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  1. #1
    Super Poster monkeycat's Avatar
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    Default Questions about using donor

    ****M/C, PG, Child ment****

    First, let me say sorry for being a bad board friend. After the failed FET in July and once all the gals cycling around the same time were done, I just didn't feel like getting on here often, and when I did I lurked. Once again, though, I have a lot on my mind and thought you ladies might be able to help.

    A little backstory because a lot of you came here after I "left":
    Me-32, DH-39 with retrograde ejaculation due to Type 1 diabetes. Starting in 2005, we did several unmedicated IUIs with decreasing counts, quality, & motility (one every 2-3 months - the meds were hard on DH). Successful IUI June 2006 - m/c at 9w. Then a few more failed IUIs. Took some time off. EEJ done November 2008. Unsuccessful IUI. Remainder of sample from EEJ had been frozen (about 1mil) and was used for IVF/ICSI in March 2009. BFP - DD will be two in a few weeks. Unsuccessful FET July 2011 using last embryo. After the failed FET, we decided to try and go low-tech again. In October, we wanted to attempt another IUI. DH had no sample. Decided to try EEJ in November. When I got +OPK, called to schedule procedure for the next day. Found out Dr would be out of town for a conference. Decided to try and obtain a sample with a bladder wash. No sample again. Considering trying an EEJ in December but depending on when I O, that may be hard/impossible - they don't do them on weekends, DDs birthday, Christmas, etc.

    So here we are. Way back before we knew there were options for retrograde, we had discussed using donor sperm. We decided then if a child couldn't be both biologically ours, we would want one that was biologically neither of ours and go down the adoption route. After this failed attempt, DH brought up using donor sperm again. I'm thinking about it, too, but I have a lot of questions. I don't think a lot of y'all have used donor sperm, but I was thinking the decision to use donor eggs may be similar, and I've seen that quite a bit on here.

    I know DH would love the child and be a great dad. One concern is that the child would be a reminder that he's a "failure" (how he feels - not me). He feels like he's letting me down because he has reproductive problems and no matter how often I tell him I don't feel that way, he still does. Lots of Catholic guilt, I suppose

    Do you tell people (friends, family)? When? Or is it none of their damn business? If you don't tell, how do you field the "where did s/he get {insert feature} questions (if s/he ends up looking like donor)?

    When do you tell the child if at all?

    Is it weird to think that the child has biological siblings somewhere out there? What if s/he grows up, meets one and falls in love? Highly unlikely, I know, but I've always had crazy thoughts.

    That's all I can think of right now, and I have to go take care of DD. If you made it this far, I thank you. It feels good to have the questions on "paper" and not just in my head!
    Good luck to all of you.
    Carolyn

  2. #2
    Posting Addict Jenn0113's Avatar
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    Hey Carolyn - You've been missed.

    You brought up a lot of good questions. First off I will say that I don't know if there is a right time to tell your LO about where he or she came from. Its probably something you will have to play by ear. I feel that way about IVF and all donor cycles in general. Each child will respond differently and only you, as the parent, will know when the time is right.

    As far as telling other people, I can't really see why you would need to. I remember one girl on the boards here that did donor eggs (or was it embryos) and they never told anyone IRL. Its just really not anyone's business and I can't see how it would benefit you.

    When you go through the donor selection process you will go through all the donors and look for someone who looks like your DH. I'd be willing to place money on the fact that no one will ever question a certain feature because I bet your LO will look like your Dh. It always seems to work out like that, even in an adoption. If someone does ask you can always been vague "We aren't sure, we have noticed that too. Although someone on my/his side has that too, maybe that's where?!"

    As far as siblings, I've always had that thought too. Fortunately you live in a big city so it probably won't happen...although it is a small world.

  3. #3
    Mega Poster Military Mom's Avatar
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    I dont have any expereince with donor sperm or eggs but you brought up some really great questions and I hope one of the ladies here can help you with their experience and I am just glad you are back and understand taking a break from the boards (I have done that several times). I wish you the best of luck and hope you make the right decision!
    Jill & Jeff
    DD#1: 16, DD#2: 4, and Twins #3 & 4...



  4. #4
    Mega Poster mrs.doolittle's Avatar
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    Those are some great questions that I'm sure anyone using donor egg/sperm asks at some point. I know when we were thinking of going the DE route we would have met with a counselor prior to the cycle. Does your clinic have that requirement? That might help you answer some of those questions. I hope some of the women on here that have gone that route will stop in, too.

