I started writing this post a few weeks ago as a way of putting this idea to rest. I thought that if I wrote it down, I could release it. That's sort of how writing works for me. I file it away here so that I can start to process it in the scope of the rest of my day/life/journey. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. This time, it's still haunting me.
From the beginning, long before we ever knew for sure that we were dealing with IF, back when we just knew that the odds were high based on family history, we said that all options would be on the table. We've always been open to adoption, if it came to that, but it was always imagined as the last option on the journey.
I had never really thought or considered donor sperm until we got the official IF diagnosis and I started reading blogs and message boards. I brought it up once then. In the beginning, before the full scope had set in for Hubby, he had indicated that it was something we could consider. In his mind, it was the option before adoption. After all biological means failed, we'd try donor, then adoption.
That made sense to me, too, for awhile. But, when it came time to actually start seriously moving toward IVF, I couldn't help but wonder if donor sperm was a "better" choice for us. At first my definition of better was comprised mostly of the fact that it was so much cheaper. I brought the subject up again after our trip to the RE last week. Hubby pretty quickly said that he'd like to try IVF first. So be it, I thought, and I wanted to file the though away. Thought considered and rejected. Move on. After all, it wasn't my biological link we'd be foregoing. How far could I really push it? Biology trumps cost any day.
But, I haven't been able to file it away. It's sort of lurking in the outer recesses of my thought patterns lately. I can't process it. If it were just the cost differential, I think I could lay the thought to rest. To be honest, Hubby and I haven't always spent our money as wisely as we should. If there were any place to overspend, this certainly seems like it. There's more to it than that, though.
Remember in this post when I talked about the moment when my mother-in-law vividly remembers hoping beyond hope that her sons would never have to experience the pain that depression had caused her and my father-in-law? I know that there's no hard evidence that depression is genetic, but Hubby's family may be the case study. Looking back, my in-laws are now fairly certain that Hubby's grandpa suffered from chronic depression. My father-in-law, brother-in-law and, of course, Hubby do, as well. Clearly, there's a prevalence of depression on the male side of the lineage.
And, this isn't the "pop a Prozac" and it's gone kind. This is the "take multiple anti-depressants and still suffer" kind. This is the "deal with it everyday" kind; the "sometimes depression rules our life" kind. I talked in that same post about both the toll the depression takes and the strength we gain from it. But, the bottom line is that I still wouldn't wish it on anyone, let alone our own son.
I feel like we have an opportunity to end the cycle. I don't want us to have to wonder if our future son will have to battle the same internal demons or if his future wife will have to carry the same burden. I know there's no guarantee. The donor could have a similar prevalence in his family. But, if we have the opportunity to try, shouldn't we take it?
So, I feel like I should bring up the subject again with Hubby this weekend. I feel like I should lay this new wrinkle out for discussion. I struggle with how to bring it up, because it's one thing to say that it's a cost factor. That's something we can work through. It's something entirely different to point out that his very biology is the problem. And, the thought of pointing that out, though it will be more of a reminder than a surprise, pains me.
Then, I struggle with how we compromise on this. It's not my genetics, my biological link, at stake. If he still says he'd rather not, at least not now, am I ok with that? I feel like I can only push it so far. But, how far? And, what are the ramifications of choosing donor? I can't even begin to imagine all of the issues that we'd have to consider, both now and later.
I'm not even sure how ready I am to put that option on the table, but it seems like something we should consider before moving to IVF and I'm sure we haven't given it its fair share of discussion time yet. Here's the running list of pros and cons in my head:
Chance to end the cycle of depression
No biological link to Hubby
That con is a huge one. I just can't process it. Biology may trump cost, but when biology is the issue, we find ourselves back at square one.
So, blog friends, I need your help. I know that many of you have considered, conceived, or are moving down the path of using donor sperm. How did you decide? How did you broach that conversation with DH? What did your pros and cons list look like?
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