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 www.midwestspermbank.com. 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...