We've gotten past the three month mark now and A&P are emerging more and more as people everyday. I feel a bit more confident with them, though still so terrified that I'm doing a terrible job most of the time.
After my last post we decided to extend the storage on our remaining donor straws for another three years. It is hard to imagine the circumstances in which we would even think about trying to have another baby, but still, I felt unable to say goodbye to the chance of a full genetic sibling for A&P if we should change our minds.
When I called the clinic to extend the storage I decided to ask if they would give me information on how many other families had used the same donor. It wasn't entirely off-the-cuff - I had heard of other donor recipients asking for this information and being denied or clinics starting not to give it out so I wanted to ask sooner rather than later.
They told me that the donor had been discontinued because he'd 'reached his quota.' This means 25 families in the US and 27 families internationally (they wouldn't say which countries).
I'm not entirely surprised by this number but it's still a little overwhelming. That probably means at a minimum 50-something children (although I'm not totally clear on whether actually these all result in live births as it sounded that it was kind of unusual that we reported our success to them). And at a maximum, I have no idea? 100? 150? more?
I worry that this is a totally overwhelming number for A&P to take in someday. Though we went with a donor that was UK-compatible (10 families in the UK max) there was no guarantee of limiting the numbers. In a way I suppose there are some upsides - I have thought we would register them on the Donor Sibling Registry at some point and this means that there is even more likelihood of finding genetic half siblings for them (there are already 4 children on there).
But there's a lot that it brings up as well. In the short term, the hardest thing for me has been knowing how to talk to S about it. He's really shut down any time anything about the donor has come up, like when I've asked if he wants to register on the DSR or with the Human Fertilisation and E.mbryology Authority here.
He says he wants to feel more secure in his own relationship to them as their father before he starts thinking about the donor.
On the one hand I get this, I understand that we are just growing into our roles as parents and I certainly don't want to do anything to threaten that. On the other hand I'm sort of surprised about how much the discussion seems to affect him, I sort of thought he was in a more secure place about our decision and it scares/worries me a bit that it is so raw.
I worry that it will remain a hot button issue for him, in such a way that if A&P bring it up he'll react badly in the future. Or that they will subconsciously pick up that it is not okay to talk about it - the absolute LAST thing I want them to feel.
I don't know how to support him to get to a place where bringing it up doesn't have that kind of power over him. I was trying to encourage him to get back to counselling (either going together or on his own) or to connect with two of the men he knows from the Donor Conception Network. He doesn't seem keen to rush out to do either, and I'm left with trying to bide my time a little until he feels more ready.
It was a tough conversation. It is not about me and my timeline but at the same time I'm not sure he'd really get out there and get on with trying to deal with it proactively enough to make me feel like its a safe topic in the meantime.
Am I pushing too hard? Is it ridiculous to even be thinking about these things now? I wish I didn't feel so unsure of it all.