2.04.2007

When I was a kid I used to get Zoobooks, a magazine that features a different animal every month. They'd talk about the animal's environment and what it ate and who ate it and basically just give you all you ever wanted to know about koalas or tree frogs or whatever. Every month there was one page that scared the shit out of me, a page where they did cutaway diagram of the animal, revealing its muscular structure and bones. Every time I tured to that page I would get chills up my back and in my hands. It never failed to startle, even if I had read the magazine several times. The New Essential Guide to Lesbian Conception, Pregnancy and Birth is a little like that. The information is fascinating, but sometimes you turn a page and suddenly your nose is a photo of someone's cervix. Unlike Zoobooks, the New Essential Guide is in black and white. Good thing too. If the drawing entitled "A Woman Using A Desk Lamp, a Hand Mirror, and Speculum to Look at Her Cervix" was in color, I might just have to rip it out and frame it.

I'm learning a lot about the cervix though. I'm also learning a lot about mucus and breast milk and all sorts of other fluids that I never spent much time on previously. Especially sperm.

If our chosen donor doesn't work out for one reason or another, we've decided that we'll go to a sperm bank. We had no idea what sperm costs or how you get it or anything, so we went online and started crusing sperm. Information abounds. Nordic people apparently love to jerk off into a container. There are sperm banks that specialize in Norse sperm, and even ones that don't have tons of Nordic donors listed. Latinos apparently DON'T like to jerk off into a container, which sucks for us if we do end up going this route since I'd prefer a baby that ends up a little olive toned (like me) instead of a little Viking toned.

If I weren't getting so invested in this process, I'd have a lot of things to say about the way the sperm donors are classified. Often there are three tiers - sort of a bargain basement grab bag where you have less information and older sperm, a general everyman pool, and then an elite section of people who've earned PhDs or distiguished themselves in some other way. I find myself revealing odd predjudices. I could give a shit about a PhD, but a Master's Degree is very desirable. I refuse to let Jen get inseminated by anyone who is a chiropracter, or a dentist. A vet would be better than a medical doctor. No one exclusively science or math oriented. Columbians over Mexicans. Cubans over Columbians.

Weight, height, ethnicity, eye color, hair color, blood type, career, education are the basics you can find on most sperm bank websites. But reading the essays is most revealing. Does he write in full sentences? Does he start his essay with "My most memorable experience is when I saw a UFO?" I think if we found someone who knew how to use a semicolon, he'd shoot to the top of the list even if he was 2 feet tall and 800 lbs.

Its all just information now. Hopefully our known donor will work out. But if he doesn't, I'm going to have to spend more time thinking about men than I ever have in my life. Learning about them. Imagining them.

1 comment:

Ruby said...

The Nordic thing isn't who WANTS to donate. Apparently lots of buyers want the Nordic. It's ridiculous.