Why am I struggling to let go of genetics?

3 fertility expert(s) answered this question

Why is it so hard to let go of one's own genetics?

​Primary instincts “force” us to survive and the same instinct drives us to prolong our species by bearing children. We sort of “survive” seems to be forever in the genes of future generations. Would that be the reason that it is so hard to accept donated gametes?

Answer from:
Psychologist, In Vivo Fertility, Founder and CEO In Vivo Fertility

I have a short answer to this question and a longer one:
The short one is because you are a living being.
We are built to survive and continue the survival of our species. It’s the law of nature and as humans we are extremely good at it!
Procreation is one of our strongest survival instincts according to Darwin.
Struggling to let go of genetics only signifies you are a healthy living and breathing human being!
The longer answer to the question is about our Fertility Narrative, that is something we explore in the In Vivo Fertility coaching program.
Looking into our unique model of the world we start to untangle and find out what lies behind the words we use, our values and beliefs concerning what the idea of Family means to us. Sometimes by changing the questions we ask ourselves we may get new answers that are congruent and meaningful to us, generating new possibilities and options to explore. We explore together your reproductive story – the more you think about the things that influenced your story, the more you remember your own childhood, adolescence, and earlier adult life, the more deeply you will connect to it.
We all have a reproductive story. You might think your reproductive story begins when you choose to become a parent. But this is not the case.
Even if we do not have children yet, we once were children, learning from and identifying with our parents.
Our parent’s role modeling and various cultural influences play a role. When all this gets pieced together, it comprises our reproductive story, which is crucial for our adult identity.
To unravel and get a deeper understanding of your reproductive story in In Vivo Fertility we ask questions like ‘What aspects of parenthood are most important to ME’.
Connecting and making sense of our reproductive story is central to our adult mental health and allows us to make meaningful and congruent shifts and transitions in our fertility narrative and life as a total.

Answer from:
Fertility Coach

This is a big struggle. It’s maybe one of the hardest things you will have to do in your life. In the first place, it’s a struggle because it’s a grieving process, that’s what it is. You’re grieving, or you have to say goodbye to your ideal picture. You have to say goodbye to your dream child, the child with your genes, or the combination of genes with your partner. So, yeah, you’re saying goodbye to your ideal picture, and that’s a grieving process. A grieving process is always difficult; it’s always a struggle. You don’t want to grieve; you don’t want to say goodbye to things you love.

I think it’s also a struggle because the scenario of letting go of your genetics, for example, through donor conception or adoption, is out of your comfort zone. It’s a very unknown scenario you didn’t think about earlier on, and you don’t know a lot of things about it. So it’s out of your comfort zone, and your brain doesn’t like it. Our brain doesn’t like us to go out of our comfort zone because it fears that we will not survive if we do. Our brain has been programmed already since prehistoric times to prefer the path of least resistance.

Linked to this, I think a third thing is that, like I said, you’re entering a completely new world. For example, if you have to consider donor conception, you don’t know anything about this new world—how it will be, where you have to go, which country, which fertility clinic, how it will feel in the future, and how it will be for your child. This lack of information always causes stress.

But I think, to put things in perspective, I always tell my clients as a fertility coach that your desire or your wish to have a baby is not just one big wish. Within this big wish are several wishes; it’s a collection of wishes. It’s always a very interesting exercise to look at which wishes are within this big wish. It’s a different combination for everyone. Your wish to pass on your genes is one of the wishes within the big wish, but there are other ones, like experiencing a pregnancy, experiencing breastfeeding, passing on your values to a child, or just having a unique bond or unique love with a child.
These are also wishes, and of course, you have to grieve about one wish, an important one. I don’t want to minimize that. But there are also a lot of other wishes within the big wish that you can still fulfill. So, it’s sometimes very valuable to look at it this way.

Answer from:
Fertility Coach, Patient Advocate and Founder of and Paths To Parent Hub

Genetic loss is a really difficult one to explain. I’ve written a few posts about it because at the time I was going through it, I didn’t quite realize what it was that I was grieving. I would say to myself, ‘oh becky just pull yourself together, why are you struggling so much with this?  It was only through learning about genetic loss and the fact that it is a very real grief that I started to validate how I was feeling. I think how I’ve mentioned in some of my other answers it is a real process, it’s something you’ve got to experience, you’ve got to allow yourself to feel as well because if you’re going to go down this path of parenthood it isn’t just a one time decision, you make a baby and then you move on, and you never think about it again, it’s a start of their story. It is a story that you will then have to tell them. Therefore I think it’s really important to grieve that genetic loss and to find that support where you can, whether that be through a counselor, through support groups, meeting other people. Just know that you’re not alone in this. You are not overreacting, you are grieving the loss of something that hasn’t happened as opposed to, most people think of grief as the loss of a loved one, you’re grieving the loss of someone you have always imagined would happen but hasn’t. It’s invisible to everyone else so you can feel very alone in it and I think its really important to talk about it and those fears that come alongside it and just to know that you’re normal for feeling that way. From my own experience things do get better with time and through talking and through moving through the process.