Potency of Four.

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New Year, new post! It has been awhile and I’m not sorry; life was happening and I got tied up living it! We left off at the feeling hopeful after our consultation with a new clinic. Things were looking up! Steph’s part of our journey however, was about to become a little hectic! Some of her days started with very early morning appointments in Oshawa, before going to work in Grafton for 7am, sometimes 8am. She was up at 4am; on the road by 5am, in Oshawa by 6am (to be poked and prodded), she hit the road again for another hour to make it to work on time for her 9 hour shift. I have no words for this; those that know me well, are aware I can barely drag my ass out of bed on any given day.

                 ** Refer to Ultrasounds & Torpedos post for a full refresher on                     cycle monitoring.**

The clinic was all set to go; Steph was to call on day one to begin the process. Because we had been cycle monitoring for several months they were able to forgo the typical one month of strict cycle monitoring.

Day 1 – Call the Clinic

Day 3 – blood work to measure FSH

Day 7 – daily blood work and ultrasounds occur until the follicle (egg) is an ideal size

Day 14 (approx.) – Trigger shot to ovulate and ideally 36-40hours after trigger shot insemination occurs.

March 7th 2015 – our first insemination at the clinic.

It was like the first time all over again. We were so excited, but knew we had to be guarded. We needed to be guarded if for no other reason than to protect our hearts from be broken. How many more times could we emotionally endure going through with this? It was tearing us apart, not only as individuals but as a couple. We fought, we cried, we got frustrated, we shut down and we walked away. In many ways this journey beat us up, like really bad, like punched us repeatedly in the face. This was never more evident than the day we learned we weren’t pregnant after the fourth round of IUI. Devastation is the only way to even come close to captioning the raw emotion we felt. Steph questioned her body, what was wrong with her, was this a sign she shouldn’t have children? How could I help her? I needed to stay calm and positive for her, while inside I was so so angry, doubtful, tired, and I felt very much alone. After much discussion and thought, we decided that we would try one more time. That was it. We couldn’t go on with the emotional ups and downs and finically things were tight, there had to be a point when we said no more.

**I don’t know if I have mentioned this in previous posts, but we chose not to tell our families we were trying to conceive. We figured straight couples don’t report back every time they “try” to make a baby so why is it any different for us. Some of our friends knew what we were going through and they were there to support us, to let us vent.**

When we meet with the clinic we told them that this, the fifth cycle of trying, was going to be our last. We wanted to do everything we could to give us the best chances at conceiving.  They were 100% on board with us and decided that adding Letrozole (take orally on days 3 to 7) and Puregon (take by injection on day 3 until trigger shot) would be appropriate. We were in it to win it!  Steph was a walking pharmacy with a stomach for a pin cushion and nearly no blood left in her to give at this point. She’s a champ and she kept on, keeping on. She trudged through the early mornings and long long days. I think the only thing that kept her going was the thought of possibly one day holding her baby in her arms.

April 10th 2015. We’re clinging to the edge of hope as we sit in the waiting for our very last chance at getting pregnant. There would be no more next times. We had been through the process so many times that it was now routine for us, but this time was different. It was different not only because it was our last kick at the can but because Steph had four follicles that could potentially become fertilized, potentially implanting, potentially become fetuses, potentially becoming babies! Let me tell you, nothing can prepare you for that s&!^! I need more life insurance, more jobs, probably a few nannies, and definitely a bigger house. One the up side maybe Ellen would give us some diapers or something!  In all seriousness the probability of all four becoming fertilized is very very low ….but still possible!

Fast forward to 14 days later. We are waiting in high anticipation for Aunt Flow! Steph is expecting a visit from her anytime, any day now. I drove her crazy with the questions “How are you feeling?” “Can you feel movement?” “Are you hungrier?” “Any changes, like are you cranky?”  Each day that passed our hearts grew a little more hopeful. We avoided taking a pregnancy test as if it would make us unpregnant or some friggen thing like that! There is a certain explainable fear or dread that comes with seeing negative results all the time. I guess we figured if we didn’t test we wouldn’t be disappointed.

