Saturday, August 7, 2010

Loss of individual genetic continuity

Like most people who want children, I have often pictured what my future child would be like.  I will admit that, independent of my relationship with MM (or with any other man, for that matter), I had a picture in my mind.  That picture was not entirely dissimilar to pictures I have seen of myself as a child, or of my first cousin, or more recently, my nephew, on the rare instances when I pictured myself with a son.

I also find it difficult to accept that I will likely never know "my own (genetic) child." I will admit that my grief over the loss of my individual genetic continuity is slightly eased by the existence of my nephew Rowan.  Though he is obviously only partially genetically related to me--due to half his genes coming from his father's side and the fact that siblings only share only 50% of the same genes--I do see some traits of our family in him.

It hurts to know that, in all probability, there will never be a "mini S" in the world.  Not because I think my own genes, or even my family's genes, are superior or so great. . . . but because to me, that is a big part of what I thought motherhood would be: seeing the traits of myself, my sister, my parents, my cousins, and even my grandparents in my child.

[I want to note here that this particular aspect of becoming a parent, while important to me, is absolutely paramount to my husband.  I have to admit, too, that I carry more than a little guilt at not being able to provide my husband with a child. The genetic link to his offspring is so important to MM, and I know that his parents, especially his mother, really want to be grandparents. MM is an only child, so he is--we are--their only hope of becoming grandparents or of carrying on their line and name.  I hate that my inability to have a baby is denying him something he has wanted so much for so long.]


  1. I know those feelings well. I don't think they ever go away, but they do get easier. For me, once we made the decision to move forward with DE those feelings got less and less.

  2. I don't think the full sting of losing our genetic connection to a child will ever fully heal but I have every belief that in time it gets easier like it has over the last few months. Hoping this will be the case for you too.

  3. That is definitely one of the main aspects I will mourn when I eventually accept a child-free life.

  4. Mourning the genetic link took me quite a while and even still I have moments where it's upsetting to think that our baby won't have a genetic connection to me. As Lisa stated, it does get easier.

    There is so much guilt when it comes to infertility. Don't get hung up in it. This is not your fault, you didn't choose this diagnosis.


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