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 2)…

Welcome back (I can’t quite believe you came back for more.) So where were we? Oh yes, the fact that the idea of my hypothetical offspring might have hundreds of half siblings was totally weirding me out. The limits are set in the UK for a number of reasons, not least to avoid half siblings meeting and falling in love. Maybe they think in a country, like the US, that’s so big it’s less of a concern. But — not for the first time — it made me grateful that the UK had made what seems like such an eminently sensible decision on all this. Not just the ten family limit, but also the importance of donor information being accessible to the child when they turn 18. 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

Blood tests, and acronyms…

Ugh I just found this in my drafts – it’s from about a month ago, sorry about that, but you know, read it, then you’re pretty much up to date… 

So, of course it wasn’t that straightforward, like I said, these things never are. Before I left the clinic my consultant sent me for a blood test to test my thyroid levels. Yet another of those things that you never even think about, but apparently your thyroid has to be operating at a certain level to create optimum conditions for pregnancy.

And whaddaya know, mine wasn’t. My blood test showed that my Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) levels were at around 5. The top end of normal in the regular population is 4.5 (although other people will say that normal can go up to 10) but crucially if you want to get pregnant with IVF, they want it closer to 2.5. The solution: daily pills of a drug called levothyroxine, which I have to take for three weeks or so and then get tested again to see if it’s doing what it needs to, or if I need a higher dose. Continue reading