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Friday, January 28, 2011

Such is the Art of Turkey Basting - Part 2


Armed with the information we needed, Sara and I set out on the adventures of selecting a donor.

The process is really not as interesting as one might expect. Basically, there are cryobanks (sperm banks) located throughout the United States. These places serve as the storage receptacles for the white sticky goo used in baby-making. They vary in price by specimen based on the number of specimens that donor has produced, level of information the provide on the donor, and, sometimes, the donor's "success" rate. That's right, people. How many times have they been able to "knock someone up?" I'm not talking literally of course.

Given that background, we narrowed it down to three banks and, in the end, decided on the Midwest Cryobank out of Illinois.

The reason for our selection was really quite simple and a little mindless. They had the best prices. They also had a nice selection of candidates, but, really, we were sold on price. The entire baby process, all of it, everything just to get him or her here, would cost us thousands. I guess we figured if we could skim a little cost off the front side and still have a solid shot at a healthy child, then that's what we'd do. So, price it was.

The real excitement began when we got to pick a donor. Our cryobank didn't provide donor pictures (some do I guess), which left Sara and I to our imaginations. Maybe most would have been discouraged by this, but Sara and I have minds that excel at creating images when provided with written descriptors. Anyway, on to the juicy details.

Sara and I went online to We scrolled through the donors on the donor list and narrowed our selection. Height - tall, eye color - green, hair color - red or brown, nationality - Irish, race - Caucasian, weight - healthy. Check, check, check, check, check. We were really just trying to find someone that would help produce a baby that resembled the both of us. You know, so when people looked at us, they couldn't really tell who was birth mom.

We requested full profiles on the individuals that met our criteria. What we were sent was literally a short story on each candidate; thirty fun pages of health, family history, occupation/schooling, drug/alcohol abuse, sexual activity, and the opinion of the cryobank nurses. The guy we picked was from a dream...probably the type of guy I would "be" with if I were straight. Ahhh, yes, donor number 235. A strapping young lad with sandy brown hair, light green eyes, a firmly built, tall stature, and English/Czech/Irish/German heritage. Did I mention that the nurses said he looked like Topher Grace? We were in love.

The obvious next step was to order our sperm. Now if you've ever had to place an order for sperm, it is a bit awkward. It's not like ordering a coat through Lands End or making a purchase on Jewelry TV. You're ordering sperm, semen, baby making goo. Yes, you can pay with credit card and, yes, shipping is expensive because the little buggers need to be frozen in an extra special little bugger liquid nitrogen sort of fashion. It's all very, very strange.

Once the order was placed we had the swimmers shipped to the hospital where we (specifically me) were going to be inseminated. One should note that the hospital also charges a fee for storage. Fifty dollars per quarter so I suggest that if you're going to be purchasing sperm in the near future, you have plans to use it right away.

Our initial purchase consisted of one vial. I was the brains of the operation thinking the seed would be planted on the first try...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Such is the Art of Turkey Basting - Part 1

The discussion of starting a family varies widely among couples. Some couples share the urge to procreate. We’ll call these couples the “go-go bunny rabbits.” Other couples may consist of one half that has the desire to have children and another half that really doesn’t care one way or the other. These couples are deemed the “ask and you shall receive rabbits.” Finally, there are those couples that include one partner who wants children and another partner who strongly opposes them. These little rabbits are knows as the “on the road to divorce rabbits.”
Sara and I were the “ask and you shall receive little bunny rabbits.” We engaged the idea of having a child about four or five years ago. Something in my head, and I still can’t quite peg it, told me that it’s about time we get the deed done. I was the rabbit who was hopping at the idea and, initially, Sara was just kind of “eh.” One way or the other, as long as I was happy, she was in.
The road to babydom progressed. We talked more and more about it every day and Sara’s excitement started to grow right along side mine. We decided it was time to take the next steps. We met with a doctor at the Women’s Health Specialists in our city where we hoped to have some of our questions answered. You know, the typical “We’re a gay couple who wants to have kids so how do we do that?” questions. Yup, those questions.
Answers are not exactly what we received upon that initial visit to the doctor. He was rude and clearly uncomfortable with our lifestyle. When we inquired on the processes to conceive, we were met with, “Are you sure you can even afford this?” and “Insurance doesn’t cover these procedures.” His demeanor towards us was defeating, but ultimately we were able to leave with information on procedures we could use to conceive along with the contact information for some cryobanks. Sperm!…