Sunday, April 26th, 2015, it’s just after 6am and I hear a little whisper say “Guess who’s pregnant?”  I was still sound sleep, its 6 am and a Sunday, so I must be just dreaming. It wasn’t uncommon for me to be dreaming about babies or pregnancy seeing as that was what our life was revolving around at this time.  I hear it again “Hey….. guess who’s pregnant?” I pry open my eyes and Steph is standing beside the bed with a smile from ear to ear. I then fly out of bed faster than I ever have in my life and start questioning her like an FBI interrogator. “What?” “How do you know?” “Are you ok?” “When did this happen?”  -Clearly I’m still asleep feeling the need to ask that question –as if this happened out of the blue! I ran into the bathroom and had to see the positive pee stick with my own eyes and indeed it was a very real positive test!  We couldn’t be more elated. A flood of emotions overcame us both as we stood in our kitchen hugging each other without saying a word. We didn’t know what to say, we had been hoping and praying for this very moment and it seemed surreal at best. Our life as we knew it was going to change forever, forever for the better. I wanted to shout this amazing news from the rooftops and share it with everyone we knew – and didn’t know for that matter. We cherished the magnitude of this moment for only a few minutes as Steph had to get to work. We agreed to continue this celebration, to embrace and appreciate this amazing new life that was about to begin –  just between the two of us for now.  We wanted some time to just enjoy being with each other and acknowledging all of our trials and tribulations thus far.

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Sign Me Up!

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We have officially decided that this journey has not been an easy one. We are starting to get frustrating. We are starting to question the universe.  How is it that so many children are born because of an “Oops!” and we are doing everything in our power to make having a family our reality? We are absolutely thankful that “Opps” happen, because they’ve made many people very happy and have done wonderful things to change our world for the better; but why won’t it happen for us? We have gone through months of tests and procedures, we have had five insemination’s and three failed pregnancy tests.

** Side Note: While going through this process we were also working with our local CAS and enrolled in their 9 week foster parent/adoptive parent PRIDE  ( Parent Resources for Information, Development and Education) training. We were asked several times if PRIDE was just a course for same sex couples, and no, it’s completely coincidental. Throughout the course we meet many different people, from many walks of life. It was a fabulous course and we often said it should be training that every parent must undergo when having children. The not so fabulous side of the training was listening to all of the stories about children being neglected, abandoned, abused and damaged. Fostering and/or adopting are options that we have always considered; especially if we couldn’t have a child of our own. Some of the aforementioned frustration may have been a result of this training as well. Why could we not be given a child, when so many people in this world who don’t love and care for their child(ren) are able to conceive and give birth to sometimes multiple children?!?! **

Although we were frustrated and somewhat resentful of the universe, we had to remind ourselves that everything in life happens for a reason. Those reasons may never be known or make any sense to us, but we need to be at peace with what life has given us. That sh!&  is hard to do!

At this point in the process we decided, along with the advice and guidance of Dr. McDyke to once again attempt to find a fertility clinic to work with. We were referred to another clinic in Oshawa. We were feeling apprehensive at best, due in part to our previous clinic experiences.

We walked into an older building downtown Oshawa, found the office and walked in to a packed waiting room. A crowded waiting room was not a feature in any of the other clinics, so what was different about this one?!? There was no fancy artwork displayed on the walls, no soothing spa music greeting you through the doors; it resembled a rather typical clinical setting. We checked in with the receptionist only to find out that we weren’t booked into their system for an appointment. Fabulous! They were however, gracious enough to try and fit us in. She did warn us that we may have a little bit of a wait. We pondered whether we should hold tight and stay or just write this clinic off as another epic fail in our search.

