Grooooooooow babies!!

How 2 men + 2 women - sex + science = 2 babies!!

This is the funny, heart-warming, tearful, inspiring, and shocking truth about my journey to have a child.

How a man, another man, a woman, another woman, a couple lawyers, a few doctors, a psychologist, a couple social workers and some agencies make a baby.

Monday, May 31, 2010


Paperwork sent to set up escrow account: check

Contract signed with egg donation agency: check

Learned the definition of consanguinity: check

Spit into a...

Wait. Consang-what???

Yep. There's a term for you linguists out there. Consanguinity has to do with the mixing of DNA (blood) from people who are biologically related. There must be a way to prevent my future child from possibly marrying my egg donor's future child. And, since we don't know each others' names, how many children I might have, how many children she might have, etc. we have to figure out a way to know about each other without knowing about each other.

Lawyers are pretty smart. When we sign our contract we can't sign our names. I am "Intended Father Y" and she is "Egg Donor Z" and we literally sign our contracts that way. My lawyer then keeps a paper saying that "Intended Father Y" really stands for my name and her lawyer keeps a signed paper from the egg donor stating she is "Egg Donor Z." Pretty tricky! That keeps thinks anonymous. The one piece of information we learn about each other is I get her birthday and she gets mine. It didn't make sense to me at first. Why doesn't she get my child's birth date? Well, apparently some egg donors go to, for example, Northwestern Hospital to donate their eggs so it is assumed (not always correctly) that the baby will then be born at Northwestern. If the egg donor did a little research she may find that only 5 babies were born at Northwestern Hospital on a particular day and it would be tempting and relatively easy to breach confidentiality. So we only know each others' birthdays. So when my little Mikey grows up and meets little Michelle and they want to fall in love, I can find out if my son's future mother-in-law was born on July 14th, 1982 or whatever particular date I get from the agency. If she has that birthday we may want to make sure Mikey and Michelle aren't half-siblings. But is that's not her birthday Mikey and Michelle can get married and live happily ever after and not have babies with three heads and one arm.

The egg donor contract is pretty standard. There are only three points to discuss right now. I have the option to do three things with the embryos I make: keep them, throw them away/donate to science, or give them to another person/couple. The egg donor has the right to veto my third option. I highly doubt I'll give them away to someone else. If she vetoes that option I will understand. We also have to work out a little bit of compensation since she will be traveling in from out of town so I have to put her up in a hotel and give her per diem. No biggie. The last issue might get sticky.

There is something called the Donor Sibling Registry. It's a website that basically allows anonymous donors to contact their children. It also allows half siblings (if my egg donor donates again my child will have a half-sibling) to contact each other. It's a long and complicated explanation as to how this all happens and there's no guarantee it will happen. But I like the idea that years from now there is the teeny, tiny, possibility that my child might have some contact with the egg donor.

Over the last week or two I've thought about this a lot. If the donor says she's not interested in doing this, I'm ok with it. At first I didn't like the idea of having absolutely no chance of any sort of contact. But I've also slowly but surely come to realize that an egg donor is not a mother. An egg donor is not a part of my child's life. An egg donor is simply an more no less. And I also get that this woman might be 45 years old with her own family and job and life and having someone new pop up after 18 years is a potentially tumultuous situation.

I do hope the egg donor is open to being on the registry. But if she's not, my child and I will be fine without that option. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Another sign

I had a friend come over and we had Chinese food tonight. Right before he left I packed up his leftovers and saw that there were four fortune cookies in the bag. I said to myself, "I'll take one."

I open it up and it says:

"Remember three months from this date. Good things are in store for you."

The fertility doctor plans a few days a month to do all of the egg retrievals. The one in August, which is the one I plan to do if all goes well, would be around August 18th to August 21st according to the IVF coordinator.

Look at the date today. Looks like the universe is trying to tell me something again. :-)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


A couple weeks ago I went to a psychologist to see if she could help me figure out the pros and cons of using an anonymous donor vs. a friend/known donor. Near the beginning of the meeting the doctor asked me if I had a partner. I told her no. I'm single. She told me that I could find someone. She then "lectured" me for about 3 minutes on how I should use to find a man. I told her I had tried and didn't have any luck. Again, she fixated on the idea that I could find a man.

Hey...crazy lady...we're talking about egg donors, not my dating life!!!

I need to make sure I find a kooky actress to play her in the movie. I'm thinking Carol Channing or Betty White.

The psychologist also told me that the mean IVF nurse mentioned that I just wrote the nicest email. I had recently sent an email to the nasty nurse and swallowed my pride and thanked her profusely for all the work she had done. I thought maybe killing her with kindness would make her nicer. Apparently it worked. I guess this nurse was touched by my email. She is working double time because her co-worker is off for a while. Guess I need to re-think this casting and make her the "hooker with the heart of gold" type in the film.

Eventually we got to my issue. The crazy woman actually had a point that changed my whole thought process. She said the donor is not a mother and I should think about the fact that there is a genetic contribution and a parent which are two separate concepts. Thinking about that was somewhat comforting. Just because someone made a baby doesn't mean that is the baby's family. I hope that I'll be able to provide a life for my child that is sufficient and fulfilling enough that the genetic part isn't a concern. The life that he/she has will hopefully be enough.

The doctor also mentioned that there is a possibility of future contact with the donor and I should ask the donor how she feels about it. So I talked with the egg donation agency and they brought up the issue with the egg donor. Nothing will be determined for a little while. First the egg donor has to be medically approved. If we start negotiating a contract then we'll discuss the possibility of contact more seriously. I asked that there be no contact until the child is 18 and the lawyer said that's typical and also mentioned that the donor is allowed to change her mind at any time. Or, in 18 years, the woman may not be found. There isn't really a legal obligation to have contact, but there is the chance of contact which might be nice for me.

The friend I was considering using was so supportive when I told her I was using the anonymous donor. She said that she knows that I'm doing what I think is best for me and the child and she supports me 100%. She assured me that she wants me to do what is right for me and not worry about her needs and I took a lot of comfort in hearing her say that.

In another couple weeks I should have the surrogate approved and then start contract negotiations. And my egg donor isn't going to the doctor until the beginning of June so no news about that for a while. Next step is boring: setting up an escrow fund for the surrogate. Hooray...another check to write! :-(