Preparation is all…

One of the projects that I have at the moment is writing a booklet for people who are planning, pregnant or already have a second or subsequent child by donor conception, when they already have one conceived without help at all or IVF with their own eggs and sperm.  I have been interviewing DCN families and have had contact via forums and email to the office from others in this situation.  Sometimes it is a year or so down the line and couples are now faced with decisions about whether it is right that the eldest child should be ‘told’ or whether the donor conceived child should be the first to have the information.  Sometimes a woman who has longed for a second child and who eventually becomes pregnant by donor egg finds it difficult to celebrate her pregnancy because the implications of the step she has taken suddenly hit her like an express train.  We have noticed in DCN that sometimes women (and it is usually women) manage to temporarily ignore the boundaries that they might usually put in place for themselves, because of the huge need/desire for a child…and it could be a first or a second.  By focusing narrowly on the goal of pregnancy they avoid the difficult questions and when their aim is achieved, the qualms and the questions that would normally set off alarm bells reappear and they find themselves very shocked by their own actions.   Often it is just a question of giving themselves time to ‘catch up’ with their own decision making and realise that there are lifetime implications but that they don’t have to be faced all at once and are definitely manageable.  Sometimes some sessions with a counsellor can be helpful.  Very occasionally, and tragically, a deliberate termination of the pregnancy is the outcome. What would be great is if everyone who was considering egg or sperm donation came on one of our Preparation for DC Parenthood weekends BEFORE they conceived.  It would save a lot of heartache.


About oliviasview

Co-founder and now Practice Consultant at Donor Conception Network. Mother to two donor conceived adults and a son conceived without help in my first marriage.
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One Response to Preparation is all…

  1. Eva says:

    This is a bit old entry now, but I’m catching up with the whole (very interesting) blog – I just wanted to add that sometimes despite all the preparation things may go out of control totally. I myself know of 2 cases of termination after donor conception – one rather early after the postive test, another in the 4th month. Both on the ground of mental health problems – the inability to cope with “a stranger’s baby” developing inside and severe panic attacks (one ended up in a psychiatric care). Both women seemed ok with the decision of the DC at the beginning – but imagining it and living through it are two different things..

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