~~ Don’t judge a book by its cover! ~~

 After waiting for the better part of an hour we were called in and greeted by a very amicable, rather tall doctor.  We introduced ourselves; let him know what we were looking for and how we hoped they (the clinic) could help us.  He was very welcoming, attentive and reassuring.  Despite not having had an appointment, in no way was he hurrying us along. He gathered some medical background from Steph and laid out all of our options. Then enters  the dreaded financial discussion. If this guy told me he was going to charge us for thawing out some sperm, I was out! (Such a ridiculous friggen fee!) We were anticipating expenses that were out of our grasp. He hands us over a fee schedule and it only had a three items on it; the cost of the donor sperm, a fee for the clinic to wash the sperm and the cost of any medication that is not covered by our drug plan. There must have been a page missing, where is the administration fee, the handling fee, the cost of medical equipment needed for the procedure and the cost of the supplements you are going to try and make Steph take?  So I had to ask “What about all of the other fees such as blood work and medical equipment?” He’s response “OHIP covers that!” I have no idea how the billing system works or how the  hell one clinic can differ so vastly from another when it comes to cost, but at this point we didn’t even give a s&!^! Sign us up!  Using this clinic was what we needed to do.

The doctor introduced us to the nurses we would be working with for the early morning blood work and ultrasound appointments. She poked Steph for some blood work while we were there that day, and we were instructed to give a call on day one of Steph’s cycle to get things started. We were able to forgo the month of cycle tracking with them because we had been tracking with our previous attempts. Giddy up! We only had a few minutes for celebration though, because we needed to get to work, order the sperm, book the appointments, confirm time off and most importantly talk nice to Steph’s uterus!

As we were leaving I a caught a glimpse of the little twinkle in Steph’s eye that told me all I needed to know; she was hopeful.

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Pablo Maria McKay

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Fast forward through another month of ultrasounds, blood work, an insemination and a negative pregnancy test. We have now inseminated a total of 4 times (that’s a lot of little swimmers) and still nothing. By this point we had been through every emotion imaginable. Anticipation, excitement, joy, hope, disappointment, grief, guilt, worry, skepticism; all while trying to stay positive for the next time. To be cliché, it was a roller coaster of emotions. Trying to grapple with two failed cycles (which in fertility time is really not long, but in the moment feels like a life time), Steph thought maybe we should switch donors. Maybe her body didn’t like this sperm and was trying to tell us something. You never know! Her gut feeling was to find another donor, so back to the “catalog” we go!

Our sole emphasis was put on their essay and the reason they chose to be a donor.  This was a category the sperm back we were using had available back when we were looking, but I don’t believe it is something they still provide. We still wanted dark hair and dark eyes similar to me but those were the only physical characteristics we narrowed our search down to. Boom, boom, boom, we entered our search criteria and whamoo – 87 profiles! If I didn’t need reading glasses before going through these profile essays I would now! All of the messages begin with “I like to be called….” Whether this is their name or not; I don’t know?!? It could be fun having a new handle in the online world;

** “I like to be called Pablo Maria McKay!”**

Many essays talked about the donor’s upbringing, their life lessons thus far and advice to any potential offspring. Some were very interesting…

“My advice to you is to always be yourself. Do what makes you happy and everything else will come together for you. Treat others with respect and earn your respect. Always try to help others, even if in the smallest ways. Always become a leader and never a follower. I want to wish you the best of luck and hope everything turns out well for you. I know you will make your family very happy.”

“I grew up in the South where I was free to explore the ocean, beaches and estuaries. There I learned to love nature and discovered its beauty. I was an active youngster. Playing with my cousins outside, we had Super Soaker wars and rode our bikes off homemade ramps. I got my share of bruises and skinned knees, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

After reading through about 25 profiles we came across that one that was meant to be. All we needed to know was neatly wrapped up in one little sentence;

“I chose to become a donor because I want to give all families a chance at love.”

That was it; we had our new donor picked out!

