The clinic never fails to amuse.
Having received the invoice for the donor sperm on the Friday, I went down the following Monday to pay and, more importantly, to find out whether it had just been ordered or delivered. It was just after 4.30pm and I had dodged out of a very intense working day, having originally planned to go down after lunch. “The cashier has gone home early.” “At half four?” I respond icily. “We weren’t expecting you.”
In the end, they offered to take my money at reception but I could almost hear the receptionist thinking, “No wonder that cantankerous cow has no one to inseminate her”.
They didn’t know whether the shipment had arrived and advised me to contact the embryologist. Which I didn’t bother to do, as I knew another bout of radio silence from him would tip me over the edge. I was waiting for a work call on Wednesday morning when miracle of miracles, my clinic co-ordinator, B, rang – as in off her own bat. She had just checked my file and the sperm had arrived. Plus they were missing a signed IUI form from me. (Maybe the only way to get them to contact you is to withhold forms.) B asked when my next Day 1 would be and I explained it wouldn’t be until mid-October but asked her to fax the meds prescription to the pharmacy so I can pick up my drugs, get my head around how to inject and be ready for action.
So, in theory we’re ready to go in October. Three months after my initial consultation, not bad going.
I will admit that my stomach lurched a little when B told me the sperm had arrived. There’s no doubt in my mind that this is what I want to do but it seems very real now. I think a large part of my worry is about the meds – I hate, hate, hate the idea of using fertility drugs. Not just because I prefer to avoid drugs where possible and don’t think they are necessary in my case (unless proven otherwise) but also because I imagine they increase the likelihood of multiple births, which I would of course manage but, let’s face it, wouldn’t be ideal for a first-time single mother. Of 40. It would be good for the kids themselves, though, assuming being multiple siblings didn’t have negative health consequences. I’m getting ahead of myself here, anyway.
My contingency plan is that if my three IUIs don’t work, which is very possible, I might go ahead and order directly from the bank and try it myself. I’ve already bought some ovulation predictor kits – I did this when I was getting no response from the embryologist on the sperm and was tempted to go it alone in September.
It is a bit mental that you can order sperm directly from the bank without a doctor getting involved to confirm that you’re healthy, not insane and generally a good candidate to have a child. I suppose anyone can go out and sleep with a random stranger at a fertile time but the stranger isn’t charging you for the service.
Anyway, I’m ready to go, which is great.
On the topic of Danish sperm banks: check out today’s news story about a Danish sperm donor passing a genetic disease onto at least five of his – wait for it, 43 – offspring. Apart from the fact that the genetic disorder wasn’t screened for (although can a bank screen for every genetic disease that’s out there, even really rare ones like this one, doubt it) , I am a bit staggered that he was able to father 43 children. Forty-three? What happened to limits? And you can assume he actually fathered more, as not everyone will have reported a live birth. The current limit is supposed to be 25 (which is not exactly low either). They are reducing this limit in Denmark to 12 from 1 October, apparently (the article says 12 inseminations – I wonder if they mean live births?) and I imagine this might tighten supply. Which hopefully won’t be an issue for me.
Thought-provoking Atlantic article linked from the image below, with some pretty hurtful reader comments.