I knew almost as soon as we started our relationship that Hubs was the man I wanted to father my children. I was fully prepared and overly excited to have what we affectionately refer to as our 'demon spawn'. We had some suspicion that Hubs might need a little help increasing his count, but we weren't ready to hear the actual results of the semen analysis. We even had the test done twice, just to be sure. We were expecting to see a count of low millions, not 0. Nada. Big fat goose egg. After doing more research into azoospermia, and filling his mother with enough alcohol to get a real story about his younger years, it finally hit us. This was likely something we wouldn't be able to fix. We were devastated It became clear that Hubs would not father my children - at least in the biological sense.
It took months before I was comfortable enough with the idea of sperm donation to discuss it with him. I was freaking out. How could I ever feel comfortable cheating on my husband to have a baby? How do I explain to our child that Daddy isn't really Daddy? What about medical issues down the line? How do I keep a proper relationship with a donor to keep updated on medical history as our child grows? How is Hubs going to feel, knowing that he isn't biologically related to our child? Is he going to get mad or fed up one day and just yell, "Well you know what? I'm not your father!"? These were all legitmate, scary questions.
I finally sat down with Hubs and brought up the subject. I expressed my concerns, and then he did what he always does. He made me feel better. He looked me right in the eye and said "Honey, it doesn't matter to me if we are related or not. I'll be there from day 1, loving that baby with all my heart. I don't care if that baby is black, brown or purple - it will be my child, and I will be the best dad I can be."
That really gave me hope - but still left some questions unanswered. First, where on Earth were we going to find a donor? After looking at the costs of finding one from a cryobank, along with the costs of the IUI necessary to use it, I got really worried again. Then I found this great site, http://freespermdonorregistry.com/. I registered several months ago, so I could explore the site and see if I could really trust it. I have read some great things from couples who have used it, as well as happy donors, excited to advertise their success. Hubs and I decided that we wanted to try and find a friend we trusted to donate first, but this is our backup plan.
I know that this problem is still years away, but how do we explain this unusual situation to our child? Dawn Davenport, from Creating a Family, must have been reading my mind. Just a few days ago she posted a link to a series of books designed just for this purpose. The "Before You Were Born" series was written by a registered nurse that works in an IVF clinic, and has gone through IVF herself. I read the sample book online, and felt so much better afterwards. I will definitely be buying the "The Story of Donor Insemination" and reading it to our child as they grow up. Here's a link to the book list: Before You Were Born
So this myth is busted. While the child may not be Hubs biologically, he/she will definitely be Hubs' child in heart and love. And really - what better way to be related?
For more information about infertility, please visit RESOLVE's website: http://www.resolve.org/infertility101
For the background of National Infertility Awareness Week® (NIAW): http://www.resolve.org/takecharge