Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Almost, almost, ready to start

From the post below you'll see that I've got my sperm ordered.  The next thing to take care of is to schedule my first cycle of trying.  This will be a drug assisted IUI cycle.  My cycle seems to be relatively regular but is fluctuating between 31-33 days.  Because of this, the clinic has suggested a drug assisted cycle to be sure of when I am ovulating and to have the best chance of insemination.  This means I'll need to pay for the cycle in advance and pay for the drugs I'll be using and have them ready to go in the fridge for the start of my next viable period/cycle.  I'm going away for three weeks and based on a period calculator I used, my next period will start the day before I come back to the UK or the day before.  This makes January unlikely as the first cycle to try for.  Instead, I'll just go for February.  That way I'll have been back for a month, settled in to my routine, and on top of things.  I don't think coming back from a holiday and rushing to the clinic is the best way to go about this anyway.  So February it is.  This gives me a month and a half to get all of that set up, i.e., paid for, and to get the drugs delivered.

It's honestly unreal.  I can't really think about the possibility of getting pregnant because I think it seems to overwhelming.  And if I do get pregnant, I think I'm going to be completely freaked out.  Which is, I think, pretty normal.  Regardless of how you end up getting pregnant.

In other news, me and the boyfriend have had a bit of bumpy spot regarding my pregnancy plans.  This has been causing me much sadness because he is hurt and upset and also because it doesn't mean I'm changing my plans.  This in turn makes me feel bad because something I'm doing is hurtful to him, at a time when our relationship- between the two of us, seems to be better than before.  This situation tempers how I express myself about the baby plan.  I do talk to close friends about it, but I can't really talk to my partner about it without it becoming a conversation about something else really.  So I try not to.  That's weird, huh?  But then what I'm doing is maybe considered a bit weird, all things considered.  Relationships and big life decisions are complicated things.  I may write more about this at some point, but I'm mindful of his privacy, even though I don't think he knows about this blog.

Sperm success

So things went a bit quiet here while I searched for sperm and knew I had time before anything needed to start.  In the end, I decided to go with Xytex who had a reasonable number of CMV negative donors who vaguely matched my coloration.

First, let me have a rant about sperm banks.  I find it appalling that banks charge you a not unsubstantial fee just to look at the donors.  I paid $175.50 just for the privilege of looking at the full profiles of possible donors.  Now, I get that they don't want donor tourism and I can see why you may need to show you're serious by putting down some cash.  But I'm seriously offended that this payment isn't refunded when you make a purchase.  It's completely and utterly taking advantage of people who honestly need this service.  I can't express strongly enough how distasteful I found this aspect of the sperm searching process, or how pissed off it made me.

That being said, what choice did I have? I put down my money because it was important to me to search for a donor whose features were compatible with my own. That way potential future child will hopefully not be asked too many questions about where their looks came from as they should vaguely look like me!

In the end I found about 8 possible donors who were CMV negative and whose looks fell into my general range of attributes.  I was very thankful that my clinic were helpful in looking at all the donor profiles and advising me on any that would not be suitable for use.  Mostly this had to do with what sort of sperm vials were available, or if any were available.  In the end I got down to a shortlist of 3, then the 3 became 2.  And finally the 2 became 1 as the leading choice.

I could probably say more about how I selected a donor but I'm not sure any of it is particularly relevant.  I think it's probably somewhat personal.  There's no particularly clear way that you select one person over another.  For me, I mostly considered genetics and traits that I felt were desirable and that I felt complimented (or in some case counteracted) my own.  The donor is, in the end, just a donor.  Nature versus nurture and all of that stuff.  The potential child will also be their own unique independent person that will be all about them as individual and cannot be attributed to myself or the donor.  You can only go down this route so far before you just make a decision and hope that you didn't make a bad one.  What else can you do?

Anyway, I got in touch with my clinic and the bank and got all the information needed for ordering.  Because the bank is in the US, I paid on my US credit card so there was a bit of a moment increasing my credit limit on my US credit card and also ensuring that my US PayPal account was still up and running so I can easily transfer myself money from my UK account.  On the advice of my clinic I ordered 6 vials of sperm.  This, with the shipping came to an eye watering total of $5355.

So a good time to do a budget update.  I've used XE converter on today's date to do the conversion.  I've also rounded up to whole numbers for ease of calculating!

Previous total £720
Donor 'looking' fee$176/£119
6 vials of UK approved washed sperm $4770/£3220
UK Shipping/delivery fee$585/£395
New total £4454

So you see, when you're spending that much money, I feel that really it would not be such a big deal for the clinic to refund you the 'looking fee' if you end up making a purchase.  It's really just rude.

So where are we at?  So far, before I've started any treatment at all, I've spent as much as a full IVF practically.  That sort of sucks.  After all, I have a budget for this process.  Everything I do before I even start trying is money taken away from the trying phase.  But, with 6 vials of donor on the way, that should cover that part of the process for all of the treatments I can reasonably afford.  So that's good.  Or scary.  Depending on how you look at it.