The confirmation email came through late on a Tuesday night. I sat in the dark in my living room, unable to break my stare from my screen. I knew in every cell of my body that it was the right decision. Still, ordering sperm from the Seattle Sperm Bank and shipping it to my fertility clinic was something I never thought I would do.
I have attended enough fertility talks to know that within the next handful of years, my body will release fewer and fewer eggs every month. As a single woman, I face two realities. The first is that my best friend and life partner hasn’t shown up yet. The second is I still welcome the possibility of creating a family with that man when he does show up. As I stare down my late 30s, both realities continue to point to the same solution: freezing my eggs.
Time is my biggest hurdle. I fear meeting him after my body stops releasing eggs. I fear disappointing him and knowing I could have done something about it earlier. Freezing my eggs now is a way for me to invest in the possibility of creating a family with this man.
Preserving my fertility was a decision I came to slowly over the course of the past year. I researched fertility clinics in the Phoenix area. I finally found a doctor who came highly recommended by friends and one I felt really comfortable with. I attended an introductory fertility seminar with Dr. John Couvaras in May. It was then I learned of the low success rate frozen eggs have in the IVF process. And it was during that same seminar that his fertility specialist suggested I turn some eggs into embryos and freeze those, too, to increase my chances of a live birth through IVF. This meant one thing: sperm donor.
My eyes glossed over, and my ears buzzed for several minutes after hearing the phrase sperm donor. I thought preserving my fertility meant freezing my eggs. I thought by taking that step alone that I would create a safety net for me and this man I’m anticipating. I wasn’t wrong. I just wasn’t totally right, either.
The concept of a sperm donor always felt very Hollywood. It was an idea I associated with a romantic comedy. But accepting it as my reality took less time than I thought it would.
What if he has fertility issues? If he does, will he be the kind of man who welcomes a family with me, regardless of the biological father? I hope so. I called the Seattle Sperm Bank shortly after coming to that conclusion and moved through the donor process. Sure, opting in to create embryos has made my fertility journey more complicated. But it's worth it.
After all is said and done, there is always the possibility that this man and I become parents the old-fashioned way. And if that happens, we may not move forward with IVF at all. I have to think of that possibility now. I realize what it means to be responsible for embryos. They are part me. I found an embryo adoption agency. I’m working with my doctor and taking the right steps now to plan for the possibility of giving the embryos up for adoption later.
There is the still the possibility that he never shows, but I hope he does because I made this decision for us. I invested in the possibility of a family with him.
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