Monday, November 21, 2011

The first of many

As if Meg feeling the baby for the first time wasn't enough to make us smile from ear to ear, we came home to a package from CCB (california cryobank). 

They sent us a congratulatory letter and a folder on our donor. Inside, they placed the donor's profile, personal essay, extensive medical background, and childhood photos. I have all of the same information stored on my computer, but holding it in my hands (knowing that one day we will share the information with our child) made this whole process seem real! (up until this point it's been very surreal)

In honor of Meg feeling the baby for the first time, I read a book to Meg's tummy. Knowing that it will be the first of many, I decided on On the Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman. I bought the book in May as a gift for Meg when we first started the ttc process...

It's amazing how far we've come. Our baby will be here before we know it...only 156 days left!

7 comments:

  1. Hi! Found your blog thru the BabyCenter GLBT group. =)

    I think that's so awesome your bank would do that. I called to update ours about our BFP and got transferred to a voicemail and never heard from them since. Kind of disheartening since you're now the second couple we know that got such a response. Ah well, I'm so glad for you both. Congrats too btw!

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  2. Aw, yay! I'm so glad you found us AND congrats!!!

    What bank do you use?

    I kept saying that we needed to tell them about the pregnancy, but I didn't want to jinx it, so I was going to wait until the baby was actually born. It's not like we planned on telling our newborn about his/her father!

    BUT, CCB sent me an email asking us why we stopped ordering. I clicked on the we're pregnant button and filled out a quick survey.

    A week or so later I noticed that they updated the donor's profile to say he had a reported pregnancy. It was nice that they did the work for me! I will tell you, though, we paid an extra $150 to upgrade our subscription while we were looking for donors and in that package it said they would mail us the folder with all of the documents.

    That's a shame about your bank though...stay on top of them!

    How far along are you?

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  3. Love you two. Such great posts and inspiration. Can I ask how was your time selecting the donor. We are having the HARDEST time ever and have been going at it for months. My wife feels strongly that she wants to see photos but I then am too picky once I see them. Any insight would be wonderful.

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  4. Thanks, bicycle!!!

    Choosing a donor is a very difficult decision. Meg and I initially thought we would use a known donor. We started "interviewing" close friends before realizing it was way too complicated.

    When we decided to go the sperm bank route, we went with california cryobank because our doctor recommended them.

    We had several serious conversations about whether to choose an anonymous donor or open donor. The anonymous donors were cheaper and offered more of a selection, but didn't offer our child the opportunity to discover the identity of his/her father. Meg brought up the argument that for $100, we could give our child the option. She couldn't stand the thought of telling our child that we had a choice and chose to keep the father's identity a secret forever. SOO, we started searching for an open donor.

    While we initially planned on selecting a donor who resembled me (features and background), we quickly realized that choosing an open donor threw those plans out the window. There weren't any open donors who matched my background.

    We could have searched other banks, but I realized that it really didn't matter to me. I knew that I would love this baby no matter what.

    SO, we looked at educational backgrounds, interests, and profiles. To be honest with you, medical history was huge for us. We wanted to make sure that the family didn't have a lot of serious medical problems. What we found, was that most of the donors had clear medical histories.

    We read their personal essays and made a list of any donors we liked. We started narrowing the list down little by little (ex. While I understand and appreciated their honesty, I didn't like donors who said they chose to become donors for monetary reasons. It just put a bad taste in my mouth)

    The last step came when we narrowed our list down to 3 donors. We couldn't choose! Their medical histories were flawless. Physically, they were all where we wanted them to be (tall, athletic, etc.) Academically they excelled. Their interests overlapped with ours. AND family values were extremely important to them.

    We decided to upgrade our subscription for $150 and look at their childhood photos. I'm not even kidding you when I say this...I knew the donor I was pulling for before looking at the pictures, but seeing the childhood photos solidified it. Ultimately, Meg gave me final say...a perk of being the nonbio mom!

    It's not easy. I wish there was something I could say that would help you out more. The best advice I can give you is to talk openly and take each other's feelings into consideration. If you come across a donor you really dislike express your concerns to your wife (and vice versa). If you find one that you're on the fence about, keep him on the list until the very end.

    CCB does celebrity look alikes. We had a good time googling their pictures. Other banks do photo matches...you can upload a picture of your wife and the software will analzye the picture and generate a list of results. I tried it (fairfax) after our 2nd bfn...(we contemplated switching donors)

    I say make a list of potential donors and then look at baby pictures...don't worry about grown up photos. I would think that would become a popularity contest!

    Good luck (and congrats on starting the ttc process)...hopefully this will help. Let me know if you have any more questions.

    By the way, I love your blog!

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  5. Don't know if ya'll are interested but we bought - The Fairy Tale Book: Classic Tales from Childhood (Best at Everything) [Hardcover]
    Liz Scoggins (Author)

    There are also a matching poem, short story and I think one other book...but they are all the classic awesome stories! We bought those for starters!!!!

    And for A bicycle built for two - the most important thing to remember is that your child will end up looking like both the mother and donor, its genetics so you can't pick everything. You have to figure out what's most important to you and narrow down your choices.

    For us, we didn't want an open donor (even though with sibling registry and such more and more donors are "outing" themselves for free...)we thought of the donor as nothing more than a helper and really our kid doens't need to know him, like Meg we got the package with all the info in it, that is plenty for the child to answer his questions.

    So, we picked someone with my ethnicity (spanish), medical background, then height and weight then everything else was a bonus.

    On the cryobank ALL of their donors have pretty good medical histories, they all come from top notch colleges so we know they are all smart - just depends on HOW smart you want him to be...astrophysics or something else. And remember, just because you are smart and the donor is smart doesn't mean your kid will be too!!!!!!

    Everything your kid grows up to be is dependent on their upbringing. Do you teach them to apply themselves? have good morals, goals etc...

    I think with all the choices we tend to get too picky, so just remember you can only pick broad things, the way the kid pops out is totally up to genetics!

    Tommalie

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  6. Hey, thanks for the book suggestion!

    I agree about trying not to get too caught up on the choices. It's a hard decision, but the end result is what you have to keep in mind.

    It would be so much easier if we could make a baby on our own!

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  7. Thank you so much for the advice and anecdotes. Of course intelligence and medical background are critical for us but so are physical attributes and that is where we are still hung up.

    I (bio mom to be) have blonde hair and blue eyes while my wife is a quarter african hispanic with green eyes so it is important to us to find a donor that somewhat resembles her heritage and physical attributes and there aren't ANY.

    So, the search continues and we will just need to start to be flexible in our search.

    Oh, and having an open donor is critical for us.

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