Single Mom By Choice – Part 3: Sperm Banks & First Insemination 

As I previously mentioned, when I was younger I dreamt of having 5 kids. A white child, a biracial child (white/black) and red-headed triplets… All with the same man!!! I was obviously too young to understand genetics!

Fast forward 30 odd years and here I am, on a sperm bank website, thinking that I could actually have that family… this way… Minus the man! CRAZY!! How did I even get here? **Oh Yeah! Old body, low egg count, baby now or potentially never… That’s right… Time to get back on track.

I had finally (and happily) decided that I was going the anonymous donor route particularly because I had already found my “just in case” donor. A tall, quirky, handsome and educated blue-eyed man, who loves to travel and who I wish I could cross paths with in real life! However, I somehow, in my excitement, forgot to notice the big orange banner at the top of his profile that read: FOR REPORTED BIRTHS ONLY. What does that mean? Well, when a donor has only a few samples left, the sperm banks keep them for people who have already successfully had children with this donor and are looking to add siblings… So new patients cannot use such donors. Merde… Now I know… Back to square one.

If you thought that online dating was difficult, you never tackled the world of online choosing-the-stranger-who-will-very-soon-help -you-conceive-your-child.

Too much choice is often not a good thing, so lucky for us Canadians, the selection pool is smaller than in the U.S. First off, since 2005, you are not allowed to be paid for donating sperm in Canada. You can therefore imagine that there is a lack of guys wanting to voluntarily give their sperm! Secondly, not all donors are available to Canadians. This fact was discovered after hours and hours of, once again (*sigh), reading through hundreds of family medical histories, personal attributes, personality tests & more, in order to find “Perfect Donor #2”. Health Canada requires the samples go through a whole second battery of tests to be “Canadian Compliant” and I failed to notice that he was not… Merde… Tears of exhaustion… Screams of frustration… Back to square one.

Ok! Ok! I hear you! What did he look like? Well, he’s a blue-eyed redhead who actually wore a tacky, yet fashionable, brown tweed suit for one of his pics (shows a great sense of humour), posted the cutest child photo and shared being an excellent communicator who loves to read and travel! 

At this point, through my tears, I thought that maybe I just wasn’t meant to go down this route… It wasn’t natural… It was frustrating… I could not seem to find THE guy… Not many people knew about my crazy baby-making decision, so I texted my despair to a friend who did know and her response was to knock at my door two hours later with a bottle of wine, ready to help me tackle those 149 profiles AGAIN! She was floored by the amount of detail that profiles provide… It’s hard not to get stuck on the fact that this guy’s uncle died of an overdose at 54 & his two grandfathers died of heart attacks in their 70s… Or this other guy’s grandmother and mother have diabetes & his sister has severe near-sightedness. There are just too many reasons to say “Next!”. After a couple of glasses of wine, we called my mom, who had the best insight for us: “would you know this much information about a boyfriend’s family and would it stop you from having kids with him?” Point taken… Search continues!

My friend had reserved the right to overrule a “no” from me if she had a feeling he’d be a good match. There were a couple original “No-I’m-not-interested-in-him” donors that made it into the top 50, then again into the top 32 and one into the top 10. The reason that I had said no for this particular donor was that he looked like my baby brother!!! I know… Silly… But, I just could not wrap my mind around the fact that I would have a child with a guy that looked so much like my baby brother! My friend, on the other hand, argued the fact that our future child would therefore have family resemblances! Point taken. He made it into the top 3!

I sent Outreach (the Canadian agency that you go through to purchase the sperm) my top 3. The next morning, I received an answer. My first choice was retired! My second choice had a genetic condition that I would have to be tested for. My third choice,”baby bro”, was available and had 2 samples left!

I guess the choice was made for me – “Baby bro” it would be! Two days before my 39th birthday, I spent 1515$ on a gift to myself – 2 samples of sperm…

How did I feel? When will I “do it”? Here’s a quick recap:

FIRST INSEMINATION

This was happening so fast… it’s hard to believe 6 weeks had passed between that first doctor appointment and my first insemination!

11:35am, August 8, 2017.

Waiting for my turn was the longest ten minutes… Being inseminated, was the quickest ten minutes! Like a simple Pap test, the procedure was quick and painless. I was left in the room and extra 10-20min, in a tilted position (gravity helps!) and I was told that I could leave whenever I felt comfortable. No further instructions except “take a pregnancy test in two weeks & hopefully calls us with good news. Good luck”.

I have no idea how worry warts do it… Anyone in these shoes will stress about the pregnancy results at some point or another in those interminably long two weeks. I tried not to stress myself out. I thought positive thoughts. I waited until the day before to go buy the pregnancy test, laughed outloud when the 18 year old cashier asked me if I was hoping for good or bad news and slept soundly the night before.

3:35am, August 22, 2017.

Before heading into work for 4am, I peed on the stick…  That night, I filmed this…

 

(TO BE CONTINUED)

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