Last night Gaye and I went to talk to our known donors (KD). We have known this couple for sometime, they are particularly good and old friends of Gaye's. We like 'em, a lot.
About 10 months ago Gaye was discussing with them the idea of a KD and how we thought that perhaps that was what we wanted to do together now, but we just weren't sure whom and did they have any ideas. I wasn't there, but I know that Gaye had this conversation without them mind (they afterall had gone through the whole IVF thing themselves and were now 7 months pregnant.) It was a general discussion about the process.
They being the sort of people they are rang her about 10 minutes after she left and said 'we'll do it, we really want to, we needed help, why wouldn't we help you?'
Gaye came home (eyes a bit red from tears) and we talked about it. I have good friends who donated to a lesbian couple more than 18 years ago, their children have all grown up together in what I can only describe as a extended family type situation. The parents are the parents but all the adults are connected and engaged with the children that aren't theirs in a aunty/uncle type way. All the kids have known about it forever. I have been really influenced by this - watching and knowing this for the last 12 years or so. It has been a good and joyful thing.
These babies's they just don't come easy to Gaye and I. She has had years of "trying" (unknown donor, ivf, girlfriends eggs the whole gig), and I "tried" for more than 4 years of heartache and struggle before Thomas finally decided to come along (irregular eggs and sperm it turned out!).
They just don't come easy to us...but, gawd, do we want them, both of us.
So we started down the road, using this donor meant ivf, and ivf meant tests and counselling and waiting for six months to make sure that the sperm was ok.
This week the six months of waiting was up and the KD has decided he just can't do it. He has a beautiful baby now and he says he 'just knows' that he would feel connected to a baby in a way that wouldn't be ok, that he would find it so hard to walk away and leave us to it. I love that about him. I love that he knows that about himself. He feels torn and worried about us, about Gaye. He likes the concept of donating, but he just can't do it. He didn't know it before his daughter was born, but he does now. I admired the strength and honesty he showed when he told us.
We knew, a phone call last week was a bit of a heads up when he said he was worried. We agreed over the weekend that we wouldn't go ahead, that we would walk in the door and Gaye would say 'we think we should leave it, no worries, we loved the thought and we love you' which she did. We left each other well, with plans to see each other soon and a sense of warmth between us.
It is disapointing but I am surprisingly ok with this outcome. We have spent much time workshopping our way through the known and unknown donor discussion again and I find myself able to see positives in both ... so we've made our plan b (back to the clinic we go).
And Gaye, being Gaye, has been strong, calm and found the gifts in the thought and the processes we have all been through. And that has made me love and admire her a little bit more and made me all the more sure that we will find what we need to keep on the rollercoaster a bit longer.