Saturday, April 24, 2010

sometimes, being gay is annoying.

this is a TTC blog which means that there aint much to blog about when we arent T'ing TC. allow me to offer a brief update... still barren. out of sperm. currently #7 on the waiting-list-for-the-waiting-list for adoption. failed adoption attempt from within our community. still barren and out of sperm. cost of a vial went up to $600. conclusion: i have been self- diagnosed as financially infertile.

last week i sat down and began to type what would have been the first hopeful post since i started this damn thing 2 years ago. we received an email from a friend that seemed like it was going to be the answer to our prayers. ok, that's a lie since i dont pray.. but you get the point. the email was an official offer to donate sperm. translation: our friend is 100% willing to donate his sperm to us... for "no financial gain". how rare those three words are.

needless to say, NM and i were friggin elated. it was like christmas morning but without the christian references or midnight fireplace home invasion. i was beside myself with excitement over the potential that i might actually be able to try again. i found myself looking at my belly in the mirror, trying to picture what it will look like if it finally works this time. i felt my mind racing as i thought of all the cool moments that NM and i would get to share as my belly grew larger with our little person inside. i guess what im trying to say is, i felt hopeful. which, let me tell you, is not a common feeling for this east coast cynic.

as i mentioned in previous posts, NM and i have been pretty hard core anti-known donor. while we made the decision that we would only use an open donor, we didnt want the complexity and instability that can come...hee-hee, pun intended... with a known donor. we have had half-hearted conversations with friends about the idea of them donating to us... but in the end, we would never take them up on the offer because we really arent interested in all of the complexities that a known (local) donor can bring. not to mention the legal drama.

so, imagine our surprise when, after reading this email from our friend, we both looked at each other and said... "its perfect!". we replied to the email saying that we are super interested in chatting about the potential and then spent the entire weekend envisioning this picture perfect ending.

and then monday came.

and as mondays tend to do.. it shit all over our dream.

i decided to do a little research into what the process of a local/known donor would look like. NM and i both decided that if we used our friend's stuff, we were NOT interested in doing an ICI at home. we would kick it old school style...err, or maybe this would be new school style... *shrug* and do an IUI in the doctors office. this would require our donor to go make a deposit at a local cryobank where they would then wash out all the gross man stuff and leave us with vials of frozen swimmers.

i checked out the only local cryobank in the area and found the first hurdle. all known donors have to make a deposit and submit to a full physical and blood work. this seemed reasonable enough. especially since im not looking to catch any scratchy diseases after my narrow escape from the grips of the crack head nurse-with-hep. *whew!*

but then, i read further...

after the initial physical, donors then need to go back 180 days later for follow up tests... 180 days? thats like 2 months!! wait, *internal calculator*.... there are 30 days in a month times 2 would be 60 days and 60 times 2 is 180 so that would be like 4 months. FOUR MONTHS!? wait, that seems weird. 60 times 2 isnt 180, its 120 so that means that its like 5 months. wait, 80 minus 20 isnt 30... its 60... damn those NJ public schools... which means 2 months. so in total it would be 6 months. SIX MONTHS?!?! WE HAVE TO WAIT SIX MONTHS BEFORE WE CAN INSEMINATE??!!

i know, i know... this rule is in place to protect me and my future offspring from HIV which can take up to 6 months (which, if you didnt already know, is equal to 180 days) to show up. i get it. i appreciate it. thank you FDA.

i convinced myself that being pregnant is NOT more important to me than remaining HIV negative and decided to continue reading which brought me to buzz kill #2. Cost. the first round of blood tests and "physical" would cost us $615. then, 180 days later (which is 6 months, btw) we have to fork up $500 for a second physical and the second set of blood tests. $1100?!??! that's like 2 vials of CCB sperm!

which reminds me of a TTC joke. you are probably an infertile if.... you have stopped using dollars to track financial transactions and have instead begun to use the "how many vials could we get" system. "honey, can we get a new tv? it only costs 3 vials" ba-dump-bump.

i digress...

so at this point i realize that this is indeed another stupid racket aimed at making money off of desperate i-will-mortgage-my-house-in-pursuit-of-getting-pregnant people. which as you can imagine, doesnt calm me down one bit.

