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I periodically check in with the California Cryobank to make sure our donor still has vials available.

I checked a little less than a month ago and it said he had 25+ (which is what it says when the vials are NOT in limited storage)

I had some time the other night, so I figured I would just log in and check...again.

Words cannot even describe how I felt when the screen read,

No vials are available for this donor, and no vials are expected to become available in the future. The donor's information remains available for purchase by clients who have previously used this donor.

To ensure vial availability, please take advantage of CCB's Family Today/Family Tomorrow Program. CCB Client Services is available at 866-927-9622 to answer any questions.
I felt physically nauseous. My heart raced and I was devastated. I turned the screen towards Meg and her face dropped. We reread the notification several times (each time hoping to find a mistake) Meg asked what we were going to do and I calmly told her I would call the cryobank the next morning as soon as it opened.
Turns out that our donor retired and he has 0 vials left. I placed us on a notification list should any vials be sold back and/or he reenter the system.
Unfortunately, as it stands now, it's looking like we're going to have to pick a new donor. It's extremely frustrating and disheartening, but we're trying to remember that everything happens for a reason.
We've already talked and embraced the fact that using a different donor will not make Avery's brother/sister any less of her sibling. They will be raised the same. We came to the conclusion that it's no different than Avery being adopted by me. She's still my child, regardless of her genetic makeup.
I just wish it was easier.
This whole situation brings about a whole new set of fears...Avery is guaranteed one form of contact once she reaches 18 (should she choose to take advantage of it). What if Avery's donor wants nothing to do with her and the second donor is really open to the idea? (or vice versa) 
I know that there's nothing we can do. The entire situation is out of our control. We definitely want to have another child. (Meg wants two more...but I don't want to have play zone defense, so we'll have to cross that bridge years down the line!!!)
I guess the best thing we can do is just to be honest with Avery and her brother/sister.
At the end of the day, we've been blessed to have such a beautiful, healthy daughter. This isn't the end of the world. It is, but a minor hiccup in our next chapter of trying to conceive (we're not trying yet...we're thinking this summer, so that we can try to time it like we did for Avery) so who knows...maybe our donor will come back...fingers crossed.
Please, let this be a warning to those of you who are waiting to purchase extra vials...don't wait! You never know what can happen!


  1. :( sorry to hear about the donor, that is my fear as well. I have not purchased anymore vials yet and keep putting it on my to do list but it never gets done, mostly becuase of cost. Like you said its not the end of the world, just the start of a new plan that will lead to the same result; Family. I did not use this bank but i know others who have, perhaps there is a donor group for your donor on babycenter or FB where you can reach out and see if anyone has vials for purchase? just an idea. also have you called the bank? someone told me that when a donor is done any vials recieved are not sold to public but only to people who have perviously bought that donor. again thats word of mouth and i dontknow what bank they used, i just kno they didnt use the one we did.

  2. Hey! Thanks for your support! I did call the bank. They are completely sold out, but put us on a list should anyone sell back vials or if the donor comes out of retirement (they use the same donor number)

    We'll see what happens.

    We were fortunate enough to have Avery and for that we are thankful!

  3. My heart sank when I read this post. It's just hard enough to deal with the emotions associated with trying to get pregnant but then to have to deal with the stress associated with selecting a new donor and all that goes with your decision makes the whole process even more difficult. This has always been a big fear of mine and I don't even know if Kara and I want more children. I do know that sometimes people put ISO requests on the donor sibling registry. That might be an option for you. I know what ever you decide to do will be what's right for your family.

  4. It is disheartening. We went through the same thing. We bought three to start and figured we could get more. Then I double checked, and he was in retirement, and no vials left. Arg. Alas we put our names on the list and managed to get three more.

    Fingers crossed some come available for you.

  5. Ugh. I'm sorry. For what it's worth, my two stepsiblings have different dads and they are closer (by far) than my sister and I--and look very similar, too, even though one is blond and one brunette. I think that our families will require plenty of explanation no matter what--this just adds another paragraph to the conversation.


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