The Quilt

This will be short and sweet (for once).

I’ve been seeing a therapist for a while now to help deal with everything we’re going through with our infertility. At our last session, she shared an analogy with me that really struck a chord.

We were talking about the weirdness I told her I feel when I think too hard about carrying a child formed from another woman’s egg. And about how I’m unsure of how I’m going to feel when, one day, I look at my child and don’t see a single feature that looks like it came from either me or Peter, but instead knowing it came from this donor.

She asked if my child’s nose has any bearing on the person they will eventually become.

No. Of course not.

Is his or her nose a defining characteristic of his or her personality? Likes, dislikes, morals, beliefs?

Not at all.

Then she asked me if anyone in my family made quilts, or if we had any of those really big, beautiful family-heirloom quilts. I said of course! And she told me to think of this:

Our child’s life is like one of those quilts. And each of the different quilt blocks is a different part of that child’s life. Time in the womb, the first few months of life, the “terrible twos,” elementary school, so forth and so on.

Peter and I will be present in all of those blocks for the rest of our lives, loving and influencing and guiding our child.

That donor, though? She’s a tiny stitch in that first in-utero block. An important stitch, of course, because without her stitch, the entire quilt would fall apart. But just a tiny piece of this beautiful and rich life that Peter and I get to be a part of every day.

So when you get right down to it, and if you had to choose, what’s more important? Being that stitch? Or being present in every single one of those blocks and helping shape who our child will be?

I think you all know which one I choose.

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