When you are faced with the reality that you or your partner's reproductive bits aren't doing their job properly, it is a shock. It is devastating. When you further find out that those bits are not worth their weight in gold to the point of not producing what they are supposed to produce, the devastation becomes even deeper.
Being faced with no longer being able to be genetically involved in your child leads to doubts about the next course of action. No one handles this news well. And no one can tell you what to do. The decision about the next steps, and the long-term effects of said decision, are huge.
Questions abound, from friends, family, even strangers. "How does your husband feel about the baby not being his?" And so on. I cannot speak for anyone else's reactions or feelings. I can empathize with them, but I can only share our story.
Don't ever let someone try to tell me this child is not my husband's. Genetics are only part of the picture. Would you tell adoptive parents they aren't really the parents? No. At least, I hope not. Parenting is not just about genetics. There is so much more to it.
My husband was involved from day one. We picked out the donor together. He gave me injections. He was there with me the day our embryos were transferred into my womb. He rubbed my belly, he talked to the baby. Every day. For 8 months. He rubbed my back when I threw up, rubbed my swollen feet, and catered to my every need when I wasn't allowed off the couch.
And the moment our son was born, he became a man in ways I couldn't imagine. The look on his face, his proud introduction: "This is my son." The gentle way in which he holds him. The silly talk to distract Peanut when I have to step away or when he changes a diaper. His absolute ease and comfort with Peanut. And more than that, the look on his face of pure love for this baby WE created TOGETHER.
He is the man who will wipe Peanut's tears when he falls, teach him to ride a bike, take him fishing, read him bedtime stories, hold his hand to cross the street. That is why this child is my husband's. He will be there, every step of the way, with a love only a dad can feel for a son. With strength when it's needed, hugs when they are called for, but always, the love.
Are there challenges? Absolutely. No one can deny that. Every time someone says he looks like me, it is a reminder to my husband. He doesn't get to see himself in our child. There will always be reminders.
But regardless, Peanut is his child, no doubt about it. And don't ever think otherwise.
What Infertility Is: http://www.resolve.org/infertility101
National Infertility Awareness Week® (NIAW): http://www.resolve.org/takecharge