My First Two Week Wait (sponsored by Google)

My bra is uncomfortable. I know my bra is always uncomfortable, but is it this uncomfortable? Can my boobs even be changing this soon? Google it.

What’s the earliest I can take a pregnancy test? Like, the absolute earliest? Google it.

I know I read that I can drink wine, because I’m not actually pregnant yet, and I’m not sharing blood with the baby, and also, I already drank wine, so there’s no point obsessing about it anyway…but can I really drink wine? Google it.

When does implantation occur? Could I be pregnant now? Google it.

(takes a break to stare at my Kindara chart for ten minutes straight)

How about now? Am I pregnant now? Google it.

Is that a twinge in my uterus? Is that an implantation twinge? You have already read about this and do not need to research it. Google it anyway.

I’m feeling kind of crampy. Are these cramps normal? Am I pregnant? Is this a sign of pregnancy? Google it.

Is my sperm donor still available? Only six vials left. Should I buy more vials now?

Wait, when is the absolute, 100% earliest I can take a pregnancy test? Google it.

Review? The Kids Are All Right

This and The Switch (which I’ve seen and is super unrealistic and not actually about donors) are the only two films I know of about sperm donation. I’ve wanted to watch this one for awhile and since I’m not successfully ignoring the fact that I am probably going to get my LH surge tomorrow and go for my first IUI on Sunday, I thought I might as well embrace my nerves and finally sit down for this film.

The Kids Are All Right. The title, at least, is promising.

The idea that the sperm donor (Paul, played by Mark Ruffalo) seems to live right down the road from the kids seems unrealistic. I guess it’s possible for other people’s situations. This idea of getting to know the sperm donor and sharing meals with him won’t be part of most people’s experiences; however, it seems like this film is still reflective of many anxieties a person or couple using a sperm donor might feel. Looking at the feelings of the kids about their donor is very interesting as well. The themes of the film can be relatable to anyone. Families are complicated. Relationships are complicated. Nature vs. Nuture.

Some things (spoiler included):
– What if I think I am naming my kid something awesome, but it turns out it is a name like Laser (Josh Hutcherson)?
– The moms are concerned that the children’s desire to have a relationship with their sperm donor means the moms are not enough. This is a worry I can definitely connect to. What if my child feels like this? What if I’m not enough?
– One of the reasons that they picked this donor was because he was studying International Relations and now they are shocked to learn that he dropped out of school.
– Joni’s friends are very accepting of her unusual family dynamic.
– “Can I ask you something? Why’d you donate sperm?” “It seemed like a lot more fun than donating blood.” Paul says actually he wanted to help people. Laser wants to know how much Paul got paid. I worry that the transaction nature of sperm donation will make potential future spawn feel awkward.
– Am I supposed to feel that Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo are attracted to each other or am I just heteronormalizing this movie?
– Ok, yes I am supposed to think they are attracted to each other.
– I expected Laser to bond more with Paul but Joni is the one who seems to really relish having the father role in her life.
– I don’t know how Nic is going to be redeemed by the end of this film. I mean there’s no way this film can possibly be a romance between Paul and Jules.
– Ok, all the adults in this movie are awful. The kids are…(wait for it)…alright.
– And yet everyone ends up super sympathetic. Paul falls in love with having a family and because he’s the outsider, when he messes up he loses it all. The other adults who make mistakes get to keep the family. On the other hand, being a sperm donor does not give you the right to the family and that’s important. But it’s still a super sad resolution for him.
– “I just wish that you could have been…better.” The dangers of meeting your sperm donor.
– The ending, like the title, reaffirms that this movie is not about the scandalous love triangle stuck in its middle, but about the kids.

My Mail is Totally Normal

Certainly it’s the most interesting shipment notification I’ve ever received. My sperm donation, my two little vials of hopes and dreams and ejaculation, are en route from all the way across the country. If I wasn’t minimizing the drinking to maximize my chances of conceiving, it’s enough to make you want a few large glasses of wine.

