My son (M.) is the product of a more than 15-year courtship, a lot of love, determination and…an anonymous sperm donor. We did not come to that decision easily. In the end, it was what brought us our boy so I can’t question the decision. When we were choosing a donor, it was important to us that M. might have the opportunity to meet him one day and that we might have the opportunity to at least know any other children born from the same donor. After M. was born, we contacted the sperm bank to let them know and to ask them to pass along our information to any other families who used #4004 who were interested in hearing from us. I was so excited to call the bank and let them know about our bundle. I was also really excited about the possibility of meeting the other families…until that possibility became a reality. Then I was terrified. I never felt like my position as my child’s mother was in jeopardy, but the thought of a random stranger having biological ties to my baby FREAKED ME OUT. It still does. On the one hand, I really want M. to know this other child, if for nothing more than they will know they are related and shouldn’t procreate. On the other hand, I want to run and hide in the woods with my boy and make believe he was born of my literal blood, too.
I am writing about this now because the time that M. will meet this other child is upon us. We were supposed to meet up last summer, but due to a serious case of cold feet and other mitigating circumstances, we backed out at the last minute. WHEW! Dodged a bullet that I kind of wanted to take, which is odd to say. In less than a month, we are supposed to meet up halfway between us and I am simultaneously excited and nauseated. What if they look like each other? What does that mean for me who shares no DNA with my boy? What if their shared biology serves to instantly bond them? What if we don’t like the other family? What if they don’t like us? What if we all love each other?
Sometimes, it is all too much for me to think about. If I ruminate too long on the subject, a dark hole grows and pulls in my gut and I feel like I can’t breathe. I don’t think M.’s other mother really gets it. She is supportive and says she understands how I could feel that way, but she doesn’t have a void inside her waiting to swallow her up.
I was talking to a good friend this week about how I feel like, due to a combination of sleep deprivation and stress, I have forgotten how to breathe to the bottom of my lungs. I mean one of those down to the toes kind of breaths that fill one with renewal and possibility. I am going to focus on that for the next few weeks: Filling my lungs, legs, feet with possibility and breathing so deeply I just might float away.