Sunday, April 29, 2012

Choosing My Donor

As of this past Thursday, I am officially all clear for take-off!  I had confidence that I had no underlying medical conditions that would warrant me not continuing on my current path, but having the doc's official stamp of approval is just nice to hear....perfectly working girly parts + spotless bill of health = time to make the biggest decision in my life, a.k.a picking a donor.  Remarkably this process was a lot less frustrating than going on horrible dates and/or being trapped within a self-imploding relationship.  Notice I used the and/or expression there, as it is possible to go on horrible dates in the midst of being trapped within a self-imploding relationship...hence the sign the relationship is unstable and should be severed before ultimate implosion occurs. Hence why I am at the current stage in my life, single and trying to conceive.  Hence this blog....I digress...

Even though I just officially got the green light from my doc, I actually began searching for a donor upon my initial decision to have a child. I will admit, it was kind of fun searching out cryobanks, skimming through profiles, imagining what my future bundle of joy would be like.  But it also made me question what were my top must-haves in a kid.  Was I looking for intelligence? Good looks?  Did I want them to be short or tall?  What about eye and hair color?  These are the types of things normally one probably does not consider when having a child within the confines of a relationship with a planned pregnancy.  You fall in love with who you fall in love with, you decide to have a child with them, and the rest is up to genetics.  If two people are in a relationship and decide to conceive, I doubt (unless there is an underlying medical concern such as dwarfism or such), one or the other person doesn't rightly think "hey, I don't want your kid cause they may have brown eyes and I want green!"  It just doesn't work that way, you love each other and whatever life you create will be perfect and unconditionally loved (at least until the teen years, I hear those are pretty awful for parents, ha!).  I, on the other hand, am not bound to another person with whom I want to create life.  I am just me.

So I have this mysteriously different option of getting to decide the traits I would like my child to possess.  I have no true emotional connection to the future father of my child, so my decision must be based on other factors.  Now don't get me wrong.  When I say I have no emotional connection, I'm not trying to sound soulless.  I simply mean that since I don't actually know the donor, although I do get to read some personal essays to help me determine their type of personality, I cannot base my decision on my feelings for them...well besides that ultimate gut feeling that came upon me Thursday morning....I will get to this gut feeling later.

So what am I looking for in a donor/50% of my future child's genetics?  Now it may sound shallow, but blue yes were important to me.  I have blue eyes, and I love them.  It is one genetic trait I can most definitely control.  With that said, I first narrowed down my donor selection by filtering out all the men who had eye colors other than blue.  This process significantly reduced the "gene pool" so to speak.  Once only blue-eyed donors were filtered, there were much fewer individuals to select from.  Why was having a child with blue eyes important to me?  Being that I'm about to become a single mom, I wanted to have some trait of mine that was 100% positively going to be expressed.  Since the blue eyed gene is recessive, if the donor and I both have blue eyes, then the child will too.  Since I'm mixing my genetics with a stranger in all practical terms, I want to at least have one thing guaranteed to be like me.

Hair color could also be controlled.  I was born with blond hair, although it has been a million various colors since my early twenties when I began randomly coloring it based on my mood.  I should state here, for those who are thinking it, no my hair is not blue as my profile pic suggests.  That is just a great wig I picked up in New Orleans for Halloween a couple of years back.  If I had the choice, I would probably actually have blue hair, as I think it suits me quite well and brings out my eyes.  But alas I do not live in Japan, where I think it would probably be more acceptable.  Nor am I 20-something anymore, so adulthood prevents me from wearing the wig except for special dress-up occasions.  Ok, back to the hair thing....  So, since I am technically a natural blond, I thought I might want a blond child.  I know how this is sounding, she's blond and blue-eyed and wants a blond/blue-eyed child...and she has major German ancestry...hmmmm.  Now stop that right there, this is not some Hitler Aryan dream child I'm trying to have! And yes, feel free to be amused by that statement!  I just thought at first it was one more trait I could control so I was guaranteed to have my own traits show up in the child.  My first two donors choices both were blond and blue eyed.  But why wasn't I feeling 100% confident with either one of them?

