Doctors and Donors

This is a long one.

Today is CD20. I had my appointment with Dr. H this past week. My uterus looks great and is now officially open for business!!

During the ultrasound, we looked at my ovaries and she said it looked like I ovulated a couple days before. I had about 9 follicles on each ovary, but one was really big and floppy (for lack of a better word) and full of liquid. She said that’s typically what a follicle looks like after an egg is released. So then we discussed our game plan for the next cycle. One thing that bugs me a bit about Dr. H is she seems to push for IVF a lot. She mentioned the cost of sperm and how after so many IUI tries, IVF is actually cheaper. Yes, I’m aware of this, but I’d still like to start off with the less invasive option, thank you very much. We discussed med options, but we agreed my eggs seem to grow well on their own so we’re holding off on Clomid. For now.

Here’s the plan (eek!). I’ll have a monitored cycle with no drugs, BUT we will use a trigger shot. I told her the most stressful part of this whole process to me is the timing. So I’ll call on CD1 and make an appointment for CD11, where we’ll check out my follicles and see how they’re growing. Depending on their size, we’ll continue to monitor them until she gives me the go ahead to trigger. And then IUI 24-36 hours later! It’s actually happening! The pharmacy even called to let me know my prescription for the trigger was filled and I should pick it up this week. 4 months after our first appointment with the fertility clinic, we will finally fucking inseminate. I’m actually a little relieved that we missed this cycle. With my body’s on/off bleeding and healing, I just feel better about letting it complete a full cycle before we try.

I saw V, my acupuncturist this week also. She’s changing the direction of my treatment now. Up until this week, she’s focused on moving my qi, increasing circulation to my uterus, and cleansing my body of toxins, old blood, etc. Now she’d focused on nourishing and building my blood up. There were more needles in my abdomen area this treatment (with lots of zings coming off them!) and I have some new herbs to drink each day. The last herbs were smelly but not too bad taste-wise. These new ones are awful. Awful! But I saw results from the last herbs, so I will force myself to drink these. I feel ok taking this stuff since I won’t be on any fertility drugs next cycle. No need to worry about mixing treatments just yet.

Last update is about our donor, Mr. Buddha.

I broke a rule in the “Lesbians Trying to Make a Baby” manual – Don’t get attached to the donor. Well, damn it if I didn’t become enamored with Mr. Buddha’s DNA.

We got a phone call early this week that Mr. Buddha has hit his family limit. They actually gave him a lower limit because they had a limited number of vials. (I assume this means he has declined donating more?) They have to keep a certain number of vials for the Sibling Inventory, so all remaining vials are being held for those that have already become pregnant with his sperm. Fuck. We can either get a full refund or exchange the vials we purchased with another donor.

We’ve looked through the online catalog but here’s where we’re stuck. This local sperm bank has a smaller inventory. We found a couple other donors we like, BUT they’re not a part of the Identity Release program (where the kid can get their name and contact info from the sperm bank once they’re 18). Of those that are in the program, we didn’t find any that we were crazy about. I feel pretty strongly about the donor needing to be in the program, but S doesn’t. I think a part of that is her being the non-biological mom and a slight fear that the kiddo will one day look for their “father” and she’ll be the odd person out. Our sperm bank has done some studies and it seems a really small percentage of kids actually try to make contact, but I feel like we shouldn’t take that choice away from our hypothetical kid. Do we pick an anonymous donor that has the qualities we’re looking for? Or one that’s in the program, but is missing some of our “must-haves”? Or just get a refund and use another sperm bank with a bigger inventory?

Any advice? Anyone using an anonymous donor or have strong feelings about this? How did you balance your desires for your future kiddo while also making sure your partner felt secure and fully involved in the process?

Thanks ladies!

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24 thoughts on “Doctors and Donors

  1. Good luck with this new plan and cycle. As for the donor situation…I haven’t had to worry about this, but I feel like if it were me, I would return what you already bought and maybe use another clinic with a larger pool. If you want your kids to be able to have access to who their biological father is, then that shouldn’t be pushed to the wayside just because some others that are “okay” won’t allow this. It’s kind of an important decision, and you should look for someone who meets ALL of your criteria. But that’s just how I would feel if it were me!

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      • I wasn’t trying to offend you. If it wasn’t for the “sorry” donor, then how would you have a baby? Also, I said “biological father”, which it will be the man responsible for your child’s life, that’s typically the term used for that person.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Actually, the appropriate term is sperm donor (btw- I think Alicia might have been trying to write sperm and it got autocorrected to sorry) there isn’t a father in the case of two women having a child together. It’s a sore spot for us, so we left folks use the term donor. I have heterosexual friend who had to use a donor as well and in that case as well, donor would be the term. Their children have a father, he just didn’t contribute the sperm.

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      • Again, I wasn’t trying to offend anyone. If she was that offended by what I said she could have simply deleted my comment. I have friends who just had a baby and are a 2 mom house, and they use the term “baby daddy”. If it’s such an offensive term, why is it okay to say biological mother/father for adoption, and not sperm donors? It’s the same thing…the person whose DNA helped make that child. It’s not meant to be an offensive term.