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With our new sperm we were off to the OB to start our third month of cycle tracking. This month something was different. During one of our ultrasounds the OB found what he suspected to be polyps in Steph’s uterus. Maybe this was the reason we were not able to get pregnant the first two attempts? We will never know. This discovery however, meant that Steph would need to undergo a dilation and curettage.

Having to undergo this procedure would mean we have to hold off on our next insemination for a couple months. This is to ensure Steph was completely healed.  We were disappointed to be put on hold, but Steph’s health was our priority.

The morning of her surgery we were both a little anxious, albeit for different reasons. Steph was nervous about having to be put under anesthesia; she doesn’t fair out so well after the fact. It usually involves a lot of, shall we say power puking! It’s not a good scene. I however, was just generally worried about her having surgery; although this is a common procedure there are always risks. I didn’t want to see her in pain or feeling unwell.

When I meet her in the recovery room, she was feeling pretty good. The doctors said everything went well and the nurse went over a few little things to keep in mind for a speedy recovery.  By the time we made it from recovery to the outside entrance of the hospital Steph was looking a little white! I mean, I know I’m no professional driver (she was in a wheelchair) but come on! Poor Steph, it was not pretty! We managed to make it home without too much of a mess in the Jeep (nothing a power washer couldn’t cure) and she hit the couch. Within a few days she was feeling much better and didn’t have any pain. She was a champ through it all!

A month later and after several follow up appointments we were on track for our next insemination.  Through all of our “research” on conceiving (I quote research because we read not only legit medical articles through creditable sources, we also followed threads on baby center and other sites which people talk about their experiences and not medically proven facts.) we read that conception often occurs after a D and C is performed because the uterus is so fluffy and new. We were ready! Fresh uterus, new sperm in hand and trigger shot taken (with only one needle this time) our third insemination was happening.

** Note: the first two rounds of IUI we inseminated twice per cycle, 48 hrs apart, however this time we decided to do only one insemination. It only takes one little swimmer right?! **

The Waiting Game

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On day 3 post IUI, Steph started on Progestrone tablets. I will spare you the details of this adventure. This “operation” would continue, at the very least, until we complete a pregnancy test. If the test comes back negative we stop the tablets; if the test comes back positive we continue the tablet for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

While we were waiting, we analyzed everything Steph felt or didn’t feel –

“Do you feel more bloated than normal?”

“Maybe your headache is because you’re pregnant?!”

“Are you tired?”

“I was really hungry today…what do you think that means?”

Even though we were doing this procedure, which seems like it should give us more of a shot at getting pregnant; our chances were no higher than a hetero couple trying to conceive naturally.  We only had about a 20% chance each cycle at pregnancy. How could this be with everything so calculated? Although the IUI puts the sperm directly into the uterus and on its way, there is still quite a journey to successful conception. The egg and sperm have to meet and mingle, the fertilized egg then has to implant itself into the lining of the uterus and it has to stay there to begin development.fertilization-1132253_1920

Nine days after our IUI, Steph starts spotting. Maybe, just maybe, (holding on to every last inch of hope) it is implantation bleeding? We decide to test. She does the ever so lovely peeing on a stick trick and again we wait! Neither of us wanted to be the first to look; we had been blissfully unaware and cautiously optimistic during the time between the IUI and testing.

It was negative.That was ok. In our minds we knew we would be very lucky if we were successful on the first try, although our hearts ached for it to happen.

Back to Day 1 and we call the clinic.

Our HerSTORY!

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This post is a request from one of my lovely followers; the history of Steph and I.

I was at a fairly low point in my life just before I met Steph. I had gone through several failed relationships, had moved back home because I wasn’t coping out on my own and had taken some time off work.  She was the ray of sunshine I needed in my life at that time! From the moment I met her I felt a sense of comfort, I knew she had a caring soul and definitely wanted her to be part of my life in some capacity. If a romantic relationship wasn’t meant to be, I knew we could develop a great friendship.

