sowing the seeds…

6 Oct

up until now i have pretty much shied away from partaking in the blog carnival discussion about donors. i read some posts. didn’t completely read others (just being honest here). and i found myself sometimes feeling like it touched a nerve. perhaps because i feel like using donor “seed” was such a small part of our journey to a family. so i just stayed away. but honestly i have had a hard time not thinking about it the past few days. damn internet.

a quick story. when i was a few months along with the wigglers one of my colleagues at work was hinting around about the donor. particularly whether the wigglers and hook had the same “dad”. i responded that yes we did use the same donor. her retort “well that is nice they will be half siblings”. i was irate. what if we hadn’t used the same donor. by choice. or necessity. or whatever. would that make my children any less siblings to one another? definitely not. anyone want to tell my six year old that his brother and sister are really only his half brother and half sister? heck no! sure the commonality of shared genes might mean something but it most certainly does not mean everything. had we adopted instead of went to ivf would those children be lesser siblings? of course not. there is no half in our family.

when we decided to try to have a baby we scoured the web for sperm banks. we looked at profiles. assessed costs. considered (very briefly) using a known donor. and then we found a bank that we really liked. it wasn’t close. shipping would be pricey. but it had what we were looking for. a small number of highly screened donors. and a history of successful pregnancies. we selected one donor who it turned out was unavailable at that time. so back to the list and we found another donor who seemed to fit for us. one paper he seemed smart. and athletic. and he told amusing stories about his childhood. and so it was decided. and the seeds were purchased. and shipped. and one iui later m was pregnant with hook. we saved the information we had on the donor so hook could see it in the future if he was so interested. we haven’t really shared it with him yet but he has started to ask some questions. and i have explained that we were able to have him with the help of a donor. a nice man who wanted to help women have babies (is this actually true? who knows but is there a better way to explain it at this age i’m not sure). he hasn’t asked much else as of yet. he has no problem telling people he has two moms when anything is mentioned about a dad. (i hope this doesn’t change). his mind is spinning a million thoughts a second so he quickly jumps from where did i come from to did you know that glass is made from sand. and when the time comes that he would like additional information we will happily share it with him.

when hook was about two we started talking about me having a baby. i contacted the sperm bank and sure enough they had some vials left. as long as we were outside of a two state area as our donor was now geographically restricted to prevent too many children from the same donor (seems pretty responsible. perhaps they should start doing the same thing with men who are impregnating women willy nilly in an area – sorry you can only have sex in other states…). so we never had to worry about a new donor. a few unsuccessful iui’s later i did start to wonder if there would be availability in the future. i will say at some point i really started to wonder about the donor. i wasn’t getting pregnant and i was fixated on it. obsessed (with pregnancy not the donor). after surgery and a few more failed iui’s i took a break. and during this break i decided to run another marathon. and for many reasons i picked the city where the sperm bank is located. i thought perhaps i could get a sense of his personality while i was there. after arriving in the city i actually went to the sperm bank. and walked around outside. and sat down in the waiting area. and just thought about the fact that i was seeing the same things that the donor had seen when he made his “deposits”. well probably not exactly the same things but still. and then i left. and ran. and went home. and we moved on to ivf. when i called about the donor i learned there were two vials left. the two i needed. and to make this babbling post shorter it suffices to say that it worked. and the wigglers are here. i don’t think much about the donor now. i appreciate his contribution to our children. but that is that. they are our children. not his. but of course we know that he has had a genetic influence. hook and magoo look remarkably alike. it is almost freaky to see pictures of the two of them at the same age. so on some things of course the contribution is undeniable. but i truly believe that nurture is much more important than nature. and our parenting and environment will ultimately be more important in who are children are than which swimmers were the strongest.

i will admit i have looked at the donor sibling registry. my mother mentioned it to me once. and yes there are other children with the same donor as ours. i refuse to go any further though. in my opinion these other children are not siblings to my children. technically maybe but they have no shared experiences. no actual parents in common. no point of overlap. would i feel different if we only had hook? i don’t think so. will i be bothered if when our kids grow up they want to seek out these genetic siblings? i don’t know. all i can say right now is we have children. three incredible children. due to our desire and determination to make a family. yes this was accomplished with the assistance of a generous donor. but after we left the respective clinics on conception day his part was over. and our part as mothers overshadowed his influence.

so i guess i did have something to say. i know – and respect – that everyone has had a different journey. and that the experience has. and is. something that is very individual to each family. this is just my take on things.


4 Responses to “sowing the seeds…”

  1. Jen 6 ThuUTC2011-10-06T11:13:48+00:00UTC10bUTCThu, 06 Oct 2011 11:13:48 +0000 2009 at 11:13 AM #

    I couldn’t have said it better myself. I appreciate our donor’s contribution but Sweet Lou is our child. He came about out of our love for each other and our desire to have a family. We’ve talked about maybe a 2nd child in the future and I wonder how we will feel if the same donor isn’t available. At this point I don’t know if it would matter but I guess time will tell.

  2. AnOfferingOfLove 6 ThuUTC2011-10-06T13:12:04+00:00UTC10bUTCThu, 06 Oct 2011 13:12:04 +0000 2009 at 1:12 PM #

    argh, the comments about our children being “half-siblings” really burns me up too. so, so rude and unthoughtful.

  3. strawberry 6 ThuUTC2011-10-06T13:16:40+00:00UTC10bUTCThu, 06 Oct 2011 13:16:40 +0000 2009 at 1:16 PM #

    YES. And I hope you read my post on the subject 🙂
    It’s sad that people who make inane comments like that don’t even have any idea they are so very wrong.

  4. Kirsten 6 ThuUTC2011-10-06T14:46:41+00:00UTC10bUTCThu, 06 Oct 2011 14:46:41 +0000 2009 at 2:46 PM #

    Thank you for sharing! We feel the same way. I hate when people say “dad” and then ask questions about the donor and if we will use the same one in the future. It doesnt matter. He is a means to an end.

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