The sperm bank is releasing a slew of new donors, but most of them probably won't be ready in time for our next insemination in june. They did let us have a sneak peek at the first two guys who will be coming onto the market - one seems like an ass, but smart, and the other seems really sweet but was a mediocre student. His father was valedictorian though and went to MIT, so we have to hope he's got some smart genes in there somewhere. Plus, he likes old english sheepdogs. *I* like old english sheepdogs. We'll go with him.

The most important thing is that this donor is healthy, young, and this sperm hasn't been frozen for a long time. But I would be lying if I said he was my ideal donor. And I feel really horrible and shallow because my main reservation is cosmetic. He didn't do exceptionally well at school, but I felt there was an emotional openness to his communication that was appealing and intelligent in its own right. He loves to travel, which is a really positive trait that speaks of other great qualities like curiosity and friendliness and lack of timidity. But he's blond.

As the non-carrying partner, I have to align myself with the donor. I look for places where I overlap with him. With this donor, the very positive qualities this person clearly has - friendliness, enthusiasm, confidence, aren't things I lack at this stage of my life, but they aren't qualities that came naturally to me, or what I would list first on an accounting of what I like most about myself. My list would be less sunny, more inwardly focused. I am happy but only because I can critically analyze my surroundings, only because I can spend time withing myself, imagining. This guy doesn't seem to have to or want to do that sort of thinking. And I guess I just feel like the blondeness is the external signifier of this outgoing person's difference from me.

Outgoing. That's what it is. I object to him being naturally outgoing.

I realize this is ridiculous. Getting Jen pregnant is the goal, and the raw material of this guy's genes presents absolutely nothing to object to. Being outgoing and friendly are not negative qualities. I just see them that way because they have been hard for me to attain. And I know that all those years I spent being uncertain of myself made me miss out on a lot of great opportunities. Prime example - I could have TOTALLY been hooking up with girls in high school. But no. I was a pussy. I shouldn't pretend that's a plus.

And anyway, I'll have years and years to make the child anxious and analytical, and I'm sure living in New York City will help with that too.


Anonymous said...

I totally hear you. While the goal is definitely a healthy baby, it's hard not to be put off by certain characteristics. And I don't think you're shallow for having reservations about someone who seems so different from you. As the non-carrying partner it's hard not to think about how dis/similar the donor is to you. For me I think there's nothing better than my genes (looks, smarts, problems) so essentially every donor is a let down on some level because I just want to combine my genes with my love's.

Anonymous said...

That was a fun post to read! Wow, it takes a long time for them to make the guy's stuff available. I like the idea of going with a smaller place too but then I wonder if my kid would have like 30 siblings out there.

REY said...

Anon - yeah, it takes 6 months for the sperm to become available - donors have to come back and be re-tested for HIV, in the event that they were positive but not testing as positive when they donated. So there has to be a lag.

the bank we're using isn't actually small. Its world wide. They are just awesome withe the customer service and doing this whole thing where they're allowing NYC donors for the first time. So its sort of like they're starting from scratch.

As for half siblings - they limit the # of donor offspring. Apparently they somehow manage to keep it to about 1 in 32,000 people. But not every pregnancy is reported, so I don't know how they really manage that one.