Monday, September 13, 2010

Everything You Want To Know About My Sperm Donor

There are a couple of reasons I'm nervous about this post, but I'm throwing caution to the hyenas and going for it. The world of sperm donors and frozen sperm is crazy, big, overwhelming, odd, and....kinda funny. We've talked a little about the process already here, so you might want to check that out first if you're just getting on the ride.

I've had two donors in two years, one for the majority of the time that I was IN LOVE with (yeah, I'll explain), but he retired (yes, that's what they call it) and so for this last cycle I had to switch to a new donor, much to my dismay. It was like an epiphany when I found my first donor #3804. He was tall and blond, blue eyed, smart, with both math/science, and an art background. He has his own business as an architect, and had the cutest baby picture I had EVER seen. His final answer on the long profile was the last straw. He talked about the birth of his son with his wife, and what a profound experience it was. He wanted other women/couples to be able to experience that. I felt like I knew this amazing guy, and he was going to be my baby daddy. I was so dead set on him, but after the first miscarriage was never able to get a positive pregnancy with him again.  Once a donor turns thirty five, they are required to retire (some lose interest and retire well before that). Unfortunately, after two years of trying, I used the last of my golden stock, and had to sit down and pick a new donor.

Donor searches are insane. You can search by anything you can imagine, height, weight, eye color, ancestry, hair color, profession, ethnicity, anything. I wanted a donor who had some of the traits that I do, but had traits that will compliment my strengths and weaknesses too. Also, let's be honest, I'm breeding an athlete here. *grabs ball and glove*. I'm tall, athletic, and creative/artistic, but my math and science skills are weak, so I looked at tall, fair haired donors, who had some sort of interest in the arts, but possessed  pretty significant math and science skills. It's hard (really hard) not to get caught up in "oh but his brother had acne", or "his mother was big boned", but eventually, after many lists, you sort out what's really important, and what's not. The awesome thing about sperm banks is the testing. They test for genetic and chromosomal abnormalities, on top of the regular sperm health and motility testing. They say less than 10% of the applicants for donation are excepted. They look closely into family medical history, and even education level and GPA. As I mentioned above, their answer to that long profile question, "Why Did You Become A Donor" plays a big part in my decisions.

We don't get to see adult pictures, names, addresses, contact info or any of that good stuff that could allow us to be complete stalkers (which I totally would be), but we do have access to a short profile, long profile, staff impression, personality test, facial feature summary, even handwriting analysis and audio interview. Some of the basic things you can peek at for free, but the more detailed aspects, you have to pay for (of course)

Let's look at some examples from my current donor #12154. (You may have to zoom a bit to read the specifics, sorry I couldn't make it any bigger) :(

Staff Impressions: Sometimes these are super helpful, and sometimes (like in this case) not. Usually they are really detailed, it just depends on who wrote it I suppose.

The Short Profile: This gives you a lot of information, it's free, and can help weed out donors quickly. Basically, it's the first two pages of the long profile. It tells you height, weight, eye color, blood type, ethnicity, profession, GPA, and answers a few basic like/dislike questions.

(Yeah, 6'3'' / 220 lbs, we'd better hope I've got some birthing hips)

Lots of good answers here, seems pretty well rounded, that's what I'm huntin. 

The Long Profile: It's basically a continuation of the short profile, and deals mostly with family medical history. A page is dedicated to each family member, starting with immediate, and going back to great grandparents, and out to aunts and uncles. It also talks about environmental hazards the donor may have been exposed to, and the donor's fertility history. Here is an example of one family member page. 


There is also a huge grid for family medical history that covers everything from mental/emotional disorders to breast cancer and heart disease. This page even shows the medical history of first cousins. It's really easy to read and helpful to see what conditions might run in the family. 

Baby Picture: These are usually hilarious. The kind of picture that your mom shows to your prom date when you're 16. My first donor's was heartbreakingly cute, but since we are talking about the current donor, who is pretty darn cute too, in a Michelin Man sorta way, here ya go. 

The last part of the basic information package is the Donor Essay. This is a more in depth question and answer page. I love that we get to see the handwriting of the donor on all of this (gotta watch out for that serial killer handwriting), and any misspellings or mistakes they make. *no pressure guys*. I think this is the page that really gives you a feel for what type of person they are/will be. 

LOVE it. This is the guy for me :)

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