Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Who's Your Daddy

I figure it is probably about time I write a blog entry dedicated to the other half of this miracle growing inside me. While I cannot tell you his name and provide you a photo, nor will I reveal his California Cryobank (CCB) donor number (call me stingy), I can offer up some background information on the daddy in other ways..such as the type of information that made me make that ultimately difficult decision...who should father my child?

Here's another great video for you all.

First off, I think it is important to remember that choosing a donor is quite a different task than choosing a mate, although there were characteristics in his profile that I would have more than likely been attracted to had we met in some dark bar while slamming back a few shots of tequila...or something of that nature. Of course, to make that scenario more fitting, he'd have to be wearing a mask or a bag over his head during this imaginary encounter because looks was not something I was able to focus my choice around. Now he would be able to describe himself to me while wearing this facial concealment device, and provide a childhood photo or three, but that would be it as far as that goes. Imagine if speed dating was more like this! It might be a good thing to wipe away that superficial looks thing and delve more into personality on the front end, but hey that's a risky gamble if other options are available...like eyesight! In my scenario, however, description of features and a few childhood photos was all that was available to me in the looks department.

"Hi there beautiful.  My name is John and I enjoy long walks on the beach."
(Sometimes it's best not to know!)
So you may be wondering exactly what information was available to me through the CCB donor program. Besides his physical description and a few childhood photos (as mentioned previously), I was provided with his personal and family medical histories, physical descriptions of his family members (height, build, eye color, etc), personal essays and answers to short questions regarding what I like to call "personality quirks", the staff's impressions of him, his educational and occupational background, and his Keirsey Personality Profile (additional cost).  For more on what a Keirsey Personality Profile is and what my donor's was, check out my entry from May 21 I am the 1%. And after that go take a free test for yourself over at Personality Junkie's Free Personality Test.  Their test is based off the Myers-Briggs test, but they are extremely similar.  I took both that one and the Keirsey one and they both came out with the same result.

Yeah, it kinda is.
I'll begin with the father's personal and family medical histories.  Once again, basing a decision to create life with someone using their medical history is quite different than having kids with the person you love.  What I mean by this is that when you're in love and in a committed relationship you probably don't question whether your mate's parents had heart disease or if their sister had breast cancer.   And even if you are privy to this information, I doubt you would chose not to procreate with your love in fear of passing those genetics to your offspring.  While their may be some situations where you are forced to think about possibly passing on potentially hazardous genetics, such as if you and your mate are dwarfs, these types of possible deal breakers are few and far between.  Example:

Two dwarfs = 25% chance normal child, 50% chance dwarf child, 25% chance non-viable child

I hope no one is offended by my achrondroplaisia Punnett Square, it is meant merely to get a point across in the simplest manner. And as I hope it demonstrates, if you and your mate had a 25% chance of having a non-viable offspring, you might question whether or not you should risk such things. (Dwarfs are just an example here, there are other such risky genetic combos out there). However if all you have to worry about is if your child might have to wear glasses due to farsightedness running in your chosen mate's family, well that's a little easier to not freak out about. Okay, back to medical history...

