[a pair of perspectives] How we picked our sperm donor
Updated: Apr 26
Today, you get a two for one! It's our first time writing a blog post together, so bear with us! Follow this key:
💋 = Teri
🍺 = Brian
Let's get started, shall we!?
Official business owner.
Official car owner.
You probably know (or are) at least one of these types of owners.
But have you ever known an OFFICIAL SPERM OWNER?! We'd be willing to bet you haven't!
Guess what?! Now you know TWO!
Hold ON! Hit the rewind button.
It's Sunday, January 10, 2021.
I’ll be honest. I've been dragging my feet. The thought of purchasing a complete stranger’s sperm and having it inserted inside me is completely overwhelming, a little scary and flat-out weird. Plus, it's one of those things that makes our infertility nightmare that much more real.
But, enough is enough. I am tired of feeling pain every time I hear a baby cry at Target or see another pregnancy announcement on social media and not doing anything about it.
It’s time we grab this issue by the balls (this is me trying to be funny🤣) and DO something about it. After all, it's not going away–ever. So it's time to move forward.
After several months of avoiding the next steps we knew we had to take, we finally agreed to seriously start looking for a donor. As you may recall from this post, our first search was rather disappointing, at least to me.
I'm a big guy, with a glorious red beard (see photo) and a huge love for sports. The first bank of donors we looked at were completely opposite of me––short, skinny and into the arts.
Now, no offense to anyone out there that fits this description (my wife is a total band nerd!), but this is just not me. I told Teri that if we're going to be spending $1,000 on ONE vial of sperm (that's not a typo, sperm is expensive), I want that donor to resemble me as much as possible.
When Teri was emotionally ready to look at a different bank, I did what any other husband would do. I poured my wife a nice, BIG glass of wine and myself an ice cold craft beer, and we started doing one of her favorite things...shopping.
Only this time, it wasn't on Zyia or Amazon, although the sperm banks have made shopping as Amazon-y as they can. We got registered and signed in, and away we went.
Brian knows the way to my heart is through flowers, chocolate and wine. So––clearly, for this adventure––he placed a large glass of Sauvignon Blanc in front of me at the dining room table and we pulled up the next sperm bank listed on Mid-Iowa Fertility's website.
I think it helped that we made a plan and set aside time to devote to this process, rather than just say "Hey babe, wanna shop for some sperm today?"
I also think the massive failure of the first time we checked out a sperm bank helped to lower my expectations.
We pulled up the website, filtered out our desires and watched our results dwindle from over 500 to 334 to 122....to only 19 once we listed the CMV Negative requirement. Ugh, that made me nervous.
What are the chances that we'll find someone in this teeny list of 19 that we actually like?
Things I like shopping for (or at least looking at) online:
Presents for my wife
You know, man stuff. Never thought I'd have to browse the interwebs for some other dude's sperm, but here we are.
It's quite the process and actually pretty efficient when you really think about it.
When I was given the chance to pick what I wanted the donor to look like, I knew I wanted him to somewhat resemble me. Not so much a perfect match, but I wanted at least SOME of my features, as well as some interests and hobbies. Like, we didn't want to pick someone who is 120 pounds with jet black hair.
When we got narrowed down to our 19 matches and clicked on the FIRST one, I couldn't believe it. After seeing this donor's height, weight and interests, I got excited––this dude sounds just like me in my prime!
I was ready to buy the sperm then and there. What are the odds of finding a donor who has a beard, enjoys football, and has a tender heart like me?
Now my wife is a bit indecisive and she wanted to keep looking, just in case we were missing out on someone else. So, I humored her. I threw a couple vials of this guy's sperm in the cart and we continued looking.
No one else measured up to this guy–by a long shot. It felt like it was meant to be.
We went back to the BamBam-like donor and took a deeper dive into his profile. We don't get to know where he is from, what his name is (we know him as a number) or see a photo of him as an adult. We do get to see a picture of him as a child, which was cool!
This part was really cool: the sperm bank conducts a brief interview with the donors and puts the recording on their profile. We actually got to hear this guy's voice!
He sounded nice, gentle and like he was donating sperm to truly help couples like us. Now, I know it's hard to judge a person's character by their voice, but this gave us a little peace of mind. The sperm bank also has a recording of a staff member giving a review of the donor. It was nice to hear something from a third party perspective. She mentioned his beard and tattoos, but also that he is soft spoken and kind.
After hearing the interviews, we were convinced that this was our guy.
The checkout process was exactly like any other thing you would buy online, with one exception. You will need to know your fertility clinic information on top of the normal info needed because they will ship the sperm directly to your fertility clinic.
Oh, and then there is another surprise we weren't ready for. Don't forget about shipping costs! As if $1,000+ per vial isn't enough, add another $300+ for shipping. I highly recommend buying multiple vials at a time––shipping seems to be the same price for one vial or three.
The donor we found sounds pretty similar to my husband, actually. Here is what he wrote about himself:
“Donor #XXXX is extremely family-oriented and believes that his wife and children are the best things to ever happen to him. Being a father has changed his perspective in a joyful way. He likes to spend his free time with family and friends watching sports, especially football. Having morals and being ethically sound are important to him. He believes everyone should say things as they are and keep emotions aside. Being trustworthy and honest are two of his most valued traits. Physically fit and active, he likes strength training and being in the gym. He has a long, straggling beard, and soft facial features that complement his tender persona very well.”
His favorite pet is a dog. His blood type is B+ (same as me). He's tall. He's gotten his wife pregnant. He's CMV negative. He's a Scorpio. He has German-Welsh/Irish ancestry. He's Christian.