We have blogged before about how lucky we are to have our ideal KD, and that we can’t see ourselves doing this with any other donor. To write about chinks in that relationship feels a bit like cheating which is why I’ve kept this silent before now, but here goes.
As I’ve said before, BD lives about 7/8 hours drive away from us so needless to say we don’t see him very often. Which is how our relationship has been for several years, including the few years leading up to him agreeing to be our KD. Cross that with the fact that he’s .. well, a typical boy, we don’t hear a whole lot from him unless we initiate it. Most of these conversations involve chatting online or the occasional text message.
When we started ttc we were all pretty excited and the three of us spent a long time talking about what we wanted and how we felt about things. Despite my initial discomfort with having someone else so emotionally invested, it was great. That excitement flowed through for the earlier IUIs, mixed in with disappointment on all our parts that things weren’t going according to plan.
But that was 3 years ago now, and as time has gone by things have got harder and the gaps between conversations have got longer. When we do talk online it can be like getting blood out of a stone sometimes. It’s hard when we can’t actually get together because when we actually see him and get to spend time together it’s like there’s been no separation at all. That’s the real beauty of our relationship and really, that’s exactly what we want out of a KD. I also need to remind myself to step back from the situation and see that it is what it is> It’s nothing personal and some of our other friends from uni have the same complaints about his communication. It’s just that I guess I’ve been trying to hold him to higher standards now because of our new/future relationship.
For how I’ve been feeling about our friend relationship myself, honestly, I now think it’s completely tied up in how devastated we have been and how much of a toll all of this has taken on both K and myself. We wanted BD to have only a peripheral, yet important, relationship with the baby but it was fun to have him as excited as us in the early stages. As time has gone on, I’ve somehow come to resent him for not showing the same level of disappointment and pain that we do. Yes I’m aware that I really don’t know exactly how he feels about it, maybe he is just as upset but being a boy and living so far away maybe we just don’t see that but it’s pissed me off nonetheless.
But that is such a double standard because at the same time, by our own design and wishes we have set it up so that he’s not involved to the same level. So of course he wouldn’t have the same feelings – yes he will be known as the bio-dad and have a relationship with the baby but number one for care, responsibility, rights will be us.
After all, we are the ones that are missing that child in our household. In our every day lives. We are the ones dreaming of redecorating the spare room into our ultimate nursery. We are the ones who have lived through every little moment of those 13 twws. We are the ones who have watched those pee sticks turn up only one line, and taken those painfully compassionate bfn phone calls. K is the one that has gone through so much physically, overcome her fear of needles to stick herself with dozens, even major surgery for goodness sake. And I have held her hand through every single one of those.
We are the ones at the end of the day who still have empty arms, hell not just our arms, our hearts are emptier too.
I realise now that by being so mad at him, and yes believe me I have been incredibly pissed at him for the last 6 months or so (just ask K how I’ve reacted when his name has come up), I have really only been redirecting my anger at having to go through this whole process. Which is pretty unfair to him but luckily a by product of living so far away has been that he is blissfully unaware of my anger. I think the whole time deep down I’ve known it was more about me than him and I haven’t been proud of it which is why I’ve kept it to myself.
I have also recognised, from a comment K made last night, that probably for the last year most of the times we have talked to him online it has been to ‘report’ what was happening ttc wise. But at the same time, those conversations have been limited to the facts and figures I guess. Yes we’ve said how gutted we’ve been and he’s commiserated but really that’s as far as it’s gone. He doesn’t understand completely what we’ve gone through and it’s really hard not being in each other’s every day lives when it comes to that. We have talked about other stuff in amongst it as well, but the catalyst for every conversation has probably been ttc related. The other side of our relationship has been pushed to the side, so far to the point that I think I had even started to wonder if there was no baby, is there no more friendship.
He has a different life now than we very first asked him to be our BD and toward the end of last year when we weren’t sure if we had enough straws left or not I was scared of asking him to donate again. It seemed to me like asking him to recommit to this journey, and I convinced myself that I wasn’t sure that he would which I fed into my anger as well. I know K thought I was being silly for thinking that, she never had any doubt that he would donate again if asked but I think for me it was that I was so strung out and desperate to get onto the next step that I absolutely hated the fact that he would have had the chance to say no again. Because then we’d really be screwed.
(For the record, while doing this the way we have through the clinic means that all the rights and decisions relating to the straws in storage are ours, if he ever came to us and said he was no longer happy to be the donor I don’t think either of us would be content to continue using them. Touch wood that never happens. )
I’m not even sure if I’ve been more angry with him for not seeming as upset at K not being pregnant yet or if it’s about not getting support from him simply as a friend for what we’ve gone through. I suspect it’s more the latter.
Anyway, the other night I had a really good online conversation with him, and you know what? Neither of us mentioned baby stuff once. And it was nice. Then when I was saying that once we get back from Hawaii* we wanted to book another overseas holiday later in the year, he suggested that maybe he and his partner could come too. Which would be awesome. And it would be just for the sake of us spending time together. No other agendas. Yes it would be fantastic if K was pregnant by then and it was our first ‘family’ holiday but if not it still would be awesome.
Funny how one conversation can change everything – it really put it all into perspective for me and I feel lighter because of it.
I guess part of it is that we’ve all been close friends for so long. We thought long and hard about that relationship and what it meant, and ultimately decided that we wanted to do this and enter into this new family dynamic together. We decided we would make up our own paths and we thought we were more than ready to jump in and navigate our way through. But things didn’t go according to plan, and I think while dealing with that disappointment we’ve also had to kind of work our way backwards to the original friendship when things have changed so much.
We will get there, I’m not stupid enough to say there won’t be more hurt feelings along the way, but we will get there.
* ….6 more sleeps!!