What do I know about his and his family's medical histories? 
We'll start with his:
  1. He has no allergies. (This is good considering where I live and how bad allergy season can get, but it wouldn't be a deal breaker if he did.) 
  2. He has excellent teeth but they required braces. (Me too, we're so perfect for each other!)  
  3. He is nearsighted and wears corrective lenses. (Not a dwarf, so we're still good to go.)  
  4. He had ankle surgery when he was 18. (Thank goodness it wasn't a knee or I might just have called it off!) 
  5. That's it, he's pretty much got a clean bill of health.
Next we'll look at theirs: 
  1. Mother is in good health but does wears corrective lenses or had corrective eye surgery. (Still not a deal breaker.) 
  2. Father had lung cancer and died of a stroke at age 59.  (He was a heavy smoker, so this alone wouldn't worry me too much, but hang on to this thought.) 
  3. His has no siblings, so we can skip past them. (Maybe only-child syndrome here, but what you gonna do?) 
  4. His maternal and paternal grandmothers are both in very good health at ages 70 and 87, respectfully.  His paternal grandmother was diagnosed with arthritis at age 78. (I can live with that.) 
  5. Both his grandfathers also had lung cancer and both were smokers.  His maternal grandfather was diagnosed and passed away at age 70, while his paternal grandfather was diagnosed at age 40 and passed at age 50. (Here is where the only red flag went up...all of the males in his direct line had a history of lung cancer.  The fact they were all smokers is a bit of a relief, but only somewhat. Smoking can be avoided, but standard genetics cannot.  While there may be a genetic predisposition for lung cancer brought on by smoking, I imagine if smoking were out of the equation the outcomes would be different.  Either way, hopefully my little one will take this medical history to heart and never risk pushing their genetics to find out.) 
  6. His maternal grandfather, maternal aunt and uncle, and his paternal uncle all wear corrective lenses and/or had corrective eye surgery.  (I'm sensing a pattern here, but once again no deal breaker.)

That about sums up the family medical history. Mostly good except for the lung cancer thing, but that I found to be a workable issue because every family history has something in it. All in all it's a pretty clean record. 

Now on to the fun stuff...physical descriptions of the clan!  What we scientists call the phenotypical expression of your inherited genes.  Also known as what you look like on the outside.

What does he look like and how does he compare to the rest of his clan? 

