Friday, September 19, 2008
As many of you know, Hallie was conceived using donor sperm, and way-back-when before this micropreemie journey started, Sharon and I joined the Donor Sibling Registry so that we could find out about the other children whose parents used the same donor. We already knew that there were pregnancies reported, but we had no idea how many or where the parents were located. And we also thought it would be a good thing to have potentially useful health information (turns out that we were right on this one, and that more than several of the donor siblings have allergies--seem to be primarily atopic stuff, but this is related to food allergies).
Anyway, we found out very quickly that the mom of the oldest donor sibling, who is now 4, had started a yahoo group for 1876-ers (the donor's number). I forget now at that point how many parents had registered or how many siblings there were, but there are now about 15 to 20 kids (one set of parents have two babies from the same donor) who are spread out across the country and who have all kinds of families (some with a mom and a dad, some with two moms, and some with a single mom; no two dad families yet, though). There is, I believe one other set of twins (in Puerto Rico, I think). The parents post updates about their kids from time to time, and we've come to learn that many of our little ones are enormously tall and sturdy; they don't like to sleep much; they do like to be incredibly active; and they give their parents a run for their money. Most of them have very straight hair that's on the fair side and many of them have very very pale skin. That certainly holds true in the case of both Hallie and Jake.
We also found out that we were not the only ones who had pre-term labor, but in all of the other cases, the labor was caught in time. There is one other preemie in the group, but she was a 34 weeker feeder-and-grower type.
At first I thought that none of the siblings lived anywhere remotely near us, but that turns out to have been wrong. We just found out this summer that Jake and his mom live a mere hour away in central New Jersey. We were thrilled to be invited to Jake's third birthday party, which took place last weekend.
Jake and his mom and her family and friends are super and we felt right at home immediately. Hallie had a blast playing with Jake, his little girlfriend Jordan, and the other kids at the party. , Jake's mom, and her friends,took Hallie under their wings (or at least gave her butt a nice boost) when she scrambled repeatedly up the huge inflatable slide bouncer (that's the best I can do as far as naming this immense structure!) that they had set up in the backyard for the occasion. Hallie is intrepid--she knows no fear where climbing is concerned (unlike her less-than-intrepid-but-bookish mama). Sharon, obviously, wasn't going to take on the climbing wall and bouncer at 19 weeks pregnant. So we were thrilled that Gina and her friends were willing to keep an eye on our girl and facilitate her incredible fun.
Hallie and Jake scrambled up the slide like pros:
And had fun hanging out at the bottom, where they bounced and rolled around:
Here's one of all the little kids in a group photo:
And finally a nice picture of the birthday boy alone. Isn't Jake cute?
We have plans for lots more meetings, and hopefully the next one will involve pumpkin picking. Hallie LOVES Hallowe'en (for some unknown reason; perhaps she understands that it was her first holiday at home?) and we could use some nice pumpkins around here. So we can't wait to see them again and have some more sibling fun!
Posted by abby at 3:33 PM