It seems like no matter how much we research, digest, adjust, and plan again we just cannot anticipate all the roadblocks we’ll encounter along the way. And so we’ve resorted to making decisions by flipping coins, which seems as good a plan as any.
On Friday R and I went in to the REs office for an ultrasound to see how her body was responding to the Clomid. She had one mature follicle and two smaller ones. The sonographer, nurse practitioner, and physician all gushed about what a great cycle this is, which would have been equally great news if we’d had any sperm on hand. The nurse practitioner was given the unhappy task of breaking the news to us that our RE was not thrilled with the idea of us using a KD’s fresh sperm, even if we do it at home, at our own risk. Turns out that not only was Dr. S “not thrilled” but she was also unwilling to commit to supervise this process by prescribing Clomid and monitoring follicle growth and ovulation. Dr. S wants us to follow normal office procedures for “directed donors” (the more clinical moniker for KDs) which boils down to KD having a complete history and physical, a series of labs and semen analyses, depositing multiple semen samples which will be frozen and quarantined for six months, a second set of labs/screenings, and provided that all of the above come out clean, we can get started making the Bean. The FDA-approved path to using directed donor sperm will cost us a lot of money and a great deal of time, not to mention the inconvenience for the KD. So, given that our preferred approach may not be feasible and the FDA-approved approach is a big pain in the ass, the nurse practitioner encouraged us to try to scrounge up some anonymous donor sperm to salvage this cycle.
We left the office in a daze. My Type A Gemini tendencies kicked in at full throttle. While we drove home I called the closest sperm bank and asked if there was any chance that they could ship vials to us via next day air. The receptionist said that the UPS driver was expected at any moment, but he could hold the truck for me for a few minutes. After so many months (years, actually) of searching donor registries I had a list of possible candidates for each of the major banks, and one donor id stood out in my mind. He’s not as ideal (on paper, anyway) as the KD, but he’s legally and medically available, and he sounds nice enough. He’s even a touch nerdy, like someone else I know. I called the bank back and ordered two vials of PD5, and immediately questioned this rash decision.
R and I sweated over whether to call back and cancel the order, and ultimately let Abe Lincoln decide-heads we cancel, tails we don’t. He landed tails up. Shortly thereafter, Dr. S called. She apologized for the conflicting information we’ve received about using a KD under her supervision, and said she needs time to think about our plan and discuss it with all the other doctors, who must come to a consensus. She was very kind and honest, which is really all we can ask of her, and she encouraged us to proceed with this cycle while we wait to sort out all the medical and legal logistics of using a KD. We hung up the phone and headed straight to happy hour.
After a nice chocolate stout and time with friends, we came home, slept on our decision, and woke up feeling good about it. The tank arrived on Saturday and we kept up our ritual of adding talismans to the tank. This time we chose a doll my mom made for me, R’s little monkey, and a onesie that says “So Happy” on it. We hauled the tank into the doctor’s office with us yesterday, where the IUI went more smoothly than ever. This is our first two week wait in several months, and we are excited by the possibility of becoming parents in July. Fingers crossed!