We'll start with the women in the family and stick to the finer points (Mother, maternal and paternal grandmothers, and maternal aunt): 
  1. Height: All the women are relatively tall.  His mom is 5'8", her sister is the shortest at 5'7", and both grandmothers are 5'10" (This was important to me, I want my child to have more of a chance of being tall rather than short.  No offense anyone.) 
  2. Weight: All the women have a medium build and maintain a normal weight.  (Good, no fat genes and no anorexic ones either!) 
  3. Hair: Dark blond mother, her sister was reddish-brown, both grandmothers were brunettes.  All but the maternal aunt had thick, wavy hair.  (Possible non-straight haired genes?  That would rock cause my hair is uber straight!) 
  4. Eyes: Mother was blue eyed, the rest were blue and green eyed. (Although their eye color does not matter since he had the eyes I was looking for.) 
  5. Nose: All have straight noses.  (Well at least we all have that in common.) 
  6. Special features: Seems that dimples and high cheekbones run in the family.  (I just love dimples!)
Now onto the men of the clan. (Father, maternal and paternal grandfathers, one maternal and two paternal uncles): 
  1. Height: All three uncles are medium in height ranging from 5'10" to 5'11" while his father and grandfathers were all tall. Their heights range from 6'2" to 6'4". (Once again, height was an important factor in my decision.) 
  2. Weight: All but the maternal uncle maintain(ed) normal weight (he was thin). And while all the uncles have medium builds, the father and grandfathers all had large frames. (Nice to know they all seem to be nicely built and not dweebish and weak.) 
  3. Hair: Quite a range of colors on this one. His father had black hair, all the uncles and paternal grandfather have/had brown and his maternal grandfather was blond. As for texture, it ranges from thick to thin but mostly average and there is a good balance between wavy and straight. (No male-pattern balding mentioned so that is good. And while there are still no curls, some non-straight genes in there seem promising). 
  4. Eyes:  Two blue, two brown, two green.  (Actually that would be four of each if you count them individually.) 
  5. Nose:  His dad had a curved nose but all the other men there is no data on.  (I imagine the straight nose dominance will come forth in my child, though.) 
  6. Special features:  Once again it's all dimples and high cheekbones!
So how does the daddy compare to his clan? 
  1. Height: 6'2"  (Just about what I would call perfect!) Weight: 168lbs with a large frame.     (CCB calls this a large frame, but most standard height/weight charts consider this a medium frame.  CCB also bases this off the broadness of the shoulders.  Either way, tall and broad... meow!) 
  2. Hair: Brown, wavy, average volume. (Once again, it'd be nice to have something besides completely straight hair.) 
  3. Eyes: Blue eyes that are large and have a round/almond shape to them.  (The one feature I would not budge on was blue eyes.  I wanted my child to have blue eyes like myself.  Two blue eyed people can only make a blue-eyed child, so that is one trait I can count on.  And big eyes, that would be nice.  Mine are almond shaped and not very large, so it will be interesting to see what shape we create.)  Oh, he also has long lashes and thick eyebrows.  My eyebrows are pretty thin, so I hope the little one gets his brows. 
  4. Nose: Straight with a rounded tip, average length and width. (Yep, I foresee the straight nose gene prevailing although mine has a straight tip.) 
  5. Special features: Wouldn't you know he's got dimples and high cheekbones!  (I've got dimples and high cheekbones so I definitely predict the wee-one will have the same.  Have I mentioned that I adore dimples?) 
  6. Other interesting facial features: 
    • His ears are on the large side but they don't stick out and he has detached ear lobes.  (I also have detached ear lobes but my ears are smaller, so who knows what ears the baby will end up having.  I have a thing for ears, so no matter what I bet they'll be adorable!) 
    • He has a medium sized lips.  (I have more of a thin upper lip, so I hope the baby gets his upper lip.) 
    • He has large, straight teeth.  I'm not sure what is meant by large, but I have a feeling they go with his face since the staff thought he had a great smile.) 
    • He has an oval shaped face with a squared chin that has an average prominence.  (Thank goodness for having a chin.  If he didn't have a chin, or had one that was really obnoxious, that would have been a deal breaker for sure.) 
  7. Ancestry: Almost forgot this one.  My ancestry is German, Irish, and Scottish.  Baby daddy's ancestry is nothing like mine.  His mom's side is English and his father's side is Polish (insert joke here if you must.)  Interesting mix the little one will have.
Yep, that about covers it!
That about completes the physical description of this program.  What should we move to next?  I guess the easiest thing would be to lump education, occupation, and "Hobbies, Favorites, and Hidden Talents" (as per CCB's form title) together. 
  1. Education: We'll start with high school.  His SAT score was 1200 with a 575 in verbal and 625 in math.  He scored a 26 out of 36 on the ACT.  He's not a rocket scientist, but hey, that was high school and the scores are above national averages.  But I kid! His high school GPA was 3.7 and for a guy that's pretty impressive.  No offense dudes!  As for college, yes he completed that with a B.A. in Electronic Media with a GPA of 3.6 which is pretty damned good.  Not as good as mine, but I'm an overachieving genius!  Once again, I jest!  Sort of.  Oh, and his favorite subject was English/Literature (yay, he can read!) and his least favorite was Chemistry...you know we could almost be twins.
  2. Occupation: Okay, I'll go ahead and premise this section by saying he's on that whole California acting track.  Which means his current occupation is a "server."  I'm assuming that is the same as waiter in these parts.  His past jobs included sales associate and marketing coordinator.  While his resume is not all that to write home about, and at 26 mine wasn't either, by his educational background I can tell he has the brains to do whatever.  Let's hope he hits it big with the acting, however, because he deserves for his hard work to pay off...all that good karma for getting me preggers! 
  3. All the quirks:  This is basically a compiled list of random things that CCB asks.  I'll go through these as best I can, but they are kinda random. 
    • CCB asked about mechanical skills and abilities and gave a list of things to check off.  Interestingly enough he checked off model building.  I'm taking this as excellent fine motor skills which is great cause mine suck! He has good mathematical skills.  My kid will need this gene as the Funderburgs are known for their lack of mathematical skills.  (Stupid imaginary numbers!)
    • He is extremely athletic with his favorite sport being basketball (must be that tall gene).  Sports he played regularly in high school and after:  Basketball, golf, football, soccer, swimming, running, weight training, triathlons (wtf!), racquetball, and volleyball.  (Definitely athletic I would say, which I find highly attractive and uber important.) 
    • Things he likes to do:  Cycling, working outside, staying in tune with fashion (Hollywood metrosexual?), singing with friends (karaoke?), creating music.  He also acts regularly in theater and film.  (Maybe he's not too much of a struggling actor after all.) 
    • His favorite foods include sushi, pizza, and steak.  (My kinda foodie!) 
    • His favorite animals are elephants...aw, how cute! 
    • His travel dreams include going to Africa and spending time with indigenous tribes and exploring the vast landscapes.  (This really spoke to my inner anthropologist.)
    • His funny bone is activated by puns and awkwardness.  (I was dubbed bad pun girl for a bit in my 20s, so that I get.) 
    • He claims to be nerdy and fun.  (My heart melts for nerds!)