    Even though we never made it that far, my DH and I talked about some of these things. I'll never know exactly how everything would have played out, but we planned on not sharing our choice with our families because we didn't feel it was their business. Some people might want to share depending on whether they normally turn to their family for support as they work through other situations, but that wasn't the case for us.

    As far as physical features we would have chosen someone with a similar ethnic background and felt comfortable that no one would be nosy enough to ask questions. I like Jenn's answer or you can always use the "Why do you ask?" That's my standard response that stops all but the most insensitive (I resort to being more blunt with them).

    And, siblings? Good question. Chances are very slim!

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    Super Poster reb2591020's Avatar
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    Hi nice you see you, I have thinking about you.

    Let me know of you want to meet up for lunch or dinner to discuss further.

    We have decided to do a DE cycle in Feb. We plan to use frozen donor eggs. My first and most important requirment for me was the DE were from an Asian donor. I am korean and H is white. Next was health and education. I found that Asian eggs are not very common and found 2 banks that had them, one of them here in Houston! For us we were going to go down the adoption route but decided not to only due to $ and time the it takes to get a baby. I wanted to adopt fom Korea. I am 38 and H is 40 so time is not on our side and as much as I want a baby the idea of starting when I am 40 or 41 did not appeal to me. So we decided to do DE and personally kinda liked the idea that the baby would bio be one of ours.

    ***WARNING THIS IS WHEN I GET ON MY SOAPBOX***

    I hope I don't offend anyone... So I was adopted and there is not a day of my life I can't remember not knowing this. My parents would always tell me what a special gift I was and how they wanted me so much they went all the way to korea to find me. As I don't feel it is important or anyone elses business to know, I do think it is important that your child knows. I am sure there are books out there that can help to guide you thru this but I think it is important. If we are lucky enough to get pregnant we will explain it to our child (when the time is right and age is appropraite) and remind them that how special they are. Will I tell the next door neighbor, probably not but my family, H's family and a few close friends know we are doing it. You may choose not to be that open and that is ok but I do think it is important and my responsibilty to be open and honest with my child. I feel like if my parents didnt tell me or my brother (who was also adopted and white) that it was because they were ashamed or embarassed and I would have felt that way about myself. I think that when you do ART the journey doesnt end after you give birth.

    Ok, I am off the box. now for your other questions...

    I know DH would love the child and be a great dad. One concern is that the child would be a reminder that he's a "failure" (how he feels - not me). He feels like he's letting me down because he has reproductive problems and no matter how often I tell him I don't feel that way, he still does. Lots of Catholic guilt, I suppose

    So this is what it is and it sunds like you have tried but can't change the circumstance so and I think he needs to come to terms with this before you look into adoption or donor sperm. IMO he needs to determine which is more important having a child or having a bio child.

    Do you tell people (friends, family)? When? Or is it none of their damn business? If you don't tell, how do you field the "where did s/he get {insert feature} questions (if s/he ends up looking like donor)?


    Genes are funny...I have a very good friend who both she and her H have dark hair. Her son has red!! Turns out it is a recessive gene for both of them. So she gets that question all the time and he is their bio son.

    IF sucks and it makes you have to hink about and make decisions you never thought you would have to...but I can't help but to think it will at least for me, make me appreciate how special my child is. Good luck...you have some tough decisions to make. I have to admit since all this IF we have had to do some real soul searching and I am sometimes surprised by the answers/decisons/unconscious biases that I (we) have. It has been a real eye opener...
    Last edited by reb2591020; 11-20-2011 at 12:06 PM.
    3 failed IUI's and 3 failed IVF's with OE, 2 failed frozen DE cycle... we are currently doing our "Hail Mary" fresh DE cycle!!

  6. #6
    Mega Poster meggyrn's Avatar
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    Default children mentioned

    You do have some very good questions. Others on here have answered them very well. I just want to share my experience.

    After DH and I got married I adopted his 3 daughters he had from a previous marriage (his wife passed away). I get comments that my middle daughter looks like me and we obviously are not biologically related. We even won a mother/daughter look-a-like contest. We have similar ethnicity and when you choose donor sperm, I'm assuming you'll choose someone that has similar ethnicity as DH. The only reason ppl have questioned if the girls are my children or my sisters is because I am 13 yrs younger than my DH and ppl think I'm too young to have children as old as they are (9, 10 and 11). That's only happened a few times.