Rearview Mirror

I’ll begin this blog with a bit of reflection. A look into the past if you will.
Sara and I met when I was fifteen. She was twenty-two. She lived in a simple, red brick house across the street from the place where my parents still rest their heads at night. She lived there with her husband and, eventually, a high-strung, bouncy puppy.
Sara was friends with my mom first. See, I was a bit reserved so we didn’t meet right away. They would chat frequently and I would over hear scraps of conversation as I was tucked away in my room doing homework, blaring music, or whatever the day had delivered to me.
I recall the day that our friendship took flight. I was supposed to babysit one weekend, but something else much more interesting to do came up. I was beside myself with aggravation because I didn’t have enough courage to call and see if they could make other child-care arrangements, but I also longed to do whatever it was that came up.
Sara was at our house just after I had completed the whining fest about the situation to my mom. My mom must have filled her in because it was only moments later that Sara was up in my room handing me the phone and telling me to “man-up” an make the damn call. I did and it was one of the most empowering days of my life. (disclaimer - I would never bail on an obligation, but was able to give plenty of notice to the family and I would have met demands had they not been able to find a substitute for me)
From that day forward, Sara and I were nearly inseparable. We often went to movies, played an occasional board game, and we shopped. This time was mingled heavily in between the time she spent with her husband and the time that I spent with whatever guy I happened to be dating at the time. We were very much platonic, but were very much in tune with each other. It was and is the most wonderful friendship I have ever experienced.
Maybe you’re wondering how we actually came to be.
Sara’s husband decided to take the unfaithful route in their marriage. Now, for anyone who knows Sara, this is something she would never, ever tolerate. She made no exceptions for him either. Divorce it was.
Given the situation with her ex, Sara moved to an apartment with a friend of hers from high school. I still recall the day I helped her move. I’m sure she would note this as one of the most empowering days in her life.
I spent every weekend at her apartment. Every weekend. For as joined as we were before, it amplified times ten or a hundred. Most would say it was ridiculous, but for us it worked. Still, we were platonic.
It wasn’t long after that I completed high school. Sara’s current roommate had other life plans, so the obvious solution was for us to get an apartment together.
We both needed a fresh start so we moved about a half an hour from our home town to accommodate this. Our apartment was a slab when we picked it out. New town, new slab, new beginnings.
The new apartment was great. That’s where the “real fun” began for us. We drank quite a bit and ordered take out a lot…like nearly every day. Once in a while we would slumber together. It was always to finish up conversation from the day that we were to tired to stay up for or to console a bad day that one or the other had. It was all innocent until one night…
Until one night when we were hunkered down for the evening in Sara’s room. We were nearly sleeping and she must have breathed funny on my lips or I breathed funny on hers, I’m not sure, but we kissed.
It was the most passionate kiss I have ever received. I was completely overwhelmed with many feelings that I can’t even put words to. These feelings were intertwined with feelings of fear. This kiss, these hours and hours of kissing, could grow, or they could ruin our friendship. We were both receptive to this possibility. 
That was the beginning of the intimate part of us. I used think that was the beginning of us, but, in perspective, it couldn’t have been. There’s just no way that kiss would have been so passionate had we not had four years of friendship to substantiate it. It was however, the night I fell in love with her. There was no stopping it. I fell hard and fast. And so did she.

The Introduction

The introduction. Me. My name is Sam. I’m the one on the right. The pint size in the middle. That’s our daughter, Graisyn. No, she is not trying to eat the duckling. The hottie on the left is my wife. Well, okay, not legally, but we’ve been together for over seven years, so, she’s my wife. Her name is Sara. We are a couple of straight girls turned gay at the fault of each other. This is our life. Welcome.