I hope that I am not boring anyone to death with all this wealth of information, but I'm not quite done yet.  Only two more sections and then I'll wrap it up, I promise!

First off, staff impressions:

"This donor is a sweetheart and GQ model good-looking." (Oh yeah!)  "Despite his attractiveness, he is one of the sweetest and most humble donors I've worked with at CCB."  (Everyone likes hot, humble pie!)  "He works very hard and is focused on his acting career." (Maybe my child's father will be famous some day, wouldn't that be a hoot!)  "He has an eclectic sense of style and likes to try out new things.  It 's not a surprise to see him one day with a mustache and the next without." (Porn stache?  They didn't say what kind of acting he did, hahahahaha!  Yeah, I jest again.)  "He is very charismatic and talkative."  (Now there is a set of genes the little one just can't escape.  We Funderburgs are also known for our charismatic, talkative ways)  "It is a pleasure working with him."  (That's what she said!  Just couldn't help myself!)

I think the staff impressions were definitely something to pay attention to.  It's like having that first impression without actually being present.

And finally, we are down to the last section, woohoo! 

This part is based on his personal essays. Don't worry, I will not be posting them word-for-word. I will however post the question asked, then simply highlight the things that caught my attention. It was his answers to these questions that really made my decision for me. I truly wanted someone who was sort of like myself. Why you ask? Mainly, and this may sound weird, but I didn't want the other half of my child to be completely foreign. Does that makes sense?  I figured if the father and I had some basic things in common, even personality wise, then those traits have a chance of coming out in the child. While these "traits" may not necessarily be solely controlled by genetic factors, that whole nature vs. nurture thing, they spoke to me in ways only I could truly understand. You may read these things and scratch your head, but to me these things came across on a whole different level.  I have no real way to explain my reasoning, all I can really do is offer up the info and let you go from there.  So here goes:
Here's your signs! Seriously, this is about how I felt.
"How would you describe your personality? Please give examples of how you display those traits."
I love his response of being a very "old soul" with a modern twist.  To me that was a super awesome response.  He says he has always been mature for his age and likes to push boundaries.  He also does things that others wish the could get away with but won't try because it's outside of their comfort zone.  I understand both these points.  I've always felt more mature than my age, although I don't always act like it, and I have definitely done things in my life that required getting out of that comfort zone and facing fears.  I truly hope this is a trait I can instill in my child.  It's okay to be afraid, but it's not okay to let those fears consume you or hold you back.  Push the limits, you'll be surprised at what you'll discover when you do.

"Which family member(s) are you closest to and why?  What is your favorite story they like to tell about you?"
Understandably he is closest to his mom, as she raised him alone (remember his dad passed away).  But that's not what got me in his response, as that seemed a given.  What struck me is the story of her laughing hysterically at him when he crashed his bike learning how to ride it. (Mind you this was almost off an 8 foot drop-off.) At the time he said it infuriated him but later he learned not to sweat the small stuff cause it's not that big of a deal.  And that story is all funny and good, but it's the finer points that I related to.  The fact he learned later than other kids made me feel at ease since I also learned late...as in not at all!  Yes, I am the only human with two legs who can't ride a bike!  Mine is a long story, but I remember how it felt to be laughed at for falling off while trying and how mad it made me.  However, now I wear my inability to ride a bike as a badge of uniqueness.  So in the end we both had memorable bike stories that helped shape who we are.  I get if you don't!