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      • I understand your intent want to offend. Your impact, however, is hurtful. One set of friends who choose to use that term doesn’t erase many who find it problematic. My partner and I have to fight almost daily for her to be seen as our son’s parent, and that is helped along by language like this. They aren’t called biological father banks because donating DNA is not the same as being a parent. I also think you’ll find that the adoption communities don’t like the terminology either.

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      • I’m done with this conversation. I’m not in the blogging community to argue with people. I feel the way I feel about things, trying to make me feel bad for being me isn’t going to work. I have no problem with any of you or your families, but you’re trying to make it sound like I do. You’re wrong in that. You’re all turning my intended support of you into something horrible, and I don’t appreciate it at all. I’m not a bad person. I’m done.

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      • If you want to support “us” and our families, listen to us and be willing to take feedback without getting defensive. We don’t need allies who are more worried about their egos than learning.

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      • Hi there! Sorry I’m just now replying. I was unplugged most of yesterday due to getting a new phone and setting it all up. I know you weren’t trying to offend anyone and I can see how it could be a little confusing from a different perspective. My wife and I choose to refer to the donor as simply the sperm donor, not the father. Most likely because the donor is only donating DNA to couples that are unable to have children on their own. All parental rights are waived and they can never fight for custody of anything like that. I think it’s less offensive and just more heartbreaking to certain couples when a woman is fighting to be recognized as an equal mother and the donor can so easily be called a father – even though he plays no role in the upbringing of the child. Each couple is different in how they refer to the donor (and their relationship to the donor), so in no way would I assume that our way is the only correct way. It’s just the right choice for us. I hope this clears it up a bit? And good lord, this is a long reply, so I will stop now!

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      • Thank you for letting me know that you understand what I was trying to say. I would never intentionally offend anyone or hurt anyone, ESPECIALLY on here. It’s really been bothering me all night last night and all day today, that you would think I was trying to hurt you or offend you. If there was a way to just delete the whole thread of comments I would have, because I don’t want people to take something wrong and be upset with me.

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      • It’s just important to understand politically correct terms when dealing with relationships you may not be familiar with. I was not intending to be rude either just informative. Even “bio father” is not accepted well within queer families unless they themselves prefer the term. Donor is the best most accurate and politically correct way to address the person who helped a family conceive straight or not.

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      • The couples that I know who are either 2 moms or 2 dads have used the term themselves, and also donor, and one even says “baby daddy” as I mentioned. I didn’t realize others would be so offended by it.
        I noticed in your comment to someone else that you use Fairfax Cryo? I’d have to pull my paperwork out to double check, but I’m pretty sure that’s where my embies will be stored. Small world!

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    • By the way Amy, I think you’re right in that we should check out a sperm bank with a larger pool. We don’t want to compromise on this. S was totally happy with Mr. Buddha and he was in the Identity Release program. I think it will be less of an issue if we choose someone that has all the qualities we’re looking for in a donor. Thanks!

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  2. ^ I agree ^ This is the one aspect of TTC that you probably have the most control over, so I say, unless there’s no possibility of finding a donor who fits the bill and is part of the program, then don’t compromise on the identity release just yet.

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  3. Kate and I went through Fairfax Cryo cause they had good prices, great service and a large inventory. Originally we were only looking for willing to be known donors, but both of us were on the fence as to wether or not it really mattered. Once we started looking at our options in the anonymous section it became clear that we were not as connected to the WTB donors as the Anonymous but not because we don’t want our minds to know them or anything like that. Just that ultimately I don’t think it will change much. I’m actually more worried about them meeting this person and hating who they are and realizing their biologically connected to them than anything else. Hope that’s helps.

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    • Thanks! This is really helpful. S actually mentioned that same situation of the kid meeting the donor and being really disappointed with them. We’ll see. I think we do need to move to a bigger sperm bank. Damn. I was so looking forward to just driving down the street to pick the tank up..oh well. Onward and upward!

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  4. We chose an unknown donor through fairfax. While our kid(s) won’t know their donor, we do plan on putting together a book with all of his info (essay, silhouette, baby photos, and a little storyline) to provide that backstory as part of their creation. We will let our kids know that we wanted them so dearly and that we needed help from their donor to make it possible. May even use some superhero references (disguised, heroic, helpful). But we’ll see. That’s a long way down the road. While they’ll never meet him, he won’t be a complete mystery.

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  5. I actually had really strong feelings about the anonymous donor thing. I couldn’t reconcile to myself NOT giving the future kid the option of knowing who the donor was. Mostly, I imagined myself in their shoes, and it would kill me to not know or learn more. So, we worked pretty hard to get a known donor, so we can tell the kids we met him. My wife had some of the same struggles (non-bio), wondering what role a donor would play – not wanting to be usurped as a parent. We overcame them, and she seems to feel more confident in her role now, but it’s definitely a sticky spot.

    My vote is to get the refund and go with a bigger clinic to get the qualities you want AND the ID-Release.

    I also figure, having jumped through so many hoops to get the known donor (or ID Release), our kids will probably not care a bit who he is, and our efforts will be for naught, haha.

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