Rewind to April 14th,2012, we started chatting after connecting on Plenty of Fish – yes we are an online success story! Through the umpteen texts and emails we discovered we had many things in common; we both played various sports, we have a great respect and appreciation for animals, watching good movie is never a wasted evening and we both admire the power and beauty of the ocean.

We agreed to meet face to face for the first time at the ever so romantical Tim Horton’s! I don’t remember much of this date. I was a wee bit nervous. Was she going to be crazy? Was she going to look like what her profile showed? Would we have commonalities that would spark conversation? I wasn’t afraid for my safety because we were in such a public place, but I needed an escape plan in case things went horribly awry. I walked through the door and spotted her sitting down already, she looked like who I was expecting from the pictures I had seen…good start! The conversation was effortless and the two hours we had to chat flew by. Don’t ask me what we talked about though because I don’t have a sweet clue. Except the part where she laughed at the fact I drove a VW Bug, I do remember that. She drove a really awesome Jeep and I drove a broken little bug! I think the only reason that wasn’t a deal breaker was because I also drove a motorcycle; that was my redemption. All in all, the date was great! We planned to meet again and decided on dinner a few days later.

I was very excited for another chance to spend some time with Steph. We hit it off really well.  I decided I would take her to Berc’s Restaurant, an upscale steak house in town. She looked great! It was a Saturday night and the place was packed, luckily I had made reservations so we didn’t need to wait long. We got seated, ordered and I a great looking steak dinner arrived at my request and I couldn’t eat it! The nerves were obviously still in the game. After dinner we decided to hit the bowling alley and play an incredibly competitive game of 5 pin! (Just for the record I kicked her butt!) Another great date!

We continued to hangout as often as our schedules would allow. We had great conversations about things that were important to us, most of the time we agreed in our outlook of things but occasionally we agreed to disagree.  A heated debate is always a good time! Eventually she met my family and she fit in like she had been around forever. My parents never pass judgment and always let us form our own opinions and navigate our relationships. They would give us advice if we asked for it and tried to guide us in the right direction but never pushed their desires or beliefs on us. My parents accepted her with open arms, as they could see how happy she made me. My sisters took a little longer to warm up to her, simply because they were out living their own lives and didn’t spend as much time with us. She is now just like another sister to them.

Funny little story – about a month into our relationship, we decided that we were going to head to the beach to catch the beautiful sunset. We hoped in the Jeep and ….holy s#1^! She backed right into my car that was parked behind her! Smuck! “Drive forward, drive forward. Put the jeep in park!” We get out and my Bug has no front end. Things are leaking fluid everywhere, the headlight is hanging from a wire, the bumper is on the ground, and of course not a scratch on the Jeep. Steph is in tears, the neighbours are coming to check things out and I’m trying to hold back my amusement of it all. After the dust settles, we send the car to the garage and continue to the beach.  I don’t know if it was the guilt of hitting my car or my pure angelic charm that kept Steph coming back, but from that day on we have been inseparable. We were married in August 2015 and we have been having a blast everyday since!

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Ultrasounds & Torpedoes.

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We started tracking Steph’s cycle through blood work and ultrasounds. This measures levels of estradiol, luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone through blood work and tracking the thickness of the uterus lining and the size and quantity of your follicles (eggs) is done through ultrasounds.

An example of our cycle tracking schedule:

Day 1 of cycle – call the OBGYN and make an appointment to have the initial blood work and ultrasound done.

Day 8-9 – We have blood work and ultrasound performed to see where Steph’s levels sit. Depending on the numbers determined the date of our next appointment.

Day 15-21 (approx.) – We started going every other day to track the size of the follicles until they (the dominate follicle) was approx. 18-24mm in diameter. When they reach this size, ovulation will soon occur (typically around day 21).

