Tuesday, November 11, 2008

On ice

In brief: donation plan on ice

As promised, an update on the donor idea. I've pitched the idea to my
husband, and somewhat to my surprise, he thought it was a good idea
right away. He also agreed with my preference for the known donor
route.

I also went to see the fertility clinic psychologist about possibly
donating, a very kind woman. She took plenty of time to see me and
explore my concerns.

Her professional opinion is that anonymous donation is not harmful.
Basicly, it is better to exist and come to grips with not knowing
where half your genes came from than not existing because no donors
were willing to work anonymously. To be honest, I don't need
convincing of that, but that doesn't mean 'coming to grips' can't be
painful.
Also, it doesn't convince me that *I* should therefor settle for
donating anonymously, which she recognized readily.

The clinic did a study amongst 10-year old children conceived from
donor sperm in lesbian couples. These children were aware at a very
early stage of their different conception story. Half the children
didn't mind not knowing anything about the donor. A quarter would have
liked to know something about the donor, but was ok not knowing. A
quarter felt affected by not knowing anything about the donor.
The psychologist acknowledged that these statistics wouldn't
necessarily apply in other situations. Other studies have shown that
children who learn about their conception story later in life often
struggle with it considerably. Also, this is just a snapshot, who
knows how they will feel later in life.

We talked some more on the possibilities of becoming a known donor. It
would be no problem at all if I already knew a potential donor
recipient, but I don't.
The clinic says it is illegal for them to be go-between in finding a
recipient for known donorship. I disagree with that interpretation of
the law, but that doesn't make any difference to them. They won't do
it.

Of course, I could find a potential donor recipient within seconds on
the internet, but I'm very reluctant to do that.
The thing is I'm not proposing a quick 'here are my eggs, good luck to
you' scheme. In my ideal scenario a long-lasting connection between my
family and the donor recipients' would exist, not necessarily a close
tie, but a tie nonetheless. My reason for wanting this is in the hope
of decreasing the risk of the B-movie plot from happening
(half-siblings turn star-crossed lovers after chance encounter). Call
the risk small all you want, it would keep me awake at night.
A more realistic scenario would probably be that the donor recipient
would let me know the name of their child, maybe some early pictures,
but that over time we would drift apart. Fair enough.

Which brings me to finding a potential recipient on the net. There are
dozens of women who have posted on local forums, hoping to find a
donor. Usually they only write a single post, which is not much to get
a sense of someone by (speeddating for donors?). Sure, I could contact
some of these ladies, to get to know them better. But then if I think
it would be a bad match, where would I find the nerve to disappoint
them? Too stressful.

What I have done is let some of my IRL friends know about the idea, if
they have friends (or friends of friends) who are looking for a donor,
I told them I would consider it. So far no one knew of anyone.

The 'window of opportunity' I had in mind for a donor cycle is closing
soon (november - december). For the foreseeable future, the donor idea
is on ice. Which brings me to that other thing we have on ice: a
cryo-preserved embryo. As of next January we're hoping to restart
treatments again. I've already booked a consultation with the RE to do
some planning.

The honeymoon is over, secondary IF here I come. I have mixed emotions
about it. I'm trying not to think about it too much, but failing. I
think it won't be as emotionally trying as primary IF, (hah! the
fertility clinic psychologist said). In part, I feel greedy, and that
I'm just asking for trouble. I suppose that's the IF talking.