so then, i come across buzz kill #3 in the fine print: "the 2 physicals and blood tests can be waived if the recipient of the sperm is married to the donor".


back the truck up.


so basically, if i had entered into a patriarchal and heterosexist institution with our known donor, then the FDA wouldnt give a shit about protecting me or my offspring from HIV? if this dude wasnt already married, i would TOTALLY make him marry me just so we could give a big middle finger to the system. ggrrrr.

i checked to see if he could go to his own doctor for a physical and blood tests (which would be covered by his insurance) and of course the cryobank said no. which makes no damn sense. well i should clarify... in a society with predatory capitalism, it makes total sense but defies all logic.

so, here we sit.... at yet another road block. i cant even begin to express how stressful it is to have yet another omg!-this-might-be-the-answer moment come crumbling down. for so long we both said, "if only we could find a local donor". here we are, local sperm in hand...err, that's get the point, but we cant afford to take this route.

*kicking rocks*


  1. How frustrating. I'd probably go the turkey baster route myself...

  2. That's nuts!!

    I second the at home insemination attempt! At least the seed is free. Your babe would look sweet in some scrubs and a head lamp!

    Glad you're blogging again. P.S. I need to know more about the adoption thing.

  3. hey...we started with the KD 'turkey baster' route and then moved over to IUIs, I have some advice about waving that 6 months if you are interested. Our process was even more crazy as our KD is a MSM (aka man who sleeps with men, aka gay), but thats a whole other story. The short of it is, it is possible to wave the 6 months, you just have to know how and who to ask :)

  4. Ahh! That is ridiculous! Perhaps trying at home after your donor has an STD/STI screening isn't such a bad idea...
    Hoping something breaks for you soon!

  5. We used a KD (for our first child and for this one we are trying for) and we went through the whole 6 month quarrantine issue (still waiting on the last "release" of sperm). We've also done it fresh at home, and via iui in the Dr.'s office. I have experience. Lots of it. And if you want some ideas, let me know and I will be happy to share. Also, I have a known donor agreement which you may want a copy of. Its a legal agreement protecting everyone. And you would definately want to tweak it (since we have very involved baby-fathers, and yes, there are 2 of them because they are a coupld)but if you are interested I could send it your way.

    Don;t lose hope. KDs can be great (despite the potential for problems) and if you can just make it past the bureaucratic hurdles, (and there ARE ways around them)this could be a real possibility.

    Anyway, I am happy to e-mail you deets or the contract if you want. And I have a few tricks up my sleeve (although legal jurisdiction DOES play into it all, and I live in a different, slightly more northern country than you).

    And BTW, nice to see you again, out here!

  6. Hey there, that sucks! We have struggled with this law too and ultimately decided not to freeze but to move onto pre-frozen. However, even though $1,100 is a lot of money, it's not a per vial cost. Your donor can donate a whole bunch of samples over a couple weeks and then 6 months after the last donation get tested again. So you could get a lot of vials for the $1,100...i THINK. Good luck deciding.

  7. Hi there - I follow your blog from time to time and just wanted to respond. We started our process with a KD and were also furious at all the different rules and regs. We ended up trying at home with a good ol' fashioned jar and syringe.

    The upside of trying this way is that fresh is much more fertile than frozen. The downside is that it takes the ability to through any modesty out the window.

    In the end we ended up switching to a bank, but only because our KD lived far away.

    Don't give up hope - this is exciting news and you can work around all of the messed up homophobic stuff if you, your partner, and KD are willing to go around some of the medical system.

  8. We too found the "required" testing and 6 month quarantine period to be a frustrating road block and financially impossible to swallow (and that does not even take into account the "required" pysc evals for both us and our KD at a cost of over $1,000). The fact that we have been doing insems with him at home for a year is not even a consideration, what a crock of sh!t! I mean, I can understand where a hetero couple forced to use donor material might have some "issues" to work out, but HELLO we knew going into this that we would need donor sperm, we have considered the ramifications of this reality, the KD has been on board for YEARS just waiting for S to be ready to take the plunge, they have been bff's for OVER a decade. How much more "intimate" do they need to be (without actually "doin it")?