I’m only on CD 9, so I’m in that stage where I’m high on hope but a little low on news. I’ve been sorting through my notes from the last few months and gathering my thoughts, and I was thinking that it’s interesting how often people ask about the sperm. Where do we get it, how do we choose it, how much do we find about about the donors.
We went through an interesting process to choose our sperm. First round, we had a couple of friends over and hosted what we called “Donor Idol”. True story. It involved a bottle of wine, a bunch of profiles and a ranking system on little blue index cards. Our final, heavily debated winner was a donor that the bank was calling Brian. On ordering: unavailable. Okay, we did come up with a second choice: Dirch. Also unavailable. We ending up with a vial of fourth-choice sperm (Niels) that we couldn’t use to save our lives. The first month I ovulated early and the tank hadn’t arrived yet. The second month I ovulated late and I had to send the tank back lest Niels defrost. By the time we finally used that sample, I was convinced that I’d get pregnant just because it made a good story. The little vial that could. Not so. By the third negative pregnancy test I was ready to blame my lack of success on Niels. Poor Niels.
We switched to a new donor when we started using a fertility clinic. They mark up the prices anyway, so we went to a bigger sperm bank with a wider selection. This time we chose a firefighter. Halfway through the tww, I reread the email that the nurse had sent confirming that our first choice donor had been available, but this time I had a better look at the donor number. It was actually our second choice. For some reason, this totally shook me. I had wandered around for a week thinking that I’d had the sperm of a firefighter swimming around in my body, when all along it was an English teacher. I felt like I should, as a general rule, be aware of whose body fluids are in me. The whole thing is very surreal.
We’re just starting a new cycle now, after a lovely break. It’s been good to come back more relaxed and refreshed, ready to try again. We picked a new donor, yet again, and I have very high hopes for this one. I am not usually attached to the pictures on a profile… honestly, it kind of weirds me out. But this guy’s baby pictures tugged at me in a way that none of the other donors have managed.. in his cheeks I can see the suggestion of my wife, the sweet baby face in her childhood photos. So in a process where I am actively trying not to assume that every backache Means Something, this does, in fact feel like it means something. And so we go.