How it feels to be the non-biological mum to a donor child. Here is Lisa’s story.
BY CRYOS INTERNATIONAL
Lisa is married to Lynsey and on their YouTube channel, Teddy Has Two Mams, they share their personal experiences about their fertility journey and being mums to their son, Teddy. Lynsey is the biological mother of Teddy and in this article, Lisa shares her story of being the non-biological mum to a donor child.
The fertility journey and the support
Lisa and Lynsey have always planned on having two children. Due to mostly practical and financial reasons, it made sense that Lynsey should be pregnant with their first baby.
During their fertility journey, Lisa tried her best to be there for Lynsey, but in hindsight she admits that she was probably more annoying than supportive. “I think I was probably a bit over the top with Lynsey in the beginning. During her first IUI I was constantly on her case – how do you feel, have you had any of the following symptoms, are you pregnant yet? Having now been through a failed embryo transfer myself, I think back and cringe. I’m not sure I was supportive at all, rather really bloody annoying”, Lisa explains.
“But as the journey went on, I learnt to calm down a bit. I took care of all the paperwork, all the money, all the organising. If she was low on supplements, I would order them. If we needed to call the clinic, I would get on the phone. It was by being practical that I was able to support her properly, and also feel fully involved”.
Their fertility treatment was a success through a joint effort and after actively trying for a baby for eight months they succeeded in their round of mild IVF.
Watch the Q&A about Lisa and Lynsey’s fertility journey here.
A special connection
Lisa knows that bonds and connections need to be nurtured through care and attention, but she was never worried about being the non-biological mother.
“I was blindly confident in my ability to love and care for a child born by my wife. I could never have imagined though, quite how deep that love could run, or how it would develop.”
Lisa’s love for her son Teddy was born as he turned his head towards her for the first time. “I was literally the first person he laid eyes on as he entered the world in March 2019,” Lisa says.
The love has grown fast and deep ever since the first glance.
How to tell Teddy
Lisa and Lynsey plan to be open and honest with Teddy.
“We have no plans on keeping any of the details of how Teddy came into existence a secret from him, including who his biological mum is – it’s his story, after all. We will follow his lead and answer any questions as and when they arise. I don’t feel sad or hurt about the idea that he will one day understand that Lynsey gave birth to him and I didn’t. The fact that I didn’t is part of what makes our relationship, that I am able to love him so completely without being biologically related to him is incredibly special to me. We will tell him proudly how we made him. To be honest, it would be pretty hard to keep a secret because he is his mammy’s double, he’d work it out sooner or later!” Lisa says.
Get tips on how to talk to your child about being donor conceived here.
Love makes a family
Becoming a mother has been one of the greatest privileges of Lisa’s life and made even more special because her connection with Teddy is not one born out of genetics. Lisa also explains that while Teddy physically looks very much like Lynsey, he behaves like her.” There is only one person who taught him to talk with his hands!” Lisa says.
Love is the most important quality. It is love that makes a family – not genes.
“I can’t claim to know if the love I feel is exactly the same way Lynsey feels. I don’t have anything to compare it to. I know we react to him slightly differently, and I’ve talked to other non-bio mums who have similar tales. Simply put, I can listen to him cry in a way Lynsey physically can’t… although when he’s in any real pain, we’re both a mess. To me it feels like our experience of being Teddy’s mum is the same, but different. If that makes any sense.”
If you want to know more about Cryos and how to choose a sperm donor, visit Cryos’ webpage here.
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