Basic science dictated that Tommie and I did not have the proper materials to make a baby, so we had to have "the talk" about the donor we would select. Although my first instinct was to breed a future Olympian, and I was therefore only interested in donors taller than 6'5" who had earned full athletic scholarships, Tommie helped me to focus on the most important factor- the donor's health. We wanted to bypass any potentially harmful traits and also avoid ones that were just plain silly (we found a donor who had been born with webbed toes). We also figured we should select someone who was relatively intelligent. Who really knows the answer to the nature versus nurture debate? We also had to choose a cryobank. We dabbled in Fairfax Cryobank for our first go-around. Let's just say that the friendly, nurturing phone operator pictured on their website is not exactly what we got. We did order some vials from them, but after dealing with Nurse Ratched on the other line, we switched to California Cryobank.
FAIRFAX CRYOBANK'S STAFF
The website for CCB was much more user-friendly and they had a larger selection. Their prices were comparable. The bottom line is that there is no way to get a bargain when you are shopping for sperm! With shipping, I believe we paid around $750 per teeny tiny vial of swimmers. We also paid hundreds of dollars to view all of the donors and to see their full profiles. There were a number of "ooooooooh" and "aaaaaaaah" moments while meticulously selecting our potential child's donor: some were pictured with mini- guitars, strumming away at age 4, and others wrote about saving the whales or helping an elderly lady across a busy intersection. After previous failed attempts with IUI inseminations, we went for the donor who had already produced "more than 10" pregnancies. We were not taking any chances. Although I have not read it, Experiences with Donor Conception is supposed to be a good introduction to this world of donor selection.
Other than the health report, we found that the most insightful portion of the donor's profile was the section in which a member of the staff described him. You can read right through their subtleties! "Warm, caring, and loving personality" really translates into "Not so good looking, but your kid will be really nice." "Unique sense of humor" is actually "This guy is a total weirdo, but he is willing to earn $50 for a vial of his DNA." "Stunningly handsome...one of the staff's favorites" means "He's a complete hunk and we all want to have his babies; in fact, we're stealing his sperm from the storage room right now." It's also amusing to see the donor's look-alikes. We chose someone who looks a lot like Tommie, with high cheek bones and full lips that will likely be shared with Eggbryo. The future baby will look nothing at all like me, but I do not care because (1) I'm not very good looking and (2) the goal here is a healthy pregnancy. Our donor's doppelgangers are: Cillian Murphy, Tom Welling, and Tyson Ritter. See below.
His SAT score was above 1450.
We also contacted other people who used this donor through the Donor Sibling Registry. We thought this would be helpful in investigating the wellbeing of their offspring, just to make sure Murphingritt (Mur-fing-rit) was indeed a healthy guy. Some of these couples even sent us photos of their children, and WOW, they look just like the donor's baby pictures. California Cryobank has their own registry too, but you cannot use it unless you are officially pregnant. Since we are so early (now, 6 weeks), we have not reported the pregnancy yet. After our first sonogram, we will.