“We’ve found you a donor…”

(I have a horrible feeling I published this post out of order, so I’ve reordered it — apologies if you already read an earlier iteration and felt you’d missed a bit, you had.)

When the call came, the number wasn’t in my phone, and a donor was the furthest thought from my mind. We’d had generic email updates from the agency keeping us posted about the impact that the pandemic had had on the recruitment of donors and the possibility of treatment delays, but for me, the whole things was sort of mentally parked. There was comfort in knowing that what happened next was in someone else’s hands. There was nothing we could do about it, it was just something that was happening elsewhere that we had no power or control over, all we could do was just get on with our lives. And so we did. Well, as much as anyone could in the middle of a global pandemic.

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Fresh v frozen, banks v agencies…

I’ve not written since July, and what I wrote in July was months out of date, so as you can imagine, what I’m writing now is even more out of date. But I want it written down. Partly because I feel some sense of duty to you, if you’re still following… because I’ve followed blogs and then they’ve tailed off and I’ve felt a bit, well, cheated, it’s like reading a book that someone never finished writing, or getting a library book and finding someone has ripped the last chapters out so you don’t know how it ends.

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And then I had to come back…

As I mentioned in my last blog (all those months ago), you can’t run away forever, so I got back from running away, and made a decision that I probably wouldn’t have made if I were on my own. I decided to try to find an egg donor.

When I was single and doing this alone, I had pretty much decided that I wasn’t OK with the idea of trying to become a parent of a child that I had no genetic relationship to. I had said — to myself as much as anything — that I might feel differently if I were in a relationship with someone else but that idea was so abstract, I didn’t have to think about Continue reading

I ran away…

I ran away in January. To a place that I didn’t associate with trying and not succeeding. Somewhere I drank wine and stopped worrying about whether I was eating enough vegetables. (I wasn’t.) Somewhere I stopped caring if food was packaged in plastic (it was), or whether the tomatoes were organic (they weren’t). Somewhere my life wasn’t measured out in blood tests and supplements and scans and injections. Where I rudely

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A new vocabulary…

The other day, I saw B, one of my dearest friends, and I was telling her about finding my donor. And, in passing, she called him “the father” — and I realised that’s not what I’m calling him. And I could have just not said anything, but a) I’m not very good at that, and b) for some reason it felt important to tell her that I was calling him “the donor” not “the father.”

And I realised that this is just the start. Continue reading

Reader, I chose him…

…and not just because I’d been told he was “extremely intelligent” and “made beautiful babies”, although I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t appealing.

As I said in my last post, the thought of having to explain to my hypothetical offspring why I chose the 50 per cent of their genes that weren’t mine rather focuses the mind, and so my darling hypothetical offspring, here is why I chose these genes… Continue reading

Sperm banks (Part 3, I know, I’m sorry, it’s the last part, promise)…

Sorry, sorry, I really hadn’t intended this whole thing to end up being such a long post — THREE posts — although given that, as I mentioned before, it’s kind of important in the great scheme of things, maybe it’s a good job that I’m finally devoting a significant amount of time, space and attention to it.

So — god, even I’m getting bored at this point, well done you for sticking with it — US banks ruled out because either a gazillion half-siblings or not shipping to the UK, European banks ruled out — despite the fact that I’d heard good things about them from various people — because my consultant had warned me against them, which basically left the UK ones. Continue reading

Sperm banks (Part 1)…

So how did you spend that bit between Christmas & New Year? Tidying up the house? Hanging out with your friends? Me? Oh, y’know, the usual, just obsessively researching sperm banks, learning about the difference between the regulations about sperm donation in the US and the UK, emailing random women in America to get their recommendations for ethical sperm banks, downloading eBooks from ChoiceMoms.org (while I totally applaud what they’re doing and saying, for some reason — maybe many reasons — I have a real issue with the name of that organisation. It actually sets my teeth on edge even writing the name of their website).

Anyway, that’s what I’ve been doing, so, yeah, I now know way more about sperm banks than I EVER thought I would. (You might have gathered that from the fact that this post is “Sperm banks (Part 1)”. Yes, there will be a Part 2, there’s quite a bit to say…) Continue reading