Becca – 1985

Name: Becca 

Born: 1985

Where Conceived: Watford General Hospital

During my late 20s I was working a job that I had fallen into and dreaming of my next adventure. 

I had lined up my visas, booked my plane ticket…and almost finished packing my bags. All that was left to do was say my goodbyes. Five days before I left, I went to visit my extended family on my mum’s side and stay with my aunt.

My aunt’s home was a second home growing up, and a haven from a tumultuous childhood. As an only child, my cousins were my cool, older idols. I loved them like sisters and looked up to everything they did.

The second evening of my stay I was sitting in my aunt’s living room, falling asleep in front of her TV and stroking one of her many cats, when she asked to speak to me in the dining room. This was a room I had only ever sat in for big family dinners and as a child had ventured in and had accidentally knocked over a porcelain duck. It was not a comfortable space.

I sat down at the dinner table confused, and my aunt began to tell me that I was donor-conceived. That conversation is muddled in my head, but she passed me an envelope that was a doctor’s letter to prove the fact. She said she had to tell me. She said my parents didn’t want me to know. She said everyone but me knew. She said she didn’t realise I would be so upset. 

Five days later I sat on a plane to Canada where I had a visa for a year minimum. I was living on sofas and in hostels as I had planned. But it was not as I had planned. I was in shock, my body literally was in shock. I could not eat anything without having a reaction and I was in an almost constant brain fog. I had no idea what was happening to me and I was very alone.

At this time, I had a short, dyed haircut. To maintain this I had it cut every 6-8 weeks and coloured every few months. 

Sitting in a hairdresser’s chair has been different since finding out I am DC. When I first found out it was one of the most arresting and distressing places for me to be. A hairdresser’s large mirror was suddenly a confusing and lonely place. All I could think about looking at my face was; Who am I? What parts of my face are a man I’ve never met and will likely never know? all whilst someone is nattering on about their next holiday or what they’ve seen on TV recently. I’m pretty good at looking like nothing is happening whilst I’m wishing for my old life back: where the ground was under my feet, and I knew who I’d got my nose from.

When I exited the salon, I would look at every man, questioning his features and wondering if he was my biological father whilst curating conversations we might have in my head. 

As you might expect, I quickly began growing my hair out and box-dyed my roots. Anything to escape my face. Nine years on it’s a little less painful but it’s still not a nice place to be and I still avoid mirrors, particularly the hairdressers.

Finding out I was a DCP has shattered the relationships in my life. The best surviving relationship was with my dad. He, unlike other family members, owned that he had not told me. He told me that he was sorry, that he and my mother had followed the doctor’s advice blindly, and he was frightened that I would not love him. He calmed some of the intense anger, a raging fire, that I felt from being the only person not privy to the knowledge of the base of my being, my DNA.

The irony of his fear is that I felt no different about him, he was my silly, stubborn, and capable Dad. He is the dad who raised me; taught me to drive, picked me up off the pavement when I fell off my bike, built brick walls in the garden with, and whom I cared for as he was dying from Parkinson’s Disease. He owned the pain that the years of secrecy had created without fanfare and I think, at least for me, that was vital. 

I desperately believe that DCP deserve the truth about the fundamentals of our being and that secrecy causes exponential trauma.

I have not stepped foot in the dining room where I broke the porcelain duck and was told about my DC status in the 9 years since. But I see it in my mind’s eye every day. Always from above. A room that once meant very little but now has such intense meaning that I cannot escape it and its image replays like a stuck videotape.

I want to share my experience, to do just that, share. When I found out I was DC I could find no information, no voice for what is now a communitive and supportive community. Nine years ago the sound of DCP felt like silence and silence is often what I have met when I have shared my experiences. I don’t want anyone to feel as lonely and silenced as I did then.

This month I sat in a room with around thirty people who were all DC. In nine years I had not met anyone with a similar experience and here I was looking at their faces and hearing their familiar stories. Human connection is invaluable and it lifted me in ways I did not expect. When I hear about IVF happening for those connected to my life, I feel extremely protective of the person/child/embryo often not included in the discussion, the DCP. I want them to be looked after in ways that we have not been and the parents to be educated on the importance of truth from a young age.






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