Monday, September 7, 2009

Of Things to Come

I have been diligently working on the story book/comic book by which we will finally reveal our pregnancy to family and close friends. It's been a fun project, so I've found that as I draw, write, erase and draw some more, the hours are flying by.

The framework is finished. I have 21 half-sheet pages of text/cartoon, plus copies of our ultrasounds inserted in the appropriate places. Now all I need to do is finalize the detail in some of the drawings, colorize and wait to add the ultrasound from my upcoming September 18 appointment. Then we'll make several copies and put them in the mail.

I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out.

Here's a preview of a couple of the (unfinished) cartoon frames (not in sequence):





I hope you can make out the images, they're just sketched in pencil right now so they're not very dark.

My DH and I may not yet agree on a name, but one important thing we agree on is being open about use of donated embryos. We want this fact to be part of our child's knowledge, memory and sense of who he is. Without shame, without excuse, without secrets. I feel like we've been blessed with a miracle. Why should I try to pretend it is something it's not?

Of course this doesn't mean I'm planning to tell the story to the grocery clerk or the TV repairman. But our child, our friends and our family will know the truth from the get-go.

Part of the reason my husband feels so strongly about full disclosure is because he did not learn until he was 10 years old that his oldest brother is actually his half brother. His mother had a first marriage (which my DH knew), from which his brother was born (which my DH did not know). His mom then married my DH's dad and had the remaining 3 kids.

When my DH learned the truth, he was devastated. Not because his brother was not his "real" brother, but because he felt lied to, cheated, not trusted to know the truth. He has carried a shred of resentment about that his whole life.

So he is firm (and I agree) that our child will learn all about who he is and where he came from. First in simple, global terms. Later in more detail. But it will never be a shock.

My sil, Wacky P's two kids are both from sperm donors. The kids, now ages 10 and 5 (or 6) have no idea. She never wants them to know the truth. She wants them to believe that her husband (the only dad they've known) is their genetic father. But you know what happens with secrets. They eventually get out. Someone blabs. Someone slips. Someone forgets. And then what? Imagine how those kids will feel if they learn the truth at age 15 or 20?

Just something to consider.
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16 comments:

embieadoptmom said...

As an adopted child myself, THE TRUTH has always been told to me and is the only option in my eyes. We plan on telling everyone our story especially about our adopted embryos. It's NOTHING to be ashamed of. Something to be proud of! My parents always told me that I was "picked" and that always made me feel so special. Plus just being able to raise awareness about embryo adoption/donation is another reason. HUGS!

cindyhoo2 said...

I agree 100%!! J and I plan to tell the child from day 1 also and we have also been very open with our families about our use of donor eggs. I know J and I and we are terrible at keeping secrets... so that is not an option in our lives.

I love the comic book start. I cannot wait to see the completed version.

BTW: do you know a way to avoid bruises from the PIO? The shots don't hurt when J gives them but then I have sore bruises afterward.

IVF 40+ said...

Yeah, we are doing the same. I have told about 3 people in real life but no more. Not till the kid knows and understands. Then I'll happily discuss it with anyone. As far as family and friends go we will say we got preggers thru IVF but leave out the DE bit till the kids is old enough to decide for him or herself.
We were told that there are great books out there that explain the whole thing to kids.

K said...

I'm in full agreement on the full disclosure. (Love your storybook, BTW.) However, my DH has presented an interesting scenario involving the possibility of a known sperm donor to us, should our IVFs continue to be unsuccessful. His hope is that we could do a successful IUI with the donor. The problem is, it will be an issue with both of our families when they find out who the donor is. So, therefore, we would NOT tell anyone until after the child was old enough to know first. How's that for messed up? Sigh....

anofferingoflove said...

i *love* the book and am totally impressed with your artistry! cannot wait to see the finished product!

Fran said...

Completely agree petal. Honesty is the way to go. If I get pregnant again and with a baby at the end of it I'll be very very open about our journey too.
Love the book! Fran

just me, dawn said...

i agree with you about honesty....it saves from someone slipping in the future, because eventually it does happen, and there is nothing to hide, you have a miracle :)
love the storyboard!

Pookie-san` and ME said...

Cute way to reveal, I like that idea.
G

stillhopeful said...

OMG - I love the needle in the butt picture - how funny!! You have a great talent for drawing, this is going to be an awesome book. What a good way to explain the situation to everyone. I wonder if there's a market for something like this since so many people go down a similar route...

BB said...

I love your story book idea! Can I hire you to do mine? :)

We are certainly telling our kids how they were made. I agree with truth telling 100%. Our entire family and close friends know our story. I can't imagine them finding out by anyone but us. My sister gave us such a gift, I would never want to hide that from anyone.

Love your u/s pic!!! Did I mention I asked for one tomorrow? Can't wait until 10/16. I'll explain more on my blog.

looking4#3 said...

As stilhopeful commented, I LOVE the needle in the butt pic. It truly have me ROFL!!! Just cracked me up. (Of course, it is not me depicted in the picture, I'm sure if it were, my reaction would be remarkably different)
As to the baby knowing where he/she came from. Kuddos to you both!! I think starting children off with secrets right from the beginning is terrible. I have a friend who's father was not his biological father. He was not told of this til he was 18! It threw him into a tailspin that unfortunately, he could not recover from.
Honesty is the best policy. There is nothing to hide. Having him/her, loving him/her is all that matters. And that you have already proven to be an expert at!!

Mad Hatter said...

You sound like such a wonderful mom. Your baby is so lucky to have you and your DH.
Love,
Maddy

Holly said...

My husband & I have been open to everyone about our adopted embryos that resulted in our son...he used to get a big kick out of it when we would tell people. He would say "Holly is pregnant"...."it's not Mine"...shocked looks, confusion..."it's not hers either"...total confusion, lots of laughs and the perfect lead in for our story.

He has also actually written and illustrated a book for our son called "The Snowflake Baby and the Magical Snowglobe", showing him waiting in his "snowglobe" test tube and dreaming of being someone's baby, etc...we hope to get it published.

tireegal68 said...

Sorry I have been MIA .I missed you and all my blogging friends. Love the story book AND the truth! Can't wait to hear the reactions you get from the book! (hugs)

densfordfamily said...

ah, this is a great post. i have just now started seriously considering donor embies. i am getting excited about it, but still have a lot of questions of course.

for example - how to tell, who to tell, when to tell. i know i would tell my child asap. my oldest brother is adopted and he always knew - and he's the one that explained it to me when i was a little one. there is no other way on that part. but i'm not even sure how to explain it to my child so they would know how very WANTED they were - i guess i would have time to figure that out. and i'm not sure who else would really need to know...i mean, i probably wouldn't tell anyone the details of an unmedicated traditional conception, either!

ah, so much to think about. i'm glad i can follow along with your experience - thanks so much!

looking4#3 said...

Thanks for the encouragement. The hope fairy seems to have left my shoulder again. Don't know if she'll be back.