Creating a plan, yo

I am a planner. I used to suppress that part of my personality and try to be an easy, breezy, fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of gal. However, I am learning to embrace my planning tendencies. Hence, my career as an events manager. That part of me is not going away and I just feel better when I have a plan in place, even if it’s just a really vague one.

So the wife and I have been discussing when to start the whole TTC process. And in true planner fashion, I got out the calendar and started making notes. My OB is writing me a referral to my HMO’s fertility center, but she stated that once you start the process, they like jump right in and not have any disruptions or breaks.

In mid-March, the wife and I are going to Vietnam for two weeks to volunteer with a non-profit.  This could disrupt the TTC process for a number of reasons.  1) I have to get some shots, like a typhoid vaccination, and I don’t feel comfortable trying to get knocked up within 30 days of that.  2) In charting and predicting my cycle, it seems I’m most likely to ovulate that month while on the trip.  And 3) as unlikely as it is to get pregnant on the first try, I would hate to risk being pregnant while there. I can’t imagine first trimester nausea while doing hard, manual volunteer work and being surrounded by foreign food (even though I do love Vietnamese food).

So it seems we’re probably going to schedule our first appointment at the fertility center for early April.  Which sounds incredibly far away right now.  And yet is right around the corner.

Question: when should we start looking at sperm donors? We’d like to go the anonymous frozen route. Should we purchase the sperm beforehand, so we’re ready to hit the ground running in April? Should we wait until we meet with our RE? I have no idea how long the donor-picking process typically takes. On one hand, I’d love to purchase the sperm ahead of time, so that’s one less thing to stress about in the spring. On the other hand, I have this awful fear that we’ll purchase all this expensive sperm and then we’ll find out I have something physically wrong with me and I can’t get pregnant. Is sperm even refundable?

We seem to be at that point where we can’t decide if we should just start this process already or cool our heels for another month or so and really soak in these last carefree, non-TTC months while we can.