My first donor choice, well he sold out before I had my HSG.  So I was off to find another donor right away.  I couldn't find one at my original cryobank, so I switched to another bank.  There I did the same procedure as before, first narrowing the pool to blond/blue-eyed men.  I'll tell you, this drastically puts a dent in the number of selections.  Regardless of the decrease in choices, I did find a second donor who fit my criteria.  And it's not all about the coloring of eyes and hair, not even close!  I also was looking for personality traits based on their essays, and a good medical history...nothing lurking in the corners such as mass family alcoholism or breast cancer or anything of the like.  Once again, this is not something one would normally care about or question as thoroughly when planning a child in a committed relationship.  (I should say committed heterosexual relationship, cause there are various other types and I don't want to sound like I'm not considering those. Those who know me know I love my gays, so there really shouldn't be  any questions as to what I meant.)  Back to where I was...family medical history just usually comes with the entire package and probably isn't as closely checked when in a relationship.  But it is one of those things I get to ponder. Also intelligence was highly important.  So it was important to me that the donor have a relatively good GPA in college.  I know high GPA does not guarantee high intelligence or vice-versa. But it's at least a good meter when an actual sit down get-to-know-you kinda thing isn't available.

So, back to my second donor choice.  Blond, blue-eyed, smart, large family (good breeding stock?) very tall.  Height was another factor I was looking for.  I would rather my child have a better chance, especially if it's a boy, to be tall.  I like tall men, although I have dated various heights.  And if it's a girl, tall is also good.  I'm slightly above average in height, and I like that.  What can I say, I love having long legs!  And his childhood photo was adorable.  Norwegian ancestry, and I've always had a thing for Norwegians!  But I still wasn't feeling 100% sure.  I mean, he'd do, just as donor choice 1 would have done.  But neither gave me that gut impulse.

So it's Thursday morning, and my final doctor's appointment to get the results of all my tests is at 2:30.  I know once I get the all clear, then it will be time to actually purchase the sperm.  It is a massively, huge, gargantuan decision that will change my life forever...one I don't want to question even the slightest bit!!!  That morning I got to work and checked my email.  I had an email from California Cryobank with a fresh list of new donors.  At this point I had decided on a donor from another cryobank, although donor choice 1 was from there.  Well I didn't want to second guess myself, but I took a look anyway.  And there, at the very bottom of the list, was "the one"!  I know we've all heard of women finding "the one" and it usually involves some sort of dating ritual, falling head over heels, and making sweet love in the afternoon, yada, yada, yada.  This was nothing like that, per se.  But when I opened his file, the initial introductory paragraph made me sort of swoon.  Not in a lustful way, but in an almost dizzy feeling because something just seem so perfect.  So I dropped some cash and got the rest of the donor's profile.  Yep, here was the father of my child.  He had everything I was looking for, sort of.  Blue-eyed, of course that was not an option!  Smarts, very good high school and college GPAs.  Looks?  The staff impressions were quite the selling point with the whole very tall looked like he stepped out of a GQ magazine comments.  They did offer some celebrity look alikes with similar facial features, I will not reveal those for those are not the major deciding factor and can only be so reliable.  But not blond.  Nope, this one has brown hair, although in his 3 childhood photos, which were absolutely adorable, he does have blond up top.  I would assume this means he is more like me, blond as a child and got darker with age.  Although I was white-blond as a young kid and his was more of a dirty blond.  Once again, I digress...

But all that aside, in the end it was his personality, of all things, that won me over.  He had the type of sense of humor that appealed to me.  A few of his life stories were right along the same lines as mine...who else besides me has been shot off the back of a treadmill and thought it was absolutely hysterical? He loves puns, I for awhile was known as bad-pun girl (my super secret superpower!).  I really can't explain it, just something in me clicked.  I had no questions or qualms.  I had no worries or doubts.  This was him.  I kind of wonder if he felt a shift in the universe at that precise moment.  I can't imagine he didn't!  I assume we live in the same one and mine completely wobbled there for a second or two.  By the time I got to the doctor's office, I was absolutely 100% ready!  I received my green light, went home, and placed my order with California Cryobank.  Actually I went over to my parent's house and celebrated with a glass of wine!

So now it's just time to wait.  I started with ovulation kit testing this month and had my LH surge today (see pic above), which means I will ovulate tomorrow.  However, this month was just a practice run to make sure I was ovulating as I should.  The donor sperm will not be here till later in the week, and I didn't want to stress myself by having to rush this month.  So, this time next month I should be going in for my official first IUI.  The doctor seemed absolutely confident that I would get pregnant on the first try, so I'm thinking he also felt the wobble in the universe that day :)

For any readers also wanting a good cryobank, check out California Cryobank @ http://www.cryobank.com/.  No I won't reveal my donor number!

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