**Note – because the OB we saw locally does not specialize in fertility they did things a little bit different then a fertility clinic. A clinic is much more regimented in cycle tracking and blood work. We were also regularly in touch with Dr. McDyke’s office to assure we wouldn’t miss the mark on the optimal insemination date and time. **hospital-699417_1920

Once Steph’s follicles were at this right size and signaling ovulation, she had to receive a “trigger shot”. I will never forget the first time she had this injection. We have the prescription, we get it filled and have my sister (who is an RN) all ready to give her this shot. We get home and open everything up, get all setup and then realize we don’t have any needle to give this. The medication came in two separate vials and had to be mixed just prior to being injected. When combined there was about 10cc’s which I quickly learned was difficult to find syringes for. After inquiring at several pharmacies with no success, I settled for a package of insulin needles…..1cc insulin syringes…that means 10 pokes! Can I tell you how happy she was with me?! So my sister got to work, 5 injections in one arm and 5 in the other! Oh dear!

To ensure that the sperm was delivered on time; not too late and not too early we called the Canadian Distributor for our sperm bank when we were about two days away from ovulation. We needed to ensure it was at our doctor’s office for the day of insemination.  The sperm can remain frozen in the shipping container for up to 7 days so it was better to have it arrive a few days early than too late.

As close as we could get to 24 hours after the trigger shot, it was time for our first insemination! We had two insemination’s per cycle to increase the chances of conception; the first 24hrs after the trigger shot and the second 72hrs after. There is only about 1cc or 1ml of semen per insemination so let’s get as much as we can in there… the more the merrier in situations like this!

It’s show time! We are like two giddy kids in a candy store, bouncing with a bit of excitement and a few nerves!  Dr. McDyke greets us and takes us into her office. On the floor sat the shipping container that’s holding the goods. It’s a torpedo like metal container and when it was opened it looked like something you would see in an intense medical drama…with smoke and squeals, and streamers and confetti – well maybe not the streamers and confetti. I added that for effect! However, the liquid nitrogen that keeps the sperm frozen makes quite the display when opened. When the doctor pulled out the vial; I was expecting something the size of a typical specimen bottle but it was hardly the size of a pen cap! It was removed from the container and placed out to thaw while we signed some paper work and got all set up.

The procedure itself didn’t last more than maybe five minutes. A catheter called a tomcat was inserted through her cervix and into her uterus; the semen was then injected very slowly (to try and minimize the chance of cramping).  After the insemination Steph remained lying down for about 10 minutes. Some women will become light headed or experience cramping afterwards so getting up slowly and resting is recommended. We went straight home after the appointment and Steph hit the couch, lying on her side…but not just any side, the side that she was ovulating on!!  Why not try everything you can to help the little swimmers along?!? Maybe lying on her side would promote the little spermies to swim faster towards the egg! Logical…maybe not, but it made us feel better!

Now we wait……and wait.

Eeny Meeny Miny Moe

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Well, as fresh as a daisy the next day I set out on a mission to research the bleep out of sperm banks! I will stick to the coles notes version of our research because there is an entire alternate universe of information out there.

Our Options for insemination:

  1. Home Insemination Kit – Using a catheter and syringe to place semen in the vaginia.
  2. Intracervical Insemination (ICI) – Placing semen in the cervix using a catheter.
  3. Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) – Placing washed sperm cells directly into the uterus.
  4. In vitro fertilization (IVF) – The process of fertilization by extracting eggs, retrieving a sperm sample, and then manually combining an egg and sperm in a laboratory dish. The embryo(s) is then transferred to the uterus. (I won’t touch much on this method as I am unfamiliar with the process)

Deciding your preferred means of insemination needs to be a decision made early on in the process as it will determine what “kind” of sperm you need to purchase.  At home and ICI does not require any special preparation of sperm; however IUI requires an addition step in the process called washing. ~ I envision all the little spermies lining up to shower before making their big splash into the pool!~ Washing sperm is the of separating the healthy, strong sperm from the seminal fluid and the weaker, non-motile sperm. Because semen doesn’t pass through the cervix when undergoing IUI, the components of semen which would be “filtered” through the cervix before entering the uterus, need to be removed by artificial means. Severe cramping and drastically decreased chances for conception can be the result of placing unwashed sperm directly into the uterus. In my previous post I also mentioned ART which stands for Assisted Reproductive Technologies. These are vials that contain fewer sperm cells than regular vials. They can be used for various methods of insemination when deemed appropriate by your doctor.