And then, on the auspicious day…

Fortunately, I set things up far enough in advance that this isn’t going to mess with my plans for this cycle…I think. But where is my cryotank now? Is it safe? Is everything still frozen? Why isn’t UPS going to a business when it is open? What am I paying $180 for if my package is not going to be accurately delivered? Seattle Sperm Bank is one of the few places my clinic recommended, so I am going to assume that this is normal, that everything is okay…but this is really something someone should have prepared me for!


Taking the Plunge

I originally titled this post “pulling the trigger,” but I don’t really want to use gun metaphors to talk about my potential future spawn.

Several weeks ago, I threw myself an impromptu party…A Sperm Soiree? A Baby Daddy Bacchanal? A Donor Diversion?

I do not have names for these things.

Anyway, a few of my nearest and dearest perused my top choices and gave me feedback. I narrowed it down to two donors (I was pretty sure who I wanted, but wasn’t quite ready to make the call yet). I moved money from my savings to my checking account to pay the $1,560.00 fee for two vials of sperm ($690 per vial plus $180 for shipping across the country). I continued to chart everything that happened in my body via kindara. And I waited.

I dreamed about my ex. I took prenatal vitamins. I played with small children at a baby shower and tried to ignore that there were ten women pregnant at the shower and all of them younger than me. I read books about pregnancy. And I waited.

I went out with friends but didn’t really drink. I tried on a new dress and imagined how I would look in it pregnant. I considered giving up caffeine. And I waited.

And yesterday, I decided I was being utterly ridiculous, so, perched half-dressed on my bed about twenty minutes before I was supposed to leave the house to meet my friends for trivia night, I jumped in. I took the plunge. I ordered two vials of sperm.

There has to be a more beautiful way to say that, right? Two vials of sperm. I’ll think on it.

I chose brains over nice (though hopefully my baby will have both?) and I added them to my cart, just like buying books off Amazon. Click. I am now the owner of two vials of sperm.

I called my youngest sister on the way to the bar (my other sister is not really a phone-talker) and I told my friend at the bar and had a celebratory drink (I had a cocktail called Invincible Summer, which is a faint echo of all the things I want for my potential future spawn). And that’s it. Those are the only people who know. Which for me is the equivalent of an enormous secret, because I tell everyone everything always.

Although I guess Seattle Sperm Bank knows. And my clinic. This blog, but that hardly counts. I have to get used to the idea that the things that traditional couples get to keep private, I’m attempting with an online shopping cart and a couple of medical professionals.

But I own sperm now.



Sperm Dating

There are a lot of disturbing similarities between online dating and looking for a sperm donor, and if you’re a single 35 year old woman, chances are you’ve spent some time doing both, whether or not you’re TTC (trying to conceive, for the newbs). I catch familiar echoes. Is this really my life now? Is the the only way to get what I want? Will I end up murdered, miserable, and alone?

Though I’m not technically TTC just yet, I start my prenatal vitamins tomorrow, field regular phone calls from my fertility clinic (don’t worry- I’ll talk about them later), and text my friends the results of my ovulation test (OPK), so I pretty much qualify. I still lazily peruse my messages on Tinder and OKcupid about once a week, but now it’s like, “No, John, I don’t want to have dinner when you get back from Texas, because I’m trying to figure out whether or not to spend $1,000 getting Benedict’s sperm shipped out from Seattle.”

So you think there’s got to be an easier way and then you find the free sperm donor websites and they are so much worse. The creepiest. At least with the men at the sperm banks, you know their motives are pure: cash. On the free donor sites, it seems men just have an itch to repopulate the world with an army of their bug-eyed, tattooed, hick spawn.

Speaking of armies, the family limits at sperm banks terrify me. Each sperm bank has a contracted number of families that can reproduce using one donor’s sperm before he’s retired. At that point, his sperm can only be used to create siblings for existing kids. Seattle Sperm Bank, currently my number one choice, allows 25 families per donor in the US. This is assuming that all births are accurately reported in a timely fashion. And, let’s imagine, that out of these 25 families, 60 children are produced: that’s not out of the realm of possibility. And what if some of the sperm was shipped to other countries, with different limits. Will my child have one hundred unknown siblings trotting around the globe? Will my child be haunted by this, scouring profiles of strangers on the street, looking for a family resemblance?

Will my child one day fall in love with his or her own sibling and become the subject of a Lifetime movie?

Probably not?