More on Waiting for Daisy

I have joined up for the 4th round of the online book tour though I’m a little worried that I may not be sufficiently sisterly for the discussion, especially as the author of Waiting for Daisy, Peggy Orenstein, is joining in the tour.

What happened with the book for me was that I was really taken with a lot of what she said, especially about the incremental drift into more and more invasive treatment. I loved much of the book. But there was a bit which got a bit too close to the bone for me.

This was the bit about her using a young almost-niece as as an egg donor, I was very interested, because I have a 20 year old niece (and my sister has donated eggs) so the thought had crossed my mind, but I hadn’t pursued it as it felt wrong to me. When Peggy made various remarks about how she’d not been sympathetic to the young woman during the process, I really cringed. I posted that I presumed she’d put that stuff down as she was trying to be warts and all, but I found it painful reading. What I meant was, I found it quite impressive that she didn’t mind revealing a side of herself and the process, that was quite unflattering.

Peggy’s response was not even to guess that I was distressed at the treatment of the donor, but to presume I was upset at the mess the clinic made of things, not doing ICSI. And that’s when I really took a sharp intake of breath, because that came across as so incredibly self-centred. And I realised that she wasn’t really conscious of how badly she came across in the DE episode. And it made me look closely at myself and my own “quest” and wonder if I am also so self-centred, for instance risking depression and sadness, which then impacts on my existing child.

I am not sure if I should participate in the tour, because this aspect really does trouble me. A lot about DE troubles me, including the “market” for eggs in the US and Eastern Europe, enforced egg sharing for UK women who can’t afford IVF etc. But of course, I can afford to look at all this critically because I am so lucky my friend offered me her eggs.

I plan to write something about all of this at some point. There is a real feminist aspect to the whole discussion.

Of course I don’t want to upset women though. It’s difficult.


~ by drownedgirl on April 23, 2007.

4 Responses to “More on Waiting for Daisy”

  1. I hope you participate because I think your perspective is a very important one. I went to South Africa for my donor egg cycles because I was so turned off by the industry here in the US. My donor was choosing to donate to help other couples, just as I had done. There was no economic incentive. It’s soooooo different from when I was an egg donor.

  2. I can see certain issues are raised in the “commercial” sector … but then there are a whole lot of issues if you use a known donor, someone close to you, especially someone younger in your family. Eggs are suddenly a commodity.

    I don’t know much about egg donation in South Africa. Are these white or black donors? There is a real shortage of black donors here in the UK.

    Have you seen the new site set up by Kind Friend to nring together info for potential egg donors?

  3. It’s laudable to not want to upset other women. But I believe many of us are already upset, usually by our circumstances which are difficult. If we’d been able to have babies in the “usual” most of us would be off at the playground or wherever, and not sitting here blogging, writing, and thinking about it. There are so many points of view and there is so much upset, I think it’s unavoidable and all I can do anymore is hope that other women are halfway respectful or keep their distance when the pain of disagreement is too intense. I liked the book, too, but thought Peggy was quick to hate herself for her helplessness, her strong emotions and her choices. It was also hard to walk through her ambivalence about having a family since I’ve not had much of that. I think having a “known” donor is brave, because the relationship can get so complicated. I don’t always feel wonderful about the paid donor relationship, but at least I don’t have high expectations of it, and since I live in the U.S. it’s my best – possibly only – route to the procedure anyway.
    Best of luck with yours.

  4. Do participate, please. We all benefit from each other’s points of view whether similar or different. Looking forward to hearing more of yours…

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