Friday, 9 August 2013

storage questions

I got two calls this week from the s.perm bank where we found our donor this time last year. What do we want to do about the remaining samples, they want to know.

First of all, wow. A year. A huge huge year. Unreal that just over a year ago we were debating the merits of different donors (knowing pretty well that all along we really felt good about the one we chose almost straightaway). And here we are with our babies exactly a year later.

Second. What to do?

In my total paranoia and worry that the process would take a lot longer than it did, we bought 10 straws. We had 4 sent to our clinic in London and the rest are still with the bank in the US.

We both wanted to have 2 kids, and so I wanted to make sure we weren't making treatment choices too early on based on the amount of straws we had left. So we over-purchased thinking it would buy us some options.

Of course, we actually did get pregnant on the third IUI so now we have one straw left at our London clinic and 6 more in the US.

On the one hand, it feels so unlikely that we'd ever try to get pregnant again. We have A&P, our gorgeous babies. And being pregnant was, for me (and to some extent for both of us), about the worst nine months ever. Constant physical exertion, pain, sickness and worry.*

So it sort of seems like we should either sell them back or get rid of them right?

But I can't do that yet.

There's a tiny part of me that just feels like - what if? What if in a few years I change my mind and want another baby? What if when everyone I've met around me in new baby circles starts having second children and I start thinking about it too?

As amazing as it is to see twins interact, I feel sort of sad that there's not going to be an older sibling/younger sibling relationship in this family - I won't get to see A&P try to interact with a younger sib, or a younger sib look up to them.

Then the worrying starts - what if I opened the door to that want and had a much harder time getting pregnant again? Or what if we got pregnant with twins again? Neither of us really wanted more than two kids originally... it feels much more overwhelming to have your kids outnumber you let alone having tiny toddler twins and a baby or two babies... And what if being pregnant again was just as hard, but with kids to look after.

The storage is really expensive, but maybe not prohibitively so. I mean, what's another several hundred dollars in the scheme of the insanity of IF costs?

My instinct is to store it for another 2-3 years and make a decision then. I can't imagine selling it back, for some reason it feels like underlining the commercial nature of all of this when I feel too far from that now. I think maybe we'd consider selling to another family who already used the same donor, but I'd have to cross that bridge when we get there.

But is it crazy to even think about that? To be anything other than 100% sure that this is the end for us? I'd love to know what you guys think, what would you do in my shoes?

*I can't stress enough how much better even the hardest times of the early days with twins are than being pregnant with twins... Though I should note this is for me. In my twin club we've compared notes and I had a much harder pregnancy than most, and a much more hands-on husband than most too.


  1. Not crazy to even think about it. We got a letter from our clinic in March asking us if we wanted to reserve the donor for extra cycles - it seems that once someone chooses a donor through our clinic that donor is then not available to other people until we have stated we don't want them reserved.Of course, in March, I hadn't even given birth to NB by then!! So no, not too early to think about it. I guess what you said, about 2-3 years keeping the straws gives you some time to think about it, and isn't that usually about the point that women feel the cluckiness if they are going to?
    So your other options are to have the bank buy them back - can they do this at any point? It sounds like for the straws in the US, its just a paper-pushing exercise anyway (not to minimise things, but in terms of practicability). And you can sell or donate on to another couple/family but does it HAVE to be one that has already used that donor? I'm not sure what restrictions would be in place around donated gametes, I think the US it much more loose than here.

    Yeah, I think delay tactics for a couple of years would be what I would do (as much as I can say that without being you!!) and maybe have a date by which you would like to have made a decision

  2. I think holding onto them for a few years can't hurt (other than financially!). That's what I would do, but I am a very good procrastinator and like to delay making big decisions until I absolutely have to :)

  3. This is not crazy thinking at all. I have 16 straws of sperm on ice (yes 16 once my hubby started producing sperm we froze every poor quality, low count batch we could). But I too have my perfection, my boy, my girl my twins. And last year when our clinic contacted us and asked what we wanted to do with the frozen sperm, I decided to pay for the storage because 'what if'. And when they contact m this year, I will do the same again. I am just not ready to totally let go of another possibly pregnancy and child.

    So if you can afford it hold onto that sperm until you are ready to make a definitive decision.