Had the blessing of seeing Ardas tonight, if only for half an hour or so. She has really come into her own. She is so solid in her own skin, strong and bright and beaming. She has always been beautiful.
She donated her eggs to her cousin last year and will be meeting the results next week! Two baby girls. She can’t wait to “smell their heads.” It sounds weird, but I know what she means.
She told me about the process. First took birth control pills without the placebo for a week (?) or so. Then 10 days of hormone injections to build up egg production. She didn’t experience any mood swings, but she did have trouble in the GI area due to the fact that her ovaries were the size a VW bus!
The doctor folks extracted the eggs while she was anesthetized, taking them into the next room and determining their health immediately. From around twenty eggs they ended up with 8 or so healthy ones. Two made it past the blastula stage and were embedded in her cousin. The others went on ice, donated to Science (“Science!” c’mon, sing it with me).
The procedure was great for Ardas but her cousin had a very difficult time with the babies. The doctor folks had to remove her uterus because the placenta of one of the babies grew into the uterine wall. “So it’s bittersweet,” says Ardas.
As she told me the story, I felt these sharp pluckings of my skin, all around my uterine area. Small pains as something was taken away. Memories and wants and deep-seated desires.
When I was in England in ’92 I decided to come back to the States because I wanted to have a baby. I made a pact with a friend that if we were both still single by the time we were 30, we’d have a go at it. He wasn’t single at 30, and I’d passed through a life-changing relationship with my no-longer-fiancée. I struck on the idea of donating my eggs later. When I was finally able to ring the clinic, I was three weeks too late. The cut-off was age 35, and I’d just had my birthday.
There is something in me that snapped that day, something that’s never been healed. Hearing Ardas’ story, as thrilled as I am for her, reminded me painfully of my long journey on this path. There is no loneliness like that of being a spinster aunt with no possibility of contributing to the gene pool in any way. No child of mine would be a good risk anyway, not with my genes. There is a bitter wind that howls around me when I realize how cut off I am from the majority of the human race.
What would a child of mine be like? What potential would I pass along that would come to fruition? And what dread legacy? I imagine a smile just for me or the slack trust of a child completely asleep in my arms or the screaming tantrums of a two-year-old or the hardest of all: a teenager screaming, “I hate you!!” in the living room some night.
More than anything, I miss the ability to pass on my religion. I so carefully collected Pagan customs from countless books in English libraries over the years. I have them still but never touch them. I am irritated that my goddessdaughters already believe in a god and are being taught the Bible but have no grounding in the tenets of a Pagan faith. My fault. Maybe instead of taking them to Chocolate Moose I should have invested a little more time in their spiritual development.
Not that being Pagan is the only path. But I so wanted to give them a broad basis of belief rather than the narrow path of the status quo. I don’t know how to be a goddessmother, mostly because they aren’t mine. I feel like I’m walking on eggshells when I think of how to handle it all. There are too many people involved, and blood is thicker than Spirit. If they were mine, there’d be no question. And my own spirituality would deepen in response to their questions and growth. The act of teaching would make me grow. And oh, how I want to grow.
Little plucking pains. Pinching me. Reminding me of what was taken. Of what can never be born. No one wants my eggs. I pray someday to be at peace with it.