Sunday, February 22, 2009

Donor sperm - will we or won't we?

After weeks of frank discussion, it's clear that my husband is vehemently opposed to even thinking about donor sperm. I could see in his face he was perplexed by me even bringing it up for consideration. His expression said, "As if this journey isn't painful enough, if I don't feel guilty enough for having had a Vasectomy, you now want me to consider being a part of impregnating you with someone else's sperm." Of course, he didn't say a word other than, "I don't think I like the idea."

I do understand his position, and I feel uncertain about it myself, so I dropped it. What I’ve always wanted is my dh's baby. More than a month passed, and we have been engulfed by our first IVF cycle.

Friday night he sat with me while I was relaxing in the tub. He sat on the bathtub’s edge with his feet in the water (you know, bathtubs are bad for his "swimmers" who need to stay cool, calm, and collected). He became really quiet, took a deep breath, and said, "You know. I've been thinking...” Pregnant pause.

My heart raced. What now? Does he have cold feet? Does he not want a baby anymore? Is this IVF cycle too much anguish? Is the cost too high?

And then, he says, “If the urologist goes in on Monday and finds nothing, then I want you to know I'm okay with us using donor sperm for the next cycle."

Excuse me, what? Where did THAT come from?

We often don’t give men enough credit. They sometimes need more time than we think they do. I know some will never get used to the idea, but my open-minded, loving husband had to get to this life-altering decision all by himself, without my intervention. And that is good. Because I love him, and would rather have his genetic offspring than use donor sperm. But I also know him well enough to know he could love any child that came into our lives, whatever the path. He is intelligent, loving, gentle, selfless. My soul mate.

I'm relieved that we have more options on the table now, because adoption is too expensive for us to even consider. If this IVF/ICSI cycle doesn't work, then all we could have done was to try the same thing again and again, maybe with a different protocol of meds and dosages.

With donor sperm, we have at least one more (albeit less desirable) option to consider. With DS, we get to bond with the baby while he/she in my uterus, we get to be present for the birth of our child, donor sperm is easier to match, more affordable, the baby would at least be genetically linked to one of us, and I get a reprieve from Endo and lower my risk of ovarian cancer by carrying our child. It's comforting to have a backup plan as we head into the uncertainty of next week’s retrieval - and hopefully a transfer of beautiful blasts.


poppy.f.seed said...

that is very cool that he took time to think about it. The nice thing about ICSI is they really only need a few sperm.
We've been pondering the DS option for awhile, and it will be where we go if this 2nd IVF fails.

Mark Lyndon said...

Your husband may be interested in this group:

"for dads whose children were conceived by donor insemination. It is not intended for the donors, but rather for the men who are actually raising or have raised children conceived by DI. The group is also for men who are considering with their spouses using donor insemination to create their families and are looking for information and support."

L said...

You know what- at first my husband was totally against donor sperm also. I was a little hurt at the quick knee jerk reaction..but I understood. I didn't try and change his mind- just let him have his feelings. THEN after about a month he (out of the blue) said basically the same thing as your DH.

Isn't is a shocker? I do think the men have to have more time to process, and sort out their feelings I hope you guys are able to get your DH's little soldiers...but if not- GOOD LUCK!!!

cady said...

it's great that your husband changed his mind. i have a coworker who had bad eggs, but instead of using donor eggs and her hubby's sperm, they opted for a donor embryo. she said she didn't want the baby to be half her hubby's and half some other woman's. i can totally see both sides. i can't imagine how hard making a decision like that (or with donor sperm) would be.

Seriously? - Erin said...

Here from ICLW. I decided to comment on this post because I think your husband was really thoughtful and really gave you more options.

My friend is dealing with azoo and her husband won't consider DS. While I understand why he wouldn't want to use it, she is upset he won't at least consider. Maybe too he will come around.

Good Luck with your ER! It is happening on my birthday so it will be a lucky day!

What IF? said...

Happy birthday, Erin!
Thanks, everyone, for your kind words. DS is such a tricky, emotionally-charged concept. I'm thrilled he has come around, should we need to explore donor sperm further.

Poppy, I'm holding out hope that you won't need to use DS, but if you do... I think your dh is such a selfless, amazing man. Someone who can look beyond himself, and make you happy, will make a terrific dad. But you already know that. ;-)

Mark, thanks for the link, I will share it with Dh.

L, I completely agree that men need time to come to terms with the idea. The more I read about DS, the more comfortable I became with the idea. He didn't have that time to get used to it, to read about the pros and cons. I just sort of sprung the topic on him... Bad, I know.

Erin and Cady, thanks for sharing those stories with me. I can understand both sides too. It's tough.

Somewhat Ordinary said...

I found your blog through L at Baby Making Journey. Hopefully this last cycle is it for you and this issue becomes a non-issue, but I did want to tell you about us. I have a pwp blog because we conceived via donor sperm and felt we needed to be a little more private about our situation. My husband has azoo and at first was totally against donor sperm. As we met with doctor after doctor and it looked like the chances of finding sperm were slim he decided his desire to be a parent was stronger than biology. Hopefully, you won't have to make that final decision because this cycle will work, but if you are ever interested in reading my blog you can contact me at somewhatordinary at gmail dot com.

blueriver said...

The question. Will we or won't we?
We wont.
My husband has a child from a previous marriage and i dont have any. After trip after trip to the doctors we were told he is now unable to have anymore children. He wont consider donor sperm. I tried for months to change his mind. I would have given up the experience of being pregnant and looked at adoption too but he wouldnt. He thinks he wont love the child the same and is too proud. So my option was to watch him being a loving parent to his daughter which hurt like i cant explain. In the end i couldnt stand knowing he didnt love me enough to do what all your loving husbands did. I hope you realsie how loved you are.