Friday, August 1, 2008

who's your "daddy?"

It seemed so arbitrary, selecting a donor. I mean, where do you start? I wanted to pick someone who resembles C so we wouldn't get comments about where our son's curly hair comes from or why our daughter has green eyes. Both of us have straight hair and blue eyes, although a couple of my siblings have wavy hair or non-blue eyes. But if the donor looks like C, then the resulting child will more likely resemble him too. I don't want to hide the fact that we're using donated sperm, but I also don't want to advertise it.

It's surreal- I felt like I was picking a new mate. I spent my whole life wondering whom I'd marry, what he'd look like and who our children would resemble. Since C and I became serious about each other, I've pictured what our kids would look like. And now we have this complete stranger contributing to the family gene pool. It's a strange feeling.

We started with blue eyes and blonde hair, with the hope of finding someone of Irish ancestry. We read through dozens of donor profiles, staff impression reports, and lists of character traits. We eliminated anyone with a positive CMV (I wasn't tested, and it takes two positives to affect a baby, so a negative ensures no affect). We skipped donors under 5'9" tall, or who were overly weighty for their height. The first one we both agreed on and were enthusiastic about turned out not to be available, so C made a list of his top 7 and asked me to narrow that down. Four of the seven were "retired" from the bank. One was in "very limited supply, but may or may not add to his inventory in the future." We bought the long profiles for the remaining two, after calling the bank to check on availability, and picked the one with the more favorable family health history. I just hope the donors were completely honest because this is my child's life that we're delaing with.

Anyhow, we picked one. I placed the order. I took out a small personal loan to pay for everything since we're still recovering from C's 6-month lay-off last winter. We bought 4 vials to start with. We'll use 2 per cycle- one the day the OPK turns positive and another the day after. OPK's turn positive 24-36 hours before ovulation occurs. I'm testing only every 24 hours, and frozen sperm last only 24 hours once thawed. So to increase the odds of success, two inseminations per cycle is recommended. If we get lucky on the first try, the remaining vials will help us make a full sibling for the resulting baby. If not, we've got round 2 all lined up for September.

Some time next week, I'll be heading to the clinic. Meanwhile, healthy eating, lots of sleep, low stress, and my daily vitamin & supplements.

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