Despite Heather's contention that our fourth try would work because four is one of her lucky numbers (if seven, her other lucky number, is the fulfillment of the prophecy, I will be a lot less charmed), we saw no plus sign in March, and, the way the California Cryobank's prices were escalating, we had to stop and reassess our approach.
I have always been embarrassingly structured about doing things the same way, the familiar way. I've never dated much or changed jobs without reason: I find something and I stick with it, sometimes even when it's not right. It comes from a family where each purchase was researched with Consumer Reports: find the best brand, the best model, and cleave to it. I may never be able to drive an American-made car.
Such is my relationship to the California Cryobank. That's what Mamie and Whitney used and they got pregnant. Paying more is a painful prospect, but not as much as questioning the original plan.
Heather has a more rational approach. If something isn't working, or is too expensive, it's time to change. She felt totally comfortable shopping for a new cryobank and went straight for it, picking Cryogenic Laboratories and jumping right into a new pool of donors. (That'd be nice, right? A whole pool of sperm? Surely swimming around for an hour would be enough to knock someone up. Of course, it's also creepy beyond belief.)
I fought it, because there is no Consumer Reports for sperm banks and how do we know who's legit? The Cryolab is Midwestern, populated with pretension-free, Scandinavian farm boys, while the Cryobank is in LA, populated with preppy university snobs. I have a Scandinavian background, but I'm far snobbier than I am farm-friendly.
Still, it's hard to argue with the person whose womb and money are central to our success.
This is where the internet f--ks us up, though. After some browsing, we found a few solid candidates, tentatively picking a German-Norwegian fella, and we looked at his pictures, listened to his audio interview, and examined his medical history. Without thinking-- and that's key-- I parlayed a few facts about him into a Google search and, alarmingly, found someone who might well be that fella. And I was horrified.
Heather liked having more information-- reasonably enough, given that this guy could make up half our child's genetic material-- but I panicked. I didn't want to know. I wanted an anonymous BioDad, nothing but a quick biographical sketch, a baby picture, and a vial. I didn't want a real person with a Facebook page and unflattering adolescent pictures. Folks I asked said that, in traditional circumstances, you'd know all the details about your child's father, and Heather said that, if we saw pictures and had information, we'd see the dad in our child. Not the father, though: he's not the father. He's the donor. I want him to stay the donor, instead of becoming a fleshed-out character who enters into our reality when he doesn't belong. If he's more of a person, he's more of a parent, and that squeezes us out a little.
We've picked someone else. He's majoring in biochemistry, is good-looking and healthy, and I don't want to know any more than that.