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“We Did It!”

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a blog by Ellen Glazer, July 29, 2013

“We did it!” These three words--exclamation point included-- arrived in my email Inbox this week. I was glad to see them but not surprised—I had known that my client, Kathy, was about to have a baby. She had texted me on the way to the hospital when she was in labor. So this blog is not about the news of Kathy’s baby—it’s about the words she chose for her email heading and the meaning here of “We did it!”

First, some background-- Kathy’s baby was born through egg donation. She and her husband struggled for a long time with infertility and ultimately knew they wanted to be parents. Both were open to adoption and to egg donation and chose the latter, as many do, because they wanted the experience of pregnancy.

Kathy set out to find a donor and in relatively short order –about 3 weeks—found Amelia. I always say that “a good donor can land anywhere” but fortunately, Amelia had landed at a really good agency. They made it easy for Kathy to meet Amelia and were gracious and accommodating when Kathy asked if I could facilitate the meeting. So I had the great privilege of being there at the ground floor of “We did it.”

Amelia is a lovely, articulate, thoughtful young woman who traveled to Boston from California to donate to Kathy and her husband, Will. During the meeting she spoke of her family, her personal history and about her decision to become an egg donor. As with most other donors I’ve met, I felt reassured that Amelia’s decision to donate was not based on finances. She’s a young and very dedicated writer and acknowledged the donor fee will be helpful but it was clear that she took this endeavor very seriously. I was touched when she said that she chose to donate because she so adores her twin niece and nephew who were born after her sister and brother-in-law struggled with infertility. Amelia said that their struggles made her want to help others and that for her, the process of egg donation was easy and comfortable. She cared about where her eggs were going and so was glad that Kathy and Will wanted to meet her.

After years and years of “we’re sorry, your test is negative,” Kathy got pregnant on the first donor cycle. She had an easy and uneventful pregnancy and enjoyed sending Amelia photos from time to time. Interestingly, the same mom-to-be who was happily thinking of her donor would sometime forget that her baby was donor conceived. “I went to a dermatologist about a rash I had and she looked at my records and said, ‘my twins are from egg donation.’” “At first I didn’t know why she was telling me this. Then I remembered that my baby, also, was from egg donation. Then I was grateful to her for being so open and natural about it and paving the way for me to be the same.”

Back to Kathy’s “We Did It!.” I loved her email for many reasons. First and foremost, I was thrilled that her daughter was born and that all went well. Then I focused on the word “we” and thought about whom it included. My first reading was that “We” is Kathy and Will. And indeed it is. They are, for sure, the primary “we.” But I think that Kathy would agree that in another sense, her “we” includes Amelia. And in a broader sense, “we” may include Kathy’s doctor, the donor agency and me.

To those who don’t know about Amelia, Kathy’s email says all they need to know. “We did it!” Many who received it know that she and Will struggled for so long to be parents and now, at long last, they finally “did it.”


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