Jess is the contributing editor for Donor Insemination. She writes daily at Life in the White House.
My husband and I met nine years ago, in high school: He was in band and I was doing a recitation for a piece they were playing. It took almost another year before either of us got up the nerve to ask out the other. Five and half years later we were married, this November we’ll be married three years.
We’ve always wanted a big family. We both have 1 brother and 1 sister, but wanted more than 3 children for ourselves. People told us we were crazy when we said we wanted 4, 5, or 6 kids. We never, seriously, thought we’d have problems having children. My in-laws tried for 6 years to have kids before getting pregnant naturally with all 3 of theirs: My father in law had a varicocele, which they think was the problem. We knew we might have some issues, but never thought we would never have fully biological children.
On May 3 (2008), we received a phone call from my husband’s urologist with the results of his testicular biopsy: There were no sperm present in the testes and no sperm were being produced. My husband was officially sterile and could not have children, with no explanation as to how or why. We were devastated. We thought they would find some sperm and that we would be able to continue with IVF/ICSI. Now we were faced with the several choices: donor sperm, embryo adoption, or domestic/international adoption.
We had always planned on adopting internationally when we were older (you have to be 30 to adopt from China: We have 4 years to wait). We didn’t want to wait 4 more years, after already trying for almost 3. While we are saving for adoption we don’t have enough money to go forward with that just yet. The obvious choice for us became donor sperm.
The urologist had been suggesting donor sperm all along, but I was VERY uncomfortable with the idea of another man’s sperm being in my body, that I was somehow cheating on my husband. My husband, while disappointed at the reality of not having a child of his own, was all right with the idea of donor sperm. After a few months and lots of discussions we decided that donor sperm was the best choice for us, at this time.
Yes, we’re still saddened by the reality that we will never see a child that has features of both of us, that I will never had a child with my husband’s eyes, but you move forward.
We’ve just had our first unsuccessful medicated (100mg Clomid; Ovidrel; Crinone) donor IUI (DIUI). We’ve given ourselves a limit as to how many IUIs we’ll do, but already we know that we’ll do what we have to build our family.