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.


10 thoughts on “Creating a plan, yo

  1. So god to have found your blog 🙂

    We had all those questions too – and started the process in January of last year. You have to decide what’s best for you but I’ll tell you what we did – our first appointment was a consult, and it was in Jan of 2013. From there, the doctor gave me some recommendations and had me follow up in 3 months to start the process. So we did our first insemination in April after going to that first appointment in January.

    In terms of buying sperm – never too early to start looking, and most banks are browse-able for free. My doctor did some testing that guided our process (I needed a CMV negative donor), so that’s worth thinking about. Also the banks make you submit a form that a doctor has signed off on, so there’s another reason to hit up the doctor sooner than later! … And totally nope on the refundable! :/

    Anyway, good luck to you guys! Can’t wait to follow along.


  2. Hey! Good luck with your journey. Like the last poster, I also found out I was CMV negative, and this was after we’d found our donor. Luckily we hadn’t bought it yet and we were lucky enough to find another donor we loved. It might be worth just going in to the clinic for fertility tests and to check CMV status, to get an idea of what your situation is (maybe the doctor might recommend IVF over IUI, for example) which will give you until April to prepare, get used to the idea and find a donor ready for April. Good luck!


  3. If you find a donor that you love make sure you find out about storage charges. Our RE stored it for 6 months free of charge as long as we used it with those 6 months, and depending on the bank, it make have a similar policy. Starting when it feels “right” is the best way. If your having reservations because of your visit, then wait till you get back. April really isnt far at all


  4. First, hi! We started looking at donors first thing when we decided we were going to start trying, even though we weren’t going to officially “try” for another 4 months. It was just exciting, and it was a way for us to be doing something before we were actually doing anything. If that makes sense! Some of the banks will give you free storage for a limited time if you buy a certain number of vials. Some of them also have a buy back program as long as you keep the sperm stored with them. You don’t get the full price refunded, but they do give you a percentage. We never ended up buying in bulk. We just bought our vials as-needed. I kept an eye on our donor’s supply, and he was always listed as having 25+ vials available for IUI, so I didn’t worry about it too much. Your trip to Vietnam sounds incredible!


    • Hi, thank you. Yeah, something about the act of looking at donors just makes us feel proactive without actually starting the process. I think we’ll go ahead and schedule our first appt at the fertility center for early April. I want to fully focus on this Vietnam trip and not start stressing about test results just yet…


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