Sunday, February 5, 2012

Donor Profile # 2 1 4 5

I think it's natural that people are curious about how we became pregnant.  After all, everyone knows two women with no outside ... erm, influences, can't make a baby together.  So of course, people want to know how that baby came to live in T's uterus.  We have no problem with that.

For anybody who still IS wondering how we did that, I want you to be "in the know".  You're welcome.  We used a sperm donor, whose genetic material we purchased for exorbitant fees on the internet.

Still want to know more?  Okay, you asked for it.

We specifically chose a sperm bank based out of Washington that will ship liquid nitrogen charged tanks with the specimens inside to our house.  Most banks will only ship these tanks (dewars) to doctors' offices, and if they'll ship it to your house, you have to have a note from a doctor saying that they're aware that the patient is inseminating at home.  We thought that was crap, so we picked a bank that didn't require a doctor's permission.  Most people don't ask permission from their doctor before getting pregnant.  We didn't feel the need to either.  After going through a lengthy decision-making process about which donor, we ordered the vials and specified what date we needed the tank to arrive.  Just before we were ready to inseminate, we let one vial sit out for a few minutes (it was cryogenically frozen, trust me, you DON'T want to touch the vial directly out of the tank) and then I'd hold it or stick it in my cleavage to thaw it.  High tech, right?

Then I'd use a small syringe with a sterile, one time use catheter attached to its tip to draw up the sperm and then insert it into T's cervix.  We did two inseminations per cycle for five cycles.  The fifth cycle worked!

Back to the donor.  The process for choosing who was to biologically contribute to our children was daunting, at best.  Initially, we had a list of "requirements" for the donor to meet.  We had a lot of "requirements".  We plugged all the factors into the bank's search engine and behold, there were zero donors who met all the requirements.  That set us back, I'll tell ya.  We had to reconsider a lot of our factors.  We ended up actually going through the entire donor database and we made our own Excel color-coded spreadsheet to compare them.  We ranked each donor from 1 to 10 and then took the 9s and 10s and evaluated again.

The first and foremost important thing was that the donor was Willing to Be Known - a term that means the donor is willing to have contact with the conceived child once the child is 18 years old.  After that we studied the family medical history.  Donors with families who had histories of breast cancer or heart disease were automatically nixed.  We considered other conditions or trends on a case-by-case basis.  We just wanted to give our kid a decent shot at life.  Then we considered his Rh factor and his CMV status.  Both T and myself are Rh negative, so we thought it would be great to have an Rh negative donor.  Surprisingly there are NOT a lot of Rh negative donors out there.  CMV means Cytomegalo Virus, it's a sexually transmitted infection that the majority of the population actually has been exposed to.  It can be dangerous for the baby if the mother is CMV negative and she inseminates with CMV positive sperm, but CMV is interesting in that it only is contagious in cycles.  Per bank policy, all donors are negative for contagious CMV but they do accept donors who are dormant positives.  It's not something that can be passed via sperm donor because of this bank policy.  Still, CMV status is something the bank provides about each donor so we thought if it worked out, a CMV negative donor would be a plus.

After those factors it got pretty murky.  We did choose a Caucasian donor, but his heritage didn't matter hugely.  Neither did hair/eye color.  We considered his height/weight just because we didn't want somebody too short or gigantic.

We read through many, many essay questions and tried to glean something of what that donor's personality would be like.  It's really hard to do that!  I mean, these are college guys, so mostly they answer the questions in as short a response possible.  Second, I imagine the bank tells the donors to try and sell themselves, so how much faith can I really put in the truth of his response?  You can try and take some information from handwriting... but only so much.  If any.  Really, nothing.  We had some things we hoped to see as hobbies/aptitudes/education, but again, only so much you can control.

At the end of it all, we had several donors to choose from.  I called the bank and discovered that not only did we like those certain donors, but a lot of other people must too because some didn't have very many vials left, or only had vials in quarantine that wouldn't be released for six months.  We wanted to buy twelve vials, so the donors who only had three vials were out.  By the time we found two donors we liked very much who both also had a lot of vials available, we were SO tired of trying to decide.  We bought the "extended profile"s on the two donors and made a decision on 2145 because his extended medical history was better and he had a more olive skin tone.  And because there were stories of several women who got pregnant on their first attempt.  And other reasons that fail me right now.

We'd kind of realized that it's all just a crap shoot.  You don't know who you're going to be given to parent, and we can't control what genes come through and which don't.  We tried to do the best we could and that had to be enough.

So here's some of the information on our donor:

5'11, 190 lbs
dark brown hair, brown eyes
Norwegian, Maltese, English, German, Irish, and Italian ancestry
Thick, wavy hair, fair complected, medium bone structure, right handed
Wears contacts
Enjoys track, football, basketball, soccer, volleyball, weightlifting, and jogging
At the time of donation, this guy was probably 20 or 21.  All the vials we've used so far have been from 2009, so we assume he's 23 or 24 now.  Since he's young still, his parents are young still and there wasn't much in his family medical history.  Maternal grandmother with high blood pressure, a grandfather with a bladder infection, and he and his siblings had acne in high school.  Nothing terribly exciting.

I'm not going to transcribe all his short-answer questions; if you're ever THAT curious I'll let you look through his folder someday.  :)

Okay!  Long enough.

OH!  I forgot, real quick, to mention that we've already found a donor sibling.  Interestingly, his name is Rhys, which has been on our list of boy names for like two years.  But now we won't use it.  That would be strange.  Half-brothers with the same name who were raised states apart.  He's very cute!  I can't wait to see who is growing inside T.

For serious now, I'm going.  Goodnight!

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