Here’s another piece from our fantastic donor. I think you’ll all agree that there needs to be more like him out there. We are very lucky to have found him to help us create Eden.
Eden is one year old, doesn’t time fly? It seems like a good time to look back on being a sperm donor.
I got into sperm donation after a comment on the news that there was a shortage of donors. It interested me, and I did some research. I found I was too old to donate to the official support banks; but I also found there were Facebook groups – online communities really – of people that couldn’t get sperm through the official routes. They didn’t qualify, and they were seeking donors online.
As I researched more it became clear that some guys seemed to think sperm donation was code for having sex, and the preferences clearly expressed by the donors were just hurdles they should overcome as the only way to make a baby was to have intercourse. It concerned me that women were subjecting themselves to having sex with a stranger because there did not seem to be an alternative.
I wondered if I could make any difference. But first I wondered if I could perform. It seemed clear to me that if I was going to be of any use as a sperm donor the most effective way would be to minimise the time from providing the sperm to when the fertilisation could be attempted, so it would mean meeting, ejaculating into a pot, and then handing it straight over for use. But could I perform to order and get the sperm into a pot?
Males are not used to aiming when they ejaculate. Normally we are either self pleasuring and not bothered where it goes or having sex and there is no where else for it to go. Getting excited, reaching a climax and taking aim for a small pot is a very different skill. It took me a few attempts before I felt comfortable to put myself in the position of offering my services.
Then I found out just how weird some ladies are. They want your sperm, but just consider you as if you are a corner shop. Meets in car parks and meets in McDonald’s toilets were suggested. There seemed to be no respect for the guy that was going to try to help them make a child.
I got quite disheartened by this then one day on a forum there was a post from a lady who had been let down by regular donor and she was wondering if anyone could help. I responded. We had an on line chat, checking each other out and we agreed I would provide some sperm to her and her wife.
I was shocked, I was invited to their home, I was given the user of the spare bedroom to provide the sample, I was treated with dignity and respect. What a lovely lady.
I was asked if i would be prepared to try again if this attempt didn’t work, I agreed.
This is the point where a simple thought of ‘I can help’ became something different. I got to know Laura and Amy, I got to understand their circumstances. I liked them, they were clearly a strong couple and really wanted a child, but were just a bit short of sperm. I started to read their blog, was flattered to be referred to as superhero donor. I certainly don’t consider myself as a superhero. And I began to learn fast more about how difficult planning conception is, how precise the timing needs to be, how lucky many couples are, and how much it hurts those that can’t just make love and a baby comes.
I became a regular donor, and the demands of keeping in touch so you know where in the menstrual you are and when you might be needed created a real friendship. It’s not like someone you are going to have a coffee with every couple of weeks. It’s like being married. Your decisions and plans get affected by their cycle and if you really want help, you become a team.
I really enjoyed my twice monthly trips – we tried to get two donations in each cycle – and I felt the same disappointment when Laura’s period started each month. Then there was the positive test. I was so happy for Laura and Amy, and so shattered when they lost that baby.
I know sperm donors are supposed to just be disconnected from what is happening, well I won’t and am not; and I suspect many other donors find that they care a lot too.
The joy several months later when we knew Laura was pregnant was very much tempered with the fear that there could be another miscarriage. I was in the loop with Laura and Amy as to how things were progressing. I was as scared as they were. They were now my friends that I had supplied a little seed to help them grow THEIR baby. I must emphasise that. Ali along this had and will be Laura and Amy’s child. Ok ,I supplied some biological material to make the magic happen. I knew from the outset that I would not have a part in this child’s future. Of course I am very interested what happens, but I have given my gift to them.
Fortunately all went well and Eden is the outcome. I was so chuffed to be sent a picture so soon after the birth, my part in this story is really over, but again the respect from Laura and Amy in keeping me informed is wonderful.
This is where my feelings surprised me. I found that I was ever so proud of having put myself out to help Laura and Amy. I am more proof of this than just about anything else I have done in my life, but only a very few people know about it. I can’t go round telling everyone. It is my role to stay in the background and be silent. I knew that from day one, but it doesn’t stop me welling up with pride.
I follow Eden’s progress quietly in the background, making sure I don’t appear too interested, I enjoy the pictures and videos of her. Thank goodness for Facebook! I am in many ways the proud uncle, really.
As I saw near the start Laura and Amy are proving to be wonderful parents, and even when things are tough are there for each other, but Eden comes first. I can’t think of any better people to be parents.
I can keep in touch, out of sight, and proudly know my part in this story. I don’t shout about it – a couple of very close friends know, but that is all, and they know so that if anything should happen to me Laura and Amy can be informed. I will stay in touch as long as I am wanted, but Eden is not my child, I just helped a little.
So, Eden is now one, starting to walk, and driving her parents and dogs insane. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for her.
She has my love from afar, and I am so proud to have helped her into this world, and look forward to seeing her grow. But my role is over, I am now just a proud content observer, with a huge happy smile.