Saturday, March 9, 2013

Nugget's Story - Picking Our Donor

We were finally ready to go on what my sister called the most important shopping trip of our lives.  I mean, really, how do you go about selecting the person that will provide half of the genetic material for your child.  What if our IVF didn't work; would I always blame myself for picking the wrong donor?

Once we had completed all of the pre-IVF testing and screening, we were finally given our password to access the donor database.  The database is a very dynamic thing - new donors are being added all the time as they finish their screening and donors are taken out as they are selected.  You don't get to see the entire list, only donors who are eligible for the program you selected.  The database coordinator said that the list was a little on the low side when we first got access, but not to worry, that they had a bunch of donors who were almost ready to be entered.

In the actual database you can sort and select by an almost infinite number of criteria.  I wanted someone who looked most like me, but because their were so few to choose from, I started by just selecting Caucasians.  From that list, there were a couple who might have worked.  I wanted someone with brown hair, green eyes and my same blood type.  If you want to see more about a donor, you click for the full profile, which includes physical characteristic, personal characteristic about religion, education, work history, need for glasses or braces, athletic ability, past pregnancies, drinking/smoking/drug use and more, brief physical descriptions of the donor's parents, grandparents and siblings, an extensive medical history for the donor's relatives, a personal narrative, and finally, childhood pictures of the donor.  All together, the donor profile is 10 pages long.

We actually missed out on the first donor that I selected.  I was browsing the database and found someone that I thought would be a good choice, so I sent the profile to Jim for his input.  By the time he got back to me, just an hour or so later, she was already out of the database.  Back to the drawing board.  It took another couple of days before another good candidate was added to the database and this time we jumped and were the first couple to select this donor.

Our donor is 5' 3", 27, a college graduate and back in school for nursing, she likes jazz and dance and played softball and oboe, she wants to use her nursing degree to volunteer with the Peace Corp or Doctors without Borders.

We locked in our donor on June 4, 2012 and now had 48 hours to pay our deposit of $7,000 to hold our selection.  It also began our next waiting period, because we were the first couple, but we needed two more to start the process.  It took about a week before a second couple chose the same donor.  This started a 30 day countdown for a third couple.  If after thirty days, there was no third couple, the IVF cycle would go forward with just the two couples and Shady Grove would take the third spot.

Part V - Shots, Shots and More Shots

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