Our next conversation, was seemingly straight forward because we were both on the same page, was choosing an open id or anonymous donor. Open id or identity disclosure donors; agree to the release of their contact information once the child turns 18. The child contacts the sperm bank and the information is given directly to them. This option also requires some addition paperwork once the child is born, to uphold the contract. An anonymous donor is just that, and will never have contact of any kind with any child.

When searching through donors we also needed to ensure that they (the donor) were Canadian Compliant. This was not a choice we needed to discuss, this is a regulation set out by Health Canada. It requires samples to undergo additional testing before being passed as Canadian Compliant. Most sperm is imported with only a measly 5% – 10% “cuming” from Canadians. According to a Calgary Herald article in 2016 there were 51 sperm donors in Canada. Some countries pay sperm donors for their donation but in Canada it is illegal to sell or purchase sperm. This is an interesting read on the topic!

So now that we knew what we were looking for, the hunt for the perfect donor began!

You can narrow your search significantly by entering your search criteria and the more specific the less donor matches you will have. There are the obvious choices like age, hair color, eye color, height and weight but then the less obvious such as their level of education, their religion, if they have a reported pregnancy and if they have undergone a temperament test with their results available for viewing. If one wanted to have a donor that was the best possible match in appearance you can submit a picture of yourself and the catalogue of donors will find the best matches. Some sperm banks allow you to hear the donors voice through a recorded interview, other don’t have this option available.  It’s amazing how many conclusions can be made from just hearing a voice and knowing absolutely nothing else about a person. We listened to a few recording and our judgments were ridiculous!

“No we can’t choose him it sounds like he is far too conceited and only out for himself!”  “Oh dear, he sounds too old.”  “Oh this guy could work! I picture sandy blonde, beach bum type….but no wait, we want dark hair.” “This guys sounds like the next president of the world, that’s too much pressure!”

Who the hell are we?  We suddenly became experts in voice analysis! We decided to forgo listening to anymore recording because it gave us no real insight into what was important to us in a donor. There’s so much information about perspective donors available we needed to whittle down what was very important to us.  The profiles at the bank we used contained pictures (if the donor wished to contribute), health information of family members back as far as the donors grandparents, the list of genetic screening and results (he was found negative for Maple Syrup Urine Disease Type 1a, in case you were wondering), an essay written by the donor to his potential dildren (donor + children) and a personality/interests chart. We choose to limit our search to donors with dark hair and dark eye like me. Steph was going to be carrying; therefore our baby was naturally going to be inheriting some of her characteristics.  Because of this we wanted to try and get some of my physical characteristics in there as well; that’s why the choice of dark hair and eyes was made. As we were clinking through profiles and getting lost in all of the medical mumbo jumbo, there was nothing really jumping out at us from one donor to another. Just as we were going to pack it in for the night we came across a profile that intrigued us.  He’s in his 30’s, a teacher and spent some time in the Military, dark hair and eyes, is very close to his family and wrote a sweet essay. Part of his message read:

“Ultimately, the sum of one’s life usually isn’t what you did for a living but

what you did while living – the innumerable small acts of kindness,

plus the few big ones. But don’t sweat it – you’ve got your entire

life ahead of you to figure it out.”

 

He was very well written and put a lot of emphasis on courage, kindness and living your life to the fullest. Keeping in mind that someday our child may want to read this message we wanted someone who put some thought into what they had to say to their perspective dildren. We liked this donors overall message, it was caring and felt genuine.

Maybe it was that in one of his pictures he had a monkey on his head that sealed the deal for us! Awesome! We found the one! We were really doing this! We were going for it!