turmoil. Had he said something about how he was desperately lonely without her and was trying to fill the void, ok, at least that would show some sort of reaction to her not being there anymore. There’s simply nothing in what she says to indicate that he has any emotional investment at all other than he SAYS he wants to come back and be a husband and father. Sure, give him the opportunity to show that he means it, but don’t reconcile first and then hope he follows through. Make him follow through first and save the reconciling for way far away in the future. The divorce can be put on hold, but if everything goes back to the way it was, he’s likely going to get bored again, take you for granted again, and it will be a pain in the ass to start the whole process over again, which is what a lazy lover counts on. Keep things in such a state that you can walk away at a moments notice and force him to really earn the trust back before changing your life around again. Stay separate for now. If he’s committed, he’ll travel to see you and the kids. He’ll make it work even though it’s not convenient. But if you make it convenient first and then hope he proves he’s committed, you’ll be both disappointed and stuck.

        • April July 28, 2012 at 20:24 #

          It’s not just up to him to make it work. It’s a team effort, and refusing to allow a real opportunity to rebuild trust doesn’t show that you want to trust someone again at all. It’s impossible to make a marriage work by not behaving as a married couple. It’s not giving a chance to say ‘I want you in my life, but you have to live somewhere else and be in my life sometimes.’ Disappointed and stuck are not inevitabilities.

  8. Amy July 28, 2012 at 02:12 #

    Dang, girlfriend, this was a long post!

    K. To Flowergirl, I’d say that in my state (Washington), or at least with the clinics we’ve consulted for DE, we’re required to see a pyschiatrist before we’re matched with a donor…which means we TOTALLY have to be on the same page with questions like what we’ll tell our future child about their creation. (And…this is why we haven’t made the appointment yet…we’re not on the same page, either, so far.)

    To TBDIL, are you me? No, wait, I didn’t pose the question to Mo, but it mirrors my life and experience over the past year after losing my twins. I’ll tell ya what, I HAVE confronted my mother-in-law, told her she was the reason I was afraid that family was going to try and forget my children (even though they all saw them in my hospital room, albeit dead), AND told her what I needed from her/them. That was, oh, January, and very little has changed. They actually opted not to attend a very important babyloss fundraiser walk with us and MY family because – get this – they had a camping trip planned. F*ck ’em, I say.

    To Orgasmically Challenged, I’m right there with you. I recommend the Toys in Babeland website. They are all for/by women, and have (or used to) some pretty good instructions on finding it. (I have only O’d a few times during penetration. It’s not that big of a deal…there are other ways that are more fun, anyway!)

  9. Wannabemom July 28, 2012 at 02:44 #

    @ Indecisive — I’m a social worker (MSW), albeit in Canada. It’s a wonderful career. Challenging, stressful and often under-paid and under-valued, but I love the work that I do. I don’t know a lot about nursing but I know you can do all kinds of nursing jobs. You can do all kinds of social work jobs too. I guess ask yourself, are you more interested in healing people’s bodies or their minds? Social work is about solving life problems, whereas I see nursing (although there are variations) is about solving medical and health problems. Good luck with your choice!

    @Seperated — I think you’ll never know what could have been unless you try. If you think your marriage could work with a little elbow grease, then what do you have to lose? You’re already prepared to leave, so at the very worst, you prolong the inevitable. Get some counselling, take it slow, and see. What will be, will be. Actions speak louder than words. It sounds like you want to give him another chance, so let him prove his worth. On a side note, affairs happen because people aren’t getting their needs met. What were you both missing from your relationship?? Good luck.

    @Mo — you rock for doing this.

  10. Jonelle July 28, 2012 at 03:13 #

    @Orgasmically Challenged – Have you tried something as simple as repositioning? Like, maybe propping a pillow under your hips? I too was having trouble acheiving the great and powerful O (stress and other stuff on my mind). I know for me, it had a lot to do with the angling of things. If it isn’t just right it can cause a problem. The pillow under the hips has worked great! Even Hubby likes the angling as it helps his knees. Just my two cents 🙂 Good Luck!

  11. flowergirl July 28, 2012 at 09:22 #

    Hello ladies, thanks for the awesome responses, I have really appreciated it. I have to admit since posting the q, we have actually been to our clinic and had an hour long chat there, that really helped. It helped us further to get on the same page with DE – that actually, he was more concerned about the medical side rather than known donor, at which he is more open for, and we kind of know how we want to go. But dang you girl for spotting the dealing with moving on, but we know we need more counselling before we can move forward, so maybe we do that in parallel rather than just rush into the treatment – plus my work is so manic at the moment I want some downtime at work so I can recover and get myself in a good place.

  12. Theresa July 28, 2012 at 13:53 #

    Mo you give great advice! My only thing, to Scared and Confused – is that it’s great he SAYS it, but will he DO it? In the end, that is what matters.

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