I hear this term a lot, your "own," child, and while I know what people mean when they say it, I wanted to spend a little time here...clarifying a few things.
Maybe I should start with the disclaimer that people don't say this to me. Not now at least. I have been asked, before Momo was a person, if I was sad that I wasn't having my "own" child, and the question just confused me. If this is not my child whose child is it? In my head/heart/body/spirit I was P with my baby. We were meant to find each other, we had help from kind strangers and special doctors but there was no doubt that she was my child. My very own baby girl.
But what people mean by this is are you sad you don't have a genetic child, and my answer is absolutely not. That's my personal answer. Momo is very clearly an upgrade from our genetics. But let's explore the meaning and feeling behind the word "own", shall we?
So I think the last time I heard this was a few days ago when someone was talking to me about how her family was worried how she would feel pursing donor eggs and not having her "own" child. I asked her whose child would it be? Who would be the parent on the birth certificate? Who would be changing diapers and wiping tears at 2am? Then I asked her if she was sad she wasn't going to have a child who wasn't genetically related to her and her answer was yes. Very much so. And that is totally fair.
Being sad and grieving the loss of one's genetics and having your own child can be two different things. Genetics isn't the only thing that connect a child to a parent. It is one thing that does-- but honestly if your kid got lost at a mall somewhere, the thing that would probably help you find each other would be the help of strangers and your last names, or the sounds of two people (one little one big) screaming through the mall. So much of the process of moving through the sadness of the genetic loss is working to reframe specific ideas of family.
There is a shift that can happen-- sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly, when a person moves to donor conception. You have to first wrap your head about what it means, what the chances of it working are, how much it is going to cost, and back to what it means. Most people who venture down a donor path never expected or intended to be there, so there is a lot of mental and emotional shifting that has to take place. But when a person can sit with what it means to them, grieve appropriately, then think of different ways to conceptualize having a chid with the help of a donor, then they can be proud of their choice and move towards their new reality (hopefully), which is that they are going to have their own kid.
So if people ask, usually it's because they are just curious and don't realize some questions can really trigger a gal on IF Island. If you can gently correct them, then more people will start to get it. "I do want my own child, and I'm excited at the possibility of that child coming to me with the help of a donor!"
Does anyone have experience with this kind of question? Would love to hear thoughts.