"What are you most proud of and why?"
His response, sense of self and his independence.  Wow, couldn't have been more spot on to how I feel about my own self.   He is able to handle anything that is thrown his way and he knows exactly who he is.  While I spent some years discovering all the parts of who I am, my sense of self is very strong.  I have also been very independent through life.  Hello, I'm having a baby on my own.  If that's not an independent move I don't know what is.  These traits are once again very important for my child to have.  A lot of that is parenting, but I imagine quite a bit comes from nature, too.  To compete in our family, those are basic survival skills!

"If you could have lunch with any person from the past or present, who would it be and why?"
This response could have gone in any direction.  What I expected was something prophetic like Ghandi, Jesus, or some other larger than life figure.  You know how most people are when answering such a question, they think overly large and get all complicated.  But he said Jim Morrison of The Doors.  Love it!  It was very odd that I had just rediscovered my Jim Morrison poetry books right before I ran across his profile.  I believe in signs, so I took this as one.  I'm a big fan of Morrison myself (not that that would be who I would choose).  Why Mojo Risin?  Besides be a fan, he said he found his approach to the industry and fame very unique.  That Morrison didn't let popular culture dictate his approach or his music.  He was also impressed with the impression he made on the music industry at such a young age.  Being that the daddy is someone who is involved in the "industry," I can see why this would be of interest and importance to him.  It was an unexpected answer and I dig the unexpected.  It seems more honest than just choosing someone just to impress other's with the response.

"What life lessons would you hope to pass on to your child one day?"
Another could go anywhere question.  His responses...the balance of being independent and knowing when to lean on others, that it's okay to show emotion, and don't let fear hold you back or change who you can are or can be, and don't bully others.  All very good, strong responses.  What struck me most was the it's okay to show emotion part.  I firmly believe that men who can't shed tears or show emotion are seriously fucked in the head!  If they were raised that way, then shame on their parents! If I have a son, which we're all betting I will, then making sure he knows that real men aren't the ones who stand stoic and blank-faced.  Real men shed tears, laugh heartily, and everything in between.  Of course I think anger is an emotion that should be kept in check for the most part, but that's not really what we're talking about here.  And not being to stubborn in your independence to take help from others when needed, yeah that pride has to go!  Another important part of his answer that meant a lot to me.  

"What is the funniest thing to ever happen to you?"
Okay, I will not go into the full details of this story.  The gist is that at one point in his life (freshman in college to be exact) he was tossed off an angry treadmill.  This small little seemingly insignificant fact was the clincher for me.  I know, hardly seem like baby daddy choosing material, right?  Well maybe not for some, but for me it was almost kismet.  I, at one point in the not too distant past, had also been tossed off an angry treadmill!  While the circumstances surrounding these two events are in no way similar, the fact we had both had this occur and lived to tell about was absolutely rolling on the floor hysterical to me.  And there is nothing more I like in a man than the ability to make me guffaw!  
In case you were wondering about that term.
I mentioned previously that I was looking for someone who struck me as being similar to myself in certain ways.  I may have not known exactly what I was looking for per se, but when I found it it was like magic.  I know how absolutely silly that sounds, don't worry, but I can't help how I feel even though I may not be able to fully explain where exactly my feelings stemmed from.  After all the complex genetics I examined and all the contemplation of medical histories, in the end it what truly spoke to me were the simple things...enjoying puns, Jim Morrison for dinner, anecdotes about riding bicycles, and horrifically funny treadmill attacks.  These are the things that make me smile and are the types of things I know had I met the daddy in some alternate universe in that dark bar shooting tequila while he was wearing a facial concealment device and telling me his life stories...these are the things that would have gotten my attention and possibly made us life-long friends.  And who better to have a child with than someone you consider a friend?  I presume most couples who have children at least start out as friends and hopefully some of them remain that way, although statistically this is becoming less and less the norm.  So why not base my decision on a prefect stranger who might have in some alternate universe been a perfect friend? Well that's my story and I'm sticking to it! 

Yes this is in regards to those treadmills that attack!
I thank you all for getting through this very lengthy post.  I really had no idea I would drag it on like this, but oh well!  If you can all be dolls and please click the link below and vote for me on Top Baby Blogs...I'd be so appreciative!  

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