    Meg-30 DH-42

    2 IUI's-BFN
    IVF #1-cancelled d/t embryos arresting before transfer (3/09)
    IVF #2-BFP 9wks-7/30/09 (6/09)
    IVF #3-BFN (5/10)

  7. #7
    Mega Poster mrs.doolittle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reb2591020 View Post
    I hope I don't offend anyone... So I was adopted and there is not a day of my life I can't remember not knowing this. My parents would always tell me what a special gift I was and how they wanted me so much they went all the way to korea to find me. As I don't feel it is important or anyone elses business to know, I do think it is important that your child knows. I am sure there are books out there that can help to guide you thru this but I think it is important. If we are lucky enough to get pregnant we will explain it to our child (when the time is right and age is appropraite) and remind them that how special they are. Will I tell the next door neighbor, probably not but my family, H's family and a few close friends know we are doing it. You may choose not to be that open and that is ok but I do think it is important and my responsibilty to be open and honest with my child. I feel like if my parents didnt tell me or my brother (who was also adopted and white) that it was because they were ashamed or embarassed and I would have felt that way about myself. I think that when you do ART the journey doesnt end after you give birth.
    Thanks for sharing your personal journey! I had a student a couple of years ago who shared that she had a surrogate mother in addition to her birth mother (this was during a section on the female reproductive system). Not exactly what we're talking about here, but related. As a college student she still has some contact with her surrogate mother and has always felt incredibly loved because of the way that she came into this world. This was during the time that I was going through ART and was considering DE so I brought this into the conversations that my DH and I were having. I had forgotten about this until now.

    As a biologist and a college instructor I also want to add that it is a good idea to be open with a child from a health history perspective, too.


    Quote Originally Posted by reb2591020 View Post
    I know DH would love the child and be a great dad. One concern is that the child would be a reminder that he's a "failure" (how he feels - not me). He feels like he's letting me down because he has reproductive problems and no matter how often I tell him I don't feel that way, he still does. Lots of Catholic guilt, I suppose

    So this is what it is and it sunds like you have tried but can't change the circumstance so and I think he needs to come to terms with this before you look into adoption or donor sperm. IMO he needs to determine which is more important having a child or having a bio child.
    Another great point! When we were considering DE I had to do some serious soul searching before I was willing to give up the idea of having a bio child. It sounds like your husband might not be completely on board yet, but exploring this further with a counselor would probably help sort through this.

    And as far as genes go...I had a similar experience to Meg. The birth mother of my DSS left when he was a baby. For all intents and purposes, I am his mother and introduce him as my son. I can't tell you how many times people who don't know that we aren't biologically related have commented on how he looks more like me than my husband (his bio parent). I've seen pictures of his mother. She's a tiny Portuguese gal. My heritage is English and Irish. We're both "white," but that's about all we have in common!

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    Prolific Poster WhiteWolf68's Avatar
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    We'll be using donor eggs soon and already said we're going to be very open about it. We like having no secrets in our family and feel that it doesn't matter how a child comes about just as long as they're healthy and happy and part of our family. I've read countless message boards about "looks" and amazingly everyone says how similar the baby looks to them and no one would have guessed donor eggs or donor sperm. I also been blabbing a bit to some about our IVF journey because I'm trying to focus on the positive, meaning when I was told my eggs are no good anymore, I'm trying to say to the world... that it won't stop me one bit.

  9. #9
    Super Poster monkeycat's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the responses. I knew I could count on you! DH is the one who brought up using donor sperm, so I think he wants a child more than just caring about the biology. I just worry that it would gnaw at him because he already feels so guilty about being the "cause" of our IF. I located a therapist through my insurance that does couples and infertility counseling. Hopefully we can gain some insight and he can start to realize he has nothing to be guilty about. I definitely would want to tell the child(ren) - family I'm not so sure about. That will require some discussion and thought. Rachel - yes, we should schedule something, Thanks again.
    Carolyn

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    Super Poster reb2591020's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhiteWolf68 View Post
    We'll be using donor eggs soon and already said we're going to be very open about it. We like having no secrets in our family and feel that it doesn't matter how a child comes about just as long as they're healthy and happy and part of our family. I've read countless message boards about "looks" and amazingly everyone says how similar the baby looks to them and no one would have guessed donor eggs or donor sperm. I also been blabbing a bit to some about our IVF journey because I'm trying to focus on the positive, meaning when I was told my eggs are no good anymore, I'm trying to say to the world... that it won't stop me one bit.
    Good for you!!! I am somewhat the same. I am excited to follow your progress. Do you know when you will start your DE cycle?
    3 failed IUI's and 3 failed IVF's with OE, 2 failed frozen DE cycle... we are currently doing our "Hail Mary" fresh DE cycle!!

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