As many of you know, I had two IUI’s (sperm inside the uterus).
The first unmedicated IUI was with my second choice in donor sperm = DIDN’T WORK
My second medicated IUI was with my first choice in donor sperm = PREGNANT
I chose not to have a known donor for several reasons – he would be entitled to partial custody in court (as per my social worker), and it would make things too awkward for me.
How could I even choose the sperm donor for my baby out of the men in my life and how would I even ask them to be a sperm donor?
Some people I know have known donors and I think that is amazing. I just found it way too complicated.
Instead, I turned to three donor clinics and started my search. My search eventually led me to Fairfax Cryobank in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
They bring in donor sperm from the U.S. that has the Canadian checkmark (has passed government standards in Canada) and can, therefore, be sent to a Canadian sperm bank. I can’t recommend Fairfax Cryobank enough! Most of the Choice Moms I have met have purchased their donor sperm from Hamilton (shipped from the States).
So why didn’t I want Canadian sperm? Because there is so little of it. They get paid in the U.S. to donate sperm and they don’t get paid in Canada to donate sperm.
At every sperm bank in Canada, you are to purchase the vials of donor sperm in advance. You pay about $1000.00 per vial of sperm (they recommend 3-4 vials at the fertility clinic). Fairfax is great because if you get pregnant they will buy back the vials at half price. Fairfax is the only sperm bank in Canada that buys back the sperm you don’t need (from what I know).
Right now I have one vial of sperm (of my first choice/the one that got me pregnant) that I am paying $35.00 a month to keep stored in Hamilton. I want to keep it until the baby is born because I love my incredible donor (even though you are not supposed to get attached to your donor) and his sperm got me pregnant.
It also took me MONTHS to get his sperm (even if the website says it is available, you still have to call the sperm bank because it may be gone). For me, shopping for donor sperm was a lot like shopping at Winners; you have to weed through A LOT of the bad to get to the good. Plus, if you don’t buy it there and all at once, it is gone.
So now for the good stuff….who is my donor? Well, I don’t know his name and I don’t have a current picture of him. I know his donor number, his health history, the health history of all of his family members, information about his physical appearance, what he looked like as a child, the staff impressions of him at the clinic, what celebrity he most looks like now, and I have read an essay he wrote as well as heard his responses (and voice) in an interview.
When I first saw his baby picture last winter, I started crying (only donor I cried over). His face reminded me so much of my sister L and I. I am not allowed to show you his picture on anything related to social media. If you know me in real life (that sounds so weird to write), I am more than happy to show you the picture of him as a child. It actually makes me super happy and proud to show you.
A couple weeks ago I ordered every bit of information the sperm bank had about my donor. I plan to make a book for my little boy so he knows exactly where he came from. His baby book even has a place under “description of donor” (purchased from Mushybooks) that gives all of the donor information in the baby book. The social worker (who I had to meet with before beginning this process) explained the importance of sharing with my child everything about the donor (making sure it is age-specific).
So here are the details about my donor: he had blonde hair as a child and now has brown hair (like me). We are almost the same height so we look quite similar. He studied business in school. He is Caucasian and has a similar background to me.
Here are some of the observations from the team as well as some information that I gathered from his profile, interview, and essay.
My donor is:
- Healthy (I have all of his medical docs along with the medical docs of his siblings, parents, and grandparents). There is no mental illness and he is also free of STI’s (important when trying to conceive).
- Open-ID Donor – my child is allowed to make contact with him after my child is 18. This is SUPER important to me.
- American – but his sperm was allowed to be shipped to Canada.
- Optimistic – believes in the importance of making the decision to be happy in life.
- Selfless – wants to give back to the world (including donating sperm so that other people get the chance to have a child).
- World traveller – loves travelling and meeting people from other cultures.
So you may be thinking “wow…he sounds a little too good to be true” or “sure, those are his good qualities but he has to be human.” Totally understandable. You’d also think a lot of information about sperm donors would be so positive. NOT TRUE.
I read so many essays including one where a prospective donor decided to donate sperm because he “knew that my sperm was the best and that only I would make high-quality children.” I also read about the lesson that one donor wanted to pass on to his children. He stated that children “are not important in the world and they should learn that they aren’t that great.”
I also liked numerous donors but found out that they had health conditions/possible genetic issues. If you do select a donor that could possibly have a child with a genetic issue, you need to sign a form that you are fully aware of this and will accept it.
Overall, I had about three donors I liked (to some degree) in the end. I think I had a selection from about ten with the requirements that I wanted.
There is a sibling donor registry that I am debating signing up for. I know some Choice Moms who have gotten together with other parents who have used the same donor. I am not sure that I am there yet but maybe one day I could see that happening. Who knows.
What I do know is that I feel so blessed. I couldn’t be happier with my donor and somehow I was able to find the perfect one for me. Sure, it took me countless hours (I would say 100+) but I am so happy and now I am 22 weeks pregnant with a little boy!
So I am sorry to the people who wanted to hear that my donor was an ex-boyfriend or that my donor had a current picture I could show. Just know that I think my donor is pretty special and I hope one day my son will too.